Hamster Checklist: “Before You Buy”
Before you bring a hamster into your home, you should clarify the questions on this checklist.
Is a hamster the right pet for me? The question is not easy to answer. Even if you’ve fallen head over heels in love with these cute little rodents (we understand!), there are a few basics to consider.
That's why we created this checklist. It contains important questions to discuss with your family. Feel free to print this page so you can tick the boxes.
1. Life Expectancy
Can you look after your hamster for 1-4 years?
Hamsters live from around 2 to 4 years. Compared to other pets, that’s a very short time. No matter what happens, as long as you try, you can always find a solution so that your pet is kept in a way that lets it have a happy life.
Do you have any animal allergies?
Then, unfortunately, a pet might not be such a good idea. The same goes if a member of your family is allergic to animals. When considering a rodent, it’s also important to rule out a hay allergy.
Can someone look after your hamster if you go on vacation?
It would be best if one of your friends or relatives could look after your hamster. They should know everything they need to know about your pets and any special requirements in advance. But what if nobody has the time? In this case, there are pet sitters that you can pay to look after your pets.
Do you have enough money to look after your hamster?
Hamsters are pretty inexpensive to buy. A cage doesn’t cost much either if you build it yourself. Then you have to plan for food and toys as well as vet visits and medicines.
If it lives for two to four years, one animal can cost 450-900 euros. These costs are generally underestimated, so a number like this may be shocking to many. Of course, you don’t pay this all at once, rather spread out over many years. Still, you should clearly understand the money side of things.
We also have an extra article breaking down the monthly costs for a hamster.
5. No Cuddly Pets
Are you aware that hamsters aren’t really cuddly pets?
Even if your hamster lets you touch it, that doesn’t mean that it likes it. They can often go into shock, which people might think means they’re enjoying being stroked. Hamsters are just for looking at.
6. Does Your Family Agree With the Decision?
After all, your parents will be responsible for your pet. They have to agree. Even your siblings should get a say in getting a new family member.
A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:
Children with pets:
- Learn about responsibility.
- Develop confidence and empathy.
- Are more active and get sick less often.
- Are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
- Feel less alone when their parents are at work.
Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.