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Old 07-05-2018, 05:33 AM   #1
Coneil3822
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Default Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Hello! I purchaced a Dwarf Hamster yesterday and he looks happy and healthy! The only thing that is worring me is that he keeps digging holes in the bedding and prefers to sit, lay and sleep on the plastic instead of on the bedding. I tried putting more bedding in and he just digs in the same spots all the way down to the plastic. Also he is always scratching at either the bottom of the cage or the plastic side walls, is this normal? Please help! Thank you, im new to this!!
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
Razor
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Hi and welcome to HC!
Dwarf hamsters are usually very active and love burrowing. How much bedding does your cage have? Preferably it should be around 10-15 cm. Consider using a box with no base and one side cut out for the door as it's nest. Place it on the substrate and he'll eventually get the cue. Also, what is you cage size? Does he have enough toys to keep his mind occupied? Is his wheel spinning freely? Do you give him out of cage time everyday? And finally, is the room in which you have kept him cool? Temperatures above 23°C can start becoming very warm for them. If this is the case, there are several ways to cool him down. One of the easiest is to place a clay pot on its side for him to rest. Alternatively a granite slab work well. But nothing like lowering the room temperature.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:55 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

It could be the heat, do you know what the temp is in the room where the cage is?
There's a thread here on keeping your ham cool if you need it.
Keeping your hamster cool
If you only bought him home yesterday then I would just leave him to it & let him settle in his own way, do give him a good depth of substrate if possible a minimum of 15cm more if you can & a good size house then just let him do what he likes!
As Razor said a cardboard box can make a good house, many bought houses aren't suitable so that may be one reason he's behaving as he is.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:36 PM   #4
Coneil3822
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Hello thank for your reply, I have about an inch of bedding but as you said I need to add more. What do you mean about the box? I have just ordered a playpen, a new house and a playground for him, I have a wheel in his cage as well as a seesaw and a toilet roll tube is this enough? My room is quite hot he runs on his wheel then lays flat on his belly in the wood shavings is this normal or is he too hot? Thank you!
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:39 PM   #5
Coneil3822
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
It could be the heat, do you know what the temp is in the room where the cage is?
There's a thread here on keeping your ham cool if you need it.
Keeping your hamster cool
If you only bought him home yesterday then I would just leave him to it & let him settle in his own way, do give him a good depth of substrate if possible a minimum of 15cm more if you can & a good size house then just let him do what he likes!
As Razor said a cardboard box can make a good house, many bought houses aren't suitable so that may be one reason he's behaving as he is.
Thanks for the reply he just runs on his wheel then lays on the plastic on his belly i dont know how to cool him down! My room is constantly very hot!
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:53 PM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

You didn't mention a house in his cage, do you have one? If not then try to find a box for him, definitely add more substrate too, he could probably do with more enrichment in his cage but you can add more things later.
If your room is hot then read through the thread I linked to before, you'll find plenty of ideas for keeping things cooler there.
ETA I forgot to mention that a sand bath will help if he is hot, they need one anyway but many like to lie in the sand when it's hot, you need chinchilla sand (not dust for that) the tiny friends farm brand is the best.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:47 AM   #7
Coneil3822
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
You didn't mention a house in his cage, do you have one? If not then try to find a box for him, definitely add more substrate too, he could probably do with more enrichment in his cage but you can add more things later.
If your room is hot then read through the thread I linked to before, you'll find plenty of ideas for keeping things cooler there.
ETA I forgot to mention that a sand bath will help if he is hot, they need one anyway but many like to lie in the sand when it's hot, you need chinchilla sand (not dust for that) the tiny friends farm brand is the best.
Hello again! I have now ordered a sand bath along with the sand you suggested! Thank you, last night i filled a plastic bottle with ice and left it in the cage and he seemed to cool down, i also placed more wood shavings in as suggested but he still digs a big hole down to the plastic and prefers to sit and sleep on there, is this normal??!
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
cypher
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

I'm not sure there is a normal for hams!
Have you given him a house/box to sleep in? It must be on the substrate with no base so he can nest under it if he wants to.
If he chooses to dig down & sleep on the plastic in spite of having a good house then I would just leave him to it.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
Coneil3822
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
I'm not sure there is a normal for hams!
Have you given him a house/box to sleep in? It must be on the substrate with no base so he can nest under it if he wants to.
If he chooses to dig down & sleep on the plastic in spite of having a good house then I would just leave him to it.
I have a plaatic house for him that came with the cage but i understand that it may be boiling hot in there for him. I have a wooden house with air holes arriving tomorrow so hopefully he likes that one better! Thanks for the great advice you have put my mind at ease!
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:34 AM   #10
CMB
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Default Re: Strange Dwarf Hamster Behaviour?

Hope your new hamster settles in well. When I first got my hamsters they would sleep in the open. I think it was because they didn’t have a hide/house in the pet shop. They just slept in a pile with their siblings.

They now sleep under bendy bridges or buried under the substrate.
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