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Old 03-13-2019, 02:48 PM   #1
Abbiesw8
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Unhappy Difficulties with new hamster

Hi, I am looking for abit of advice about my new hamster, Minnie, who is a Russian dwarf, shes around three months old I believe. Ive had Syrians in the past but she is my first dwarf hamster.
Weve had her a week and a half. The first few days we left her to herself, and she would come out for short bursts peridiodically throughout the day and night, drinking, exploring, getting food. She didnt use her wheel, Ive given her a different wheel but she just pees on it, I dont think shes figured out how to use a wheel yet. After the first few days weve been talking to her, and placing our hand gently and still in the cage or at the bars, allowing her to sniff us. She would seem curious, sniff and then normally go back to bed. We did get her out the cage, using a mug, after having her for eight days to do some spot cleaning.
Since then weve seen her out a lot less and if shes out and we approach the cage she will look at us then run away. Weve tried talking to her, sitting and the cage and trying to coax her out to interact with her, so we can start taming her but were having a really hard time because shes not giving us chance to interact with her. I dont want to scare her or stress her out but Im worried the longer she goes without being handled, the more nervous shes going to become and the less likely she will be able to tame. Just feeling pretty frustrated really, any advice would be very much appreciated.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
cypher
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Location: Wales UK
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Default Re: Difficulties with new hamster

Sometimes they do start to hide away after the first time out of the cage, it can be difficult when they don't give you much chance to interact with them like this but it's still very early days so I would just keep doing what you are, give her a chance to regain the confidence she had, just go back to the start with talking to her, even if she runs away, you could try leaving a treat in the cage when she does that so she should begin to get the idea that you talking to her & being around the cage means she gets something nice.
She should gain confidence again soon.
What's her cage set up like? Does she have plenty of little hideouts & safe places & not too much open space in the cage so she'll feel safe when she's out?
Does she have a sand bath? It's important for them to have one anyway but they will often pee in the sand which makes spot cleaning a lot easier.
She may be using the wheel at night when you're sleeping.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:40 AM   #3
Abbiesw8
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
Default Re: Difficulties with new hamster

Thank you very much for the reply! It’s very reassuring ��
She had an igloo and a burrowing area, since reading this I’ve added in a bendy bridge as a hide for her. And it’s made a very quick difference! She’s spending more time out of her bed, and she took a treat from my hand yesterday, it seems to have given her a real confident boost, so thanks for the advice!
I did get her a sand bath but then I read about the dangers with the tiny friends formula and tbh it freaked me out with what to give her, I don’t want to accidentally hurt her. Can you recommend a safe uk brand of sand that I can use? Is there anything else I could use? Also, this might sound silly, if she’s peeing in the sand bath and using it to roll around it won’t she end up dirty and smelly?

Thank you xx
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:03 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Difficulties with new hamster

It does seem that there may be a problem with the Tiny friends sand in the US but here in the Uk although not as good as it was it is still safe to use.
Some people use children's play sand which you need to dry out before use in the oven, I use the Rodipet WitteMolen sand (although it's translated as dust it is actually sand!).
If they pee in the sand it tends to clump up so you can easily remove it with a little scoop or something, even if it gets mixed in they don't get wet or smelly from it, the sand absorbs the pee.
The igloo houses aren't ideal really, plastic tends to get a bit humid & they aren't completely dark, a wooden house (plain wood should be painted with Plastikote water based enamel to pee proof it) is the best option.
There aren't many suitable ones in the UK, there's one that's ok but I can't remember the name right now have to have a look for it! Rodipet do some good wooden houses too, the two room granite house is a good size for a dwarf, I'm not so fond of the labyrinth houses personally although some people use them.

ETA the ferplast sin is the wooden house I couldn't remember earlier! It's a bit small but just about big enough for a Russian ham, the door is big though it needs a bendy bridge over the opening. It's easy to put together & paint & the top comes off which is always a bonus. I'm not a fan of houses with little windows as it should be totally dark in there but substrate piled up around it might help or you could glue some lolly sticks over the window with non toxic glue.
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Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinw & Zylvan

Last edited by cypher; 03-15-2019 at 02:37 AM.
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