How To Gather Your Hamster Supplies
These are the suitable supplies for your pet hamsters at home.
Hi. My name's Marie. I'm the deputy manager of the Small Animal Department of Wood Green Animal Shelters in Cambridge here and I'm going to advise you how to care for hamsters.
I'm going to tell you how to gather your hamster supplies. When you're taking home a hamster for the first time, it may be that you've gone to your local rescue shelter or to your local good quality pet shop. First of all, make sure that you've got all your hamster supplies ready and set up before you take your hamster home.
This is really important so there's a nice smooth running operation when you bring the hamster into its new home. First of all, you're going to need to make sure you find a good suitable accommodation for your hamsters. Syrian hamsters are going to need a really large hamster cage to a small to medium rat cage.
It must have small fine bars and fill this up with enrichment. Syrians are really active so you're really going to need to be able to provide a really large spacious accommodation. Russian hamsters are smaller breeds and more suited to the large glass tanks and these again can be refilled with all sorts of enrichment and you want to be aiming for 3 feet in length so you've got a lot of floor space.
You then also need to consider purchasing bedding for your hamsters. One option is go for free crushed shredded paper. This is obviously a free option and it's brilliant, it's safe against parasites, and safe against any allergies and breathing issues as well.
The other option you could use is Carefresh and again, this is available in most rescue shelters and pet shops. It's crushed egg carton and it's absorbent and safe and secure against parasites and breathing issues. You'll also need to consider purchasing bedding for your hamsters where hamsters build themselves a small nest and this might be in the house that you provide or they might even dig underground a little bit.
You want to go for soft tissue paper like this which has been shredded. Don't go for the cotton ball type because this can be quite fine and it can wrap around their toes. So, that's your bedding and your cage.
You then need to think about enrichment, toys. This is going to keep your hamsters healthy, happy and active. Toys don't have to be purchased from shops, you can make your own, so you can use household objects such as children toys or even objects around the home.
This one has got holes cut into it and hamsters can climb in there and you can pop bedding in there. You could also use small CR racks, plant pots and even betterware tubs for them to hide in. Pet shops often have available small tunnels which they are safe to chew and they're brilliant for their teeth and they love rummaging through them.
You can get hiding nests and bending tunnels and tubes for them to run through as well. Fill your cage with enrichment and every time you clean this out, set it up new. Keep it busy, keep it interesting and don't let your hamsters get bored because if they're seeing the same thing all the time, it's not going to be exciting for them.
You'll also need to purchase a good quality water bottle. It's always advisable to have a couple available in case one breaks. Once a week, make sure you clean this out with a bottle brush and clean the spout and the other end as well in case any algae's built up here.
Refresh the water daily. You also need to provide them with a good hamster mix and add in your own products into the standard mix as well. You can add in cat biscuits, small amounts of fruits and vegetables, pulses, pasta, dried rice and even a little bit of boiled egg or a mealworm as well.
They love nibbling on this. Don't feed your hamsters in a bowl. Scatter feed them.
Place it around the cage and that's going to keep them interesting, so you don't need to purchase a bowl for a hamster, you want to keep them interested and encourage natural behaviour. Lastly, you'll need to make sure that you've got a good qua