At Paws, Purrs, and Exotics Animal Hospital we see all sorts of critters. Many of them are pretty darn cute, and, while the votes are not all in, we are of the opinion that the dwarf hamster may be among the most adorable.
All About the Dwarf Hamster
The pet dwarf hamster actually encompasses several different species of tiny hamsters from all over the world, including Siberia, Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. Weighing in at just a couple of ounces and averaging about two inches in length as adults, they pack a lot of cute into a tiny package.
Different species within the dwarf hamster classification may be slightly different:
Campbell hamster – These Russian dwarves are typically easy to handle and are known for their curious and outgoing personalities.
Robo hamster – The Roborovski hamster is another Russian dwarf and is the smallest weighing in at under an ounce and is known for spending more daylight hours awake than some other varieties.
Chinese hamster – These hamsters are not really dwarves but rather small hamsters and are known for their love of tunneling. They are more mouse-like than other hamsters.
These hardy, social creatures are energetic friends that make a great pet in the right home.
Things to Know
Before deciding that a dwarf hamster is your pet of choice, it is important to consider a few facts:
They can live about three years.
- Like other hamsters, they are mostly active at night.
- Dwarf hamsters are happier in groups of multiples of the same sex.
- While they are generally gentle and learn to be held, they can nip if frightened.
- Hamsters’ teeth grow continuously, so they need things to chew on to keep them worn down.
- All hamsters need space to move about and exercise.
- Hamsters require a balanced diet including hamster pellets and carefully considered amounts of fruits, veggies, and timothy hay.
- Hamsters need access to a dust bath.
Like any exotic pet, be it a bird, reptile, or pocket pet, they do need regular veterinary care from an experienced exotics veterinarian such as our expert staff. Hamsters of all varieties are prone to skin and digestive issues, and need dental care including teeth trimming. Dwarf hamsters can be particularly predisposed to developing diabetes, especially if their diet is not appropriate.
Pocket pet care centers on good husbandry, and dwarf hamsters are no different. Thankfully we are here to help be sure that your cute family addition gets off to the right start. Don’t hesitate to call us with questions or for advice. We are always happy to discuss these cuties!