What should my child know before adopting a hamster? Things like proper diet, what type of housing to use, and the best bedding are essential. But there's much more than that when it comes to the care of a hamster. If your child is going to adopt a hamster, knowing how to hold the hamster, exercise the hamster, and knowing warning signs is also key. It's also a good idea to teach your child random hamster facts, such as the fact that hamsters can hiss when upset. They also may box when threatened.
How can we prepare? Our first hamster was a rescue, leaving us wholly unprepared. All of his supplies had to be bought the same day and we learned how to care for him along the way. While that can be a good way to learn, it's better to be prepared. Study up on what a hamster will need and have plenty supplies beforehand. Doing this has helped us in future hamster adoptions. Now whenever we have room and come across a hamster that needs to be adopted immediately, we don't have much worry about supplies, as we already have them.
I don't recommend stocking up on food too far in advance, as food can expire. But things like toys, bedding, the cage, an exercise wheel, an exercise ball, obstacle course supplies, and other entertainment and care supplies can be purchased well in advance. The less time you are worrying about supplies, the more time you and your child can spend with your newly adopted hamster.
Where can my child learn about proper hamster care? A licensed professional can give you and your child the very best advice. You can also consult books and trusted websites for supplemental information. Some pet supply stores and shelters will offer classes and workshops about proper pet care. It's also a great idea to visit animal shelters and spend time with hamsters before adopting. Let your child hold a hamster to test reactions. A combination of all of the above and more ensures well-rounded hamster care experience.
Where should we go to adopt a hamster? The best specific place to go will depend on your area. Hamsters are found in pet stores, with breeders, and with shelters and rescue groups. Where you go will be up to you. Because pet store hamsters are often the result of mass breeding and other issues, we prefer to instead support shelters and rescues. All of our hamsters have come from unfortunate situations. Shelters and rescue groups often have hamsters of all ages who were abandoned, abused, or neglected. Adopting a hamster in need is a good deed and may also give your child a healthy dose of joy.
Is my child really ready to care for a hamster? After all of your preparation, are you still wondering if your child is ready? You should be able to tell during and after preparation for the hamster if your child is really ready to adopt. Look at the way your child reacts to the hamsters, as well as to care study. If your child becomes bored with all the preparation, you may be overdoing it or your child may not be ready. If you cannot easily and honestly answer whether your child is ready, you should wait. If your child is educationally prepared and visibly happy about adopting a hamster, that's a good indication of readiness.
*Always contact a licensed veterinarian for the health of your animals. The information above is not meant to replace the advice of a qualified professional and is derived solely from the author's own personal experiences.