Care and feeding
Once you get home, take Harold straight to his new home so he can settle down for a bit. But before you do so, make sure you've furnished his pad with everything in this checklist:
- Flooring: Woodshavings from hardwoods such as Aspen. Ask the pet store attendant to give or sell you some.
- Nesting material: Un-dyed and unscented toilet paper or paper towel torn into strips.
- An exercise wheel
- A water bottle or water dish
- Chewsticks for him to gnaw on
It'll take him a few days to get used to the place, and he might also find this time a little stessful. Moving home always is, but at least he didn't have to pack his bags!
It's best to leave him alone for a few days, and during this time, you'll probably see him scurrying all over the place, changing his nesting area several times, and then slumping into a slumber after all that exertion. After a few days, though, he'll settle into a routine, and will be ready to meet the family.
Food-wise, hamsters are picky, and each one may have different tastes from others'. They have cheek-pouches to collect food like hamster-mix in, which, like the name suggests, is a mix of all kinds of delicious hamster foods. You can buy this at any good pet store.
They can also be treated to fruits and veggies, although you must be careful not to feed them kidney beans (raw), onion, potato (raw), potato tops, rhubarb (raw) and tomato leaves.
- Never keep more than one Syrian / Golden hamster in a cage together or else they will fight to the death!
- Hamsters groom themselves and therefore never require to be bathed, so don't try!
- Hamsters typically live for 2-3 years, so decide if it's going to be easy to say goodbye before you buy one.
Next: A name for your hamster
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