Hamsters vs Guinea Pigs – Take It From Someone Who Owns Both

If you’re aching for a pet but can’t decide between a guinea pig or a hamster, let me help you. I have a Syrian hammy, and 2 guinea piggies and believe me, there are some very important differences between them.

In this article we’ll look at the main differences between them, and how much they both impact your life, so you can take a very well informed decision. If you’d like to know what would happen if you were to raise a hamster with a guinea pig in the same cage, you should read this article.

hamster vs guinea pig (2)

Deciding between a guinea pig or a hamster

That one is completely up to you. Decide after you’ve read this entire article, and see which would be best for you.

I got a hamster at first, a Syrian male named Teddy. About a year and a half later, we got two piggies from a friend who did not have the time to look after them anymore. We’ve named them Jessi and Ka, because my piggies when I was young were named Jessica (both of them).

So I’ve come to know some clear differences between hamsters and guinea pigs, and some common grounds as well. But let’s start with the basics.

A quick rundown on hamsters

Hamsters are nocturnal/crepuscular animals, and will sleep most of the day away. Their diet is made of mostly grains, with some fruits, veggies, meat, and nuts added to the equation.

They need fairly large cages ( a minimum of 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall.) and certain conditions to live in. Hamsters are solitary animals, even if you’ve seen some people keep pair of hamsters in the same cage.

There are 5 types of hamsters:

  • The Syrian hamster, the largest one and with the most coat color variations
  • The Roborovski Dwarf, the tiniest of the Dwarf types – only 2 inches/5 cm
  • The Campbell Dwarf
  • The Djungarian/Winter white Dwarf
  • The Chinese Dwarf

You’ll rarely find all 5 types of hamsters in a pet shop, but you might find 2-3 types at a time. Syrians are the most common hamster you can get as a pet.

The average hamster’s lifespan is  2-3 years. The Chinese Dwarf has the shortest lifespan, around 1.5-2 years, while the Robo Dwarf can live up to 4 years.

A quick overview of guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are larger than hamsters, about 20-25 cm/8-10 inches long and with a very wide array of colors. Some are shorthaired, some have long hair, some have swirls in their fur as a pattern, but their personalities do not vary from one fur type to another

Guinea pigs live in herds, one male leading a groups of females. With pet piggies this is not wise, unless you’re looking to breed them.  Pet piggies are usually kept in all male or all female herds, and if males are ever kept with females the male is spayed.

Their usual diet is made of timothy hay, along with leafy greens, some root-type veggies, and the occasional fruit.

Guinea pigs have an  average lifespan of 6-8 years, though there have been piggies that lived over 10 years, so getting a piggie is a commitment.

For the most part guinea pigs are neither nocturnal nor diurnal. Instead, they sleep in patches throughout the day, and have a certain sleep schedule you’ll be able to observe after a few weeks.

Different temperaments between the two pets

Both the hamster and the guinea pig are prey animals. They’re both skittish and both need some time before they’re comfy with you picking them up. Sometimes they’re never okay with that.

But the common grounds stop there. There are many differences between hamsters and guinea pigs. When it comes to which would make the best pet for you, you need to take those into account.

About the guinea pig’s personality

Guinea pigs are herd animals. As such, they’re much more social and laid back than a hamster, who is a solitary animal. In fact, keeping a guinea pig alone is  a terrible idea, even if you’re always there to play with her.

The company of another piggie can’t be replaced with human interaction, simply because we don’t understand piggies as well as another piggy. So, guinea pigs do well in groups or at least pairs.

They can have varying personalities, the piggies themselves. Some are more outgoing, curious, and might come to check you out. others will shy away and rarely leave their huts if they know you’re there, even after taming them.

Some will be relaxed and won’t protest when you pick them up, some will try their hardest to get out of your hands.

Piggies rarely ever bite, even when they’re stressed. They can bite, yes, but they’re very docile and will avoid doing this most of the time.

It varies from piggy to piggy. The one we have, Ka is a bit more outgoing, and is okay with being held, while Jessi hides most of the time. They don’t really get along and need 2 separate cages, but they talk to each other a lot.

Another thing about a piggy’s personality and temperament, they are easier to bond with a young piggy. So if you’ve got an adult piggy, and bring in a young one, the young one will learn from the old one and become submissive.

To even things out, it’s best to always get both or all the piggies young, and introduce them as youngsters so they can grow together and form their own relationship.

Guinea pigs actually become depressed if they’ve got no friends, even if they do have human company. This is another reason to never keep a lone piggy.

About the hamster’s personality

A hamster, on the other hand, is very territorial. He has his own things, and will not share them with anyone. Putting two hamsters together is generally a bad idea, even the Dwarf types. While they may tolerate each other, they usually end up fighting and need to be separated.

Hamsters are also skittish and will try to run away or hide when you try to interact with them. But they can be tamed, at least a bit, to know that you’re no danger to them.

They have no problem biting you if you handle them wrong, or they feel threatened. For example my Teddy is a bit of a Rambo type, always curious, will fight anything (even a toilet paper roll) if it gets too close, and doesn’t really like to be held for more than 3 seconds.

Some hamsters are a bit more tame, for example a family friend had a hamster named Oscar. He was the tamest, most relaxed hammy, and he let anyone hold him.

The thing is hamsters are not very cuddly creatures, and won’t seek out your hugs and scratches on their own. Maybe a few select will, but as a whole this is something they learn to associate with food, and nothing more.

Kid-friendly or quiet home ?

Another important aspect, and a possible deal breaker for many people out there. If you’ve got children, or other small pets, the a hamster is the worst idea ever.

This is because hamsters are very sensitive to everything – the room temperature, the noise level, the light level, drafts, being picked up wrong, being held too long, a sick person, and so on. Guinea pigs are sensitive too, but much less than hamsters.

A hamster can get stressed very easily and develop an entire host of illnesses based on stress. A curious cat or a barking dog can be too much for the hamster, and kids continuously prodding at their cage can be very stressful.

A guinea pig on the other hand is more relaxed. They don’t like being woken up and put on display either, but they react much less negatively than a hamster, and they recover pretty quickly.

For kids I think a guinea pig is the best choice, instead of a hamster. I’d recommend a hamster only to quiet, patient, calm people who have time at night to tame and play with the hamster.

A rowdy home with many pets and young children is not recommended for piggies, nor for hamsters.

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these are the two newcomers, Jessi and Ka. they’re a year and half old.

Feeding requirements for hamsters and guinea pigs

Both the guinea pig and the hamster have very specific feeds. While a hamster could steal anything the piggy would eat (except the hay), a piggy couldn’t eat much of the hamster’s food.

There is also the question of how often to feed them, and how much.

For Syrian hamsters 2 teaspoons of commercial food mix is enough, daily. The Dwarf types only need one teaspoon. Much of the food will be hoarded for later snacks.

Guinea pigs, on the other hand, need a fresh supply of timothy hay, available at all times, in endless amounts. Commercial food mix should be given 2 tablespoons per piggy, daily.

So on short, you’re going to feed the piggy more often, and in larger quantities. There always needs to be a hay bag on hand, to re-stock their hay pile. Both Jessi and Ka go through about 3-4 fistfuls of hay, each, per day.

Both guinea pigs and hamsters can be fed various treats that are already in your pantry or fridge. Fresh fruit and veg are favorites, a few examples include:

  • guinea pigs – raw bell pepper, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, small slice of apple
  • hamsters – cucumber, carrots, peanuts (unsalted, shelled), plain cooked chicken

While the hamster will pick up all the food in his food bowl and store it in his nest for later use, a guinea pig does not. Piggies pretty much mess with their food and it ends up all over the cage.

For example ours put a paw inside their bowls and tip them over to get to the feed. If we put the feed directly on their bedding, half of it ends up forgotten in the bedding.

Exercise and floor time for guinea pigs and hamsters

This is a very big difference between hamsters and guinea pigs. They both need exercise, and will run around pretty much all their waking time. But, they do it differently.

Hamster exercise and running routine

Hamsters are famous for their running wheels and exercise balls. We’ve all seen or at least heard of a hammy running as far as his little feet can take him, all night long.

Given their small size, agility, and how hard they are to catch in general (especially if lost), hamsters aren’t let outside their cage often. In fact, the only way a hamster can spend time outside his cage is inside his exercise ball. This keeps things safe for everyone involved.

Even then, they should not be kept in the ball for more than 30 minutes at a time. They will need water, a quick snack, and they will probably need their pee corner as well.

Most of the hamster’s exercise is done inside the cage. This means that whatever running wheel you end up getting your hamster, it better be sturdy. He will use it every night, for hours on end, pretty much all his life.

Hamsters can get bored very easily if they’ve got no way to expend all that energy. Many times this can lead to chewing the cage bars, or even trying to escape.

Some people decide to let their hammy roam free in a hamster-proof room. This means that the room needs to have no hidden corners, or furniture that the hamster can get under, behind, into or between (hamsters are ridiculously good at this), and have no exposed surfaces that can harm them. Or that the hamster can harm, like a power strip cable, or charger for example.

If you decide to let your hamster have floor time, have a good plan to catch him. Baiting him with food into his cage or exercise ball usually helps.

Guinea pig exercise and floor time

Guinea pigs are fairly different from hamsters in this respect. They need plenty of exercise too, but it’s a bit hard for them to get a good wheel, and an exercise ball is not a good idea.

The main reason is that both a ball and an wheel need to be very large in order for the piggy’s back to be straight. Most people don’t have room for such a large wheel in their home, let alone the piggy’s cage.

So that leaves the guinea pig owner with two choices: get a very very large cage, and/or supplement it with lots of floor time. Now, even if you do have a very large cage for the guinea pig, it’s probably not enough.

This is because they need to be able to roam as much as they like, at all times. As large as a cage can be, it just isn’t enough and becomes repetitive.

Some people dedicate an entire room to the piggies. That room is guinea-pig proofed, meaning the floor is easy to clean (piggies pee and poop incredibly often), there is no furniture the pig can chew on,  there are several huts/hideouts the pigs can use, and they are well contained.

If you’ve got the spare room for that, it would be a great treat for your piggies, giving them so much space all for themselves.

But, if you’ve only got the cage, you will need to improvise with floor time. This means that a certain patch of a room you designate will have to be guinea pig proofed.

News paper lining on the floor, a small wire fence to keep them inside their enclosure, food and a hideout or two to cuddle in, and lots of running around.

Giving your guinea floor time will greatly reduce their boredom levels and will keep them happy and bouncy.

(If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.)

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Cage requirements are very different between the two

Alright, we’ve just talked about the exercise and floor time/free roam requirements. This means that their cages need to be very large in order to keep them happy and not stressed.

For hamsters the absolute minimum is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. That’s the minimum for a Syrian hamster, and he will do great in a larger cage than that. Dwarf hamsters can make do with smaller cages, but I’d recommend getting them a Syrian sized one as well.

The problem is that most people don’t really have the space for a cage larger than that, so they end up with the minimum.

Guinea pig cages do come in large sizes, and in fact the minimum is 110 by 60 cm/43 by 23.5 inches, for one guinea pig. Since guinea pigs should be kept in pairs you will need a cage almost double that size for both of them.

Many people opt to make their cages C&C style – corrugated plastic and cubes. It’s basically a plastic bottom cage, which can be adjusted as much as you would like, with wire mesh as a fence to keep the piggies in.

Most of these cages can be handmade, as long as you have the proper materials. They’re usually found at hardware stores, or building supply stores.

Unfortunately hamsters can’t live in a C&C cage, since the spacing is too large for them, and they will easily escape. A guinea pig is large enough that the C&C cage will keep her in.

Bedding, nests, and objects in their cage

Both hamsters and guinea pigs need toys and some basic objects in their cage. Both can live well enough with paper-based bedding, or aspen shavings.

Neither of them tolerates dust, and they have sensitive noses. Pine and cedar shavings or toys should be avoided.

A hamster will need a hideout, in which to build his nest. So does a guinea pig, but she is not as attached to her hideout as the hamster. While the hamster will build his base and make it an impenetrable fortress, the guinea pig will switch between multiple hideouts. This means that yes, she will need many places to hide.

Both the hamster and the guinea pig need wood-based objects to chew on. Their teeth always grow, even if they’re not both rodents (guinea pigs are caviidaes, or cavies for short). They need to constantly file down their teeth, in order to keep them in check and avoid dental problems.

In the same vein, both hamsters and guinea pigs need toys in their cages to stave off boredom. Bored piggies and hamsters can get restless, start chewing the bars, try to escape, and even get depressed.

They both need food bowls, simply because scatter-feeding them often ends up with a lot of food forgotten under all the bedding.

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our current setup with all 3 cages. we rearrange the piggy cages to make a sort of contained rectangle near the wall, and let them out on the floor there. covered the power outlet for their sake.

Take your schedule and daily life into account

Hamsters and guinea pigs need lots of time with their owners in order to come to trust them. Even after being tamed, they can lose that trust if you make a wrong move or scare them too much.

Remember that they are prey animals, in the end.

So in order to take your hamster or guinea pig, you need to dedicate time and effort. It could take days, it could only be a few weeks. but if you’ve got a very busy schedule, neither of them will be good for you.

If you’re working nights and you need to be awake and at home in the evening, then you will have time and patience to train and tame your hamster. Possibly the guinea pigs too.

But, hamsters sleep during the day, all day. If you’re like me and work during the day and go to bed fairly early (10 PM) you’re probably better off with the guinea pigs. They’re active during the day as well as the night, so you will end get plenty of time to spend with them.

If you’re away from home very often, and for long periods of time, then neither of these pets are suited for you. This is because they don’t get a attached to their owners as other pets, and can’t travel with you as easily. In this case a dog would be better suited, depending what king of travel you’re doing.

If you’ve got children that need changing, feeding, put to bed, a home to clean and some other errands to run, then a stationary pet like a hamster or guinea pig probably is not good for you either. Both the hamster and the guinea pig are confined to their cage, and won’t be able to follow you around.

A cat, however, will be able to come and go as she pleases and will be with you in bed, the kitchen, the bathroom, and possibly in your work bag as well.

Finally, keep in mind that guinea pigs are noisier than hamsters. The array of sounds they make, the loudness, and the frequency are all much higher. Depending on what kind of bedding you provide, you might also hear the guinea pigs moving about in their cage at night.

You’ll simply her them much more often than a hamster.

So take into account the kind of life you have, and whether you can dedicate enough time and energy to these creatures.

A word from Teddy

I hope you found what you were looking for here. Many people have a hard time choosing between us hammies and guinea pigs, but we’ve both got our good side and our bad sides. In the end it comes down to how well we’d work with your daily life.

If you want to know more about us hamsters you can check out the related articles below. You’ll find out how to care for us and keep us happy too.

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Hamsters Hiding Their Food – Why, When, And Where
Hamsters Hiding Their Food – Why, When, And WhereEver seen how your hammy stuffs his cheeks and then wanders off ? Did you ever wonder where all that food goes ? That’s a lot of food for such a tiny furry boy. Where does it all go ? As it happens, hammies like to hoard. Their name in Syria where the first hammy was discovered translated to Mr. Saddlebags. Apparently hamsters like to carry away their food, but what do they do with all of it ? Table of Contents ToggleDo hamsters hide their food ?Why hamsters hide their foodWhen hamsters hide their foodWhere do hamsters hide their foodCan you stop your hamster from hiding his food ?Which foods are okay for hamstersA word from Teddy Do hamsters hide their food ? Yes, hamsters hide their food. In fact your per hamster is hiding the majority of the food you’re giving him. This is not to say you’re overfeeding him. We’ll discuss that later in this article. But hamsters are hardwired to hide away most of their food, in case of a long, hard winter. Or in case it’s too dangerous to go outside to forage for food. Pet hamsters still have this instinct, since it’s what kept them alive for so long in the wild. So they’re not going to forget it anytime soon. After all, they’ve only been with us for the last century or so. Now let’s see how and why this all happens, so you can better understand your friend. Why hamsters hide their food Hammies hide their food for a number of reasons. To understand this we need to look at the wild hamster, and how it survives in the wild. A wild hamster will come out of his hiding place in the evening, and hear for predators. He he thinks the coast is clear, he’ll run around looking for food. Now, given the fact that hamsters are prey and are always hunted by one animal or another, they move fast. They also have to move fast to cover lots of ground, their territory is large because the areas hamsters come from are quite barren. Not much vegetation or fruit or veggies to be found. So hamsters take what they can get, and cover a wide area to do so. They can cover 9 km/5.5 miles in a single night ! Imagine those tiny feet scurrying across the desert or steppes to find a few grains. On top of all this, winter does come. That means less food, and the need to stockpiling. Hamsters have evolved, because of all these reasons, to have one big pantry in their nest. That pantry is organized and cleaned daily. The hammy knows what he’s got there, and he knows it will last him through the cold. For convenience, for survival, and because of scarcity. This is also why hamsters usually eat dry, hard grains since those keep the best. They’ve also evolved to have long front teeth to manage eating those grains. More on hamster teeth here. How does this translate to your pet hamster ? Well, even if he’s a pet and he is safe and gets food constantly, he still has the instinct to hoard and make sure he has enough food. It’s something pet hamsters will probably never forget. When hamsters hide their food Hammies love to hide their food. They don’t usually need a time of the year to hide it, they always hide it. Whenever they find some food, they’ll hide it in their amazingly elastic cheek pouches and carry it with them. This means they’ll also have snacks along the way, and they don’t have to drop all their food if a predator comes along. So your pet hamster will hide his food when he finds it. This means that right after you put food in his little bowl, he will sniff it and start putting it in his cheeks. He’ll stuff his cheeks with as much food you’ve given him, or as much as his cheeks can carry. Then, he’ll wander off to his hideout, and put it in his food stash. More on that later in the article. Once his stash has been added to, he might stay there and eat a few bits of the food. Or, he might come out and play, or run on his wheel. Once he knows he’s got food, he won’t worry about much. If you give him additional bits of food, after his feeding time, he will still take those. hamsters are greedy little things, regardless of how much or how little food they have in their stash. They will always take the food offered. If it’s a food that spoils immediately, like a piece of cooked chicken or egg white, he’ll eat it right then and there. If it’s a food that keeps, including cheese, he’ll store it away. Where do hamsters hide their food Alright, hammies store their food, we know why and we know when. But where exactly do hamsters store their food ? Well, maybe you’ve noticed, maybe not. Hamsters are good at hiding. But whenever you clean your hamster’s cage you’ll see he has a corner, tucked away in his hideout or nest, and it’s got plenty of food.  That’s the hammy’s storage place, or food stash. That’s where he keeps all the food you give him, and it’s convenient. Next time your think your hammy is sleeping try this. Keep your ears open for any chewing or small crunching sound. That’ll be your hammy taking a midnight snack. Hamsters keep their food close, and it will usually be in the lowest part of their nest. As in, they will build their sleeping area on top of the food, if they have no other option. In the wild hamsters only keep their food in a special, dedicated room. They have a different room for sleeping, another one for peeing, and so on. Hamsters are very organized, and in the wild their home is actually a series of tunnels on several levels, with many rooms. As a pet, they have either the hideout you provide them, or the nest they’ve built in a corner of the cage. For the sake of your hammy’s sanity, do get him a hideout. Or at the very least arrange a hidden, covered corner of the cage and you’ll see that’s where he will hide. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Can you stop your hamster from hiding his food ? No. You can’t stop your hamster from hiding his food. It would be like trying to stop a dog from howling when he hears other dogs. Or a cat from surveying everything from the tallest object in your home. Or a parakeet from being… well, silly and noisy. It’s what the animal does, and it’s their instinct. A hamster will always hide his food, because this is what he knows. He knows food is scarce, and life in the desert or steppes is harsh, and he has to survive. The fact that he gets a steady, regular food supply from you is just happenstance for him. Giving him more food will only mean a larger food stash that will end up spoiling since he can’t eat it all. On the other hand, underfeeding your hamster will only give him a sense of anxiety. Having only enough food to eat in one sitting, and nothing to bring back home will make him stressed. Hamsters react very poorly to stress and can develop serious problems like fur loss, wet tail, and a series of digestive problems. So give your hamster food as usual, 2 teaspoons for a Syrian, and one teaspoon for a Dwarf type. That’s daily, and it’s for commercial mixes that have lots of dry grains and seeds and vitamins added in. He will have enough food to eat, and to hide. Do keep in mind that older hamsters become very picky, and won’t eat all of their food. Which foods are okay for hamsters This is a topic I’ve covered in a different article. Here you’ll find a whole list of safe and unsafe foods you can give your hamster. Some are already in your pantry, or fridge. However I do recommend a commercial food mix to give to your hammy, since that will have a balanced diet for him, with all the nutrients he needs. At a glance, hamsters eat mostly grains. They are omnivores, and will eat most things they find. But, not all are okay for them. Again, refer to the food list I’ve linked above. Aside from grains, hammies eat veggies, some root-type veggies, some fruits, a couple of insects, and lots of seeds and nuts. Very acidic foods like citrus or garlic or onion, and spices in general are very bad for hamsters. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies love to hide our food, just so we know we’ve got enough to last us for several days. It;s not you, it’s just us being hamsters. If you want to know more about us hammies and how to care for us, you should read the articles below for more info. [...] Read more...
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild? Don’t Feed Your Pet The Same
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild? Don’t Feed Your Pet The SameAs a hamster owner, I always had this question in the back of my head, what do hamsters eat in the wild? Yes, my furball has food delivered to his house daily, which is not so bad, but it is not like this in the wild. There isn’t only one type of hamster, and they come from different parts of the world, so talking about what hamsters eat in the wild might be too general if you don’t talk about each species but the thing is that they have similar behaviors and diets in the wild no matter where they came from. There are a few differences between Syrian hamsters and the smaller ones, but we will talk about that a bit later. I decided to write this article because I wanted to make sure we don’t miss anything when we feed our hamsters, and for that, I had to do my research to see what they eat in the wild. But it is important to know that a wild hamster’s diet is not a perfect one, they might eat something they don’t like, or it is very healthy for them, but it might be the only thing they have. Table of Contents ToggleWhat do hamsters eat in the wild?When do hamsters eat in the wild?How does a wild hamster find water?Diet differences between pet hamsters and wild hamstersChallenges for a wild hamster to obtain food in the wild1. Avoiding predators while looking for food.2. Knowing what food is safe to eat.3. Storing food for later4. They compete with other animals for the same food.Do pet hamsters live more than wild hamsters?Conclusion What do hamsters eat in the wild? A wild hamster’s diet has a lot of seeds, grains(like wheat, oat, barley, and more), and all kinds of nuts, since those are the ones easier to find and they are pretty nutritious for a hamster, but they also might look for fruits and vegetables if possible. Last but not least, they can also eat insects if needed. The last ones are not their primary target since a hamster can live pretty well without the trouble of hunting for those, but they will not refuse them if they come in their way. Keep in mind that hamsters are prey animals, and they are not the most courageous hunters out there. They might prefer to eat the safer food they can find. When do hamsters eat in the wild? Most wild hamsters are crepuscular, which means that they are active at sunset and sunrise since the visibility for their predators is not so great, but the hamsters can see what they are doing. They usually don’t go outside during the day because they fear predators like snakes, eagles, and other wild animals, who are mostly active during the day. Most people think that hamsters are nocturnal, and they associate this with having good eyesight in the dark, which is not true, hamsters have pretty weak eyesight all the time, and it doesn’t get better in the dark. But they do have a very good sense of smell and hearing. So a hamster will procure food during those hours and store the food for later. They can carry a good amount of food in their cheek pouches but they have to store it in their burrows since they can’t keep it on them for too long. If you want to know more about hamsters’ cheek pouches, I have an entire article about how cheek pouches work and common problems. For them, the cheek pouches are similar to a shopping cart for us. How does a wild hamster find water? Wild hamsters will get most of their water requirements from their food, especially vegetables, seeds, and fruits. They might also drink water from puddles and streams but this might not be accessible for all wild hamsters, and as you can imagine, it can be quite dangerous to make noises while they drink, and storing water for later is not an option. Rainwater is also an option, but as we all know, it is not reliable, and they usually avoid the rain directly since they can get sick very fast if they get wet, check my article to see more on why you should never wash a hamster. They can drink rainwater only if they capture some water in their burrows, but they will not get outside when it rains to drink water. Diet differences between pet hamsters and wild hamsters I will not get into many details about what a pet hamster should eat since that would be an entire article and I already wrote a big article hamster’s diet. Most hamster owners feed their small friends with specially-formulated food pellets that usually have all the vitamins and minerals a hamster needs. You can also feed a pet hamster whatever a wild hamster can eat, but those mixes are more than enough and they usually cover all they need. So my advice is to feed your hamster with a pre-made mix, and if you want to give it some extra food, nuts, seeds, and even some cooked meat, if you respect what I’ve said in the article about what hamsters can eat, your hamster should be fine. Make sure you check the article since there are some exceptions, especially when you feed a dwarf hamster that has a predisposition to diabetes. While a Syrian hamster can eat small amounts of banana, a dwarf hamster should avoid it completely. A wild hamster on the other hand will not focus as much on a healthy and nutritious diet because his focus is surviving and not a balanced diet. So saying that you should feed a hamster what they actually eat in the wild instead of a pre-made mix might not be the best idea. The pre-made mix is the ideal version of what a wild hamster would need in the first place.  Challenges for a wild hamster to obtain food in the wild As you can imagine, a wild hamster faces many challenges when trying to find food. I will list here a few of them: 1. Avoiding predators while looking for food. This one is the biggest challenge a wild hamster will face when finding food. They have predators everywhere, it might be a snake that comes from the ground or from the water, it might be other wild animals from the ground or burrows, an eagle or owl from the air, or even other hamsters. A hamster looking for food in the wild is in for a wild ride, with a high chance of the hamster actually becoming the food, which is pretty sad. 2. Knowing what food is safe to eat. They have a pretty good instinct for that, but they don’t know all the time which type of insect, plant or seed is poisonous and which one is not. Or if that food is safe in the long term, we as humans know what is safe for us and what is not.  We know that if we eat only chocolate for a few months, we will end up with some serious health issues but a hamster might not realize that eating only fruits for a month might get them in trouble. But, the wild hamster will eat whatever it can get its paws on since it doesn’t have many options.  3. Storing food for later Hamsters have cheek pouches that are more like a shopping cart for them but they can’t store food in their cheeks for too long, so they have to come back to their burrows. This limits their ability to go too far for food, especially because they don’t have the best eyesight.  4. They compete with other animals for the same food. In the wild there are a lot of animals that will eat the same thing, so for the wild hamster it’s not only important to find food, but it is also important to find it first. Also, places with more food will be more crowded by animals and the stronger ones will get the most food. As you might imagine, hamsters are not the strongest animals in the wild since they are pretty small. They are pretty strong for their size and bite quite hard, but it is not enough to kill a snake or other predators. I remember when my hamster was hanging from the cage ceiling, and actually moving using only two paws which is quite incredible, I have to admit that I envy his power. Do pet hamsters live more than wild hamsters? Not having predators makes pet hamsters live longer than wild hamsters. Also, they don’t face all the challenges that a wild hamster would face when it comes to finding food or water. Hamsters are not social animals, and they are quite happy if they have food and water, so this might make them good pets but not perfect one. A hamster is not a puppy or a kitten is a bad pet for a young child (under 9 years old).  Read my article on 10+ reasons why you should not get a hamster. Conclusion A wild hamster will eat way more things than a regular pet hamster but don’t confuse more things with a more diversified diet. They eat more things because this is what helps them survive, they don’t get to choose what they want to eat to complete their diet. So the life of a wild hamster is just that – “wild” when it comes to finding food or water. And this is without talking about finding a partner to reproduce with, which is a big challenge on its own. Check my article about hamster reproduction, it is way more interesting and complex than you might think. I hope this article helped you understand the differences between the life of a pet and a wild hamster. Please make sure you take good care of your little furball and you make its life as good as possible. [...] Read more...
5 Best Hamster Cages For Syrian And Dwarf  (An Owner’s Opinion)
5 Best Hamster Cages For Syrian And Dwarf (An Owner’s Opinion)Looking for the best hamster cage for your little furball ? I was too, and I’ve changed 3 cages until I got to the one Teddy currently has. You already know about the poorly made pet store cages, too small for even one Dwarf hamster, let alone a Syrian. You’ll be very pleased to know that there’s many options for hamster cages out there, many of them big enough. I’ve looked around and found the best 5 hamster cages that you can order online. And you’ll be able to see their pros, cons, and a comparison between all 5. Let’s get to it ! Table of Contents ToggleA short comparison of all 5 hamster cages1. The best cage for curious, exploring hamstersThe pros:The cons:2. Simple, safe, large cage for Syrian hamstersThe pros:The cons:3. All-around great cage both for Syrian and Dwarf hamstersThe prosThe cons4. A great option for lots of substrate, or a digging hamsterThe prosThe cons5. The best aquarium for escape-artist hamstersThe prosThe consBonus: try to find a glass cabinet as a cage for your hamsterA word from Teddy A short comparison of all 5 hamster cages You’ll find here all 5 hamster cages compared side by side. I think it’s always going to be very helpful to see things compared side by side. Once you’re done reading this table you’ll find each cage discussed in very much detail in the rest of this article. For mobile users, you can navigate this table by swiping left or right on it.   Lixit w/tubes Lixit simple Prevue simple Ferplast (clear) Glass Aquarium Image Size in sq in/cm 630 sq in/ 4080 sq cm 630 sq in/ 4080 sq cm 617.5 sq in/ 3983.8 sq cm 339.8 sq in/ 2192 sq cm 288 sq in/ 1858 sq cm Escape- proof yes yes yes yes yes Air flow 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% Best for explorer types runners, climbers runners, climbers diggers escape artists Material wire, plastic wire, plastic wire, plastic wire, plastic glass Price on Amazon check here check here check here check here check here   1. The best cage for curious, exploring hamsters This cage is big, large enough to fit either a Syrian, or 2 Dwarf hammies. The more Dwarves you have, the more space you need, even if they seem to be getting along just fine. This cage has pretty much everything. It’s got tunnels, it’s got catwalks (close to the ground though), it’s got several huts, and comes with all the necessary accessories. In terms of actual size it measures 31.5 x 20 x 20 inches. That’s 80 x 51 x 51 cm. Get a measuring tape and try to imagine that. It’s going to take up a lot of space wherever you put it. This means your hamster is going to be a-okay, with room to spare. After all, no cage is too big for hammies and that’s where they’re going to live their entire lives. There is the ground level, which is conveniently plastic and the sides are tall. So your hamster’s going to have a lot of room to dig around, if you decide to fill up the lower part with bedding. You can find great hamster bedding here, and what to look out for. All picked out by someone who actually owns a hamster. Back to the cage, if you decide to fill up the lower part, then your hamster’s going to dig around, but you’ll find lots of it on the floor. I did this with my Teddy and he’s not very impressed, since he likes to run rather than dig. If your hammy is like mine, then you can simply add a bit of bedding on the floor and insert a large hamster wheel for him to get all his exercise. The pros: Very large cage, lots of room for your hammy to run around in and dig around and do whatever a hamster does. Bars are very close together, and your hammy won’t be able to squeeze his way out of the cage. Lots of accessories, like the tunnels and the catwalks and the upper house. Adds variety to the hamster’s routine. Easy to carry from one place to another, since it’s got sturdy handles. Just make sure you’ve secured the latches on the sides tightly. The cons: The hamster wheel it comes with is too small, and a bit flimsy. I recommend looking for a better one. The food bowl and water bottle are fine. Mind the tunnels, they can block up with bedding if you add some in the upper green house. Overall, I think this cage is pretty much a villa. I see no problems that can’t be amended by a resourceful and creative hamster owner. It’s a pricey item, but it’s going to last the hamster’s entire life. You’ll be avoiding lots of heartache, frustration and money poorly spent if you go with a big cage from the get-go, instead of switching up cages and wasting money. You can check out the listing for this cage on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. 2. Simple, safe, large cage for Syrian hamsters Another large cage, but it’s a bit smaller than the one before. Produced by the same brand. It’s much simpler, no external tubes or other overly fancy accessories. It does come with a wheel, upper level, lots of room to add bedding like before, and water and food bowls. I think this is the simplest hamster cage you can find that’s also very large. It measures 20 x 31.5 x 15 inches, which is 51 x 80 x 38 cm. Like the one before, it’s going to take up a lot of space in the house but you’re getting this for your little hammy, and this is where he’s going to stay all his life. Now, I recommend this for Syrian hamsters because the bar spacing seems to be a little wider than the one before. It’s still pretty close, so I guess you could try it for a Dwarf pair. Just make sure to look it over for any possible gaps the tiny things could escape through. Another thing that needs mentioning is that the upper level (or half level) is made out of wire as well. So any kind of bedding you might add there will most probably end up on the ground floor. The pros: Very large cage, rather on the wide side than tall. Hamsters prefer low cages anyway, so this is a plus. Deep lower part, good for filling with bedding so the hammy can dig if he likes. Or to add a large wheel for him to run in. Wires very close together, very hard to escape. Very breathable, since 80% of it is wire and allows for much airflow. Easy to transport, as this one has handles as well. The cons: Almost all the accessories it comes with are too small or not meant to be plastic. The water bottle is alright, as is the food bowl. The upper floor would need a fleece lining to keep the hammy warm, or some other such modification Overall I think this cage proves that if you’re patient and take some time to look around, you can find good quality hamster cages. Finding a large one that’s got the proper bar spacing is a bit of a task, since most are meant for rabbits or guinea pigs. A great cage to use for your hamster, without all the extra accessories. Many hamster toys can be DYIed, and they seem to absolutely love cardboard tubes. This cage is a bit cheaper than the one with the tubes before, but still on the more expensive end. You can check the listing on Amazon for this cage, and read the reviews as well. 3. All-around great cage both for Syrian and Dwarf hamsters One of the best cages both for Syrians and for Dwarf hammies, this cage looks much simpler than the ones before. However the upper level is adjustable, and the ramp leading up to it is very well made, and the plastic seems very sturdy. This cage, too, has a deep bottom portion which can be filled with lots of bedding if you wish. This also means you can add a large wheel in there for your hammy to run around in. In terms of size, this cage is 32.5 x 19 x 17.5 inches, which is 82.5 x 48 x 44.5 cm. So, just a tad bit smaller than the ones we looked at before. However this cage is much cheaper than the first two, being more of a mid-range one. Still large, and very well thought out. The wire spacing is very small, which again is a plus. It’s also got 2 main entrances. One from above, and one from the side. Both are very large/wide, which means you can comfortably fit both hands into the cage. This is makes taming the hamster much easier, since you can easily teach him to stay in both hands. The pros Very tight wire spacing, practically no way for the hammy to escape. Roomy, lots of space for the hamster to run around in and for many toys to be placed. Deep bottom, can fit a large wheel or lots of bedding. The upper level is adjustable, which I think will help in furnishing the cage Breathable, allows much air flow. The cons Comes with no accessories aside from the upper level and ramp, you will need to provide food bowl and water bottle. I barely found any cons for this cage, since it’s so well thought out. I know I mentioned the lack of accessories as a con, but in some cases they’re mostly useless anyway. It;s probably better that it comes just by itself. Overall I think this is a great cage, both in terms of size, safety for the hamster, and budget as well. It can’t connect to tunnels, so you’re going to need to entertain your hammy with toys placed inside. Still, it’s such a great compromise between size and budget that I have hardly a thing to reproach. You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. 4. A great option for lots of substrate, or a digging hamster If your hamster’s a digger, then he’s going to need lots of bedding/substrate to dig through. More on that here. This particular cage fits very well for such a hamster. Yes, it has a deep bottom like the other cages. But, it’s also transparent, which means you can also see the little guy when he starts meandering about. Another thing that makes this cage the best one possible for digging hams is the fact that its upper level manages to keep in any stray bits of bedding that may fly out when the hamster is digging. There are two main exits/entrances onto the upper level. One very large, in the middle, complete with a raised ledge. And another, smaller one to which you can also connect a nice ladder for your hammy to use. In terms of size, the whole cage is 23.6 x 14.4 x 11.8 inches. That’s 60 x 36.5 x 30 cm, so this makes it the smallest cage, so far. It’s still a large cage, and you can also fit a large wheel if you don’t want to fill the lower part with bedding. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) The pros Large enough cage, can fit a Syrian or two Dwarf hammies well enough. The transparent lower half lets you see the hamster at all times. Very well thought out digging space, if you choose to use it. Sturdy upper level. Can easily connect to other cages or tubes, since it has an opening. Can be closed if desired. Breathable, lots of air flow. The cons Wheel is too small and flimsy, so I recommend getting a large one, especially is you own  Syrian The hut is plastic, which is not alright in the long run. I recommend looking for a wooden one. Overall I think this cage is a great one if your hamster loves to dig, or if you just want to be able to see your hamster at all times. Or, as much as you possibly can. The opening for tubes is a nice touch, I have to admit. It comes with a cap that can block it if you wish. But if you want to connect it to anything else, then you’re going to need to buy the tubes separately. Unless you already have them. All in all, a great hammy cage. Similar in price to the simple cage we talked about before, slightly cheaper. You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. 5. The best aquarium for escape-artist hamsters Ah, now we come to the ultimate hamster cage. If he’s a notorious escape artist and has somehow learned to open latches and wire doors by himself, then this will keep him in. There is nothing for the hamster to climb, no bars for him to hang from, and he can’t possibly jump that high. It’s pretty much escape-proof, no matter what kind of hamster you have. It’s a 20 gallon/75.7 liter tank, so it’s got lots of space for your hammy. For measurements, it’s 24 × 12 × 16, which is 71 x 30.5 x 40.6 cm. About as big as the first two cages we were looking at in the beginning. If you secure the top with a wire mesh (easy to find in a crafts store) then you’re going to have the best hamster cage out there. This is a much heavier item than anything else we’ve discussed so far, so you’ve been warned. It’s also made entirely of glass, so shipping could be an issue if ti’s not properly packed. The pros Transparent, can see you hamster at any time. Escape-proof, there is nothing to squeeze through or use to climb out. Wire mesh can be easily fitted on top to further proof it. The cons Heavy, not easy to maneuver. Cleaning will take more time Less airflow than a wire cage. Still alright, but there is a difference Fragile, being made of glass Overall I think this aquarium is a great way to contain a hamster with wanderlust. Finding and securing the wire mesh is easy enough, so that won’t really be a problem. As long as you don’t fill up the tank with too much bedding, the hamster won’t be able to jump high enough to reach the edge anyway. You can find the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. Bonus: try to find a glass cabinet as a cage for your hamster As a bonus, I’m going to recommend you find a very large, tall and thin glass cabinet. Many companies offer this kind of item, so I won’t be directing you one way or another. Just make sure that if you do look for such a cabinet, its sides are well sealed, and there is no way your hamster could escape. You’re meant to lay the cabinet on its side, with the glass door facing up. This means its height will become its length. Remove the glass panes that make up the shelves, and you’ve got yourself a very large, very long hamster cage. It’s the kind of item you have to go to a furniture shop to inspect thoroughly and bring home yourself (or arrange for transport), but it’s worth the time. Your hamster’s going to have a ridiculously large home, and he will be thankful. This is a very heavy item, and very large, so make sure you have enough space in your home to fit one of these in a room. Wherever you decide to place it, that’s where it’s going to stay since it’s not exactly easy to move around. I have no link for you, but if you look up the Detolf cabinet from Ikea, you should have a good idea about what you’re looking for. A word from Teddy I hope you found some great options in this article. I know us hammies are so very small, but we need a lot of space to run around in and play. Especially if there’s more than one of us, like with Dwarf hamsters. Us hammies are a very energetic bunch, so we cover a lot of space in a short amount of time. Providing us with lots of ground space is going to make us much happier than a multi-level cage. If you want to know more about us hamsters, and how to keep us safe and happy, you can check the related articles below. [...] Read more...
Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts ? Or Any Kind Of Nuts ?
Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts ? Or Any Kind Of Nuts ?If you’ve got a hamster and you’re wondering if you can feed him a peanut, that’s okay. It’s a common question, and one I had too when I first got my Teddy. Turns out hamsters can eat lots of things us humans can eat. However, they can’t eat as much or as many variations as we can. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat peanuts ?Hamsters eat lots of nuts and seeds in the wildIs peanut butter safe for hamsters ?Safe nuts and seeds for your hamsterUnsafe nuts and seeds to keep away from your hamsterCommercial food mixes have plenty of safe nuts and seedsA word from Teddy So can hamsters eat peanuts ? Yes, hamsters can eat peanuts. It’s safe for them. But they need to be unsalted peanuts. They can be baked or not, and they can be given with the shell as well. As long as there are no seasonings or extra oils on the peanut, it’s okay. Peanuts do have a high fat content though, so be aware that too many peanuts will make your hamster overweight. That can lead to severe health issues, and is best avoided. But, a peanut every now and hen, like a couple of times a week is alright. Not more often though. Hamsters eat lots of nuts and seeds in the wild Peanuts are okay for the main reason that hamsters eat a lot of seed and nut types in the wild. When foraging for food, hammies end up with lots of grains, seeds, and some roots to munch on. Many times their diet consists entirely of dried grains and seeds, which keep well over cold periods. So, a peanut is safe. And you’ll often find it in his food mix as well. Is peanut butter safe for hamsters ? Yes, plain, unsweetened peanut butter is safe for hamsters to eat. Peanut butter is just crushed and pureed peanuts, and that’s alright for hammies. The difference is that peanut butter sometimes has a little bit of added oil in order to make it creamier. So that means that your hamster should have less peanut butter than regular peanut. For example a dollop of peanut butter the size of a pea is more than enough for your hammy, whether he’s a Dwarf or Syrian. The thing about peanut butter is that it’s sticky, and requires lots of cleanup. This is one of the reasons you need to be careful how much you give your hamster. Your hammy has a high chance of making a mess out of the tiny dollop, so make sure you give him a very small amount. Always make sure you give your hamster unsweetened, unsalted, unflavored peanut butter. Only simple, plain peanut butter will do, since that’s the closes to an actual peanut.   Safe nuts and seeds for your hamster Hammies can eat some types of nuts, and I’m going to help you identify them right here. SO here’s a safe list of nuts for your hamster: peanuts pecans pistachios walnuts pine nuts cashews hazelnuts sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds Now these all need to be unsalted, unsweetened, unseasoned in any way. Get them as plain as possible. It’s fine if they’re raw, and it’s fine if they’re toasted. Just remember that seeds and nuts should not be given daily or very often. More than twice a week is too much. And the serving should be just one nut. For seeds they can be 3-4 at a time. But do not overfeed your hamster on seeds or nuts, since they are very high in fat. Your hamster doesn’t need a high fat diet in order to function. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Unsafe nuts and seeds to keep away from your hamster Some nuts and seeds aren’t alright for hammies, since they can be poisonous. Even for humans they can be a bit hazardous, and should not be eaten often or in large amounts. These are: almonds any kind of fruit seed (apple, grape, peach, plum, etc) This does not mean the fruits are not edible. Hamsters actually love to munch on small apple bits, or a bit of grape flesh. It’s just the seeds that are not alright for them, and should be removed before giving fruits to your hamster. Actually, you can find out more about what kind of fruits are alright for your hamster right here. Commercial food mixes have plenty of safe nuts and seeds When feeding your hamster, you have the option of giving him a store-bought food mix. The thing about these mixes is that they’re thought out to give your hammy a balanced diet. This means your hamster’s getting the optimal amount of grains, nuts, seeds, vitamins supplements, fiber and protein for a healthy diet. This food mix will help your hammy find all the nutrients he needs, right there in his food bowl. He won’t have to forage for his food anymore. Unless you sprinkle it through his cage, which can keep him busy and keep his instincts sharp. Still, the whole bag will last you a couple of months or more, depending on what kind of hamster you have. You can check the listing on Amazon right here, and read the reviews as well. A word from Teddy I hope you found out what you were looking for here. I know us hammies love to munch on everything, but sometimes you need to be careful what you give us. Peanuts are alright, as long as they’re plain, and are in small amounts and not often. If you want to know more about us hammies, you should check out the articles below for more info on how to care for us. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Eat Vegetables – What To Feed Your Hammy
Do Hamsters Eat Vegetables – What To Feed Your HammyDo hamsters eat veggies ? Do they even like them ? Did their mothers scold them because they didn’t eat their peas and broccoli ? Jokes aside, hamsters eating vegetables is a big topic, and a very important one when it comes to what you can safely feed your hamster friend. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters eat vegetables ?Hamsters can eat leafy greensSome kinds of roots and berry-types are okay for hamstersWhat veggies to never feed your hamsterCommercial hamster food has plenty of vegetables and vitamin sourcesCan vegetables substitute your hamster’s water source ?How to see if your hamster reacts well to a new veggieA word from Teddy So do hamsters eat vegetables ? Yes, they do. Hamsters do eat vegetables, and they actually like them. In the wild hamsters forage for grains and vegetables, so that’s a large part of their diet. They do catch the occasional cricket or worm, but veggies and grains/seeds are the biggest part of their diet. Not all vegetables are safe for hamsters – you can find a list of safe and unsafe foods for your hammy here. We’ll cover the veggies your hamster can eat in this article, and the ones he should be kept away from as well. Hamsters can eat leafy greens This is what you will find most common for your hammy. Like spinach leaves, watercress, lettuce, kale, iceberg, arugula, even a bit of cabbage. Easy on the cabbage though, since it’s got a large fiber content which can upset your hamster’s stomach. I gave my Teddy (Syrian hammy) a whole cabbage leaf, to see what he would do. He just sat there, munching on it. I took it out after a few minutes, since it was much too large for him. Hamsters can eat lots of leafy greens. Pretty much whatever you put in your salad is fine for him as well. With a few exceptions, which we’ll cover in the rest of this article. Some kinds of roots and berry-types are okay for hamsters Some root types are okay for your hammy, like for example carrots are good. But watch out if you’ve got anything other than a Syrian hammy. The Dwarf types (Robo, Campbell, Siberian, Chinese) are very small and need very very tiny pieces of carrots. They’re prone to developing diabetes, so it’s best to keep them away from sweet-ish veggies. The same goes for sweet potatoes and corn. Those, if you even feed your hammy, should always be boiled/cooked. Cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin are all okay, although it’s best to cook the pumpkin before your give it to your hamster. All kinds of broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus are alright for your hammy – but at least steamed. They have a high fiber content, even if it’s less than cabbage. Make sure you feed your hammy only the upper parts, like the heads or tips. The stalks are too tough for their stomachs. What veggies to never feed your hamster There are a few veggies you should keep you hammy away from. For example regular potato, especially raw, is not recommended. The same goes for eggplant, rhubarb, and celery. The same goes for most legumes like peas, beans, if they’re not cooked. Even if they are cooked, they should still be given in a very small amount. As in, only one single bean. They have a tendency to create gas and your hamster’s gut can’t handle that very well. Very acidic veggies are a no-go, like onions, scallions, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes are a no-go. This is because the hamster’s stomach and gut does not react well to acidic foods, of any kind. The same goes for spices. Whatever you feed your hammy, make sure it’s never seasoned, not even with salt. It needs to be either boiled in plain water, or baked plain, by itself. No added oils, spices, sauces, or whatever you’d like to add to your own food. Commercial hamster food has plenty of vegetables and vitamin sources You can also feed your hamster a pre-made food mix that already has enough vitamins and fibers. This is what your hamster usually would find in the veggies you give him. Still, you can give your hammy a few vegetables aside from the commercial food mix. For example a food mix like this one has plenty of nutritional value for your hammy. It will keep you for a couple or months, or a bit more, depending on how much you feed him. I’d recommend 2 teaspoons/day for a Syrian hammy, and just 1 teaspoon for a Dwarf type. This mix, along with the occasional veggie from you, and maybe a bit of boiled egg white or piece of cooked chicken will give your hammy a very happy, balanced diet. You can check the listing on Amazon for this food mix, and read the reviews as well. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Can vegetables substitute your hamster’s water source ? There’s times when your hamster will need to get his water from a very stable source. One that will not drip or spill over. For these times, like when you’re transporting your hamster to the vet, or you’re taking him somewhere, a couple of veggies will give your hamster enough water for a few hours. For more info on how to safely transport your hamster, you need to check out this article. You’ll find out how to transport him, as well as what kind of cage you need, and how to make sure he isn’t scared on the road. As for the kind of veggies your hamster can get water from, cucumber is the best option. It’s got a whole lot of water content, and a couple of slices, kept fairly cold, are going to provide your hamster with enough water for a few hours. You can substitute cucumber with some iceberg lettuce, which again has a very high water content. However those have a bit more fiber than cucumber, so do not rely on those entirely. How to see if your hamster reacts well to a new veggie Whenever you give your hammy a new food, of any kind, try it out in small pieces. So if you want to introduce carrot into your hamster’s diet for example. start this way. Give him a very small piece, about the size of your pinky finger’s nail. Make sure that is the only bit of new food he gets for 24 hours. You can still feed him his usual food, but do not give him more that a very small piece of the new food. After 24 hours, if you see he’s still well, has no wet stool, and is not lethargic, then you can introduce the new food in larger amounts. Do remember that the pieces of veggies you give your hammy should never be larger than an inch/2.5 cm. A word from Teddy I hope you know now if us hammies can eat different kinds of veggies. For example I love munching on a bit of carrot from time to time. And maybe your friend likes spinach leaves. If your want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on how large a cage we need, how much water we need in a day, and even why we sometimes eat our poop. [...] Read more...
Can Hamsters Eat Meat – Here’s What Your Furry Friend Likes
Can Hamsters Eat Meat – Here’s What Your Furry Friend LikesWhen I first got my Teddy I wondered if he can eat meat, and what I should feed him. As it turns out, hamsters can eat many different things. Some of them are actually in your pantry or fridge ! In this article I’ll be talking about whether hammies can have meat, and if so what kind, any why, and how much, and so on. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat meat ?Hamsters can only eat light meatHammies can have:Hamsters can’t have:How hamsters find their protein in the wildCommercial food gives hamsters vegetable proteinYou can supplement your hamster’s diet, yes.A word from Teddy So can hamsters eat meat ? Yes, hamsters can definitely eat meat ! Not much though, since in the wild their diet consists of grains, seeds, veggies, and meat. So, they’re not particularly carnivores, like cats, or dogs. It might seem a bit strange, since hamsters are this cute ball of fluff and they have the cutest beady eyes, but hammies do eat meat. And hamsters can in fact live out their entire life without ever eating meat of any kind, and be fine. However they will not turn it down if you offer them some. However even in the wild hammies do find some sources of animal protein, so they definitely can eat meat. Just, they need it in small amounts, in order to process it properly. And they can’t have just any kind of meat. Hamsters can only eat light meat While hamsters can in fact eat meat, they can’t eat just every kind there is. For example very exotic meats like snake or aligator meat, aren’t good for hamsters. But even your day to day options might seem a bit much for your hamster friend. Let’s go through a short list of what kind of meat your hamster can eat: Hammies can have: Chicken, fish, shrimp. This is light meat, and it’s okay for hamsters. Always make sure that the meat you give your hamster is completely bland. So that means unsalted, unspiced meat. It needs to be either boiled, or baked. No added oils, or fried meat, or even lunchmeat or coldcuts, even if they’re made of the meats I just mentioned. Hammies can have chicken, any meaty part of it. The fish should be a very light fish, that was only baked, and they don’t need garlic or lemon to go with it. Be very careful to remove any small bones your hammy might choke on ! As for the shrimp, hammies can have a bit of shrimp as well, since it’s not a very smelly kind of seafood (hamsters have very sensitive noses). Other kinds of seafood like surimi, crab meat, octopus, and calamari rings are probably not a good idea. This is mainly because no one has tried it before, so there’s no info that can be trusted, only assumptions. Still, best to just stick with what you know is completely safe for your hamster friend, and just give him a small bit of chicken or fish or shrimp. By small I mean no larger than the nail of your thumb, think about your hamster’s minuscule size. Hamsters can’t have: Any kind of red meat, or venison, or large bird kind of  meat. So that means that beef, pork, turkey, goose, deer, duck, pretty much anything aside from what I mentioned earlier, is not good for your hamster. This is because a hammy’s stomach can’t process this kind of meat very well. From this point of view, the hamster’s digestive tract is different than ours. Your hammy might want to nibble on that kind of meat if he smells you cooking with it. But make sure you give him none of that, since it’s much better for his health. How hamsters find their protein in the wild Hammies do eat protein in the wild. They don’t hunt down wild chicken or go fishing, though. But they do catch the occasional cricket, or grasshopper. Sometimes, if they’re feeling sneaky hamsters might pounce on a mealworm too. Now, this doesn’t happen often. Not because hamsters feel guilty, but because protein sources tend to move around and hide from their predators. So pouncing a mealworm or catching a cricket is much more work than foraging for some seeds/grains. If given the chance, hamsters will snatch up the insect or worm, just like any other small rodent – for example a field mouse. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Commercial food gives hamsters vegetable protein Your hamster does get his protein from his usual food mix too. The commercial food mixes are made up of protein, veggies, fibers, and minerals as well. However the protein sources those food mixes usually use are vegetable based. So your hamster is getting soy, or beans, as a protein source. Which is fine, as long as he does get his protein. Whey or beef-based protein mixes don’t keep as long as vegetable ones, and are more expensive. However they’re more efficient at getting protein into your hamster’s diet than soy or beans. This pre-made food mix covers all the basics your hammy will need. And it’s in a large enough bag that you can keep your hamster well fed for a couple of months, depending on how much you give him daily. More on that here. I give my Teddy pre-made food mixes as well, and give him some extra veggies or chicken when we’re cooking. You can check out the listing on Amazon for this food mix, so you know what to expect, and read the reviews. You can supplement your hamster’s diet, yes. You can give your hammy some chicken, fish, or shrimp to eat along with his usual mix. You can even add in a bit of boiled egg white, or a small piece of tofu. Just make sure that when you do give your hamster protein separately, you give him a small amount. This is because he needs to be able to eat all of it in one sitting. Otherwise the leftovers will go bad, and start to smell, which will cause a hose of problems. For more info on what you can feed your hammy, you should check out this list of safe and unsafe foods. You’ll find there a lot of foods you’ve already got in your pantry, and see which you can give your hammy. A word from Teddy I hope you know now what kind of meat us hammies can have. I for one am in love with chicken bits, and will drop anything I have in my paws if I find some chicken. Your hammy will probably enjoy some chicken or boiled egg white too, try it out ! If your want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find out things like why we get scared of you sometimes, and how much water we need on a daily basis. [...] Read more...