FAQs and Tips

Here all all the FAQs (frequently asked questions) and tips on all things hamster-y that have been asked so far.
 This page will constantly be added to so keep checking it out.

 Want to contact me with a query?
http://hamsterdiaries.wordpress.com/faqs-and-tips/contact/

What shall I name my new hamster?

Naming your pet is really important (check out my post http://hamsterdiaries.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/whats-in-a-name/for all these tips and more). Choosing a name can be tricky so here are my tips on how to chose the perfect name for your pet:

  • Repeat a few names a few times over in your head whilst looking at your new critter – can you see yourself saying ‘Hallo *****’ in the mornings or shouting ‘OI *******!’ in the park? If you cant then just try another, if you can then you may be onto a winner!
  • If you are lacking inspiration on names to try out in the first place then just look around you; there are ideas everywhere! Open your cupboards even? Some of the best names come from foods, for example Toffee, Pepsi, Crumpet, Bean,Coffee,Sugar, Rolo.. the list is endless!
  • Sometimes just looking as special or unique features on your pet can spark brilliantly original names!

How can I keep my pet cool during hot summer days?

Heat can be really dangerous for any kind of animal, from small rodents to the biggest dog so its SUPER important to take a little extra care of your pet.

  1. Move your pets cage out of direct sunlight and into a shady, cool spot.
  2. Check that all water dispensers are full and not leaking.
  3. Put some hydrating treats in with your pet (cucumbers, apple slices and lettuce are good for rodents – only in moderation though!)
  4. Give your pets an ice-cube on a dinner tray to play with – usually only appreciated by dogs, cats and rabbits :P
  5. If there is any sign of serious lethargic behaviour or unusual behaviour make sure you check in with a vet as soon as possible (I used to have a rabbit who died of heatstroke so I really recommend extra attention in such heat)
Are hamsters allowed mineral stones?
If you hamster has a healthy balanced diet (e.g. a base muesli food and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables as occasional treats) then mineral stones aren’t vitally important. They are widely available in the UK from Pets at Home from no more than £1.99 for small rodents which means that if you are concerned your pet is missing out on dietary requirements they are easy to get hold of and relatively cheap!
HOWEVER, if you have a pregnant female hamster then mineral stones are recommended. It gives the female a little boost in anything she might be lacking and gives the litter in her belly the best start at life!
Can hamsters get concussed?
Yes, hamsters CAN get concussion.
When dropped from a height, in a ball or if they’ve jumped out of your hand onto a hard floor, these small rodents can suffer horrible injuries.
The first port of call if you suspect your hamster is seriously injured, is the vets.

Get things checked out if you aren’t sure!

How can you tell if your hamster is concussed?
You will notice the following from your hamster:

  • disorientation
  • limping
  • lack of appetite
  • unusual/jumpy behaviour
  • excessive sleepiness

These are all warning signs that you have an unhappy hamster!
Unlike humans, hamsters tend not to vomit with concussion which means it can be slightly harder to spot. So just keep an extra careful eye on your hamster in the following days after a hard fall.

What do I do if my hamster has concussion?
First of all, visit a vet.
Its better to be safe than sorry!
There are things you can do at home too.

  1. Remove the exercise wheel.
    (This may seem counter-productive however if your poorly hamster does vigorous exercise it may worsen the problem and slow recovery. As long as the exercise wheel is returned after 3-4 days the worst of the injury should be over.)
  2. Assist your hamster when drinking water. 
    (Concussion can make it extra hard for your little pet to get all the fluids it needs. So just help them out when they are at their water dispenser by gently squeezing the bottle so droplets are easier to drink, or take the water dispenser to your pet and hand feed them.)
  3. Make sure there are no bright lights or loud noises around.
    (This is particularly important when your pet is poorly with a head injury. If they are in the same room as a TV, keep it turned down, if they are near a window, keep the curtain/blinds closed, etc) 

Can hamsters concuss themselves in their own cages?
There is the possibility that they can concuss themselves in their own cages however these cages are designed to be as safe as possible for the little critters!
As you can see from my hamster Eve, she face-plants the floor a good 10 times or so a night and she is fine!
She can handle a few bumps and falls – the main thing is she doesn’t fall very far and has a cushioned landing of sawdust too.

3 Comments

3 thoughts on “FAQs and Tips

  1. Pingback: Bromance « Hamster Diaries

  2. Pingback: How to keep your pet cool on hot summer days « Hamster Diaries

  3. Marie

    Excellent, well done to you, for such an amazing website. My son Callum and myself have enjoyed reading your advice and how to look after hamsters. Would of been lost without your good advice and showing of how to hand rear hamsters. This has been Callum’s first litter, so had no experience at all. But from reading your blog, we have taken on the task of bringing life back into the poorly two, brings back memories of myself being on night feeds every hour for two we are hand rearing.

    Callum has names the girl Hope, and boy Albie.

    Once again thank you and keep up the good work.

    Kind regards
    Marie

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