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