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The Humble Hamster: A Great First Pet for Your Child


Thinking of getting a pet for your little ones? How about a hamster? They're cute, inexpensive, easy to care for, and a great first pet that will teach your child how to be more responsible. Here are some things I learned during my experience as a hamster owner. I hope they aid you in your pet-purchasing decision.

- Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, so expect minimal activity during the day and a fair amount of noisemaking from the hamster cage after hours. Place the cage in a warm, draft-free, secluded spot in the house, where potential activity won't cause a disturbance in the night. Be sure that the lid or door of the cage is securely latched tight, as hamsters are fond of making the occasional midnight escape. As a little girl I awakened many a morning to find my hamster missing, having jimmied the lock on his cage somehow. On several occasions I found him vacationing in a mouse hole behind our kitchen stove and had to coax him out with his water bottle (I'm not kidding about this). It always amazed me that he never injured himself on these wild adventures.

- Unlike guinea pigs, hamsters are solitary dwellers. Doubling or tripling up is definitely not a good idea, as hamster roommates will fight and may seriously injure each other. Your hamster will be quite content to live his adult life in his 'single room apartment.' Be sure to provide him with a sturdy cage of either the plastic and metal store-bought variety, or a roomy fish tank with a secure top. Hamster housing essentials: a water bottle that doesn't leak, dry cedar or pine bedding to line the bottom of the cage, an exercise wheel, and a steady supply of hamster food, all of which you can purchase at the pet store. You may also want to buy him a salt lick and a little box of hamster treats.

- Once your hamster settles into his new home, the first thing he'll do is build himself a cozy nest. Hamsters are quite funny with their housekeeping ways. You can watch yours fill up his cheek pouches with cedar bedding until he looks just like a blowfish; it's really quite amusing to see. Then he'll run to the corner of the cage and unload the contents of his cheeks. He'll do this over and over until he has a nice, big hill of bedding, and then he'll tuck himself right into the middle and drift off to sleep. He'll likely not want to be disturbed until the sun goes down, upon which you'll see him venture out of his nest, have a nibble of his food and then maybe go for a spin on his hamster wheel. Your hamster will even establish a specific spot in the cage that he uses for a bathroom!

- Wet tail is a common hamster ailment that can easily be cured with medicine that you can purchase at the pet store. If your hamster has wet tail, you'll notice his stools will be watery and he may also have a bit of a runny nose, too. Wet tail is the hamster version of a cold and should be treated promptly, as hamsters are not hearty creatures. To keep your hamster healthy and well, make sure his cage is kept in a warm, draft-free area in the house. Hamsters originate from a warm climate and therefore should not be exposed to a chill.

- Your hamster cage should be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a week. It's best to tackle this task outside or near a slop sink in a basement or garage, as it does get messy. Empty all the bedding into the garbage, wipe down any remaining soiled parts, and then use hot, soapy water to wash out the cage. Do not clean your hamster cage with bleach, as a residue can remain that will harm your hamster if he ingests it.

- If you've taken your hamster out for a little fun, never leave him unattended on a tabletop or high counter, even for a second. Hamsters do not have depth perception and will no doubt make a sudden dash for the edge of the table. You wouldn't want your hamster to break his leg, would you? On the other hand, he will enjoy a safe romp in his enclosed hamster ball. You can buy one at any pet store.

If you or your children aren't ready for the committment that having a dog brings, try a hamster on for size. Unlike a fish, you can give your hamster a kiss. Unlike a dog or cat, you don't need to feed him every single day or take your hamster outside. He will pretty much enjoy living a quiet hamster life in his hamster house. Sounds like the ideal pet to me!

Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Mon. July / 13 / 2020

Report: separation from pets can be 'ruff' when owner returns to work - Times Daily
Report: separation from pets can be 'ruff' when owner returns to work  Times Daily

Pets of the Week | Pets - Index-Journal
Pets of the Week | Pets  Index-Journal

This week's 'Flying Horse' theme: Pets/animals - Bloomington Pantagraph
This week's 'Flying Horse' theme: Pets/animals  Bloomington Pantagraph

MADACC: How to keep your pets safe in the heat this summer - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
MADACC: How to keep your pets safe in the heat this summer  WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee

Pets show us how to be better humans - Grand Island Independent
Pets show us how to be better humans  Grand Island Independent

Pet Doc: How to keep your pets safe if you test positive for COVID-19 - WJHL-TV News Channel 11
Pet Doc: How to keep your pets safe if you test positive for COVID-19  WJHL-TV News Channel 11

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: Grief, the loss of pets discussed in 'Lost Companions' - Goshen News
TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: Grief, the loss of pets discussed in 'Lost Companions'  Goshen News

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 12, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 12, 2020  Summit Daily News

Nonprofit needs help to continue providing for pets in the Rogue Valley - KTVL
Nonprofit needs help to continue providing for pets in the Rogue Valley  KTVL

Our Pets May Harbor Much More Than Coronavirus - The Scientist
Our Pets May Harbor Much More Than Coronavirus  The Scientist

Protect your pets from the heat, hot surfaces - The Daily Journal
Protect your pets from the heat, hot surfaces  The Daily Journal

Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried - KLTV
Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried  KLTV

After 5 months of waiting, Northwood Pets holds Grand Opening - WJFW-TV
After 5 months of waiting, Northwood Pets holds Grand Opening  WJFW-TV

87 Coastal Bend area pets received vaccinations, first weekend of low-cost clinic organized by Nueces Co. Animal Services a success - KIIITV.com
87 Coastal Bend area pets received vaccinations, first weekend of low-cost clinic organized by Nueces Co. Animal Services a success  KIIITV.com

7 tips to keep your pet safe during hot Birmingham summers - Bham Now
7 tips to keep your pet safe during hot Birmingham summers  Bham Now

Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10 - masslive.com
Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10  masslive.com

Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Biscuit - Patch.com
Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Biscuit  Patch.com

Class pets become long-term pandemic house guests while schools are out - Omaha World-Herald
Class pets become long-term pandemic house guests while schools are out  Omaha World-Herald

Mr. Spot: Pet of the Week 071220 - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Mr. Spot: Pet of the Week 071220  Tyler Morning Telegraph

Protect yourself and your pets from harmful algae blooms this summer - redlakenationnews.com
Protect yourself and your pets from harmful algae blooms this summer  redlakenationnews.com

Pet hospitals say they’re seeing a big increase in parvovirus cases this year - WSB Atlanta
Pet hospitals say they’re seeing a big increase in parvovirus cases this year  WSB Atlanta

Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets  WNDU

Wasco Animal Shelter shares pet safety tips - KERO 23ABC News
Wasco Animal Shelter shares pet safety tips  KERO 23ABC News

This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend - KPRC Click2Houston
This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend  KPRC Click2Houston

Eight people displaced after Jefferson City fire, two pets died - krcgtv.com
Eight people displaced after Jefferson City fire, two pets died  krcgtv.com

Pets In Need Delivers Medical Aid To Stockton Animals - Capital Public Radio News
Pets In Need Delivers Medical Aid To Stockton Animals  Capital Public Radio News

Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MADACC reminds pet owners of heat stroke symptoms, provides prevention tips - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
MADACC reminds pet owners of heat stroke symptoms, provides prevention tips  WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee

Pets are stressed out, too - Jill Lopez
Pets are stressed out, too  Jill Lopez

Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home - CNN
Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home  CNN

LETTER: Chickens, dogs make equally good pets | Letters To Editor - yoursun.com
LETTER: Chickens, dogs make equally good pets | Letters To Editor  yoursun.com

Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Humane Society of South Miss offers tips for taking care of pets in the heat - WXXV News 25
Humane Society of South Miss offers tips for taking care of pets in the heat  WXXV News 25

Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population - SFGate
Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population  SFGate

AAA Texas reminding Texans to keep kids and pets out of hot cars - FOX 7 Austin
AAA Texas reminding Texans to keep kids and pets out of hot cars  FOX 7 Austin

Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes - WLNS
Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes  WLNS

Seeing Pets as Human - Psychology Today
Seeing Pets as Human  Psychology Today

Pets We Love 2020 - SRQ Daily Jul 13, 2020 - SRQ Magazine
Pets We Love 2020 - SRQ Daily Jul 13, 2020  SRQ Magazine

Pets of the Week July 13 - 17 - The Hartselle Enquirer - Hartselle Enquirer
Pets of the Week July 13 - 17 - The Hartselle Enquirer  Hartselle Enquirer

CBS3 Pet Project: Bringing New Animals Into Your Home Can Be Tricky For Pets - CBS Philly
CBS3 Pet Project: Bringing New Animals Into Your Home Can Be Tricky For Pets  CBS Philly

Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work - WCYB
Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work  WCYB

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Teton, Smokey, & Calypso - SweetwaterNOW.com
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Teton, Smokey, & Calypso  SweetwaterNOW.com

Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4 - CNN
Pets and fireworks: how to keep your animals calm and safe on July 4  CNN

Pet food giveaway held in Newville - ABC27
Pet food giveaway held in Newville  ABC27

VETERINARY VIEWPOINTS: When your pet needs anesthesia | Lifestyles - Stillwater News Press
VETERINARY VIEWPOINTS: When your pet needs anesthesia | Lifestyles  Stillwater News Press

A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider - INSIDER
A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider  INSIDER

These Are The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines In Europe - Simple Flying
These Are The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines In Europe  Simple Flying

CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup - Lompoc Record
CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup  Lompoc Record

People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread - Hindustan Times
People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread  Hindustan Times

What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat - 10TV
What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat  10TV

CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19 - KYTV
CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19  KYTV

Pets and Pesticides: Keeping our Companions Safe - Beyond Pesticides
Pets and Pesticides: Keeping our Companions Safe  Beyond Pesticides

23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer - Cincinnati CityBeat
23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer  Cincinnati CityBeat

GALLERY: All American Pet Photo Day - WEAR
GALLERY: All American Pet Photo Day  WEAR

Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic - NPR
Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic  NPR

Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat - Victoria Advocate
Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat  Victoria Advocate

The most pet-friendly airlines in the world - Travel Daily News International
The most pet-friendly airlines in the world  Travel Daily News International

How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months - Block Club Chicago
How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months  Block Club Chicago

As temperatures rise, so should your pet safety awareness - WSMV Nashville
As temperatures rise, so should your pet safety awareness  WSMV Nashville

Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later - WTOP
Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later  WTOP

Area pet services see revenues return to pre-pandemic levels - INFORUM
Area pet services see revenues return to pre-pandemic levels  INFORUM

Local vet: Protect your pets from the heat - Yahoo News
Local vet: Protect your pets from the heat  Yahoo News

Cat Food Recall: Natural Balance Pet Foods pulled for potential deadly side effects - positivelyosceola.com
Cat Food Recall: Natural Balance Pet Foods pulled for potential deadly side effects  positivelyosceola.com

Animal Control Concerned About Pets During COVID-19 Pandemic - Santa Barbara Edhat
Animal Control Concerned About Pets During COVID-19 Pandemic  Santa Barbara Edhat

As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk - Carolinacoastonline
As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk  Carolinacoastonline

The Animal Foundation takes in more than 270 lost pets in first six days of July - News3LV
The Animal Foundation takes in more than 270 lost pets in first six days of July  News3LV

Once sold for $56, Chinese vase found in a pet-filled house goes for $9M - CNN
Once sold for $56, Chinese vase found in a pet-filled house goes for $9M  CNN

Pets: Rx for a happier life - The County
Pets: Rx for a happier life  The County

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

SAFD: Homeowner, six pets rescued from house fire on Northeast Side - KSAT San Antonio
SAFD: Homeowner, six pets rescued from house fire on Northeast Side  KSAT San Antonio

Fireworks and pets don't mix. Here's how to keep your pet calm during Fourth of July celebrations. - Purdue News Service
Fireworks and pets don't mix. Here's how to keep your pet calm during Fourth of July celebrations.  Purdue News Service

What you need to do before bringing home a new pet - The Washington Post
What you need to do before bringing home a new pet  The Washington Post

Firefighters rescue pets from house fire in Orange - WFSB
Firefighters rescue pets from house fire in Orange  WFSB

This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies - Delish
This Guy Found Caterpillars In His Grocery Store Broccoli And Kept Them As Pets Until They Were Butterflies  Delish

Pet of the Week: Eva - Billings Gazette
Pet of the Week: Eva  Billings Gazette

From 'Loki' to 'Courage the Cowardly Dog', netizens share what their pets are named after with pictures - Times Now
From 'Loki' to 'Courage the Cowardly Dog', netizens share what their pets are named after with pictures  Times Now

Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Sunny - - KUSI
Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Sunny -  KUSI

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

Warning letter sent to pet food firm after inspectors find Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria - Food Safety News
Warning letter sent to pet food firm after inspectors find Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria  Food Safety News

Pets of the week: July 12, 2020 - Record Searchlight
Pets of the week: July 12, 2020  Record Searchlight

It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend - KSAT San Antonio
It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend  KSAT San Antonio

N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020  nj.com

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

Adopt a Pet: Vader - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Vader  Ellwood City Ledger

This cat wants to be pet and is letting her hooman know so in the gentlest fashion possible. Watch - Hindustan Times
This cat wants to be pet and is letting her hooman know so in the gentlest fashion possible. Watch  Hindustan Times

Pets of the week: Ziggy and Merlot want to move in with you - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Ziggy and Merlot want to move in with you  MLive.com

San Diego Humane Society works to reunite pets with owners after holiday weekend - fox5sandiego.com
San Diego Humane Society works to reunite pets with owners after holiday weekend  fox5sandiego.com

Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks - KABC-TV
Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks  KABC-TV

4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet - PRNewswire
4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet  PRNewswire

'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19 - AZCentral
'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19  AZCentral

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance - New York Magazine
Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance  New York Magazine

Keep your pets cool and safe this summer - KRNV My News 4
Keep your pets cool and safe this summer  KRNV My News 4

Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear - CNN
Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear  CNN

Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold - Forbes
Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold  Forbes

Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Take your pets on a virtual march for a good cause this summer - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Take your pets on a virtual march for a good cause this summer  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store - AL.com
Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store  AL.com

Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands - Community Impact Newspaper
Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands  Community Impact Newspaper

Taking care of pets on the Fourth of July - KATU
Taking care of pets on the Fourth of July  KATU

Pets are even more important during these times - Lowell Sun
Pets are even more important during these times  Lowell Sun

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