Alright, so in about a week I'll mosey on down to my local Petsmart and purchase a little hamster companion. I've read articles about them online and such, but I was wondering if a hamster owner (past or present) would have some tips. When I was a little girl I remember having two of them, but it was my mother who mostly took care of those. So I didn't really pay attention to what foods, how often to clean the cage, etc. Also, name suggestions are welcome. I was thinking either Moose or Rex, but some other names would be nice.
A few things I remember from when I owned a hamster. BTW, not alll hamsters are very friendly so I would pick a young one and handle him/her alot.
Must use Aspen Pine shavings and not cedar. The oils in the cedar and some regular pine shavings can be toxic. If you keep him/her in a glass aquarium DO NOT keep it near a window or anywhere that will get direct sunlight. The glass will act as a greenhouse and fry the poor thing. If you keep him/her in a plastic house like those Habitrail things remember that Hamsters are natural chewers and can chew through some parts of the cage and escape. I think any hamster diet on the market would be fine. They like fruits and veggies but I don't remember if any specific ones are toxic to them. Their front teeth continually grow so keep an eye on how much you feed them VS how much they are eating. If their front teeth get too long they will not be able to eat so you need to monitor how much they eat everyday so you know if they have stopped eating. If you notice that the sides of their face near the cheek area is way puffed out its probably because they have a bunch of food stuffed in their pouch. The swelling will go down once they get rid of the food.
Can't remember much else since its been about 12 years since I've owned one. I think Guinea Pigs make much better pets and they live longer than hamsters. Hamsters only live about 2 years whereas Guinea Pigs live to be around 6 or 8.