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Old 06-20-2017, 09:28 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Post A New Hamster Owner

Hi guys! For my birthday in August, my mother agreed to let me have a hamster. I'm going to get a Syrian Hamster because I've heard they are easier to tame. I think I have everything for my hamster I have a whole checklist on what to get it.
-For it's cage I'm going to get it a 40 gallon tank.
- For bedding I know not to use pine or cedar wood and no fluffy nesting materials.
- I bought a 12 inch silent spinner wheel
- For food I have "Oxbow essentials healthy handful" and "Vitakraft, Vitasmart complete nutrition Hamster food." and I will also give her fresh vegetables that I know are safe, once a week.
- I also got her a water bottle and a sand bath along with chews and other things.
-I know to clean her cage every other week and to give one to two tablespoons of food every 24 hrs.
I really want to know if I have everything for my hamster so please tell me if I did something wrong!!!

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 06-20-2017 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Removed reference to age
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Hertfordshire - UK
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Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

You have started well with getting supplies for your hamster. There are a few more things you should get.

A food bowl (although scatter feeding is good for the hamster)
A house with an open base
A selection of toys and tubes.
A spare water bottle, in case the first one stops working/leaks or is damaged.

Storage containers for food, sand, treats etc.
A set of scales to monitor your hamsters weight.

Once you have the cage setup. Post a picture and we can advise on things you may want to add or change.

Hope you can get a hamster soon.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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Location: USA
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Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Welcome to HC! You're off to a good start in terms of research. You probably should look into the things CMB recommended.

For the food I wouldn't recommend mixing two different mixes unless you are an expert on hamster nutritional needs. The two mixes might throw each other off balance in terms of nutrition which is not healthy for your hamster. A good mix mix is Hazel Hamster food by Tiny Friends Farm.

You may not even need to clean the cage every two weeks. Spot cleaning should be done every few days to keep the cage fresh and clean. Full clean outs are not necessary and should be avoided unless your hamster got sick with a contagious illness such as wet tail. Rather, change out small sections of subrate every couple of weeks, mostly where your hamster pees. I have a robo in a 40 gallon and I spot clean every week but I've never done a full substrate change.

Good luck with your future ham, and if you have more questions just ask!

❤️Mommy to Key Lime and Tangerine, my two fur babies❤️
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Oxbow hamster food is definitely not that good.Vitakraft foods tend not to be that good either.I'd recommend Harry/Hazel Hamster as mentioned,or alternatively a combination of Higgins Sunburst and Carefresh hamster/gerbil food(two thirds Carefresh to one third Higgins,with a mandatory addition of a few pieces freeze dried chicken and flax seed with every feeding to get suitable protein levels).

Make sure any food or treats you ever feed have no artificial flavors.They shouldn't have any artificial colors either,nor any artificial sweeteners or processed sugars(such as dextrose,maltodextrin,sorbitol,sucrose,etc).There should never be any sort of unspecified biproducts(digest,derivatives,meat and bone meal of any sort,generic liver or animal liver,animal fat,biproduct meal,etc).Propylene glycol should never be in any product either,and neither should sulfur dioxide.Unspecified preservatives or BHA/BHT/ethoxyquin(sometimes E&C approved if the product is from the UK,which is actually a loophole term which allows these preservatives to be used without the manufacturer having to say so even though they're known to cause cancer)should also never be in anything.

I'd skip out on the tank and just go for a bin cage.They're a lot easier to move,and can be expanded into more appropriate sizes for Syrians(which tanks cannot,and yes even in a 40 gallon tank a Syrian may not have enough space).They're also more cost effective(square meter bin cage setups can be made for less than $50 if you don't count the things that will last several more DIY projects such as mesh,zip ties,and tools),and require practically no DIY skill

Silent Spinners are best avoided.They tend to be poor quality wheels,and you'd be very lucky to get one that spins initially and even then they never stay truly silent and always stop spinning(usually within the first 6 months if not the first 3 months).Silent Runners,however,are much better and happen to be the safest wheel on the market and stay truly silent and last for years!

I'd definitely recommend the plain white Kaytee Clean and Cozy substrate(the scented varieties are not safe though!)as it is fairly cost effective and works perfectly for burrowing(nothing ever needs to be added to hold burrows together,and it's very soft unlike any wood product plus it can't cause allergic reactions and has very little dust).

Make sure not to use the metal bottle holders,as those are not safe and can cause injuries.

I also forgot to mention but anything that will be shared with dogs or cats as far as treats go should not have any corn or wheat!

Last edited by AmityvilleHams; 06-20-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:44 AM   #5
Thin Lizzy
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Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
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Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Hi and welcome to HC.
Good to see your getting organised for your future hamster. It always helps being prepared.
Mom To Gorgeous Noah
Over The Rainbow Bridge - Master Harvey 2 years & 5 months, Twinkle 'The Diva' 1 year & 8 months, Archie 2 years & 3 months & Xena 2 years & 9 months. Forever loved by T-Liz.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:53 PM   #6
Newborn Pup
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Smile Re: A New Hamster Owner

Thank you! All this help is much appreciated I will take in all of the things you've told me.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:07 AM   #7
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 9
Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Welcome flint! I am also new to the forum and new to owning a hamster. My son has a winter white dwarf named speedy but I help take care of him too.
Sounds like you a prepared for your new friend. May I suggest using carefresh paper bedding, instead of wood shavings. It is cheaper and softer.get the compact bag. You can fluff it up as you use it. Also make your own toys like a maze, swing, climbing tent using popsicle sticks, toilet paper tubes and hot glue. Just Google diy hamster toys and you will get a lot of ideas. As far as the silent wheel, I would go ahead and use what you have and if it does getting squeaky, use wd40 on the joint (make sure you wipe away any oil that gets on the wheel) or a drop of vegetable oil. My silent wheel has never far. All we hear is the sounds of speedy's running.
Also take your time in taming your hamster! Seriously! Don't rush or you will have to start from square one. I think I may have rushed speedy cause he started to bite my finger. He nibbled at first but I have to start all over again.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:56 PM   #8
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Yes I have gotten everything now thank you! I decided to get a 40 gallon tank because it was on sale for a really cheap price. I'm getting my hamster in 4 days so that's exciting!
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #9
Cinnamon Bear
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 4,408
Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Congrats! You must be very happy, hope you find the perfect hammy. I'd also highly recommend the 12 in Silent Runner wheel ( orange color) can be bought on or ebay. Silent Spinners have alot of resistance these days & it's hard to find one without resistance. If you can fine one then go for it, but money well spent on Silent Runner wheels. Look forward to updates!
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:55 PM   #10
Ruth Edwards
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Location: Petersfield Hampshire England
Posts: 501
Default Re: A New Hamster Owner

Hello there and welcome.

When you go to choose your hamster, ask if you can handle it, or ask if your mum can. some hamsters are naturally friendly, and some pet shops make sure the animals in stock get plenty of human contact so they're ready for their new owners. If it's your first hamster pick a friendly one don't worry about which colour it is etc
Enjoy your Hammy!
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