A close friend’s daughter went through a number of hamsters over the last six or seven years. This was due to poor health when she got them. I thought it could be important to write about how to choose a healthy hamster. Although it may sound difficult there are actually quite a few observations you can make to determine the health of a hamster. Not only will this information be good for when you are purchasing a hamster but also good for determining if your hamster is maintaining good health.
The first thing to look at is appearance. A healthy hamster will have bright eyes that are shiny and lively without any discharge or signs of puffiness. Pick up your hamster of choice and see that his or her nose is dry and coat is full and silky. Hamsters in good health are filled out and a skinny or thin hamster could be a sign of illness. A plump hamster could be a sign that the hamster is pregnant, so if you feel that this is a chance consider choosing another. The hamster that you pick should be enthusiastic and active. Lazy or lethargic hamsters may be ill. Breeders and pet stores will likely be eager to make a sale. They will gladly answer any questions you have about the health of a hamster and because they do not want you to return demanding your money back they will want to help you find one that will last. Other things to consider are age and gender of the hamster.
Being male or female does not make a hamster more or less healthy, but consider the possibility of pregnancy. Sometimes a pregnant hamster is not always obviously, a childhood friend of mine got a hamster that looked just like all the others and a couple of weeks later the hamster gave birth to about half a dozen little hamsters. If you are concerned about this consider asking the pet store or breeder to help you pick out a male hamster. Not to say that pregnancy is a health condition, but most people who go into a place to get one hamster do not want to have seven a few weeks later. An older hamster is not necessary unhealthy but it should be noted that hamsters life expectancy is only between 2 and 3 years. This means if you purchase an older hamster you should not expect it to live more than a year. If your goal is to have a hamster for longer than consider getting a baby hamster or at least a young one.
Hamsters are a fun pocket pet to have, but when they die this is hard on young children. When hamsters are healthy and live a few years this is most ideal for a child who has one as a pet. If you are helping a young child choose a hamster make sure to look for a hamster in good health. The last thing you want is to have a child have to deal with losing multiple pets over the span of just a few years. By finding a healthy young hamster you can hopefully avoid this.