The first question that will pop into your mind the moment that this tiny fur creature captured your heart is, “should I get a hamster?”. I’ve asked this myself and many hamster owners before me. It is a pretty simple question, but it’s complex as you get to know more about hamsters as a pet.
Getting a pet is already a big decision, you need to make sure a lot of things, not to mention the commitment that comes with it. There are many things to consider when deciding if you should get a hamster or not.
This article will help you decide on this question, we have a couple of things that should be added to your checklist when weighing the pros and cons of this life decision.
SHOULD I GET A HAMSTER
If you are ready, let’s go dig in. Let’s start with questions to ask yourself, your family member, or your friends before they commit to being a hamster parent. Many people think that because hamster is such a small animal, they shouldn’t be too much work, right?
Or that hamsters don’t need too much, don’t need space, don’t need this, and don’t need that. This information is inaccurate. Before you decide in getting a pet, you have to do deep research. There are many things to know before you get a hamster which we will discuss below.
Are you ready to commit
Depending on which species of hamster you are planning to get is the key to this question. Syrians tend to live for an average of 3 years while dwarves’ life span is a good 2-year long. It seems short enough, but once you understand all the work and effort that there is to put in, you will know that this commitment should not be taken lightly, and you should decide properly.
Hamsters are not toys. You simply can’t just walk away when having them no longer suits you. Before you get a hamster, I recommend you read our crash course on proper hamster care.
However, not only that. After 2-3 years, you will have to come to terms that your pet has a short lifespan, meaning you will have to say goodbye to them sooner than you thought. After sharing memories together, saying won’t be easy, yet you have to be ready for it.
Can you have them in your current home
Many students who are living in College dorms or those who are renting a house or apartment will have to take this into consideration. Even though the hamster is pretty tiny, it is best to make sure that you are allowed to have one in your current home.
It will be very stressful for a hamster to always be put under the bed or hidden in the closet when there is an inspection. After all, you really have to put the hamster’s safety and health on top of the list.
Always check your lease contract regarding this matter, some landlords even allow you to have a pet as long as it’s not bigger than a certain size.
If you live at home, always consult your parents on this decision first. It would really be a terrible situation if you have to give up your hamster because your parents found out about it. I’m sure your parents will be happy to have the talk and give you chance to explain that you will be responsible for your pet.
How old are you
I’m not being judge-y about age, however, it could play a big part when deciding to get a pet. If your kid wants a hamster pet and is a minor, you need to understand that you are a co-parent of this hamster if you let them have one. It is your job to make sure that your kid is ready to commit, you have to make sure that you explained to them properly their responsibility with this animal.
You shouldn’t say yes just because it’s your kid’s 7th birthday or because they are sad. Making them understand the responsibilities of having a pet is a great way to shape them to be better and empathetic people. Also, read our article about are hamsters good pets for kids.
If one day, your kid decided to not want this hamster anymore, you have to stand your ground and tell them that it’s their job to find a new home for this hamster, a new, safe, and happy home. Leaving a hamster on the street or empty parking space is never okay. Letting your kid abandon a hamster in this way is never going to have a good impact on them.
If you are a minor and still living under your parent’s roof without your own source of income, you have to speak to them and make sure they are willing to co-parent your hamster. Owning a hamster can be very expensive and needs someone who can afford a suitable hamster cage, vet visits, a healthy diet, playpen, and more.
Can you afford it
Hamsters might be tiny but they do require quite some items to be comfortable. We are not talking about the price of buying a hamster, we are talking about if you can afford to provide a good, safe, healthy, and happy life to your hamster. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have the money to buy the appropriate cage, accessories, food, and medical bill?
- Can you afford to give your hamster enough attention and not just have it as a display?
- Can you commit to putting your hamster’s life on top priority?
These are the most important questions, hamster’s cage, accessories, food, and medical bills are not cheap. The hamster will need your time and attention more than you know and putting your hamster’s life as a top priority can be expensive and demanding.
Should your buy or adopt
Personally, I would say that this is a no brainer. Adopting a hamster is a way better option than buying one. Commercial breeders are often treating hamsters badly and breeding them unethically, resulting in health problems and early death.
So many hamsters are left abandoned on the streets, apartment buildings, parks, and other places. Sometimes they can be lucky and be taken into rescue homes and foster care, but often they die without knowing why their owner left them behind.
Did you do your research
It is very necessary to do your research before getting a hamster. I know it can be exciting and fun, but there is a lot of groundwork that must be done. One of the foundations is to do your own research and reading.
When I got my first hamster, I bought the wrong cage size, the wrong food, and I mistakenly bought the wrong beddings. This resulted in spending more money because I have to buy a new cage, the right food, and the safe bedding and throw the other things I bought beforehand.
You will be surprised how many new pet owners often forgot to do their research. Although I had to admit, there are tons of misinformation about hamster care out there. So, please dig really deep during your research. To put it simply, you won’t spend a couple of hundred dollars on a new phone that you didn’t even spend time reading about and watching review videos online.
I hope this article helped you answer the question “should I get a hamster” and other questions you might have rather discouraging you to get a hamster. Having a pet, an additional member of our family is a big decision and must not be taken lightly. You have to have understood the responsibilities and costs it will take before you come to your final decision.
At the end of the day, the best advice I can give to you is to do a lot of research before hopping on a car and heading to a pet store. Is there anything else that I should mention in this post? Leave them in the comment section below so I can update this page.