If you want to teach your kids about responsibility, a pet can be a viable approach. Small pets, like gerbils and mice, can be practical and inexpensive, though hamsters make especially good pets for young children. Just remember to pay attention to hamster health to ensure your pet is healthy and happy.
Some ways to keep ‘Howie the Hamster’ holistically healthy include these tips:
Diet and Food
Quality pellets and seed mixes are the usual staples of a hamster’s diet. Limit and keep track of treats to prevent issues like obesity, later. Add some fresh veggie treats like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and broccoli, but make sure that you rinse them well first. Also, hamsters enjoy fresh fruit, including berries, bananas, and apples, but skip citrus fruits, like oranges or lemons. They are not good for your pet. Occasionally, offer your hamster something like an unseasoned scrambled egg; they benefit from the extra protein.
Make sure that you use something non-irritating for your hamster to sleep in and on. Some bedding options, like cedar shavings, contain oils that can cause issues for your pet. Clean the cage regularly and rinse their bottles to prevent dangerous bacteria from growing.
Be careful, too, about the cage that you choose for your pet. Remember that hamsters chew, and some may not contain your pet for long! Place the pen or cage in an area that is out of direct sunlight and away from where they could get disrupted or moved by children or other pets. Never keep your pet in a cold, dark, or damp place.
Be sure that your hamster has plenty of room for exercise in its cage. You may want to provide them with tubes, toys, and other items that encourage them to move and play. A wheel or a ball are good options, too, to prevent your pet from putting on weight and the subsequent health issues, like digestive problems, that can come.
Hamsters enjoy chewing so provide them with something to chew! Cardboard tubes or wooden hamster treats are good options that will help trim and maintain your pet’s teeth, too. Some hamsters enjoy chewing on a crunchy dog biscuit.
It is important to socialize hamsters so they become familiar with people and with being handled by them. Always supervise children that are handling the hamsters; teach them the proper way to hold their pet by using a dry, empty coffee mug at first. It prevents them from being squeezed or harmed. Teach kids to hold their hands like a scoop when handling their pet.
Talk to your veterinary provider to learn more or for medical care for your pets. When the time comes to say goodbye to a beloved pet, you can call on the caring team at Midlands Pet Care, a family-owned & operated company specializing in pet burials and cremation, to help during a difficult time.