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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
It's been a long time since I had hamsters (I think I had some syrians when I was about 8), but my husband expressed an interest in them the last time we were at the pet store, so I'm entertaining the idea (this is the first time he has initialized purchasing an animal, so I'm kinda stoked about it).


I have a few questions for those of you that have kept them and would appreciate any other advice you have.


1. Could we house a pair together, if purchased from the same tank (same gender and probably campbels or robos)?
2. Could a pair (or single) dwarf live in a 10gl with screen lid?
3. I know it's a long shot, but would rat lab block be suitable for them to eat (if not, I will purchase appropriate food and would appreciate recommendations)?
4. Would shredded aspen be an appropriate bedding for them?
5. How do you sex them (I haven't been able to find anything online about this)?

If you have any other tips, I'd appreciate those as well. The hamster/s would primarily be a "watch it" kind of pet, so I'm ok with it not being overly tame. I would ideally like to keep 2 together to watch their interactions (and have heard that campbells are the most likely to get along) but again, if you've had experiences keeping them together, please share.
 

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1.http://animals.pawnation.com/dwarf-hamsters-need-company-1314.html Dwarf hamsters may be kept together from a young age but be prepared in case adulthood brings aggression.

2. http://northstarrescue.org/pet-care...r-care/142-a-guide-to-pet-dwarf-hamster-cages "1 cu ft for 1 dwarf, plus .5 cu ft for any additional" depending on the 10 gal should be enough.

3. Didn't look this one up. I'm going to say absolutely not because hamsters are not omnivores like rats, i imagine it has too much protein for them.

4. We always kept ours on aspen.
 

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1) You could, but they would have to be the same gender to avoid babies. You'd also need two wheels, water bottles, ect. to avoid fighting. You'll also want to have an extra cage ready in case they do fight. No blood, no foul is the rule.

2)One of the biggest causes of dwarf hamster fallouts is not enough room. A ten gallon tank is NOT big enough for one hamster, let alone two. Bin cages are excellent for all hamsters. The minimum for two dwarfs is a 40 gallon breeder fish tank. Any smaller than that and you're pretty much guaranteed for fighting. Keep an eye out for Petco's dollar per gallon sale if you're wanting a tank. Otherwise, Google bin cages. If you need more instructions on making them I will gladly help.

3) It depends on the lab block. I feed both my rats and hamsters Harlan Teklad 2018. Lab blocks specifically made for rats, however, won't work. Hamsters are foragers and require a big variety. They don't have the same issues of picking and choosing that rats do. Good foods are Hazel Hamster, Higgins Sunburst, Vitakraft Vitasmart. The more variety, the better.

4) Shredded aspen is just fine. They have the same bedding requirements as rats- NO pine or cedar. Dwarfs also LOVE to burrow.

5) Female's vaginas and anuses are very close together to where it almost looks like one hole. Males are farther apart. All dwarfs have scent glands on the bottom of their bellies that look somewhat like little yellow spots around the bellybutton area.

Another issue with dwarfs are that they are very susceptible to diabetes, especially Campbells. Robos are not. I have three dwarfs right now, two brothers, Allen and Edgar and their mother, Rocky. Allen and Edgar lived together in a 50 gallon bin cage until Allen hurt Edgar and they were separated. I checked on them every day and inspected for blood, limping or anything wrong, really. Any time I heard any squeaking I would go check on them to make sure nobody was getting hurt badly.

I'd say for a watch it pet, Robos would be your best bet. You don't have to worry about diabetes, they're harder to tame in most cases and they have little eyebrows!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!
I use harlan 2018 already, so will try using it with other supplements for their diet. I will also use a larger tank to start with a backup bin I can convert if I need to.

I'm still on the fence between robos and campbells... I might depend on what the store has and which genders they have.

Thanks again for the info and links!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We got the hamsters last night. We ended up with Robos and they only had males, so it is a male/male pair. So far, they seem pretty happy.. They've been exploring and eating. I haven't seen them use the wheel yet though (maybe there is too much else for them to explore or they aren't used to their new surroundings enough yet). I got them the larger 6.5" wheel (I had heard it was safer than the 4" one)... So hopefully that isn't a problem.

I had to order some of their supplies that the store didn't have on hand and I forgot to get chinchilla sand for them, so I'll have to pick that up this weekend. Other than that, we're pretty much set.
 

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Robos are the best 'watch it' kinds of pets, so that's good that you got them c:

The boys /should/ get along as long as the cage is large enough for them...and no a 10gallon is not big enough for them. Obviously if you see them starting to loose fur from fighting, or if you see blood you will need to separate them.
Generally robos tend to get along pretty well, but it varies from pair to pair...

Make sure their diet is healthy for them! You want the least amount of corn possible, if any. Preferably none!

A good add-on to the lab block if you go that route, is using organic dry fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds on top. This way they still get what they need, but you can just get the lab blocks and it probably ends up cheaper.

I've owned hamsters for 10 years so if you have any questions feel free to ask!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They are in a 20gl long right now. I had to order the seed mix to go with the lab blocks, so right now they have the lab blocks and a mix of dry pasta, sunflower seeds, dried bananna / apple, and freeze dried chicken. The seed mix should come on Monday or Tuesday next week. Their second wheel and water bottle should come in the same order as the seed mix.

We decided to name them Leo and Lenny.
Here's the best pic I could get (they won't hold still lol).
 
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