Hamsters make great pets – they’re adorable, smart, and full of personality. They’re often considered a perfect “starter pet” for young children to teach responsibility. While they don’t require the same amount of attention as say, a new puppy, they do require daily care and some preparation and training.

Getting Your Hamster Settled

It’s important to make your hamster’s transition home as stress-free as possible. When you bring him home, place your hamster in his prepared cage and let him explore on his own in peace. Your hamster’s home should have bedding, food and water, a hideout, and an exercise wheel at minimum. Critterville Hamster Homes come with an exercise wheel, water bottle, food bowl, hideout, and elevated feeding platform so you can simply add bedding and your hamster’s habitat will be ready to go.

Even though you might be tempted to shower your new pet with love, do not disturb him for the first few days. Continue to bring him food and water, but don’t remove him from his cage or handle him. Any added stress on his tiny body could lead to behavioral problems.

You’ll know your hamster is getting settled when you see him marking his territory by rubbing up against the cage and completing daily activities such as exercising and burrowing.

Taming Your Hamster

Like any new pet, hamsters need to be tamed. It takes time for your hamster to form a trusting bond with you, and handling him before he’s ready or when he’s stressed could lead to a nasty bite.

To gain your hamster’s trust, offer treats while he’s still in the cage. Keep your hand steady while he investigates. If he doesn’t take it at first, it’s okay. Just leave the treat and try again the next day. When your hamster is confident enough to jump in your hand for a treat, he’s ready to be picked up and held. Every hamster is different, so there’s no timetable for this process. Some might get comfortable after a week; others may take a month. Just be patient.

Hamster Grooming

Hamsters are very clean by nature and spend lots of time grooming themselves. Your hamster could still benefit from an occasional dust bath. You can find dust powder for bathing in the small animal section of your local pet store. Just place the dust powder or bathing sand in a shallow dish and let him roll around. Brush off the excess and remove the dish when he’s done. Wet baths will remove essential oils from his coat, so avoid them when you can. If a bath is absolutely necessary, use shampoo especially made for small animals.

Hamsters’ teeth never stop growing so it’s important to have small wood blocks or wooden chew toys for him to wear down his teeth to an appropriate level. If your hamster’s teeth become overgrown, they can cause injuries to his mouth and affect the alignment of his jaw.

With a little time and training, your hamster will soon become your tiny, new companion.