Page 1

Syrian Ha mster lovers Care guide

Supaha msterific


Contents General introduction Housing Companionship Feeding Exercise and play Grooming Handling Health Common health problems F inal checklist

01 02 03 03 04 04 05 06 08 09


A Syrian ha mster yours to love Just because he’s small, don’t go thinking that you can give a Syrian hamster any less care, commitment and love than you’d give to a bigger pet. In this guide, we show you by far the best way to give your pet the time of his little life – which usually lasts around two years. A Syrian hamster (Latin name – Mesocricetus auratus) makes a great pet for children and adults. They’re inquisitive, gentle-natured and very energetic. They’re also nocturnal, so they’ll spend most of the day sleeping. But in the evening and at night: the fun begins.

Background Syrian hamsters originated in south-west Asia. To protect themselves from heat and predators, they burrow underground. There they sleep throughout the day, rising to search for food at night when it gets cooler. If the temperature drops below 10˚C, Syrian hamsters hibernate. So if yours appears to be in a deep sleep, this may be the reason. All today’s pets are thought to have come from just one hamster family, captured in the 1930s. Syrian hamsters carry food in their cheek pouches, which amazingly can hold half their body weight. They can even hide a newly-born litter in their pouches when danger is present. Golden hamster is just another name for the Syrian hamster, but there are over 40 colour varieties as well as three types of coat – short hair, long hair and rex.

01


The ideal ha mster home Your Syrian hamster has lots of energy and needs a large cage with lots of room to race around in – in the wild they can easily do an 8 mile run. Ideally, the base should be plastic and the sides and roof wire. That gives plenty of opportunity for climbing, which your hamster will love to do. Exploration is a popular pastime too. So a cage with different levels or compartments would be perfect. If the route from place to place is by tube, however, be careful. Syrian hamsters are twice the size of their Dwarf hamster cousins, and can easily get stuck if the tubes are too small. You should create a separate sleeping area then cover the entire cage floor with wood shavings and put shredded paper on top. It’s comfy and good for nesting. Don’t use cedar or pine shavings, they can cause allergic reactions. Don’t use man-made materials. And don’t use straw – sharp edges can pierce your Syrian hamster’s delicate cheek pouches. Your hamster will want to set up a toilet area, a nesting area, an eating area, and a play area, so your cage will need to be big enough to accommodate all of this. It’s important to keep the cage hygienic, so clean it thoroughly once a week with pet safe disinfectant. But clean the toilet area more often. Outside is a no-go area for your pet Syrian hamster. Inside, the cage needs to be carefully positioned. A constant temperature is what you’re aiming for: avoid direct sunlight, draughts and radiators. In very cold weather, provide more bedding or move the cage somewhere warmer. At temperatures below 10˚C, your pet may hibernate, becoming very still. Don’t panic. You can warm him up gently by holding him in your hands. Finally, remember that a Syrian hamster has extremely sensitive hearing. So site the cage away from the TV, loudspeakers and household appliances.

02


The solitary Syrian Your Syrian hamster will enjoy contact with you, but won’t get on with other Syrian hamsters. So no pairs or groups.

Tablespoon of tastiness In the wild, Syrian hamsters are omnivores. Which means they’ll happily munch on grasses, seeds, plant roots and the occasional tasty creepy-crawly. Supahamster Hamster Harvest is an ideal replacement: a complete food containing grains, nuts and delicious whole, dried mealworms for essential animal protein. Your pets will need solid food from as young as 7-10 days old. Provide fresh food every day: around a tablespoon is plenty. It’s best served at your Syrian hamster’s breakfast time – which is when he wakes up in the evening. Use a ceramic bowl, which is more stable and gnaw-proof, and give fresh water daily in a water bottle. For a treat, provide Excel Nature Snacks – made from all-natural good stuff. Hide them round the cage so your pet has to forage to find them, just like in the wild. It prevents boredom, promotes exercise and helps to keep your Syrian hamster happy. Very happy.

03


A question Fun and frolics of company Play, exploration and exercise are all vital to your Syrian hamster’s happiness. So keep the cage interesting with plenty of toys to keep him busy in the night, while you’re asleep. Tubes are good, wooden objects to gnaw on are ideal. A wheel is great, but make sure it’s not too small – your hamster’s back should not be curved when it’s in use. Wheels are also something to be wary of if your Syrian hamster is long-haired, as are any other toys which might trap his coat. Outside their cage, a hamster ball is a great way to explore and exercise.

Something delicious everyday In the wild, Dwarf hamsters are omnivores. They’ll happily munch on grasses, seeds, plant roots and the occasional tasty creepy-crawly. Supahamster Dwarf Hamster Harvest is an ideal replacement: a complete food containing small seeds and grains, wholesome peas and whole, dried mealworms for essential animal protein. Provide fresh food every day: around a tablespoon is plenty. It’s best served at your Dwarf hamsters’ breakfast time – which is when they wake up in the evening. Use a ceramic bowl, which is more stable and gnaw-proof, and give fresh water daily in a bottle. For a treat, provide Excel Nature Snacks – made from all-natural good things. Hide them round the cage so your pets have to forage to find them, just like in the wild. It prevents boredom, promotes exercise and helps to keep Dwarf hamsters very happy.

The joy of grooming If your Syrian hamster is long-haired, daily grooming is important. But if not, regular grooming is still a good idea. It helps to strengthen the bond between you, and you can check for health problems – see the guide on page 6 for more details.

04


A ha mster in the hand When your new Syrian hamster comes home for the first time, don’t try to handle him immediately. Allow a couple of days for settling in. Chat away gently to get your pet used to the sound of your voice. It all helps. When you think the right time has come, hold your hand in the cage so your Syrian hamster can smell you. It’s a good idea to always wash your hands first, so you smell the same every time. Then they can recognise you more easily. Your hamster may like to walk onto your hand, or you can scoop him up gently with two hands. Keep your hands over a table or sofa or close to the floor in case there’s an escape attempt or they fall and hurt themselves. The more you play with and handle your hamster, the better. Once tamed, your Syrian hamster should stay that way. Before you know it, he’ll be so friendly you’ll have him eating out of your hand – literally. Waking your pet up to handle him is a very bad idea. You wouldn’t like it, and nor will he. But unlike you, he may bite out of fear. Never pick a Syrian hamster up by the scruff of the neck – it puts pressure on the head and may cause the eyes to pop out.

05


Looking after your Syrian ha mster’s health As with all animals, there are some common health problems that Syrian hamsters may suffer from. If you have any concerns, always go direct to your vet.

The weekly health check Get into the habit of examining your pet carefully every week. It’s a good idea to weigh him too. Make this a regular thing and you’ll bond better with your pets. And you’ll catch any problems early – your Syrian hamster is nocturnal, so health issues might not be so easy to spot.

General Check that your Syrian hamster’s behaviour is normal – active and playful in the evening. Gauge how they walk, looking for limping, or signs of pain. A sick pet will be irritable and may bite more frequently.

Mouth and nose The nose should be clean and dry – sneezing and runny nose are signs of cold or flu. Check to ensure that your pet’s teeth haven’t grown too long. See whether they’re misaligned or chipped. Losing weight and loss of appetite could be a sign of dental problems.

06


Eyes They should be bright, and not runny or watery – this could be a sign of an allergy or a cold.

Cheeks Check for lumps in the cheeks which may feel like an abscess. It is likely to be an impacted cheek pouch. The lump may be so large it may force the eye to close. The pouch will need to be emptied and rinsed, which can only be done by a vet.

Fur Check for patches of hair loss, which could be the result of rubbing against the cage or fur chewing. This can be a sign of boredom or the result of abrasive bedding. Hair loss is also linked to protein deficiency. Check for signs of itching combined with any hair loss – this could be a symptom of parasites or ringworm.

Nails Like their teeth, a Syrian hamster’s nails grow continuously. Playing with wooden toys will keep them short, but check to make sure they’re not overgrown. If they are, your vet will clip them safely.

07


Common health problems Diarrhoea Syrian hamsters are susceptible to diarrhoea, which can be caused by feeding too much green food, fruit or stress. Although fresh greens are important – if you don’t feed enough your pet will become constipated – try and make sure the bulk of the diet is a good quality complete food, such as Supahamster Hamster Harvest.

Wet tail This is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea, and is mostly seen in young Syrian hamsters. It is characterised by a stickiness of the bottom and tail area, and your pet may appear as though it has stomach ache, by hunching itself up. Wet Tail is highly contagious so ensure you wash your hands and clean out the cage thoroughly with pet safe disinfectant.

Dental problems As with all rodents, Syrian hamsters’ teeth grow continuously, and can become overgrown unless care is taken to keep them ground down. Provide gnaw blocks, gnaw sticks or wooden toys for your pet to chew on. Try Excel Gnaw Sticks, which are great for good dental health. Because of their small size, a Syrian hamster’s health can quickly deteriorate if he becomes poorly. Urgent treatment by a vet must be sought if your pet displays any signs of being unwell.

08


F inal check list To take the best care of your Syrian hamsters, you’ll need all these things: Suitable cage Gnaw-proof food dish Supahamster Hamster Harvest Water bottle Wood shavings Soft bedding Healthy snacks Gnaw block Excel Gnaw Sticks Toys Pet safe disinfectant

Wild and Wonderful Facts • At around 15cm long, one Syrian hamster would make two of its Dwarf cousins. • The name hamster comes from the German ‘hamstern’ – to hoard. The German for ‘hamster’, funnily enough, is ‘hamster’. • Strange but true: baby hamsters are called pups. But don’t expect them to woof. • The male is called a boar and the female is called a sow. Luckily, this never causes confusion at the pet shop.

09


Supahamster Hamster Harvest is a supahamsterific luxury meal created especially for your pet hamster. Hamsters are omnivores, so as well as cereals, vegetables and nuts they need meat too – in the wild, they eat grubs and insects. That’s why Supahamster Hamster Harvest is a complete food, which combines the finest quality natural ingredients of tasty whole dried mealworms, plump pumpkin seeds, wholesome grains, yummy peanuts and scrumptious banana flakes, with the optimum balance of nutrients. For further information contact us free on 0800 413969 or visit online at www.burgesspetcare.co.uk

Profile for Burgess PetCare

Supahamster Care Guide  

Just because they are small, don't go thinking that you can give hamsters any less care, commitment and love than you'd give to a bigger pet...

Supahamster Care Guide  

Just because they are small, don't go thinking that you can give hamsters any less care, commitment and love than you'd give to a bigger pet...

Advertisement