Wild Hamster

Hamster Buyer’s Guide

It is important to remember that you should not buy a Hamster after having a quick look at it. You should check their health status, age, species, and where you may purchase them.

Choosing the right Hamster

Do not rush to buy a Hamster at first sight. Check to ensure the Hamster you are interested in purchasing has the following or not:

  • Should be energetic and curious.
  • They should be interested in exploring their surroundings and should have a glossy, clean, and even coat with no signs of matting.
  • Their eyes should be shiny.
  • Check their breathing whether their breathing is clear or not.
  • A Hamster should never sit hunched up.

Choosing a Healthy Hamster

The main variable you have to look out for when purchasing a Hamster is its health. Sick Hamsters die. These unhealthy Hamsters may also infect your existing Hamsters if it has a contagious illness. The difference between healthy and unhealthy Hamsters are,

Examine the Hamster

  • Age: A lot of bad breeders and pet shops will try to sell Hamsters under the age of 8 weeks old to make more of a profit. (Babies are quite cute and can demand a higher price.) Ideally, if you are looking to buy a baby Hamster, then you want to make sure they are over the age of 8-10 weeks old.
  • Temperament: Pay attention to your potential Hamster’s behavior, but know that a Hamster that acts tired is not necessarily ill or lazy, since Hamsters do sleep for most of the day.
  • Health: Take a look at the Hamster’s eyes; they should be wide open, inquisitive, and clear. Eyes that are squinting or crusty might indicate that the Hamster is in pain or sick. Make sure the ears are clean. A coat should be soft and shiny; if it is dull and bristly, then it could indicate poor health. Take a look at the skin to make sure that there is no dryness or flakiness.
  • You should always have a new Hamster checked by a vet for fleas or ear mites, but both of these are easy to treat, so they should not keep you from getting a particular Hamster. If all of a breeder’s or pet shop’s Hamsters have fleas, however, it indicates that they are not keeping their Hamsters in a healthy environment.
Hiding Hamster

Ask about Desexing

Female Hamsters when not desexed can suffer from a condition called aplastic anemia if they are not mated when they are in heat. Essentially, it is a build-up of sex hormones that leads to a slow and painful death. Therefore, we recommend desexing your female Hamsters if they don’t already come desexed.

Male Hamsters can become extremely smelly and aggressive when they go into a rut. So you should desex your male Hamsters as well.

In some countries around the world, Hamsters almost always come desexed when you purchase them. Check with the place you are purchasing from to see if your new addition has been desexed or will need to be desexed.

The lifespan of Hamsters

If properly cared for, Hamsters will live 5 – 8 years. They won’t survive if the temperature is too hot or too cold. Their preferred temperature is about 65°F to 75°F and the humidity level should be below 50%.

Before you Buy a Hamster…

  • Hamster can be messy and need space to burrow.
  • They like to chew.
  • other than Syrian Hamsters, other type of hamster can be kept in pairs or small groups.
  • They should only live with Hamsters of the same gender.
  • They should be separated if they fight.
  • You must clean their cage once a week.
  • You’ve to provide them a large enough cage and set up an exercise wheel inside the cage.

Do a Research!

As with any animal, it is important to know what you are getting into before you buy a Hamster. While Hamsters are small and sleep a lot, they can still be quite high maintenance. 

  • The amount of exercise they require to remain physically fit and mentally stimulated
  • What kind of cage will keep them safe and comfortable
  • What injuries and diseases Hamsters are prone to and how to spot them
  • Understanding Hamster behavior
  • Hamster-proof your residence to keep your Hamster safe

Know about the breeders

Reputable Hamster breeders are few and far between. The best ones will breed Hamsters that are genetically sound, and they will be able to show you their breeding Hamster’s family heredity. They will feed their Hamsters an optimal diet, which gives the Hamster a great start in life.

A credible Hamster breeder will typically request or require that you continue feeding your Hamster the diet it was raised on. They should also indicate that if your Hamster is not suitable for you for any reason, the Hamster should be returned to them.

Baby Hamsters vs. Adult Hamsters ?

Many people go with baby Hamsters (under ten months old) because they are easy to form bonds with (you and even with other Hamsters).

Ask the seller your prospective Hamsters’ age and weight. Never buy a baby Hamster under 3 weeks of age, they eat solid food and no longer need mother milk at three weeks. So it is better to wait until the six weeks of its age.

The adult Hamsters may be difficult to have a bond with, but that does not mean that you should not buy an adult Hamster. But, you should be aware of the Hamsters that they have a short life span.

Bedding Hamster

Gender

If you are a new buyer of the Hamsters, you need to buy a pair of the same gender to avoid them breeding. If you go through the breeding properly, you will have an idea of how to care for the baby Hamster.

If you have had prior experience in raising Hamsters, you can get a pair of opposite-gender Hamsters. The differences bet male and female Hamsters are as follows:

  • Male Hamsters are slightly bigger in size than females.
  • The male Hamsters are more smelly than female Hamsters because the male has bigger scent glands than female
  • Female Hamsters can be more aggressive towards the owner and other Hamsters than male Hamsters.
  • Male Hamsters are friendly than the female Hamsters

Where to buy?

A Hamster’s price heavily depends on the breed and where you buy from. Remember, buying only one Hamster is against the law. Hamsters in the wild love to be in groups, so you should at least buy two.

  • Hamsters may be acquired from a pet store, a breeder, or through adoption. Pet stores don’t have a wide variety of breeds; they usually have American and Abyssinian breeds with different colors. They may cost you between $10-40 per Hamster.
  • Adoption may be done at the shelter, and they may cost you between $25-40.
    Hamsters in shelters would have been spayed or neutered, and they are usually healthy.
  • The final option is to buy Hamsters from a breeder. The breeder has a wide variety of Hamsters. If you want a specific breed of Hamster, you can always approach the breeder – but the cost will be very high compared to the others, depending on the breed.
  • You may even acquire a Hamster for free, but be more careful if anyone is giving away their pet Hamsters. Some people sell their pets because they move away from their homes. Ask all of the questions you need as to why they are being given away and about the medical history of their Hamsters, so you know what to expect when caring for them.
  • As a general rule, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to fully examine the Hamster; spay or neuter them if necessary.

Can You Return a Hamster?

There will be many reasons to return your Hamsters. It may be because it is sick, or it might not get a better bond with the other Hamsters. You cannot keep the Hamsters together if they don’t bond.

They may fight and end up with injuries or kill one another. If they are left with their enemies, they may get stress, which leads to weight loss, health complications, or premature death. So in this condition, you will have no other choice except to return them.

Depending on where you purchased your Hamster, you can return your pet. Usually, the pet store will give the money back when you return within two weeks. If you adopted the Hamster pet from the animal shelter, they would take the pet back.

What if you cannot return the pet?

There are only two things to do if you cannot return the Hamster:

  • Keep all the Hamsters in a separate enclosure or in a different room. Make sure they cannot see each other if it is a glass cage. If they see each other, they may undergo stress.
  • Rehome any one Hamster. You should find out the new owner directly, or you can give the Hamster pet to an animal shelter.

Final Thoughts

While purchasing a Hamster, check their health condition, gender, and species. If you are tired of keeping the Hamster, you can return it to the pet store within 14 days, or you can search for another owner, or you can give it to the animal shelter.