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Old 02-02-2021, 09:26 PM   #1
Monitarlizard
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Exclamation Chewing plastic

Hi! I have a Russian dwarf hamster. Have had her for 6 days now. Over the last 3 or so days Iíve noticed she chews on the plastic tubing in her cage.

For reference she is in a diy bin cage that is roughly 34inx17inx12.5in. Not huge but the biggest I could fit in my space. She has several items that she could chew at the moment, including store bought wooden and mineral chews; loofa chew; large wooden bridge that doubles as one of her two hideouts; grassy teepee hide; two toilet paper rolls and a hay like ball thing. All these items she completely ignores and is instead chewing her plastic tubes

She also has a 6.5 in wheel that she barely uses as far as I can tell. Itís not too small either in fact I worried that it might be to big for her but she can move it.
Iíve been doing free roaming time in my bathroom hoping sheíll burn of some steam. I let her run around for 20ish minutes today. But still she chews the plastic. What am I doing wrong?

Last edited by Monitarlizard; 02-02-2021 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Accidentally hit post, wasnít done writing
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:27 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Chewing plastic

I would take the plastic tubes out and replace them with a cork or wicker tunnel or something natural like that.
Have you checked that her water bottle works ok?
Does she have deep substrate to burrow in?

6.5in is the minimum size wheel a dwarf hamster needs so please don't get a smaller one just make sure that it runs freely and doesn't catch on the stand as they sometimes do.
If you have the space in the cage you could add a second wheel, a flying saucer but leave the upright one in as well.
My dwarfs use both wheels and one didn't use the upright one for ages but always used the saucer.

Does your bin cage have enough ventilation? It needs a meshed lid and a meshed front window.
Sizewise i think its fine for a dwarf.

Does your hamster have a sandbath? Dwarfs usually love them. I put a sandbath on top of a free standing platform with a bendy bridge leading up to it to create another level in a tank or bin cage which works well.

You could post a photo of your setup so people can have a look.

I don't think that you are doing anything wrong but it can take a while to get a setup so the hamster likes it.

All my hamsters ignore chews i bought in the petshop like the ones you mentioned and they're now ornaments lying around.

Get a small Whimzee dog chew like the xs or s size toothbrush which your dwarf will probably love. They often take a Whimzee straight to their nest or hide their treasure.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:05 PM   #3
Monitarlizard
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Smile Re: Chewing plastic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I would take the plastic tubes out and replace them with a cork or wicker tunnel or something natural like that.
Have you checked that her water bottle works ok?
Does she have deep substrate to burrow in?

6.5in is the minimum size wheel a dwarf hamster needs so please don't get a smaller one just make sure that it runs freely and doesn't catch on the stand as they sometimes do.
If you have the space in the cage you could add a second wheel, a flying saucer but leave the upright one in as well.
My dwarfs use both wheels and one didn't use the upright one for ages but always used the saucer.

Does your bin cage have enough ventilation? It needs a meshed lid and a meshed front window.
Sizewise i think its fine for a dwarf.

Does your hamster have a sandbath? Dwarfs usually love them. I put a sandbath on top of a free standing platform with a bendy bridge leading up to it to create another level in a tank or bin cage which works well.

You could post a photo of your setup so people can have a look.

I don't think that you are doing anything wrong but it can take a while to get a setup so the hamster likes it.

All my hamsters ignore chews i bought in the petshop like the ones you mentioned and they're now ornaments lying around.

Get a small Whimzee dog chew like the xs or s size toothbrush which your dwarf will probably love. They often take a Whimzee straight to their nest or hide their treasure.
Thanks for your response! I ended up covering up the plastic that she was chewing on, or removing it from the cage. And low and behold she has discovered she has a wheel haha! She has used it more today than in the week Iíve had her.

I see the whimzee chews recommended a lot for hamster so Iíll have to get her some so she has something to chew on. I also want to get her sand, reptisand seems to be what is recommended on most hamster forums. I will post a picture of the setup. Iím having trouble uploading a picture on my phone.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:29 PM   #4
hamster_lover995
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Smile Re: Chewing plastic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monitarlizard View Post
Hi! I have a Russian dwarf hamster. Have had her for 6 days now. Over the last 3 or so days Iíve noticed she chews on the plastic tubing in her cage.

For reference she is in a diy bin cage that is roughly 34inx17inx12.5in. Not huge but the biggest I could fit in my space. She has several items that she could chew at the moment, including store bought wooden and mineral chews; loofa chew; large wooden bridge that doubles as one of her two hideouts; grassy teepee hide; two toilet paper rolls and a hay like ball thing. All these items she completely ignores and is instead chewing her plastic tubes

She also has a 6.5 in wheel that she barely uses as far as I can tell. Itís not too small either in fact I worried that it might be to big for her but she can move it.
Iíve been doing free roaming time in my bathroom hoping sheíll burn of some steam. I let her run around for 20ish minutes today. But still she chews the plastic. What am I doing wrong?
Hi! Your cage seems just fine but I would recommend taking away the plastic tubing and instead use a safer alternative like cork wood. It seems like you are giving her plenty of chews but sometimes you may need to add ore enriching things like puzzles and sand baths! Hope this helped.
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Old 02-04-2021, 02:21 AM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Chewing plastic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monitarlizard View Post
Thanks for your response! I ended up covering up the plastic that she was chewing on, or removing it from the cage. And low and behold she has discovered she has a wheel haha! She has used it more today than in the week Iíve had her.

I see the whimzee chews recommended a lot for hamster so Iíll have to get her some so she has something to chew on. I also want to get her sand, reptisand seems to be what is recommended on most hamster forums. I will post a picture of the setup. Iím having trouble uploading a picture on my phone.
That's great news. I'm not sure about the reptile sand because some contain additives i think. I use the Tiny Friends Farm bathing sand (not dust) and people also use kiddies playsand but it needs to be sieved, washed and baked.
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Old 02-04-2021, 06:24 AM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: Chewing plastic

Uploading photos from a phone:
when posting a reply scroll down to Manage Attachments and click on it then Choose File usually from Gallery or Documenys on a phone click on chosen photo then click on Upload wait till uploaded (a blue line runs across top) then click on Close This Window top right which will take you back to your reply post with the photo attached and carry on from there.
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