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a few tips and tricks of the hamster owning trade
Yes the hamster in the photo is my hamster. Her name is tammi

Step 1: Vinegar

Dont waste money on expensive "pet safe" disinfectant. Go and buy some white vinegar!
Empty the bedding as normal, pour some vinegar onto a cloth and just wipe the cage and the cage furnishings over, then rinse. then simply replace the bedding. This is safer then any "pet safe" disinfectant you can buy. It kills bacteria, and its 100% safe for your pet, after all, we eat it don't we?

Step 2: Toilet Paper Tubes

theres 101 different ways to use a toilet paper tube for a hamster. these are my favourite though.
Basic toilet paper tube - no work, just throw it in the cage for chewing and play
Bedding tube - leave some toilet paper on there, and just throw it in, the hamster uses the toilet paper for bedding.
Treat tube - put a few treats inside the toilet roll tube, and fold the ends in, give to hamster.

Step 3: Honey and Yogurt

Not together...
wipe a little honey on the bars of your hamster cage, or dip a little digestive biscuit in some honey.
Same with yogurt.
My hamster loves these, i think thats why shes so fat :)

Step 4: Bedding & Parasites

To rid hammy's bedding of nasty parasites, freeze it for 24 hours Obviously defros after...
I've never had a problem with wood chips, and I've had hamsters all my life. But i know that theres problems with certain kinds of wood chip, pine and cedar to be specific.
How do you tell what wood chips are pine and cedar? They have a red tint to them, where others are usually whiter in colour.
People say just to be safe dont use woodchips, but I use them and dont have a problem.
Carefresh is good, but personally I dont like it, It has been known to carry mites, but freezing it will fix this error, but i don't use it.
Wood based cat litter - Yes some people use it, i find it clumps and when the hamster pees it gets soggy and um how to say it... squishy and im sure uncomfortable.

Also don't be deluded... Hamsters DO get fleas. So check them if you have other pets.

Step 5: Bird Toys

Perfect! But, not plastic ones. Plastic shards can be swallowed, and even if they arent, plastic is addictive. My personal favourite, bird ladders, my hamster loves chewing them, and also they make great substitute level connecting ladders.
Tammi isn't fat
I am an experienced dwarf hamster owner, and I find this tip really helpful, especially the disinfectant one. I find using vinegar much more successful then using the pet safe products.
I have a question. Once in awhile I find my hammy licking/scratcing himself, does that mean he has fleas? If so, how do i get rid of them?<br>
As other people have pointed out: cedar bedding is bad for all small pets, for the reasons given but I also believe it causes digestive problems if eaten. We have a bunny and 2 hamsters. I have always bought a large bag of &quot;horse stall litter&quot; which is compressed pine pellets, exactly like Feline Pine only in a larger bag and for much less cash. I buy this at a farm store in our area called Tractor Supply. It's awesome stuff, doesn't stink until a good week into use, doesn't track real bad and we've never had any problems with it making our animals sick. We've used it through probably 15 rabbits and maybe a dozen hamsters over the years.
I've never had a hamster that didn't love olive oil. Put a drop or two on a plain biscuit or unsalted cracker. Don't do this every day or they really will get fat.<br /> <br /> You can make &quot;hamster cheese&quot; out of yogurt. Make a stack of three or four paper towels and put one or two tablespoons of plain yogurt in the middle. Fold up the paper towels with the yogurt in the middle and gently squeeze to remove as much water as you can. When you're done, remove the cheese from the paper towel and roll it up into a little ball, or spread some on a bit of lettuce leaf and roll them up together.<br /> <br /> Fresh yogurt made with live yogurt culture is an especially good treat if your hamster is on antibiotics.<br />
Vinegar is also good for soaking off hardened mineral deposits that form on your cage pan in your hamster's bathroom area. Half an hour is usually enough to loosen and soften the deposits so you can scrub them off.<br /> <br /> Prop up your cage pan at an angle so you only have to use enough vinegar to cover the messy spot. If that doesn't work, put something absorbent like a folded-up paper towel on top of the mineral deposits and wet it with vinegar.<br />
I dont have a hamster but i was just wondering? Is pine and cedar bedding bad for them
This applies to rodents in general. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html">http://www.ratfanclub.org/litters.html</a><br/><br/>When I was in school 30 years ago, we had hamsters and gerbils and the bedding sold in stores was cedar, some with green dye. <br/>
yes, pine and cedar bedding is bad for almost all rodents. These woods cause rodents to get discharge around their eyes, and causes URI (upper respiritory infections)
thank you this helped alot
I have just got a hamster and it bites when I pick it up or when I try to pick it up I have had it for two weeks now, have you got any ideas
Ah yes, this is somthing that every hamster owner expeeriences, the solution is so simple! First you need to get the hamster used to your hand being in the cage, so, put your hand in the cage as a fist while your hamster is awake, allow the hamster to sniff/pee on your hand ( a little gross but required) but whenever the hamster goes to bite your hand, blow the hamster, a short sharp stream of air will discourage biting behaviour. When the hamster carries on as normal with your hand in the cage, try gently stroking the hamster with one finger. as before, let the hamster sniff your hand, but when the hamster bites you, blow the hamster. When the hamster carries on as normal with you stroking it, you can try to gently scoop the hamster up from underneath (picking up from above simulates what a predator would do) and as before, blow the hamster when s/he goes to bite you. Get the hamster used to eating treats out of your hands, but always wash your hands before handling the hamster to avoid you smelling like food, the hamster may mistake you for food and bite. Hope this helped!
As a new owner of a hamster, I found your tips very useful. The one about vinegar is a killer tip. I read honey and yogurt may be bad due to diabetic predisposition of some breeds of hamsters, but a bit now and then, I think is highly appreciated. Thanks!!
Tammi's cute! Is she a regular Syrian/golden hamster? And nice trick with folding the tube ends down to hide the treats. Much more fun. ;)
yeah shes a syrian hamster :) i was actually scared of her when i first got her, she makes wierd noises like a pig =\ lol<br/>

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Bio: well... i have a dog, and a hamster. I am often coming up with ideas to save money on things for my pets, My next ... More »
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