Dwarf Hamsters Make Great Pets

Many pet experts believe that dwarfs are more social and friendly than other small pets – and at about the half size of a regular hamster, it’s hard not to love them right out of the gate.

Dwarf Hamster Essentials

All hamsters are pretty much the same, right? Wrong! There are more than 25 different breeds or species of hamsters, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you purchase a hammy for a pet.

Regular size hamsters (or Syrians) are about eight inches long and are the critters normally associated with pet hamster ownership. Sometimes called “Goldens” or “Tedd Bears” (long-hair varieties), Syrians are a solid choice for almost any pet owner.

Dwarfs are about the half size of Syrians – they only reach three or four inches long at full maturity. There are three different kinds of dwarfs to choose from: Campbell’s Russian Dwarfs, White Russian Dwarf and Roborovskis (or “Robos). Chinese hamsters aren’t true dwarfs and they belong to a completely different category.

If you’re leaning toward buying your first dwarf, you should know that bright eyes and an active personality are signs of health and vitality. Lethargy, patchy fur or strange discharges signal illness and should be avoided when choosing a hammy.

Distinctive Dwarf Characteristics

Dwarfs are unlike Syrians and other hamster breeds because they are social. In other words, it’s okay to put more than one dwarf in the same cage or habitat – they’ll get along just fine. But be aware that if you put boys and girls in the same cage, they may get along a little too well and you will soon have a rapidly exploding population of hamsters on your hands.

These miniature critters are also known to be faster and more active than other types of hammies. So while a certain amount of handling is essential to keep them tame (several times a week), you’ll need to make sure they are in a safe environment where you can easily catch them if they get away from you.

But ultimately, their size is what separates dwarfs apart from other types of hamsters. Easily cupped in the palm of your hand, it’s hard not to love their soft fur, big eyes and docile nature.

Before You Buy a Dwarf Hamster

Like any pet, it’s important to make sure you have a suitable habitat, cage or vented aquarium in place before you bring your dwarf home from the pet store. Since their little teeth can plow through cardboard, a box is not a suitable temporary living environment for these guys.

You also need to realize that hamster ownership is a commitment. For the next three or four years, you will be responsible for caring for your hamster on a regular basis and if you aren’t up to the challenge, then dwarf hamster ownership probably isn’t the right move for your personal circumstances.

Source by Steve P Sullivan

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