The following costs provide an overview of what you can expect to pay per month or year (estimates).
• Food and straw: approx. $ 5-10 a month
The easiest option is to buy hamster food at a pet store. This food is especially developed for hamsters, and provides them with all the vitamins, minerals and fiber they need. You can make your own hamster food, but you would need to know all about hamster nutrition. Hamster advice guides can help.
• Vet: varies
Small problems like constipation, colds and inflamed eyes are easy for a vet to treat and cost around $ 10. If your pet has an inflammation in their cheek pouch or needs an X-ray, you can expect to pay around $ 50-100.
• Hamster sitter (vacation): varies
Hamsters generally don’t like to travel. New smells, strange surroundings and even heat can all cause your pet unnecessary stress. It’s best to leave them at home and have a responsible friend, relative or neighbor look after them. If you’re going on a long vacation, your pet can make the small journey to go and temporarily live with your hamster sitter. If you can’t find anyone you know to look after your pet, you can pay for a professional sitter to look after it.
• Equipment and care: approx. $ 120 (starter set)
Don’t skimp on the cage! The most important thing is that the cage is large enough and has a floor area of at least 40 x 20 in (100 x 50 cm). Your hamster will especially love their new home if it has several levels where it can climb and play. You should spend at least $ 60 on it - generally, the more expensive the better. Someone with DIY skills can even build their own cage out of wood and make it really unique. There are plenty of tutorials online.
The cage should also come with a wheel (approx. $ 20), bowls/bottles for food and water (approx. $ 5-10), a bed (approx. $ 4-8) and various wooden tubes and climbing toys (approx. $ 4-8). And if your pet has to visit the vet: you can get transport boxes from around $ 8.
• Toys: approx. $ 5-20
Climbing towers, tunnels, mazes, bridges or digging towers - there are plenty of toys for hamsters available at low prices. You don’t have to break the bank to give your furry little friend something fun. You can make toys yourself, e.g. using old toilet roll tubes.