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Dwarf M

Hamsters A N Y H A M S T E R O W N E R S M U S T H A V E!

The Experience of Buying Your First Hamster Interview with John Shmitty How to Clean a Cage September 2010


Summer 2011 How to reach us 3012 JB Lane Vancouver, B.C. B3L 7L0 Fax 604 604 6604 Email www.dwarfhamstersmagazine .com

Inside Dwarf Hamsters Illustrated

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Editors Page

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Everything you’ll want to know about the editor and more

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Advice Column

Of the hamster wheel 3012

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How To... You’re just a few steps away to a squeaky clean cage

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Memorable Experience You will always remember you’re very first experience of buying a hammy

A few helpful tips to answer all your great questions

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Factual Description

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Letters to the Editor Questions, comments, we reply to it all!

History Article How hamsters came to be

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Welcome To It’s the land of dwarf hamsters

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Interview A once in a life time interview with John Shmitty we reply to it all! Dwarf Hamster Illustrated >> SUMMER 2011


Editor’s note nd

My name is Sabrina Hampson and I was born on September 2 1998 in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, China. I grew up with an older sister named Tasha and my mother Jamie. In my child hood, I lived in China, British Columbia, Ontario, and France. I attended West Bay Pre-school and Lighthouse Montosory for pre-school and Caulfield Elementary from kindergarten to grade 7. Some special Hamsters dates from my child hood include when I was adopted by my current parents, Jamie and Bruce and brought to Canada at the age of one. At the age of one and three months I had my first vacation in Aruba and that was my first time meeting Santa in Aruba. The first time I slept through the night was at nine months. I could walk at thirteen months and my first words were when I was nine months old. My interests include dancing, skiing, volleyball, watching television, going on the computer and hanging out with friends and family. Now I have 4 children, Taylor, 16, Isabella (Bella), 14, Jake, 10 and Alexia, 6. My husband is Jonathan; we have been married for 15 years. My family and I have lived in many places such as, Europe, the USA and Canada. We currently live in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. My careers include whenCanada. I was a My currently live in West Vancouver, British Columbia, professional dancing, owning my own design company, being a make-up artist, and now I ownmy my careers include when I was a professional dancing, owning own magazine company about Dwarf Hamsters called Dwarf Hamsters. Some important dates in own design company, magazine company about Dwarf my life as a parent are when my children were born, when Jonathan and I got married at the age Hamsters called Dwarf Hamsters. Some important dates in my of 18, and when I opened my magazine Mywhen interests includedwere playing with my children, life ascompany. a parent are my children born, when working at Dwarf Hamsters Magazine and spending withat mythe loving husband I Jonathan and I gottime married age of 18, andJonathan. when I opened made this magazine because whenmy I was 12 I got my first pet that was all mine. It was a male magazine company. My interests included playing with my Dwarf Hamster which I named Buster. His full name at was Buster Sampson Skittles Hampson children, working Dwarf Hamsters Magazine and spending because I wanted to incorporate alltime herwith friends and families ideas of what wanted the dwarf my loving husband Jonathan. Ithey made this magazine hamster to be named. I have lovedbecause dwarf Hamsters ever since. I am passionate about animals when I was 12 I got my first pet that was all mine. Itand I always wanted to have a magazine company so I thought I would one Buster. about dwarf was a male Dwarf Hamster whichmake I named His full name hamsters. was Buster Sampson Skittles Hampson because I wanted to incorporate all her friends and families ideas of what they wanted the dwarf hamster to be named. I have loved dwarf Hamsters ever since. I am passionate about animals and I always wanted to have a magazine company so I thought I would make one about dwarf hamsters.

Dwarf

Hamsters EDITORIAL Group Publisher

Sabrina Hampson

Managing Editor

Bobby Ferguson

Senior Editor

Macyn Scholz

Senior Editor

Zakia Karmal

Copy Editor

Katie Fleck

DESIGN/PRODUCTION Art Director

Kevyn Hall

Production Designer

Tasha Hampson

Production Coordinator

Jamie Hampson

ADMINISTRATION Publisher

Brandey Shulhof

Office and Systems

Noa Bruser

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher

Sophia Delefontaine

And Marketing Director Associate Publisher and Alex Shmill Digital Publishing Director

Enjoy the issue,

Advertising Manager

Alysha Gritten

CORRESSPONDENCE

SABRINA HAMPSON Website

GOT A QUESTION or comment for Dwarf Hamsters’ Editors? Please send us an e-mail at editors.dh@stringletter .com or snail-mail Dwarf Hamster Editorial, PO Box 30121412 West Vancouver, DH 45654. We regularly print reader letters in our Mailbag Colum and reader questions and tips in Q&A. TO SUBSCRIBE to Dwarf Hamsters, call (800)-562-5930 or visit us online at www.dwarfhamstermagazine.com . As a subscriber, you enjoy the convenience of home delivery and you never miss an issue. Sign up or renew your own subscription now and you can also purchase a gift subscription for a friend.

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TO ADVERTISE in Dwarf Hamsters, the only publication of its kind read by 500,000 dwarf hamster owners every month, call Sabrina Hampson at (604)-922-1961 ext. 5 or e-mail her at sabrinahamspon@hotmail.com. RETAILERS To find out how you can carry Dwarf Hamsters in your store, contact Retail Vision at (800)-32656480. PRINTED IN CANADA DARF HAMSTER

September 2010

Sabrina Hampsom

DH NOTES All subscribers are eligible to receive our free monthly online newsletter, Dwarf Hamster Notes.


Advice Column Dear Sabrina, My hamster wheel is so squeaky and it drives me crazy. Should I put oil on it to stop squeaking or would that harm my hamster? I don’t know what to do about this rusty wheel; I just want the squeaking to stop! I will pretty much do anything as long as the squeaking stops. -Amanda Hey Amanda, Even though oil might help with your squeaky wheel, oil wouldn’t be the best thing for your hammy, however, you can buy a new hamster wheel at any pet store and they are usually pretty cheap. There are also wheels that don’t squeak to solve that problem, and they are usually pretty cheap. You should have a nice fast and efficient wheel so both you and your hammy don’t have to listen to the squeaking! Dear Sabrina, Whenever I pick up my hamster, she poops or pees on me. Am I not holding him properly or am I even hurting him? Please help me, I just want to play with her! Thanks, Tracy When I held my dwarf hamster, he did that too so don’t worry too much Tracy. You are probably not hurting her, but remember to always be very gentile with her. If she poops or pees on you she is probably just not in the mood to play and wants to be put back down in her cage. Some hamsters are more used to humans than others, so maybe your hamster just needs to get used of you. Try to hold your hamster at least once a day because hamsters start to become more independent after being left alone without any affection for too long and when you try to hold her, she might freak out and get scared again. This was a great question, and don’t worry I’m sure your question has helped a lot of hamster owners who are going through this as well. Sabrina, My hamster seems to get very dirty after he burrows in his bedding, is it okay to bathe him every few days or is that harmful to hamsters? -Kristen Kristen, I’m glad you asked before you washed him. Unless hamsters have something stuck in their fur, they should not be washed. Don’t worry he will clean himself and there is no need to bathe him. I’m glad you asked before you washed him Kirsten that was very responsible. If you do ever need to wash him, a great website to follow the steps by is www.hamsterific.com and I will list the link bellow. Now remember to not wash your hamster unless for when something is stuff on its coat and can be toxic. http://www.hamsterific.com/hamsteruniversity/givingahamsterabath.html Hey, I love your magazine even though I don’t have a dwarf hamster. I would like to get one but I’m not sure if a dwarf hamster is the right pet for me. I have a cat, but he is pretty laid back and I don’t think he would even try to eat the hamster, but I’m still not convinced, what do you think Sabrina? Hey reader, As much as I love hamsters, and think that they are great pets for anyone, I’m not so sure if you have a cat. The cat may be relaxed, but he still might try to eat, or play with your hamster and end up killing it. If you did buy a hamster, you must make sure the cat cannot get his claws threw the cage, and the hamster is high enough away from your hamster so that the cat cannot reach it, or climb up and get him. Hi Sabrina I was hoping you could help me with this. I don’t think my hamster is getting enough exercise what do you recommend I do to help this? -Brandon Brandon, In order that we make sure our hamsters get enough exercise, it is a must that there is a hamster wheel in the cage. You can buy them most places and there are many different kinds. Your hamster will run on if several times a day and will get his needed physical activity. Hamster exercise balls are also great for exercise! You just put your hammy the ball and let him run around the house!

Make sure he doesn’t go down any stairs or slopes because that could harm your hammy!

Dear Sabrina, I am going to buy a dwarf hamster soon and I was wondering if there are any particular places or pet stores that are good. -Olivia Olivia, Although I get this question a lot. I myself do not recommend any particular pet stores, they are all pretty good, but maybe you could ask one of your friends and see where they got their hamster, or even other pet. There are also people who breed dwarf hamsters and maybe you could buy your dwarf hamster from one of them. Thanks for the question! Dear Sabrina, I’m thinking about starting to breed dwarf hamsters, do you think it is a good idea? Also, will it take up a lot of my time because I am in college and I will be at school and studying a lot? -Kerry Kerry, When you start to breed dwarf hamsters, I think it would be really fun and a great hobby. All you would need is a male dwarf hamster, a female dwarf hamster and plenty of cage room to keep all of the soon coming babies! It will probably take a lot of your time to care for all of them and it might take up some of your studying time. If you’re committed and you really want to do it I say go for it! Sabrina, Just got my very own hammy! I bought her all the essentials; wheel, cage, food ect.. but I’m not sure what other foods I should give her as treats, besides her own food. I’d really like some advice before I feed her the wrong thing. -Lily Lily, Great question! Before I did mention what-what not to eat in a previous article, “Welcome to” but just to remind everyone again; not too many greens, no citric fruits, you can give your hammy other fruits or veggies but nothing sugary/ sharp or sticky! To: Sabrina, This hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’m paranoid that my hamster will escape from his cage and if he does what should I do? -Jewels Jewels, Don’t stress about it, just relax and don’t even think about it. As long as you don’t have any cracks or anything in the cage and he can’t squeeze through the bars it shouldn’t happen. That actually happened to me once, and I ended up finding him with the help of my sister. What I would suggest if you did loose him would be to check all the corners, cracks and closets (that’s where I ended up finding mine.) Sometimes hamsters run loose in the walls which might be a problem but before cutting through the dry wall check everywhere!!!!! Hopefully it never happens! -Sabrina Dear Sabrina, I breed dwarf hamsters and there is was one hamster who was born with red eyes and white fur. I thought it would maybe go away with age, but he is over one year old and still the same, is there something wrong with him? -Michael Michael, If your hamster is like that, it just means he/she is an albino hamster. It is very normal, so there is nothing to worry about. They are very common, and still such cute little hamsters and someone will adopt him/her from you. Great question Michael!


CLEAN A HAMSTER CAGE (A H

T OME)

How To Clean A Hamster Cage For Beginners

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SO YOU THINK THAT ONCE IT IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO CLEAN THE CAGE, IT’S NO BIG DEAL? THINK AGAIN BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET INTO. THINK YOUR MAN ENOUGH TO CLEAN A HAMSTER CAGE AT HOME, HERE’S WHERE YOU STARTREAD AND LEARN:

First you are going to need to get your hamster out of the cage so you can clean the cage. Balls are great to put your hamster inside so they can run around the house and get some exercise. Make sure that when you close the ball, that your hamster’s hands won’t get trapped.

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Next, add clean bedding, your clean wheel, fresh food and water in your food bowl and water dish, and all the other clean accessories and put your little hamster in his/her new clean cage.

Second of all, you need to empty all of the bedding out of the cage (the stuff that lies at the bottom of the cage and what your dwarf hamster buries in. You will also need to take all of the extras out of the cage such as the food bowl, the wheel, there hiding places and what ever else in the cage. You should clean every week or more if needed.

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Once everything is clean and you’re all done with the cleaning part, make sure you get rid of all the cleaning supplies just in case your hamster got into it and he/she could be very harmed.

To clean the cage, you can fill up the bathtub with cleaning detergent (preferably mild so it won’t harm your hamster). Let the cage soak in the detergent and then scrub it down with a cloth or sponge. Make sure that you clean the entire cage so that your hamster can get their fullest satisfaction.

^ One example of a hamster cage is shown above. But take our word, there are many high-quality hamster cages out there so don’t look at this one and assume you have to blow your money on it to buy this specific cage.

Set Ups Wire hamster cages are great for your hamster, but your hamsters may dig in the bedding and the area around the cage can get pretty messy. You can add many add-ons to make your hamster’s cage fun.

DANGER! 6. Make sure that you clean up all of your cleaning supplies so your hamster will not be harmed! Tanks are great for your hamster because they are easy to clean and it won’t make the area around the cage messy. However, you cannot put any add-ons.


HISTORY OF DWARF HAMSTERS You may wonder as I once did, how did dwarf hamsters come to be? Well in this article you will learn the history of dwarf hamsters and more! The first hamster was founded in Syria in 1839 by George Waterhouse, a British Zoologist. They named it “Cricetus aratus” also known as “the Golden Hamster”. Around 1930 Thomas Campbell found a mother and her litter in the Desert. They were a little larger than the one discovered in Syria. These hamsters were named “Mesocricetus auratus” even though they were probably the same species. The hamsters were shipped all over the world to different labs however only three had survived while the rest of them had escaped or died. Since Campbell discovered dwarf hamsters they were named Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters in his honour. By 1968 the hamsters were breeding in captivity in the UK. Most golden hamsters are descended from that one original litter. A few are from the desert but they aren’t known as pets from those descendents brought to America from the Desert. All breeds including Dwarf Campbell’s Russian, Winter White Russian and Chinese were all introduced to pet markets in the United Kingdom in the 1970’s however they were not popular pets until the early 1980’s and became more common in pet stores. The most common hamsters are the Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters. There are 4 different species of dwarf Hamsters and they are found in China, Russia and Mongolia. Now dwarf hamsters are found all over North America and other countries of the world as household pets and can be bought at just about any pet store!

Special thanks to all the important people who helped discover dwarf hamsters along the way.  George Waterhouse founded 1st hamster in Syria.  Thomas Campbell, a zoologist and professor at University of Jerusalem found mother and litter of 11 in the Syrian Desert.

Bibliography http://russiandwarfhamsters.tripod.com/hams/i d1.html http://www.hamsterhideout.com/history.html http://www.simplepetcare.com/pets/2006/08/2 4/history-of-the-hamster/ http://hamsterpets.blogspot.com/2007/11/history-ofhamster.html


In Praise of

Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters Found in China, Mongolia and Siberia. By: Sabrina Hampson Photography by Zakia Karmal

like any other pet; there are different This first picture is of a Campbell’s dwarf hamster standing on his hind legs.

This is a picture of a Campbell’s dwarf hamster sleeping.

This is a picture of a Campbell’s dwarf hamster at a photo shoot.

ampbell’s dwarf hamsters come from Central Asia, Northern China, Mongolia and Southern Siberia. Their scientific name is Phodopus Campbelli, but otherwise they are known as either Djungarian or Siberian hamster. Their natural habitats are steppes and sand dunes in the wild. They like to dig burrows in the wild up to 3 feet underground! These burrows are often lined with either scavenged sheep’s wool or dry grasses. They are usual around 62 degrees Fahrenheit (16°c) Even though Campbell’s dwarf hamsters only live 1.5 – 2 years, their behaviour is slow and they are easy to handle. The best part is that they are easy to breed and they can hold up to 8 pups. Male hamsters tend to be larger than females with longer bodies while females are shorter, rounder and plumper. Some cools facts about Campbell’s dwarf hamsters is that 1) They can squeeze through most wire cages, so it is better if you buy a glass cage. 2) They can release oils similar to ducks. One thing that you should know about these dwarf hamsters is that they should be bought in pairs because they are a very social breed of hamsters. Did you know that their natural predators are foxes, weasels, owls, and falcons? These little critters are as cute as a button Of course,

In loving memory of Buster Sampson Skittles Hampson, my very first dwarf hamster. You are always in my heart stripe that goes straight down their back. Campbell’s and I love you. R.I.P August 2010 – December 2010

human foods which they can have, and others that should be avoided. Lettuce, oats, dry cat food, bread and milk (for mothers to be), broccoli, apples, peanut butter, shredded cheese, tomatoes, carrots, corn, dog biscuits, cooked meat (make sure it is still cool), yogurt (avoid sugar), well washed berries, pumpkins without seeds, Make sure not to over feed them greens though. Other fruits and veggies can be given to your Campbell’s dwarf hamster too but try not to give them oranges and other citric fruits. Do not over feed greens because too much can cause them to have stomach aches. Kidney beans, onions, garlic, potato tops, raw potatoes, rhubarb, rhubarb leaves, tomato leaves, and anything sweet unless diabetes has been ruled out. Nothing sharp, sticky or sugary! Dwarf hamsters are very vulnerable to diabetes. In my opinion, Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are pretty dang cute, if you go to a pet store, and you reach the hamster section they just scream out “BUY ME! BUY ME!” As you can see in the pictures to the left, these hamsters can be various colours such as brown, black, grey white. One thing I find very cute is when you hold them and then they make a squeaking noise when they try to put there nose between your fingers so they can see what is beyond them. There fur is so silky and my favourite part is the dark dwarf stripe that goes right down their back. Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are the perfect pet! If you agree with me, then go visit them in the wild, you know where to find them.


John

A Pet Smart Co-worker tells the inside story on being an animal lover.

Shmitty

EVERY SO OFTEN AN ANIMAL LOVER comes along that breaks through all those animal haters and demands to be heard- and felt. He may seem like an average 22 year old collage grad that lives in his parent’s basement, but no, he is so much more. In the next 20 minutes, you will learn what it is like, to be an animal lover. You will discover that animals aren’t a nuisance; they are just living creatures trying to survive just like us. Shmitty has been through he has been in Africa with gorillas, under the sea in Hawaii tough times, with the dolphins, and several other places, researching more about animals, and learning to love them. Shmitty has given up his job as a lawyer’s assistant, to work at Pet Smart, to ease his fetish of animals. You think birds are just pesky things that steel your food, and make a lot of noise, but Shmitty will tell you how untrue that is. We will be getting the inside scoop on all of Shmitty’s personal opinions and he will tell us just how much he does love animals, read on to find out more!

By: Sabrina Hampson Photos By: Zakia Karmal December 2010 Dwarf Hamster Illustrated


John Shmitty Now, here he is, it’s John Shmitty! John, it is a pleasure interviewing you today, tell us, where are you from? Shmitty Well actually, I’m from Ohio but I was born in Alaska. I try to go back their every year for Christmas to visit the family. What is your favourite kind of hamster between all the different kinds of hamsters? Shmitty I personally don’t have a favourite type of hamster because I think that they are all truly amazing, every day when I am at Pet Smart, I think of them all as my brothers and sisters, but not in a creepy way ofcourse. Do you own any hamsters or other pets since you work with them every day? Shmitty Yes actually I have 2 females and 3 male hamsters and also 1 mouse. Wow, that’s a lot of pets! Have any of your females had any babies before? Shmitty Of course they have, I started out with only 1 female and 1 male but then the two mated. But I had to take the baby hamsters out of the cage and put them into another one so they were protected from getting eaten. Yes I understand. Anyways, how was the experience of watching the mother hamster give birth to the babies? Shmitty I didn’t actually get to see the birth because I was at work, but my mom said it was like nothing you have ever seen before. Have you ever had to sell any hamsters because the cages were too crowded? Shmitty No actually I haven’t because I just recently got the hamsters but I think that one day I will have to sell them but I might

just donate them to Pet Smart maybe because I know that I can trust Pet Smart to take care of them until a reliable owner comes along.

Now tell me Shmitty, what is your favourite type of hamster cage? Shmitty I think all cages are great but at my house I use tanks because since I have babies now, I don’t want them to escape through any wires! The castle cages are very decorative and colourful but they are very big so they are my least favourite. What is your favourite animal? Shmitty I have to say, I do love all animals, and I mean all, but I think I have to go with a koala. I just think they are so amazing, like when I was in Australia, I always saw them everywhere and I just became attached to them. Yes, koalas are quite cute. Now tell me, why did you decide to quit your job as a lawyer’s assistant to work at Pet Smart? Shmitty Well you see, I loved being a lawyer’s assistant and I had many friends there but my true job was working with animals, and I am really happy at Pet Smart so I think it was a good choice to work there. Do you also like working with children since I’m sure a lot of your costumers are children? Shmitty Yes, children are a pleasure to work with and I hope to have my own children one day. Before I was a lawyer’s assistant, I worked on a school playground and it was a joyful time period in my life. I am an only child as well so I never had any brothers or sisters growing up, I did have many animals as a kid but never any dwarf hamsters until now!

Here is one I have always wondered about, what would you do if a parent and their child were at Pet Smart and the child really wanted a pet but the parent wouldn’t let them? Shmitty Well, I’d have to rule with the one who was paying. Ha-ha, only joking, well when things come down to that, which usually doesn’t and we hope they don’t, we usually have to rule with the parent since they are in charge because the child is a minor. Unless, the child was legally aloud to make their own decisions then really it is the kid should be allowed to get the pet. Oh I see, so tell me this, if you were an animal, which one would you, be? Shmitty Hmmm let me think. The one that matches my personality would be a turtle because we are both wise but we are both a little bit shy and my favourite colour is green . So you work at Pet Smart but what business are your parents in? Shmitty Well, my mom is a stay at home mom and does errands around the house but my dad is a police man. I love them both so much and they are great parents. How do you like living in your parent’s basement? Shmitty Well, lately it hasn’t been so bad since I started working at Pet Smart but when I was a lawyers assistant, it was hard because even though I had a lot of friends, all day it was just work, work work! But now every day I get to spend time with animals then come home to my parent which is nice. I also still keep in touch with my friends and sometimes we get together or I stop by on my way to work. Wow thank you so much John, it has been a pleasure interviewing you, I learned so much! Shmitty Thanks for having me!


The part of the wheel which makes the wheel turn

GEAR

IN DEPTH

The part of the wheel which the hamster runs on

The base which the rest of the wheel rests on

Hamster Wheel the 3012 The newest wheel in the Gerbil Essences Wheel Addition has arrived. This new wheel has a major impact on hamsters running all over the world. Your hamster will just be happier with this wheel. Gerbil Essences took a new approach on everything and trust us; it’s for your benefit. They have added new parts; a new colour and this can spin up to 450 m/ph. This 2011Wheel addition has been voted one of Gerbil Essences best ideas yet! The best part yet, when you buy this, you will get a water bottle for your hamster at no cost!

G erbil Essences Wheels are selling fast so get yours soon

before they are all sold out. These wheels are sold at your local pet store for a limited time only and you should make sure to get one in your hamster’s cage! The wheels will never squeak, they are not harmful to your hamster’s paws and best of all, right now you can style it in any shape or form of cage and our colour choice makes this wheel appropriate for any cage.

As with most Gerbil Essences Wheels, the 3012 wheel spins very fast … and that is an important factor in the getting a wheel. The first part of the hamster wheel 3012 is the base. It has been upgraded to this new and improved base which makes the wheel a lighter weight and looks 100 times better! It has a cleaner look and it is two times smaller than the last wheels base but, it is just as sturdy and can hold up to two times the weight! We thought this update was necessary for you and your hamster’s comfort because you know, every little change counts! Next, we made sure that the metal on the wheel (especially the part which your hamster will run on) is safe for your

your dwarf hamster because our scientists know; some metals can harm your dwarf hamster because of the chemicals in the metal. You know the wire part which your dwarf hamster runs on, well the wires have been moved closer together because we have been getting messages that your little dwarf hamster’s feet have slipped through in the past, and that is not what we want to happen so, like I said before we now have new closer wires. We also have our brand new colour like I said before and it goes with any colour or type of cage so if you have a tank, then this wheel will match, if you have a wire cage, then this wheel will match and if you have a plastic cage, then this wheel will match! Lastly our axels and spokes have been updated to the 2011 version to make the wheel spin up to 450 m/ph. We know that dwarf hamsters like to run on there wheels and they can get pretty speedy so you might think that this is to fast, and a little dwarf hamster can never run that fast, but you never know! I personally think that you should get this 30 by 30 cm grey cage because it is a very important factor in your hamster’s life, I mean; hamsters can run up to 8 km in a night! Trust me, right now there are some weird cages that are square so it’s a good thing that this one is a circle! This smooth light weight wheel is the perfect match for any dwarf hamster, so get yours now and we will even throw in a limited addition water bottle for free!


Remember Buster Sampson Skittles Hampson

Always decided to buy him.

I’ll There it was, in my hands, I was now responsible for a living creature. It all happened so fast, could I handle this? My dad was here to pick me up, it was a pinch me I’m dreaming moment. I got into the car and of course it was a really long ride because we were going over to Pet Smart which was a pretty long drive for someone about to buy her very own hammy! I was so anxious once we got into the pet store and I ran right to the Hamster section. Of course I had never been there before so I had to find someone who works at the store and finally I saw them, the dwarf hamsters. I had to choose between a white one; but he had nice brown eyes, and a grey Russian dwarf hamster that had a dark brown stripe down his back. I was aloud to hold them both, but after that, I still couldn’t decide! Apparently the grey one had more experience with people so I

I was in line to buy my very dwarf hamster. Many things were running through my head, “Can I handle this...Am I responsible enough? … What happens if he escapes?” (Sure enough he did, but that’s a whole other story.) I was feeling so many emotions; excitement, responsibility, and of course I was eager to get him home and get his cage all set up. Once my dad and I came home to his place, his dog seemed very excited about my new hamster, Buster. Of course that wasn’t his name then since I couldn’t decide between all the creative names that my friends thought should be. But when I finally got home to my house, I had made up my mind on Buster, but now it was time to set up the cage, and I couldn’t wait! It started out a little bumpy; the stubborn cage wouldn’t connect and I got a little panicky so I had to call back my dad to put it together because my mom was still a little finicky about the idea of having a little hamster living the house.

When my dad got here, he put the cage together in 5 minutes, he seemed very proud of himself but I know he struggled with it a bit. Finally everything was ready, and Buster Sampson Skittles Hampson was ready to go! Buster liked his new home, a lot. It had all the things a hamster could want; soft, fluffy, colourful bedding, a little house to hide in, a food bowl for his food, a food bowl for his fruits, veggies or other treats, a water bottle, and of course heart shaped chew toys.

Buster was my very first hamster, and he will truly be missed. R.I.P <3


mailbag

Hamster Enthusiast et

To the Editor, I found your Welcome to Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters article very cute and interesting. Your pictures are very adorable and I learned a lot from the facts that you put into your article. You put some very helpful tips on what to not give your hamster to eat. Also, I would never have known that they could squeeze through the bars of wire cages! I can relate to how you feel about walking through a pet store and seeing the dwarf hamster’s cute faces screaming BUY ME! BUY ME! It’s too bad that dwarf hamsters only live for about 1.5-2 years. I found your Welcome to Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters article very fascinating to read and I liked how you ordered all of you facts! It is a great article! -Nicole Fonseca B.C. Canada

A Hamster How-To Dear Sabrina I think that you chose the most important How-To for hamsters! There is NOTHING worse than having a smelly hamster cage. The format was great and easy to read. The picture was a good one considering it’s the most commonly used cage. The warning part is very useful for new hamster owners (wouldn’t want your hammy hurt within the first week!) I a hamster owner am very happy that you chose How-To clean a hamster cage. Katie Fleckenstein

Dear Nicole, I’m glad you enjoyed my article on Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters. I heard that you are fond of horses. Animals are pretty cool things if you think about it, I mean every different kind of animal is good at something, like people ride horses, I guess you would know about that!, Hamsters are made to be cute but also many other things, like running on hamster wheels! I appreciate you taking your time to write me, hope to hear from you soon. -Sabrina Hampson Dear Katie, Yes, cleaning your cage is very important because who wants to live in a filthy house? I have a similar cage so I thought the picture I found was a good match. Interesting to hear that you are a hamster owner, what kind of hamster do you have, and do you have any other pets? I don’t but I really want a kitten or puppy! -Sabrina Hampson

Cage Critic Dear Sabrina Hampson, This article has opened me up to so many new, amazing ideas. It’s hard to believe that a hamster wheel can spin twice as fast as the bullet train in Japan can move, (200 mph). That’s just amazing, but I do have one question about that speed; is it practical for a hamster wheel to spin that fast, a speed of 450 mph. It’s not like a hamster can run even 10 mph. Anyway I was not expecting to enjoy this topic but it was really quite the article. I liked how you described the new improvements and hope to see more from this company in the future. Lastly I would assume that this was invented some time ago because I had a gerbil 2 years ago and its wheel was almost the exact same as this one But yellow. Well, thank you for writing this interesting article and I hope to see many more of them from Dwarf Hamsters. Keep it up! -

Dear Bob, Yes, this hamster wheel is pretty fastening isn’t it? I agree it is a pretty crazy speed for just a little hamster wheel but you know how technology is! Cool that you had a similar cage but gerbils and hamster are different in some ways as well as similar in some ways. Your cage might be old but like I mentioned this is a brand new wheel designed by our top technologists so we can keep our customers satisfied! Thanks for the letter Bob. -Sabrina Hampson

Write Us: Contact us and let us know what you think about Hamsters Illustrated. Send us a post card or letter to: Hamsters Illustrated Letters, 0000 Hamsters Lane, Western Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Or e-mail us at hamstersillustratedmail@hmail.com.

Yours truly Bobby Ferguson Sabrina Hampson


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