You can buy a pet from a variety of sources including breeders, pet shops and rescue centres.
Cost of keeping a hamster
In addition to the initial cost of buying a hamster and somewhere for it to live, don't forget about ongoing costs such as food and bedding.
Choosing a hamster
Before you buy a hamster it’s wise to think long and hard about whether your new pet will suit your personality and lifestyle. Considerations should include:
- Whether you’d like to purchase a male or female?
- Whether you want one or more than one? (Syrian hamsters are solitary whereas some of the dwarf breeds can be kept together in single sex groups)
- Does the hamster you’re considering suit your home, family etc?
- Are you prepared to play with your hamster? Think about the size - dwarf hamsters are tiny so suit older children particularly well.
- Is a nocturnal pet right for you? Remember it will sleep for much of the day, and be ready for action as evening comes.
- Where will you keep it? As hamsters are most active in the evening a child's bedroom is not always ideal!
- Lastly, whether you can afford to keep a pet.
The secret to choosing a hamster is to do lots of research and it’s also advisable to find out more about potential health problems and characteristics.
There are 18 species of hamster.
Hints and tips on new ownership
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to purchase a hamster, do a bit of planning so that your pet’s first days in its new home are as easy and pleasurable as possible.
Equipment for your hamster should include a cage or terraria big enough for pets to run around in and food and water bowls or bottles
Buy some pet food for your hamster. Complete food provides all the nutrients in the correct amounts and proportions.