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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 Tue. November / 19 / 2019

It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals - Forbes
It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals  Forbes

Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners - USA TODAY
Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners  USA TODAY

Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health - WZTV
Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health  WZTV

Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum - The State Journal-Register
Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum  The State Journal-Register

Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets - The Daily Journal
Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets  The Daily Journal

Thanksgiving safety tips for pets - Del Mar Times
Thanksgiving safety tips for pets  Del Mar Times

Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving - WXIX
Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving  WXIX

A people party for pets - Chico Enterprise-Record
A people party for pets  Chico Enterprise-Record

Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people - dvm360
Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people  dvm360

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR - PlayStation.Blog
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR  PlayStation.Blog

Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science - New Jersey Herald
Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science  New Jersey Herald

NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com  NJ.com

Tampa animal advocate on mission to feed homeless pets over the holidays - WFLA
Tampa animal advocate on mission to feed homeless pets over the holidays  WFLA

Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday - KSAT San Antonio
Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday  KSAT San Antonio

Pets of the Week: Mango and Almond joy - ArkLaTexHomepage
Pets of the Week: Mango and Almond joy  ArkLaTexHomepage

Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say - MLive.com
Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say  MLive.com

Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18 - Mokena, IL Patch
Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18  Mokena, IL Patch

Struggling pet parents can get the help they need - Marin Independent Journal
Struggling pet parents can get the help they need  Marin Independent Journal

Make your home more pet friendly | Animals - The Union Leader
Make your home more pet friendly | Animals  The Union Leader

6 displaced, several pets dead after early morning house fire in Longview - CBS19.tv KYTX
6 displaced, several pets dead after early morning house fire in Longview  CBS19.tv KYTX

City warns pet owners to be wary of weather - Monitor
City warns pet owners to be wary of weather  Monitor

Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever - Slate
Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever  Slate

ACC vet program partnering with local shelters to treat pets, find them forever homes - KVUE.com
ACC vet program partnering with local shelters to treat pets, find them forever homes  KVUE.com

Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need - WKYC.com
Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need  WKYC.com

Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week - Kansas City Star
Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week  Kansas City Star

City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach - Long Beach Post
City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach  Long Beach Post

BBB: Beware of online pet scams - WSFA
BBB: Beware of online pet scams  WSFA

Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans - WBAL Baltimore
Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans  WBAL Baltimore

Commentary: Do we give pets, other animals space they need? - The Daily Herald
Commentary: Do we give pets, other animals space they need?  The Daily Herald

Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019  WKRN News 2

Cat food sold nationwide recalled over risks to pets and humans - WTVR CBS 6 News
Cat food sold nationwide recalled over risks to pets and humans  WTVR CBS 6 News

Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential - Refinery29
Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential  Refinery29

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Mickey - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Mickey  KCBD

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans - KOMO News
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans  KOMO News

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA - Anne Arundel, MD Patch
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA  Anne Arundel, MD Patch

'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather - USA TODAY
'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather  USA TODAY

Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays? - WNDU-TV
Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays?  WNDU-TV

Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County - WRAL.com
Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County  WRAL.com

Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center  CBS Pittsburgh

Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy - Forbes
Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy  Forbes

Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper - Natchez Democrat
Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper  Natchez Democrat

Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty  WCAX

Icy Conditions: Pet Safety Near Freezing Bodies of Water - erienewsnow.com
Icy Conditions: Pet Safety Near Freezing Bodies of Water  erienewsnow.com

Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park - WPLG Local 10
Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park  WPLG Local 10

Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans? - WTOP
Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans?  WTOP

South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners - CBS Miami
South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners  CBS Miami

7OYS: Are dog boots the answer to keep your furry pet warm this winter? - WJLA
7OYS: Are dog boots the answer to keep your furry pet warm this winter?  WJLA

When pet love comes to seniors, everybody's tail wags - The San Diego Union-Tribune
When pet love comes to seniors, everybody's tail wags  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Adopt-A-Pet: Camilla, Mara & Bandit - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet: Camilla, Mara & Bandit  9&10 News

Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online - CBS19 News
Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online  CBS19 News

Old dogs, new tricks: 10000 pets needed for canine aging study - STAT
Old dogs, new tricks: 10000 pets needed for canine aging study  STAT

Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold - 13abc Action News
Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold  13abc Action News

Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners - KCAU 9
Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners  KCAU 9

Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too. - Vox.com
Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too.  Vox.com

Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx - Digiday
Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx  Digiday

Protecting your pets from the cold - WITN
Protecting your pets from the cold  WITN

'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season - News3LV
'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season  News3LV

'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold - NewsChannel5.com
'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold  NewsChannel5.com

Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say - Boston.com
Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say  Boston.com

People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’ - Yahoo Food
People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’  Yahoo Food

Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog - Reader's Digest
Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog  Reader's Digest

Keeping your pets safe during the winter months - 10TV
Keeping your pets safe during the winter months  10TV

Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths - CNN
Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths  CNN

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019  OregonLive

California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets - Military.com
California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets  Military.com

Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet? - The Washington Post
Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet?  The Washington Post

Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets - KTVA
Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets  KTVA

Pet cat tests positive for rabies in Birmingham - Detroit Free Press
Pet cat tests positive for rabies in Birmingham  Detroit Free Press

The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners - The New Yorker
The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners  The New Yorker

Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared - WTKR News 3
Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared  WTKR News 3

Home for the Howl-idays: BISSELL Pet Foundation offering $25 adoptions - nbc25news.com
Home for the Howl-idays: BISSELL Pet Foundation offering $25 adoptions  nbc25news.com

Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele - WCVB Boston
Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele  WCVB Boston

As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together - Los Angeleno
As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together  Los Angeleno

Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft - BBC News
Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft  BBC News

Learn More About the Valley's Coolest Pets - Phoenix New Times
Learn More About the Valley's Coolest Pets  Phoenix New Times

More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price - Minnesota Public Radio News
More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price  Minnesota Public Radio News

You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17 - SILive.com
You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17  SILive.com

San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity  KSAT San Antonio

Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets - WHNT News 19
Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets  WHNT News 19

A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine - The Atlantic
A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine  The Atlantic

Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night - WTHR
Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night  WTHR

Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers - Times Union
Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers  Times Union

Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets - KFOR Oklahoma City
Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets  KFOR Oklahoma City

Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet! - Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet!  Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt - The Cincinnati Enquirer
A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt  The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR. - The Digital Fix
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR.  The Digital Fix

Pets also need protection in cold weather - KSAT San Antonio
Pets also need protection in cold weather  KSAT San Antonio

Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire - The Denver Channel
Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire  The Denver Channel

Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House - Severna Park Voice
Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House  Severna Park Voice

Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead - WSAW
Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead  WSAW

Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’ - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’  CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays - WSAV-TV
Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays  WSAV-TV

The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market - Block Club Chicago
The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market  Block Club Chicago

Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people? - WTHR
Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people?  WTHR

Instagram pets don't live forever, but their content can - The Outline
Instagram pets don't live forever, but their content can  The Outline

NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019  NJ.com

California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets - Mental Floss
California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets  Mental Floss

Saving Senior Dogs Week celebrates adopting older pets - Today.com
Saving Senior Dogs Week celebrates adopting older pets  Today.com

Northview REIT charging tenants thousands in illegal fees for pets in its buildings - CBC.ca
Northview REIT charging tenants thousands in illegal fees for pets in its buildings  CBC.ca

Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car - WFLA
Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car  WFLA

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