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Old 01-22-2020, 07:30 PM   #1
Dwarfdad2019
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Join Date: Jan 2020
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Default New Russian dwarf dad

Hello everyone!!!

Well this adventure actually began a few months ago when we got to baby sit my wifes schools pet hamster. All the teachers take turns, that want to and we thought our 5 year old daughter would live it...and boy did she.
She kept asking and asking and finally one day she came out with 2 $50 Bill's from her piggy bank and said I'll buy everything just please can I have one. Well that day we came home with our new white dwarf female..charli....we "split" the price with my daughter. She got food,toys,a house and everything for $20..what a deal lol.

Well here are some questions. What is the best way to get your hamster to trust you. She let's me hold her and gentle pet her head but seems afraid of my wife and daughter.

I also dont think she is really eating. She seems to be healthy and running around like a crazy thing and I have seen her drink but sometimes she goes into her food bowl and moves things around but never takes.what food types do you guys feed yours?

What treats are good for a russian white dwarf? I have read some things online. I see the store we got her from was giving them broccoli. Does it have to be fresh broccoli or is steamed ok? What other treats are good. I know fruit is not good as the high sugar can cause diabetes.

I also notice she is a fast breather. Is this normal. I figured little animals that run around 90 mph jumping on things and going as fast as the flash on her wheel might cause that but just wanted to make sure.

We have only had her for 4 days and are total jobs but would love to learn everything.

Thanks for everything in advance!!!
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:11 AM   #2
Charlie Dunn
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Hello! I hope that your dwarf ham is settling in and enjoying her new home. She is very pretty! It does take hams a while to get used to a new environment so you just need to take it slowly and at her pace.
I feed my dwarf Harry hamster and he loves it. They will take food and hide it in hoards around their cage. We also give him treats like broccoli, green beans, cucumber, chicken, ham, peas and mealworms. Our last ham would only eat cooked green beans but our current one likes them raw! Whimzees are a fave for chewing and will get dragged into his lair to be devoured!!
There is a really useful thread on the forum about taming hamsters so that would be a good source of information. It may also be worth posting a picture of her cage to see if there are any improvements which could be made there. Hams like places to hide and tunnel in particular.
It is also worth noting that hamster balls are now seen as less than ideal for our furry friends for a variety of reasons. A play pen would be much better - we made ours from a large cardboard box!
Sorry for the long post! Welcome to the forum and I look forward to hearing more about Charli. You will find a lot of very helpful information on here. I know that I certainly did! X
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:01 PM   #3
Petite
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Hello Dwarfdad and welcome to the forum! Your 5-year-old sounds passionate about hamsters.
If Charli lets you hold her, one way forward might be to put Charli in your wife or daughter's laps (suggest sitting on the floor for this) and let her sniff around without them touching her? Then they could gently try feeding her a treat or two, and she will be eating out of their hand (literally and figuratively) in no time. Get them to talk gently to her, too, so that she becomes accustomed to the sounds of their voices.
If she's running around like crazy, she must be getting her energy from somewhere. Does any food disappear overnight? I've tried pieces of carrot, cucumber and strawberry with my ham, and all have been appreciated. For other treats, sunflower seeds can be a good way to a ham's heart. It's early days, so just take things slowly while she settles in and gets used to a whole new environment. No matter how enticing the environment, it's a huge change for her.
You don't need to worry about the fast breathing, unless she seems wheezy or unwell, but this is unlikely as you say she's running around. They are only tiny animals, so respiration is bound to be quite fast.
Hope you all enjoy Charli and that she's found her forever home.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Hello and welcome to HC!

When Charli sits in her food bowl moving things around she may be pouching some food. Hamsters are very food orientated and like to hoard food so she may be doing that when you are asleep. Dwarves are so small and sometimes it looks like they haven't eaten anything because of the small amounts they eat.
If you are worried about her food intake you could weigh her every few days.

I'd avoid fruit and carrots but seeds, nuts and mealworms are good for treats. Brown linseeds are good for their fur and they love them. Mine love small bits of cucumber best.

I'm one of those people who strongly dislike hamster balls and feel sorry for any hamster trapped in one without sufficient ventilation and ways to communicate. Yes, they run in them but what else can they do. A secure play pen is much more fun for hamsters and humans. You could also start a family project and join cardboard boxes together with plastic bottles to make a hamster run and add a homemade maze with treats hidden.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:20 PM   #5
Dwarfdad2019
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Thanks everyone for all the advice. As soon as I read this post I started thinking of how I want to build a big pen for her to play in.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:50 PM   #6
Vierville
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Hi Dwarfdad2019! I'm also a 'dad' to four dwarf hamsters, one of which is very similar to your lovely Charli. She is really gorgeous.

I wouldn't worry about how much or how little food she seems to be eating. Like the others said, they don't eat all the food in their bowl and often they will only pick out certain items and leave others. Many dwarf hamsters don't like pellets so bear this in mind if your currrent food is in pellet form.

I'm not sure if these brands are available where you live but I can recommend Versele Laga "Mini Hamster Nature' food or Witte Molen Puur "mini hamster and friends" food. Both of these have a balanced mix of seeds, dried veggies, some dried mealworms for protein (which is important as they are omnivores and need their protein too) and a small proportion of pellets. You can supplement Charli's dry food with a fingernail-sized amount of fresh raw broccoli, cauliflower, green bean, spinach, lettuce, cucumber and sugarsnap pea every day or every second day. They absolutely love brocolli by the way.

I would most definitely avoid giving her fruit due to the sugar content. I have very rarely given my hamsters a tiny (but I mean tiny, 3mm x 3mm) cube of apple or a small blueberry but fruit is not recommended. I also give a very small cube of carrot very occasionally and a tiny piece of baby corn but very seldom. They do seem to enjoy the variety.

They love burrowing so try to get Kaytee Clean and Cozy paper-based substrate for her. It is quite well priced and they absolutely love to burrow in it. Try to make her substrate at least 3-4 inches deep. She will love this!

For her nesting material or bedding, please don't use anything fluffy or cotton -based. Most pet shops sell this type of bedding and it is extremely dangerous for hamsters since they often carry their bedding around in their mouths cnd a hamster may very well choke on or swallow a piece of this undigestible substance leading to choking or digestiv obstruction and death.

The best and cheapest solution is to provide torn up toilet paper for her bedding. It is soft, very snuggly and warm and is perfectly safe for your hamster.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful life with Charli.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:22 AM   #7
Petite
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vierville View Post
For her nesting material or bedding, please don't use anything fluffy or cotton -based. Most pet shops sell this type of bedding and it is extremely dangerous for hamsters since they often carry their bedding around in their mouths cnd a hamster may very well choke on or swallow a piece of this undigestible substance leading to choking or digestiv obstruction and death.
Vierville, do you mean ALL fluffy bedding? I've seen a number of threads on the forum that advocate not using this. I have been using "Animal Dreams" (made by Animal Dreams - Pet Bedding) - which does carry a warning that it's not suitable for new born or baby hamsters up to around 4 weeks old - and also "Natural Nestex" (produced by Pettex Ltd). The first describes itself as "natural wool bedding", and the latter as produced from "natural vegetable fibres". I've also used another one from the local garden centre. I certainly don't intend to continue using these if they are as dangerous as you say - although Theo seemed to like it, (and I've seen her carrying it in her mouth to her nest) and the pet shop section of the garden centre have it in all their cages. I wonder if you could point me to one or two of the relevant sources online? Many thanks for this warning. It's very worrying that the packaging states that it's safe (and even "ideal") for hamsters when it seems that this is not the case.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:48 AM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: New Russian dwarf dad

Kaytee clean & cozy paper based substrate and plain, unscented toilet paper torn into strips for additional nesting material is the best in my opinion. Unfortunately, pet shops sell a lot of unsuitable stuff to make money and provide the public with incorrect advice to go with it.

I was in a garden centre with a pet section not long ago and there was a display with measurements to visibly show people the minimum space a hamster requires.......and at the end of the shelf they had tiny, crappy hamster cages for sale! Kind of says it all.
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