7 Tips for Choosing the Right Hamster or Gerbil

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Hamster or Gerbil

Hamsters and gerbils are popular pets, especially for children. They are small and easy to take care of, and can bring a lot of joy to a household. However, it's important to choose the right pet for your family's lifestyle and preferences. Below are 7 tips for choosing the right hamster or gerbil:

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Hamster or Gerbil

1. Research the Differences

Before choosing a hamster or gerbil, it's important to research the differences between the two. Hamsters are nocturnal and prefer to sleep during the day, while gerbils are diurnal and are active during the day. Hamsters are independent and prefer to live alone, while gerbils are social and should always be kept with at least one other gerbil. Knowing these differences will help you make an informed decision about which pet is best for your lifestyle.

2. Consider Cage Size

Both hamsters and gerbils need a cage that is large enough for them to move around in and play. A good rule of thumb is to choose a cage that is at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches tall, but bigger is always better. Make sure the cage has plenty of toys, hiding places, and a place for food and water.

3. Think About Temperament

Some hamsters are more social than others, while some gerbils may be more aggressive. It's best to observe the hamster or gerbil before bringing it home to make sure its temperament is a good fit for your family. Look for a pet that is active, curious, and not afraid of humans.

4. Decide on a Breed

There are many different breeds of hamsters and gerbils, each with their own unique characteristics. For example, Syrian hamsters are the most common breed of hamster and are known to be independent, while dwarf hamsters are more social and playful. Similarly, there are different breeds of gerbils, such as Mongolian gerbils and fat-tailed gerbils. Researching the different breeds can help you choose the right pet for your family.

5. Consider Allergies

Some people may be allergic to hamsters and gerbils. If you or anyone in your household has allergies, it's best to choose a pet with short hair, as allergies are often caused by dander. It's also important to keep the pet's cage clean and free of excess hair and debris to minimize allergens.

6. Think About Longevity

Hamsters typically live for 2-3 years, while gerbils can live for up to 5 years. It's important to consider the longevity of the pet before bringing it home. If you are looking for a pet that will be around for a long time, a gerbil may be a better choice.

7. Know the Costs

While hamsters and gerbils are relatively inexpensive pets, there are still costs associated with keeping them. You'll need to factor in the cost of the cage, bedding, toys, food, and any vet bills that may arise. It's important to know the costs upfront to avoid any surprises later on.