Don't Let Your Impulses Dictate You: Is a Hamster Right for You?

Janna Seliger Mar 17, 2019
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Despite what people think, buying a pet hamster is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is a small, inexpensive pet whose care is easy. People are buying hamsters on impulse for their children or for themselves. Consider a few things before making this decision.

Do I have time?

Though hamsters don't require the time that a cat or a dog might need, they still take time and energy. Their cages must be kept clean, water must be changed, food must be kept fresh, and they must get some playtime outside their cages every day or two as well.
If you want your pet to become tame when held, it takes a long time for it to become used to you and the concept of being picked up. Before buying a hamster, make sure you'll have enough time to care for the little guy or gal.

Do I have the money?

Hamsters don't cost much, but you must be prepared to pay veterinary expenses in case it were to fall ill. Like a cat, dog, or other pet, a hamster deserves proper medical attention too when it gets sick. Just because the vet bill might be more expensive than the hamster, doesn't mean that it isn't worth it. It's necessary for your hamster's well-being.

Do I have the patience?

Most pet store hamsters (though adoption is recommended) are not tame upon purchase. Taming takes time and practice. Some hamsters are more tamed than others at first, but almost all of them will come around eventually if you are patient enough to work with them.

Will he/she get along with the kids?

It should be noted that hamsters are NOT good pets for small children. A small child could easily hurt a creature as delicate as a hamster and if they hold the hamster wrong and spook it there's a possibility of the child being bit. A child aged eight or older can handle a hamster but should not be left solely responsible for its care.

Will my dog/cat get along with the hamster?

This depends on your dog or cat, but the hamster should be physically kept away from dogs and cats at all times. Some dogs and cats will ignore the hamster's cage or possibly sniff it and nothing else.
Others will do whatever they can to get in that cage. Unless you've got a space where the dog or cat is unable to access, you should reconsider buying a hamster. You wouldn't want to come home and discover your pet has become somebody's snack.

What can I expect from my hamster?

Hamsters bring so much joy to the lives of their owners. They like to be pet, which is beneficial for relaxation and lowering blood pressure in humans. They are often fun to watch, as each will have its own amusing antics and habits that will make you laugh over and over.
They are curious and will enjoy exploring as they crawl all over you. Most importantly, they are among the cutest little pets there are.
If you're considering bringing a hamster into your life, don't forget to keep these things in mind. Most importantly, however, is that you enjoy the company of your cute new pet.