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What Should I Consider before I Buy a Hamster?

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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Most hamsters are readily available at the local pet store or available via a breeder. Before you buy a hamster, decide on the type of hamster you want to purchase as there are a number of varieties. Accommodation, the types of animals already taking residence in your home, and your ability to tolerate a potentially loud hamster in the middle of the night should also be factors in deciding whether or not to buy a hamster.

Take careful consideration of the type of hamster you want to buy. There are a number of varieties that are readily available. Most pet stores generally have the common dwarf hamster or the teddy bear hamster. These types will need different types of accommodations, due to their size difference.

Dwarf hamsters are just that — small and miniature. They will require smaller spaces when compared to teddy bear hamsters, which are relatively bigger and longer than the dwarf hamster. Smaller hamsters will also require small food dosages, which can also translate to a cheaper food upkeep.

No matter the variety you choose, consider the size of your living space before you buy a hamster. Most hamsters will need an aquarium with high walls, since hamsters are known to jump. The cage will need a stable surface, away from drafty windows. Hamsters are nocturnal, so place the cage in low traffic areas in the home, away from loud sounds during the day.

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If you have predatory animals in the household, then you may want to reconsider purchasing a hamster. Cats and dogs have the capacity to befriend a hamster, but predatory instincts may take over at any time. It is best to err on the side of caution and not buy a hamster if you are already living with a robust dog or cat.

Hamsters sleep during the day, and can be rather loud during the night. In the middle of the night, they can be heard running in their hamster wheels, which can make a ruckus. If you are going to have a hamster in your room or dormitory, then realize that the hamster can be a potential nuisance.

If you are buying the hamster for a child, be sure that he or she will not lose interest over time. A hamster will require diligent care for up to three years. This may leave you with the responsibility to care for the hamster. Since the hamster's lifespan is relatively short, you may also want to consider how its death may potentially impact your child.

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