The dwarf hamster They are endearing, easy to raise and require little space. They are one of the most popular and appreciated pets by families, due to their small size, sociable character and relatively simple needs. So, are you ready to welcome a new furry friend into your home?
The different species of dwarf hamsters
There are several species of dwarf hamsters. These pets are native to various regions of Asia and Eastern Europe. Each of these species has its own particularities, both in terms of size and behavior.
Russian hamsters, which belong to the genus PhodopusThey are the most popular among dwarf hamsters. They are also called Russian hamster dwarf. They usually measure between 7 and 10 centimeters and weigh between 30 and 50 grams. Their life expectancy is about 2 years old. Their coat is soft and thick, and can vary in color from gray to white to golden. Russian hamsters are generally calm and docile, which makes them easier to handle than some other species of dwarf hamsters.
Also called roborovski hamsters dwarfsThey are the smallest of the dwarf hamsters, usually measuring between 4 and 5 centimeters. They are native to the desert regions of Central Asia and have a life span of about 3 years. Their coat is thick and sandy, with white markings on their face and around their eyes. Roborovski hamsters are extremely lively and active, which can make them more difficult to handle than Russian hamsters. They are also less tolerant of handling and tend to prefer the company of other hamsters over humans.
Campbell hamsters, also called Campbell's dwarf hamstersThey measure about 10 to 12 centimeters and weigh between 30 and 50 grams. They are native to the steppe regions of Central Asia and have a life expectancy of about 2 years. Their coat is usually gray or brown, with white markings on the belly and around the eyes. Campbell hamsters are also very active and can be difficult to handle due to their liveliness. They are social and like to live in groups, but can sometimes be territorial and aggressive towards other hamsters.
The Chinese hamster
Although often classified as a dwarf hamster, the Chinese hamster is actually a separate species, slightly larger (12 cm) and with different physical characteristics, including a longer tail than other hamsters.
The needs of the dwarf hamster as a pet
The material investment necessary to welcome a dwarf hamster at home is relatively modestHowever, it is important to ensure that a few conditions are met
The cage should be large enough to allow your hamster to move freely and stretch at will. Dwarf hamsters need at least 0.5 square meters of space to live comfortably. Choose a metal or plastic cage with bars spaced about 1 centimeter apart to prevent your pet from getting stuck. Plexiglass cages are also a viable option, but they must be well ventilated to avoid moisture build-up.
Ideally, you should choose a cage that is large enough to offer space and a variety of options: hiding places, tunnels, platforms, exercise wheels, etc. The floor should be covered with an absorbent and comfortable bedding, such as hemp or corn bedding.
Housing and development
To develop the your hamster's cage dwarf, you will need:
- A litter You can use absorbent bedding, such as hemp or corn litter, which you spread on the floor of the cage to a thickness of at least 5 centimeters.
- A wheel to the size of your hamster to allow it to exercise. Be sure to choose a wheel and not with bars, in order to avoid accidents.
- From tunnels and caches to allow your hamster to rest and play. You can use plastic tubes, upturned clay pots or cardboard boxes.
- From toys to stimulate your hamster's intelligence, such as ladders, swings or bridges.
- A bottle for water and a canteen for food, which you will attach to the cage to prevent them from spilling.
The feeding of the dwarf hamster
The dwarf hamster's diet should consist mainly of seeds specially designed for rodents, supplemented by fresh vegetables and occasional proteins (insects, eggs, etc.). Be careful not to give too much sweet fruit, which can cause digestive problems and promote diabetes.
Pellets are the basic food for dwarf hamsters. They are specially formulated to meet their nutritional needs and contain cereals, animal proteins, vegetables, vitamins and minerals. You can feed your hamster about one teaspoon per day.
Fruits and vegetables
Dwarf hamsters also enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, which you can give them in small amounts (about a teaspoon a day) to supplement the pellets. Green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce or kale, are particularly popular. Fruit should be given sparingly, as it is rich in sugar and can cause health problems if eaten in excess.
From time to time, you can offer your pet hamster treats such as pieces of walnut, sunflower seeds or carrot sticks. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as treats are usually high in fat and calories.
Always provide your pet with a fresh, clean water source. Fill the bottle daily and clean it regularly to prevent bacteria from forming.
Care and maintenance of the dwarf hamster
To ensure the well-being and health of your dwarf hamster, give it regular care and keep its habitat clean and safe. Here are a few tips for caring for your little companion on a daily basis.
The cleanliness of the cage
Clean your pet's cage at least once a week to prevent ammonia and bacteria build-up. Remove soiled bedding and replace it with clean bedding. Also clean cage accessories, such as tunnels, toys and bowls, with warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse and dry thoroughly before returning them to the cage.
Learn to handle your pet gently and carefully to avoid causing stress or injury. First, let him get used to your presence by moving your hand towards him slowly and talking to him gently. When he seems comfortable with you, you can try holding him in your hand by gently supporting him under his body. Avoid grabbing him by the tail or squeezing him too hard.
Socialization and behavior
Dwarf hamsters are rather nocturnal and solitary animals. They like to explore their environment and can be quite active at night, which may disturb some people. On the other hand, they are generally docile and not very aggressive towards humans, as long as they are handled with care and respect.
Be sure to respect the dwarf hamster's rhythm of life, do not try to force it to come out of its hiding place or to play if it does not want to. Interactions must be progressive and soft so that the animal feels in confidence and agrees to communicate with its owner.
By following these tips, you'll be able to provide your pet hamster with the right environment and the care it needs to lead a happy and fulfilling life. With a little patience and attention, your little furry friend will bring you much joy and affection.
The reproduction of dwarf hamsters
The reproduction Dwarf hamsters is a fascinating process and can be a rewarding experience for pet lovers. However, it is essential to understand the specific needs of each species in terms of mating and newborn care.
The reproductive cycle of dwarf hamsters
The reproductive cycle of dwarf hamsters varies according to the species. The Russian hamsters have a reproductive cycle of about 18 to 20 days, while the Roborovski hamsters and Campbell have a cycle of 24 to 30 days. The females go into heat They are receptive to mating for a short period of a few hours.
Mating and gestation
To promote the mating of dwarf hamsters, place the male and female female They are kept in a neutral cage and allowed to interact under supervision. If the mating is successful, the female will give birth to a litter of 4 to 12 pups after a gestation period of 18 to 22 days, depending on the species. During this period, provide the female with a power supply balanced and rich in proteins to ensure the health of the children.
After the birth of the pups, the mother will take care of them by nursing them and keeping them warm. It is crucial not to disturb the mother and the newborns during the first few weeks, as this could cause stress that could lead to abandonment or cannibalization of the young. After 3 to 4 weeks, the young dwarf hamsters begin to feed on solids and can be weaned. At this point, separate them from the mother and place them in cages according to their sex to avoid unwanted mating.
Health and disease prevention in dwarf hamsters
Like all living beings, the dwarf hamster requires special attention in terms of health. Here are some key points to watch out for:
A dwarf hamster in overweight can develop health problems such as diabetes or joint problems. It is therefore essential to regularly control his weight and to make sure that he does not eat too many sweet treats.
Hamsters have incisors that grow continuously. It is therefore necessary to provide them with something to gnaw on (branches, special wood) to prevent their teeth from becoming too long and causing dental problems.
Signs of illness
Here are some signs that your pet hamster may be ill:
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Runny eyes or nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Apathy or unusual behavior
- Dull or disheveled coat
If you observe any of these signs, consult a veterinarian specialized in pets.
To prevent disease in dwarf hamsters, follow these tips:
- Maintain a rigorous cleanliness of the cage and its accessories
- Provide a balanced diet adapted to the species
- Avoid drafts and extreme temperatures
- Handle your hamster with care and wash your hands before and after each contact
- Make sure your hamster gets enough exercise and mental stimulation