Caring For Baby Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf Hamsters can give birth to around ten babies per litter after completing a gestational period that lasts 18-20 days. Typically, the standard litter size of a Dwarf Hamster is only 5 to 6 babies. Before you make the decision to breed Dwarf Hamsters, you must have everything well planned to deal with the litter when your hamster mother gives birth. It is recommended that owners conduct plenty of research about the breeding process so that they can raise the pups successfully, if you just let it happen you are in for a big shock, and you may endanger the litter.

For the first 10 days after their birth, baby Dwarf Hamsters must stay with their mother. You should not have any close contact with them whatsoever, if your scent gets on them the mother will kill them, it is also not advisable to transfer them to a different cage. After four days, the baby Dwarf Hamsters will have some color, and they will get their fur after seven days. When they are on their tenth day, the babies will begin to open their eyes, crawl and reach the water bottle. During this time you can start holding them for short periods of time. Sometimes mothers are over-protective of their little ones, so before grabbing them observe their mother’s reaction first. Baby Dwarf Hamsters must be handled with exceptional care, because they are very restless and when you do not hold them properly they may possibly be injured by falling from your grip.

Once they are more than 10 days old you can start taming the babies by handling them more frequently, offer them treats of solid food as they start to eat regularly around the two week mark. You can give them servings of oats, oatmeal, wheat germ or small birdseeds. Once they are about three weeks old, the baby Dwarf Hamsters can eat fresh food with a mixture of lab blocks. Your pets will grow much faster and healthier when you feed them with small grains, something many experienced owners recommend. Slices of cucumber and red apple can also be included in your baby hamsters’ diet to promote their growth.

Eventually when the babies are able to find other ways to feed themselves, their mother will nurse them less often. They will be completely weaned after four weeks. You should also transfer them, grouped by sex, to their corresponding cages, because leaving the male baby any longer with his mother will result in the mother getting pregnant again. If this happens, the babies should be removed from their original cage as their mother will give birth to another litter after 18 to 20 days. This is obviously going to leave you with a lot of new baby hamsters, so avoid unnecessary inbred pregnancy, and separate male and female babies, and be prepared with two other cages in advance.

Once they are transferred to their corresponding cages, be sure to clean their houses at least once a week. However, if you have more babies in one cage, you need to clean it frequently because a crowded cage can get dirtier faster. It is essential to check on the health of the baby hamsters on a regular basis. Ensure that they are all receiving enough food and water and they are not injured from fights with their litter mates. Once they are four weeks old, you can sell them or give them away.

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Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster

Russian Dwarf Hamster is the term commonly associated with a few rodent species such as the Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster, Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster, and the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster. Most of the time people think that the Russian Winter White and Campbell’s Russian are the same, considering their size (both species can grow up to 8 to 10 centimeters) and color. The Roborovski Hamster on the other hand is the smallest of the three, they usually only grow to about 4 or 5 centimeters long.

You seldom see the Winter White Dwarf Hamster in pet shops. If by chance you see them, they will be sold in pairs and be the same sex. They are very friendly creatures and you will love them for their camouflage ability. The Winter Whites were known to change their color in the wild from dark gray to white in order to protect themselves from predators in the snow. This ability is also possessed by household pet Winter White Hamsters. However, they do not change their color to escape from their enemies but by the amount of natural sunlight that they receive every day. When they are exposed to the daylight for a shorter period of time, they will change their color to white. Take note that artificial light will not persuade them to change their color.

Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster or the Djungaria Hamster is from a region in Djungaria, Mongolia. This Dwarf Hamster species can be found in almost all local pet shops. As they became popular, they were also bred using different and more creative ways. They come in several color combinations such as black or even shades of blue or lilac with markings or spots.

Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters originated in the desert dunes of Western and Eastern regions of Mongolia and some parts of Northern China. Even though they are smaller compared to their other relatives, they have longer legs. Physically you see them in a sandy brown color with a slate grey undercoat. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are not easy to handle because they are very small, so small infact that they can squeeze themselves through the bars of a wire cage and escape. Despite this negative trait, they are exceptionally clean creatures due to the fact that they spend much of their time grooming or having a dust bath, so it is a good idea for you to provide them with a bowl of chinchilla sand to roll around in.

The three species of Russian Dwarf Hamster have different traits and abilities but they all need the same quality of care from their owners. To prevent Dwarf Hamsters from escaping when you take them out of their cage, it is beneficial to let them have their daily exercise using a hamster ball. Hamster balls are designed so the hamster can run around the floor without getting lost. Please note: Ensure that your hamster is away from stairs because they can easily fall while playing in the ball, and possibly be killed.

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Names For My Hamster, Any Ideas?

Instead of talking about the more serious aspects of Dwarf Hamster ownership, I am going to address a fun but none the less important part of the job, naming your pet!

As a pet owner, naming your pet is important because it forms a special bond linking the pair of you. However, choosing the perfect name for your pet is not always easy, especially as there may be more than one suggestion from members of your family. If the Dwarf Hamster is a family pet you can be sure that everyone will have their favorite name, you can always vote on the different names or even pick one from a hat if one cannot be agreed upon!

To make the task easier, you can lay down a few of the criteria you want to consider for your new family member’s name.

Just like people, you can name your hamster based on their gender. For the male hamster, you could name them with commonly used boy’s names like Peter, Michael or Harry. Girl’s names such as Diana or Elizabeth could also be suitable for your female hamster.

Several hamster owners name their pocket pets according to their species. If you know the species of your hamster, you can give it a name based on its origins. So if your hamster is a Campbell’s Russian, you can christen it with a Russian name, or if it is a Chinese Hamster then you can give it a Chinese name.

You can also consider using the names of movie characters like Rambo, Neo and Simba. If you are a fan of a particular TV or cartoon series, you can also use the names of your favorite characters such as Hamtaro, Bijou or maybe even Spidey!

If you have a group of hamsters, you can name each of them according to their facial appearance, colors or unique markings. If you want, you can also name all your hamsters based on your favorite basketball or soccer players or Formula 1 drivers for instance.

You do not have to rush into naming your hamster. You can observe its mannerisms for a few days and name it according to the distinct characteristics it displays. Cute names or even exotic names can also be used in naming your hamster to make him stand out from the crowd.

Always remember to only use names that you really like and that everyone who has a say in the matter agrees on. Avoid names that can sound rude or offensive. Since you will be creating a special bond by naming your pet, do not use names that you may grow to hate. If you name him after your favorite football star and then he gets traded to a rival team are you still going to want to call your Dwarf Hamster by the same name?

As soon as you have picked a name for your hamster, use it every day when you are communicating with him. Do not keep changing it because your hamster may get confused. Call him by his name frequently so that he will eventually recognize it every time you call.

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Hamster Illnesses And Their Behavior

You can experience great joy by merely looking at your Dwarf Hamster as he plays around his cage, but do you know the meaning behind some of his actions? Usually pet owners misunderstand the implications of some of these actions, figuring some of them out can aid you in providing your pet with a more healthy and comfortable life. As with most humans, your hamster will usually live longer if you his reduce his stress.

So what signs should you be looking for?

When your hamster moves stealthily along the floor of his cage, then he may well be nervous about something outside his shelter. He may have seen a cat or some sort of commotion in your house that startled him.

If things deteriorate and your pet becomes even more scared, he may possibly place his ears forward and puff out his cute cheeks. If there is food in his mouth, he will empty his cheek pouches because of fright. If the situation gets this bad for him, it very often means that your hamster is no longer happy with his surroundings and he is preparing to run the first chance he gets.

Handling a hamster at this point is not safe because he becomes aggressive and he will probably bite your hand. If he is lying on his back and his teeth are visible, do not pick him up because again he is showing signs of being really terrified.

When your hamster’s teeth are chattering, this is a sure sign that he is upset or uncomfortable. He may demonstrate this trait if you place him in the cage of another hamster. This could mean big trouble, especially if you put a male Dwarf into a female’s cage, the females are dominant and they will kill the male. If you ever put 2 hamsters together for mating make sure that you never put the male in the female’s cage.

Even if you put them in a neutral cage, they may still fight, and there are some warning signs that you should be aware of when two hamsters are preparing to do so.

They use their scent glands to mark their territory, so you will see the hamsters rub their glands against the wall of the cage. If they want to mark a particular spot, they can also scratch their scent glands with their feet and march around the area that they want to claim as theirs.

So, what about signs that your little baby is happy?

You may see your hamster gnaw the bars of his cage. Do not think that he is planning for an escape! He is just trimming down his teeth. The teeth of Dwarf Hamsters are growing continually, thus they need to reduce the size of their teeth to avoid dental problems and illness. Let him chew the bars of his cage, but see to it that the bars have no sharp pieces that could injure him and make sure that they are not rusty.

When you see your hamster burrowing and searching his bedding material for stray bits of food, or you see him stretching or grooming, you can generally be satisfied that he is definitely happy.

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Underestimating The Amount Of Care A Hamster Really Needs

Lots of people usually think that adopting a Dwarf Hamster for their children is better than having a dog or cat as a pet. They suppose that since Dwarf Hamsters are small and can be placed in a cage, in some way this means that they need less attention compared to the more usual pets people have.

If you also believe in this theory then you should not be considering adopting a Dwarf Hamster. The truth of the matter is, Dwarf Hamsters require the same amount of care as any cat or dog, and sometimes even more.

Because of their metabolism they need a lot of exercise while they are in their cage, a hamster can run up to five miles a night, remember they are nocturnal creatures, this is mimicking their behavior in the wild where they roam through the sand dunes looking for food all night. Aside from a lot of running on their wheel, they also require at least an hour everyday to roam around freely, and by this I mean in a secure area where they cannot escape or be attacked by a cat or any other pets that you may have. A hamster ball or your bathtub lined with towels and filled with lots of hamster toys is generally a good bet. One of the solutions might be a large hamster cage, you can find more information about this on hamstercageguide.com/

Dwarf Hamsters need to have their regular daily exercise and get out of their cage, otherwise your hamster’s health is at risk and they can get stressed and even die. So please do not underestimate the importance of their daily exercise routine, they need it even if you do not feel like it yourself.

You should also take note that Dwarf Hamsters are not always easy to handle. Particular breeds like the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster are very small and can escape from your hands very quickly. You need to teach your children and family the proper and safe methods to hold a hamster, otherwise you may lose your pet in an instant.

You may also think that caring for a Dwarf Hamster is the same as caring for other kinds of hamsters. Again, you have got the wrong idea. Although they require the same amount of food and exercise, Dwarf Hamsters need special and unique care since they are much smaller than their other relatives.

Owning a Dwarf Hamster is a rewarding experience, one I highly recommend, but some thought and preparation has to go into it first. Finding the correct information and then doing things right from the start will make your families lives and the life of your new pet a lot more pleasant and far more rewarding!

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Breeding Hamster Pups – Finding A Good Breeder

If you are interested in adopting a Dwarf Hamster, it is a good idea to search for an established Dwarf Hamster breeder. A good breeder can sell you a better quality Dwarf Hamster than you can find from your friend up the street who bred them by mistake for instance. When you look for a breeder you may find many listed in your local area, but try and get a recommendation, and do a background check and ask for references to make sure they are a bona fide breeder with a good track record.

Ideally, you want a full time Dwarf Hamster breeder rather than someone who is just doing it as a hobby. Many breeders will sell their hamsters to any interested buyer with the right money, while others will not put their pets up for sale, preferring to keep them for themselves.

A good hamster breeder typically spends time in selecting which hamsters will be paired together. However, there are also some unscrupulous breeders who are not as keen on breeding a good pair of hamsters, they just want to breed them and offload the pups for some cash. Do not assume that all breeders know how to pair and breed quality Dwarf Hamsters, because they vary greatly.

The fact that Dwarf Hamsters have a short gestation period means that breeders are able to produce a new generation of hamsters very quickly. The years of breeding experience means that a good breeder who knows what they are doing can breed Dwarf Hamsters with certain pre-determined qualities and characteristics that they want them to have. This has lead to some beautiful looking and well behaved creatures, including Dwarf Hamsters with sapphire coloring and unique patterns.

Aside from coloring and pattern, a good hamster breeder also considers health factors as well as the behavioral traits of the hamsters they breed. They do not breed hamsters with disease or abnormalities and they also avoid hamsters with bad tempers and observe the behavior of both hamsters so that the pups will have a good temperament, and be disease free.

We all would love to save the weak, scared and undernourished hamster shivering in the corner of the shop cage, but just be aware that you may be buying a pet with many problems that ends up becoming a money pit, so choose your Dwarf Hamster and its breeder very carefully.

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Is Dwarf Hamster Fighting Dangerous For Your Pet?

Like most creatures and even some Human Beings, Dwarf Hamsters can have bad tempers and appear to constantly be angry. Often you will see them fighting one-another and this may raise concern for your hamster’s wellbeing? The truth is that they are for the most part just playing and they have no intention of hurting one-another.

These pocket pets take great pleasure in having mock fights, however, many times you cannot really determine if they are just playing or if they are angrily biting each other. They may also seem to be chasing one-another and making loud squeaks, as a result of this you could easily get confused and not be able to tell whether you should separate them or just ignore them. To avoid misinterpreting their actions, you need to be able to distinguish a play fight from a real fight.

But how do you know the difference between a fun fight and a serious fight?

As a matter of fact, you may never know the difference between a real and play fight unless you have very keen eyes and catch a glimpse of the small tell-tale details that go on during these fights.

Fortunately, you do not need to be too worried since Dwarf Hamsters are just playing for the most part and normally two Dwarfs get along pretty well. Just take care to observe your pets during these fighting events, the general rule is: If no one gets hurt, then they are just having fun. However, if one of them has cuts, wounds or bite marks, then you must separate them immediately.

Always remember that the majority of Dwarf Hamsters are very friendly and they seldom fight. If you do decide to house two hamsters in one cage, ensure that each of them is provided with their own wheel and food bowl to avoid the occurrence of fights.

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All About Chinese Dwarf Hamsters

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters are rarely seen in pet shops and houses because they originated in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia and they are difficult to breed when they are kept in captivity. Many States in the US also restrict people from having Chinese Dwarf Hamsters as pets.

At a glance, you may think Chinese hamsters look like mice instead of hamsters. Even though they are small compared to Syrian hamsters, still they can’t be considered true “Dwarf” Hamsters. Chinese hamsters have a longer tail and body when set side by side with other hamsters, and they belong to the rat-like hamster family. A fully grown Chinese Hamster can be about 10 to 12 centimeters in length. Generally, they have grayish brown fur with a black strip along their spine and white-colored fur on their undersides.

People think that hamsters live well when they are in pairs, on the contrary, this common misconception is not applicable to Chinese Hamsters. A pair of female Chinese Hamsters that have been brought up together can get along better than a male and a female pair of hamsters in the same cage. In their community, females are the ruling sex, therefore the males may possibly wind up badly injured or dead when they live with the females.

Accommodating two hamsters in a single cage requires extra rooms and multiple levels. The less dominant hamster can flee from the dominant one when it has more places to go to. Normally, they are housed in plastic or aquarium tanks because they can sometimes squeeze through a wire cage or they can get stuck in the cage bars because of their small size.

In terms of feeding, Chinese Dwarf Hamsters have similar eating preferences to other members of the hamster family. They thrive on diets that are mainly comprised of seeds and pellets. These little pets also take pleasure in eating fruits (not citrus fruits though) and vegetables as well as wheat bread and Cheerios, and some owners even feed their Chinese Hamsters Crickets or Mealworms. They also need to have an abundant supply of fresh water, preferably delivered via a water bottle, because water bowls can get dirty in just a few hours, and if they get spilt the little guy may dehydrate if he is left alone all day without water.

Chinese Hamsters can survive between two to three years, but they are difficult to tame and train. They can jump from very high places, can run fast and even break away from cages if they are not completely secured. With their aggressive, playful and very active characteristics, they are not suitable for children under the age of twelve. They are also not appropriate for beginners, and if you decide to have them as pets, it is better to keep your hands off of them unless you are very experienced.

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How To Avoid Hamster Death And Injury

When you have a Dwarf Hamster pet at home, your children will be definitely be tempted to play with it. Since hamsters look very cute, they may want to pick the pet up and carry it. However, if they do not know how to handle a hamster properly, your pocket pet can get seriously hurt.

If the hamster is sleepy, scared or feels threatened, a child must not touch them because they will most certainly nip his or her hand. Hamsters are also timid creatures; hence they need to get used to the presence of the child before they allow him or her to carry them.

Because they have sharp teeth, a nip will lead to a wound, if this happens, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately. To avoid these mishaps, children below six years old must not be allowed to handle hamsters.

Mostly, hamsters get injured when they are not handled properly. A child may accidentally drop them when he or she feels frightened or even tickled! Falling from a certain height may result in unnoticed injuries for the hamster that may become serious in the future.

Children may also feed the hamster with unhealthy foods that can affect their overall health. For that reason, a child must be educated about the proper food, time and kind of feeding needed by their hamster pet.

To avoid injuries and help your pet extended its life span; your children must know the proper way to handle a Dwarf Hamster. You must demonstrate the step by step procedure of carrying a hamster and placing it in the center of your palm.

Some children may be threatened by the nails of the hamster, especially if they have small hands and tender palms. In order to solve this problem, put the hamster on a soft surface and let the child stroke the hamster softly first of all.

Make your children and pet happy by teaching them how to enjoy your hamster. Supervise and coach them about the techniques that they may use when carrying their cute friend. This will make the whole ownership process better for both your family and your loving little pet.

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Eye And Ear Care For A Dwarf Hamster

Hamsters are obsessed with cleanliness. As a matter of fact, they spend almost 20% of every day cleaning their bodies. Although you do not need to clean your hamster every day, you must check their eyes and ears regularly to ensure that they are in good shape.

If the hamster’s ears appear red, swollen or infected, you should examine them immediately. Observe the hamster at regular intervals to see if he is scratching his ears frequently, because there might be ear mites in his ears. If you ignore these symptoms, they can affect your hamster’s health.

Get in touch with a veterinarian as soon as you see that your hamster is scratching his ears excessively or when any of his ears are already full of ear wax. A Vet must also be sought when you spot any discharge, inflammation, redness or peculiar odor from the ear. The vet will provide instructions that you must follow in taking care of them.

As long as you are not 100% sure that your hamster has ear mites, do not presume that they really have the parasites, and therefore never treat them with an ear mite treatment. Instead, check the hamster’s ears thoroughly by getting a white paper towel and rubbing it in each ear to see if there are ear mites. You can also take your hamster into a dark room and check his ear with a flashlight. If you can see tiny black dots that are moving around, then you can conclude that he really has ear mites.

A hamster’s sense of hearing is very important to them because they use it to interact with their surroundings, and their eyesight is terrible. If a hamster loses this sense, he will be stressed out. Therefore, if your hamster has ear problems, address them immediately to avoid any further or long lasting complications.

Similar to the ears, hamsters usually do not need help with cleaning their eyes, but sometimes their eyes can get irritated. This irritation is caused by tiny dust particles and bedding material that can get into them. Examine their eyes immediately if you see wet fur near or around their eyes.

Clean the eye area with warm water and a cotton swab. If the eyes are still irritated after cleaning, you must visit a vet. If there are small cuts or minor injuries around the eye, the infection may spread to the other eye.

When your hamster’s eyes have a cloudy appearance, then he is probably suffering from cataracts. Cataracts usually occur in the eyes of older hamsters and may lead to blindness. Although their blindness does not really affect their lives, they become much more timid.

If you have more questions or concerns regarding your hamster’s ears and eyes, do not hesitate to ask your vet for more details, it is most important that they are always kept in good condition so your pet will live a longer and much happier life.

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