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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 Thu. May / 06 / 2021

How to prepare your pets for your return to work - Times Union
How to prepare your pets for your return to work  Times Union

The best hip and joint supplement for pets - WKRG News 5
The best hip and joint supplement for pets  WKRG News 5

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021 - NBC News
8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021  NBC News

Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest - Dayton Daily News
Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest  Dayton Daily News

Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week - WOODTV.com
Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week  WOODTV.com

Penn Hills dog owners enjoy time with pets - TribLIVE
Penn Hills dog owners enjoy time with pets  TribLIVE

Kern County Animal Services offering $20 adoptions on all ready-to-go pets - KGET 17
Kern County Animal Services offering $20 adoptions on all ready-to-go pets  KGET 17

A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved' - Chicago Tribune
A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved'  Chicago Tribune

Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record - San Marcos Daily Record
Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record  San Marcos Daily Record

Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

Your pets can have allergies too - FOX 5 NY
Your pets can have allergies too  FOX 5 NY

City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need - 13WHAM-TV
City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need  13WHAM-TV

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Teachers struggle to care for turtles, tortoises and other class pets during pandemic - Union Democrat
Teachers struggle to care for turtles, tortoises and other class pets during pandemic  Union Democrat

Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors - PEOPLE
Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors  PEOPLE

Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel - Patch.com
Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel  Patch.com

Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire - WJHL-TV News Channel 11
Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire  WJHL-TV News Channel 11

Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community - The Leader
Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community  The Leader

5 spring dangers that could cause health issues in your pet - KPIC News
5 spring dangers that could cause health issues in your pet  KPIC News

Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms - CBS News
Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms  CBS News

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire - Kankakee Daily Journal
Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire  Kankakee Daily Journal

Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season - WFLA
Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season  WFLA

Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly - Influencive
Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly  Influencive

Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster - Patch.com
Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster  Patch.com

Fendi Releases Pet Travel Line – WWD - WWD
Fendi Releases Pet Travel Line – WWD  WWD

Everything you need to know about CBD for pets, according to veterinarian David Gething - Lifestyle Asia
Everything you need to know about CBD for pets, according to veterinarian David Gething  Lifestyle Asia

Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month - PRNewswire
Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month  PRNewswire

Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com - News-Press Now
Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com  News-Press Now

NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits - WPIX 11 New York
NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits  WPIX 11 New York

Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup - Deadline
Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup  Deadline

Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report - Forbes
Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report  Forbes

City of Rochester implements ‘Pet Safety Net’ program - RochesterFirst
City of Rochester implements ‘Pet Safety Net’ program  RochesterFirst

How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks - Local Profile
How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks  Local Profile

Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic - CNN
Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic  CNN

Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety - WWLP.com
Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety  WWLP.com

Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois' - Chicago Tribune
Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois'  Chicago Tribune

2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People' - PEOPLE
2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People'  PEOPLE

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2  Summit Daily News

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller  KCBD

Adoptable Pet of the Week - The Daily Advocate
Adoptable Pet of the Week  The Daily Advocate

Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation - Danbury News Times
Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation  Danbury News Times

Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods - Pet Food Processing
Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods  Pet Food Processing

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing - WLNS
Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing  WLNS

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

BISSELL Pet Foundation Sponsors Reduced Adoption Fees Across the Country - The knoxville focus
BISSELL Pet Foundation Sponsors Reduced Adoption Fees Across the Country  The knoxville focus

Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event - Focusdailynews
Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event  Focusdailynews

Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda  WXII12 Winston-Salem

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Local trainers offer dog owners tips to keep pets, others safe - WGME
Local trainers offer dog owners tips to keep pets, others safe  WGME

It’s National Pet Week! - KOIN.com
It’s National Pet Week!  KOIN.com

Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash - CBS San Francisco
Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash  CBS San Francisco

Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally  ARLnow

Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio - Heart of the Rockies Radio
Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio  Heart of the Rockies Radio

Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah' - KKCO-TV
Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah'  KKCO-TV

Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15 - Patch.com
Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15  Patch.com

Dogs Blamed For Killing Family Pets In Hyrum Neighborhood - ksltv.com
Dogs Blamed For Killing Family Pets In Hyrum Neighborhood  ksltv.com

Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer - KXXV News Channel 25
Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer  KXXV News Channel 25

Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21) - KoamNewsNow.com
Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21)  KoamNewsNow.com

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug - Wink News
NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug  Wink News

Pet Pals: Frannie - WLOS
Pet Pals: Frannie  WLOS

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond - Patch.com
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond  Patch.com

Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals - U.S. News & World Report
Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals  U.S. News & World Report

Pet of the Week: Clementine - WITN
Pet of the Week: Clementine  WITN

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut  WISHTV.com

SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets - American Veterinary Medical Association
SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets  American Veterinary Medical Association

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Jet Pet- Zane - YourErie
Jet Pet- Zane  YourErie

Pet Helpers: Mitzi - WDTV
Pet Helpers: Mitzi  WDTV

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

Jet Pet: Selena - YourErie
Jet Pet: Selena  YourErie

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

After 68 years in business, Wauwatosa's Wisconsin Garden and Pet Supply will close this summer - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
After 68 years in business, Wauwatosa's Wisconsin Garden and Pet Supply will close this summer  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

Pet of the Week: Ren - WBNG-TV
Pet of the Week: Ren  WBNG-TV

Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years - Ravalli Republic
Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years  Ravalli Republic

Brookings Register | Pet adoptions on pace - Brookings Register
Brookings Register | Pet adoptions on pace  Brookings Register

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us - The Washington Post
Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us  The Washington Post

“A noise nuisance and it will be smelly”: planning commission rejects pet daycare permit after resident pushback - Cherokee Tribune Ledger News
“A noise nuisance and it will be smelly”: planning commission rejects pet daycare permit after resident pushback  Cherokee Tribune Ledger News

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families - PRNewswire
Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families  PRNewswire

How to buy a pet without getting scammed - MarketWatch
How to buy a pet without getting scammed  MarketWatch

Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds - BBC News
Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds  BBC News

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents | PEOPLE.com - PEOPLE
Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents | PEOPLE.com  PEOPLE

Pets with Potential: Meet Marla - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Marla  WCAX

‘The Joy of Pets’ topic of virtual women’s forum - Santa Rosa Press Democrat
‘The Joy of Pets’ topic of virtual women’s forum  Santa Rosa Press Democrat

'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire - WRAL.com
'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire  WRAL.com

Pandemic surge, CBD growth help boost pet supplement category - Supermarket News
Pandemic surge, CBD growth help boost pet supplement category  Supermarket News

How Pet Medical Insurance Works - Forbes
How Pet Medical Insurance Works  Forbes

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

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