!Header Logo

Good Friends Animal Hospital

!Give us a call button

Call us for an appointment! 217-344-1017

!Call Icon

Hamster Day

April 1 2022

Hamster Day is coming up on April 12th! There are plenty of unofficial holidays celebrating Fluffy and Fido, but smaller pets don’t get anywhere near as much time in the spotlight. Hammie may be small, but he’s also super cute, and can be a really fun and easy little pet! Although there are more than 20 types of hamsters, only a few are commonly kept as pets. A Champaign, IL vet discusses a few hamsters in this article.

Chinese Hamster

Chinese hamsters can get to be about 4 inches long. They’re very sociable, and have long tails which set them apart from other hamsters. They’re also called Chinese dwarf hamsters, or sometimes striped hamsters.

Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster

The Campbell hamster is about a medium-sized hamster, though of course that still makes him one of our smallest patients. These tiny furballs are very cute, but they can get a bit aggressive, and can bite if scared.

Dwarf Roborovski Hamster

Also known as the Russian dwarf hamster, these cute little pets only get to be about 2 inches long! They are quite shy, but are also very active, and love to tunnel and dig. While they can be suitable children’s pets, they are very fragile. You’d need to supervise your little one’s interactions with Hammie very carefully.

White Winter

The White Winter dwarf hamster is very similar in appearance to the Campbell’s dwarf hamster. As the name suggests, their fur turns white in winter. That doesn’t mean your pet will change colors: if Hammie is only exposed to indoor lighting, he won’t experience the change in daylight that triggers these cycles.

Syrian Hamsters

Syrian hamsters are the largest of the bunch: they can get up to a whopping 6 inches. Also called the Golden hamster or Teddy Bear hamster, these guys are very cute, and are easy to handle. They can be very friendly towards people. Other hamsters? Not so much. Syrian hamsters must always be housed alone, as they tend to fight with their roommates.


It’s worth mentioning that of all these little guys, only two can mate and produce offspring: the Campbell’s dwarf hamster and the Winter White dwarf hamster. However, just because they can breed, doesn’t mean they should. Many of the hybrids have congenital health issues. Keep ’em separated!

Our Advice on Hamster Day in 2024

When is Hamster Day celebrated?

Hamster Day is celebrated on April 12th each year. This particular day is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating hamsters, small but beloved pets that bring joy to many families. It’s a time for hamster owners and enthusiasts to celebrate these tiny creatures’ charm and companionship. Whether through special treats, extra playtime, or sharing photos and stories online, Hamster Day provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these often-underappreciated members of the pet world and raise awareness about their care and needs.

Why do smaller pets like hamsters deserve recognition?

Smaller pets like hamsters deserve recognition because they play a significant role in the lives of their owners, offering companionship, joy, and the opportunity to learn about responsible pet care. Despite their size, hamsters have distinct personalities, can form bonds with their humans, and have specific care needs that teach empathy and responsibility. Celebrating these small pets highlights their value in the broader pet community, encourages proper care practices, and acknowledges the unique charm and happiness they bring to pet owners. Recognizing them emphasizes that all pets, regardless of size, have a meaningful impact.

Why are Dwarf Roborovski Hamsters considered fragile pets?

Dwarf Roborovski Hamsters are considered fragile pets primarily due to their small size, typically reaching only about 2 inches long. Their diminutive stature makes them more susceptible to falls or rough handling injuries. Additionally, their agility and speed can make them challenging to handle safely, especially for young children. These factors, combined with their specific care requirements, underscore the importance of gentle handling and secure, well-designed living environments to prevent escape and injury, making their care particularly delicate compared to larger pet species.

What are the housing requirements for Syrian hamsters?

Syrian hamsters, also known as Golden or Teddy Bear hamsters, require solitary housing due to their territorial nature. Unlike other hamster species that may enjoy companionship, Syrian hamsters tend to fight with other hamsters, leading to severe injuries or stress. Their cage should be spacious (a minimum of 450 square inches of floor space is recommended), secure, and well-ventilated with a solid floor, equipped with a hiding place, chew toys, an exercise wheel, and burrowing bedding. Providing a proper environment is crucial for their well-being and to prevent stress-related behaviors.

Can all types of hamsters breed, and what are the considerations for breeding?

Not all types of hamsters can breed successfully with each other due to differences in species and genetics. Among pet hamsters, only certain types, such as the Campbell’s dwarf hamster and the Winter White dwarf hamster, can mate and produce offspring. However, breeding these or any hamsters requires careful consideration of genetics, health, and the potential for congenital issues, especially among hybrids. It’s essential to ensure that breeding is done responsibly to avoid health problems and to manage the well-being of both the parents and the offspring. Overpopulation and providing adequate care for all resulting pups are also critical considerations.

Do you have questions about hamster care? Contact us, your Urbana, IL animal clinic, today!

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons