Hamsters as pets.Is hamster a appropriate pet for a family with little kids ? Hamsters are sweet fluffy animals which win the hearts of little children at first glance. Little fluffy balls with black eyes. Having seen this pet at a friend’s house or in a pet shop, kids begin to persistently ask to bring a hamster home. Parents think that hamsters, as pets for a little kid, are a great solution. Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of this family option.
Hamsters as pets: Pros
1. Hamsters are little animals which can be kept in a small space. A cage for a hamster doesn’t take up much space in the house. This may be a great advantage for people who do not possess a large home.
2. Care for hamsters is quite simple. A child can look after a hamster himself or herself or with the parents’ help quite easily. This teaches your child to be responsible and care for a pet.
3. Hamsters as pets are funny and sweet animals. It’s interesting to watch an active hamster, while he is running and somersaulting in his cage. A child can take it in his or hands and play with it.
Hamsters as pets: Cons
1. Hamsters are animals, leading an active lifestyle at night. This is why the peak of the hamster’s activity (running, jumping, and somersaulting) falls on the night hours from 3 until 6. This is the time when children are asleep, which doesn’t allow them to see their pet at the peak of its activity.
2. Hamsters may bite a child. In the daytime a hamster is sleepy, which is why, if a child wants to play with him actively, this may incite an aggressive behavior. In this state, hamsters may bite a child painfully.
3. Hamsters may transmit a viral infection.Lymphocyte choriomemngitis is a dangerous disease, affecting the brain and central nervous system of a human. Rodents, including hamsters as pets, are transmitters of this virus. The virus is passed to people through mucous excretions from the nose and the animal’s excrements.This is why if you bought a hamster as a pet, make sure to:
show it to a vet;
don’t kiss it on the nose;
clean its cage with gloves;
wash your hands after playing with a hamster;
4. Short lifespan of a hamster. Unfortunately, the average duration of life for a hamster is 2 years. For a child, who loves his or her pet, it is a traumatic experience to lose it.
If you have made your choice in favor of a hamster, you need to follow certain rules of care for the animal. Remember that hamsters are singles. They like to live independently. This is why you shouldn’t put more than one hamster in a cage. When choosing the hamster’s gender, keep in mind that a male hamster’s urine has a harsh smell.
Hamsters as pets: Care
A cage for a hamster must be at least 12X20 inches with horizontal rods. There must be a drinking vessel, a feeding cup with 2 sections for dry and fresh food, a special rock for a hamster to grind off his teeth, a layer made from the sawdust, napkins, toilet paper, and special filler. It’s good to have a running wheel for a hamster.
It’s better to buy food (dry grain mixtures) for hamsters in a pet shop. You may also feed a hamster with fresh vegetables, fruit, and greens.
You must clean the cage once every 1-2 weeks. While cleaning, put a hamster into a spacious vessel. Take the bedding out and wash the bottom thoroughly. Then, put in a new bedding. To make the hamster feel comfortable with the new bedding, add some of the old filler that retains a familiar smell for the hamster.
You mustn’t wash a hamster in water. This may cause disease and death of the animal. You mustn’t feed a hamster with salty, fatty, or fried foods that humans eat. This may also cause the animal’s death.
Now you know all the pros and cons in regards to hamsters as pets. Hopefully, you will make the right choice.