Hamsters have been thought of a well-liked pet for ages—particularly throughout childhood. Even when you did not have one in your house, you might need had one as a classroom pet, or fondly keep in mind Dewey’s pet hamster Bernard from Malcolm within the Center. However regardless of their constant reputation, hamsters might not truly be the perfect pet alternative for everybody. The truth is, this fluffy and lovely creature truly has a darkish facet that might make you assume twice earlier than taking one in. Learn on to search out out the primary purpose you should not get a pet hamster.
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Hamsters have been already a well-liked pet alternative when most of us have been rising up, however their demand has skyrocketed of late. Los Angeles resident Samantha Slaven-Bick informed MarketWatch in January that when she went searching for a hamster for her 11-year-old son in the summertime of 2021, she realized she was removed from the one one. “Everybody needed one throughout COVID,” Slaven-Bick informed the information outlet, explaining that she needed to go to 4 pet shops to search out any hamsters in inventory.
This elevated demand for hamsters is according to the current rising reputation of small animals as pets. A survey from the American Pet Merchandise Affiliation (APPA) discovered that 6.2 million households personal at the least one small animal as a pet as of 2021—which was up from 2019 by a whopping 800,000 households. In response to the affiliation, 27 % of these 6.2 million households personal a hamster, which equates to about 1.5 million American houses having this tiny rodent as a pet, per MarketWatch.
Many households take into account hamsters to be a superb newbie pet for his or her youngsters to have earlier than they decide to a canine or a cat. They’re usually considered as low-maintenance, cheap, and never harmful. Jennifer Shepherd, DVM, a veterinarian and proprietor of Cloquet Animal Hospital in Northern Minnesota, defined the recognition of hamsters as pets for kids in her “Ask Dr. Jenn” column with Pet Guarantee.
“Hamsters are lovely with their fluffy haircoats, large enamel, and large puffy cheeks. Teddy bear hamsters are particularly common with youngsters, as a result of as their title implies, they appear like miniature teddy bears,” she wrote. “They appear simple to maintain and pretty low upkeep. The pet retailer in all probability even has a starter equipment, full with a cage with tunnels, a hamster wheel, a water bottle, meals, and bedding—the whole lot you’ll want to make your new pet really feel at dwelling.”
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Regardless of their reputation amongst households, Shepherd defined that she truly doesn’t “advocate hamsters as a pet for younger youngsters.” One among her fundamental causes? They “are recognized to chunk,” she wrote.
Daniel Jackson, an animal behavioral specialist and the CEO of Pet Lover Man, tells Finest Life that is one thing many individuals fail to comprehend earlier than they resolve to go forth and get a hamster.
“It is simple to overlook that hamsters are rodents and similar to different rodents, they prefer to chunk. It is of their nature and is definitely wholesome for them to take action,” Jackson says. So far as he is involved, it is a main purpose why “hamsters should not good pets for kids, no matter common perception.”
Hamsters pattern to depend on odor and style to search out their approach round as a result of they’ve poor eyesight, in keeping with Jackson. So should you or your baby put your hand of their cage, they’re more likely to chunk you. “This may almost definitely damage as a consequence of their sharp enamel,” Jackson warns. And as soon as they’ve bit down, they don’t seem to be more likely to let go—which might go away you “bleeding and squealing in ache,” in keeping with Shepherd.
“Hamsters are recognized to chunk when they’re disturbed or startled,” Shepherd additionally defined. These creatures are literally nocturnal, in order that they’re usually startled out of their sleep in the midst of the day—resulting in unfavorable penalties. “Children are sometimes excited to play with their new hamster and present him off to their buddies after faculty, however that is prime sleeping time, and your little hamster is not going to hesitate to chomp down on a finger along with his sharp little enamel when he’s woke up,” she added.