Tiny, rounded-bodied hamsters with characteristic small ears and grayish-brown hair with a dark stripe down the back are Campbell's dwarf hamsters. Although they require socialization and may be prone to biting, they are relatively low-maintenance and loving pets. They are also among the quickest hamsters, which makes it occasionally difficult to grasp onto them. Nevertheless, Campbell's are quite simple to look after; all they need is a simple feed and routine cage cleaning.
Common Name: Campbell's dwarf hamster
Scientific Name: Phodopus campbelli
Adult Size: 2 to 4 inches long on average, weighing around 1 to 2 ounces
Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
Campbell's Dwarf Hamster Behavior and Temperament
Dwarf Campbell's hamsters make peaceful, low-maintenance pets. They prefer to dig, tunnel, and explore when they are awake. Although they prefer the night, they occasionally become active during the day. The majority are amiable and don't mind being handled, especially if you begin doing it gently while they are young. But if they feel threatened, certain animals may nip. Additionally, because they move so quickly and are so little, they might be difficult to control.
Although they won't form bonds with humans the way a cat or dog would, many of these hamsters will approach the edge of their enclosure if you approach them. The Campbell's dwarf hamster is sociable with other members of its species, unlike some other hamster species. They should preferably be introduced to one another from an early age and kept in same-sex couples or small groups. However, keep an eye out for any signs of violence since they have a tendency to become territorial. Additionally, it is important to keep them separate from other household pets, including other hamster species, due to their small size and fragility.
The Campbell's dwarf hamster only stretches around 2 to 4 inches long on average, and it generally weighs between 1 and 2 ounces. It will mature at around 2 months old.
As this will be where your hamster spends the most of its time exercising and receiving mental stimulation, give it the largest cage you can fit and afford. There are two primary types of enclosures: a wire cage with a plastic foundation or a glass/plastic aquarium with a safe mesh top for ventilation. If you choose a wire cage, make sure the bars are close enough so that the hamster cannot fit between them because they have a penchant for breaking out of their cages.
Include a nest or other hiding place for your hamster inside of the enclosure. To avoid any damage, including chew toys and an exercise wheel with a smooth surface (not wire).
For your pet to explore, you may also install hamster tunnels and storage spaces. However, be careful that they don't use too much room, especially if the cage is home to several hamsters. Fighting or territorial behavior may be more likely in confined areas.
Specific Substrate Needs
A 1- to 2-inch layer of bedding, such as aspen wood shavings or unscented natural cellulose fibers, should be placed at the bottom of the cage. Avoid wire flooring since it could hurt the delicate hamster feet. Additionally, stay away from cedar wood and pine shavings since they might damage rats. Every day, remove moist areas from the bedding. Additionally, completely replace the bedding every week when you wash the entire enclosure in mild soap and water.
What Do Campbell's Dwarf Hamsters Eat & Drink?
Food and water should always be available to hamsters. It is best to choose a small ceramic food dish because it is both too weighty and difficult to tip over. Since it keeps the water cleaner, many owners choose to use a water bottle that is linked to the cage. However, unless you're certain that your hamster is drinking from the bottle, supply a water dish. You should also inspect the bottle frequently to ensure that the nozzle is functioning. Every day, add new water to it.
Choose a hamster diet that has been specially prepared for dwarf hamsters. If you have questions about how much food to give your pet, talk to your veterinarian because it depends on things like size and age. After 24 hours, throw away any unfinished food. Additionally, you may feed your hamster various supplements; once more, talk to your veterinarian about the right kinds and dosages. Oats, carrots, and greens are a few alternatives. When your hamster wakes up in the evening and is hungry, it is preferable to serve them fresh meals; after a few hours, remove them to prevent rotting.
Common Health Problems
The Campbell's dwarf hamster is prone to a few medical issues. The species is prone to diabetes. Increased thirst and urination, as well as a pleasant urine scent, are symptoms. Another prevalent problem in this species is glaucoma.
In addition, wet tail, a type of diarrhea brought on by an overabundance of bacteria in the digestive tract, is a condition that frequently affects hamsters. It must be treated with antibiotics soon since it is very communicable to other rodents and might kill the hamster otherwise.
Finally, hamster teeth develop continually in a normal way. And occasionally they overgrow, particularly if the hamster's surroundings lacks sufficient chewable objects to wear them down. A hamster's ability to eat can be hampered by overgrown teeth, and you can see it start to lose weight. A veterinarian can trim enlarged teeth and then offer advice on how to avoid this issue.
The most typical kind of training for hamsters kept as pets is hand-taming. When handling your hamster, always sit on the floor since even a drop from a few feet might cause significant injury. Additionally, check to see that the area is safe in case your hamster unintentionally escapes. When holding a hamster, never squeeze or shock it. Put it back in its enclosure if it starts to become restless. Holding a favorite reward might help your hamster develop a good relationship with handling.
For hamsters to help avoid health problems including obesity, exercise is essential. Giving the hamster a sizable enclosure and an exercise wheel ought to provide all it needs to be physically active. Additionally, you may get a hamster ball to let it run about outside of its pen. Make sure the ball is the appropriate size for a dwarf hamster, and keep an eye on your pet at all times while it is in the ball.
Hamsters self-groom and generally don't need any help from you. However, if they get some dirt or debris stuck in their fur, you can gently rub the area with a damp cloth if they'll allow it.
Your monthly hamster expenses will mostly be for food and bedding. Depending on the style of bedding you want and the diet you choose, budget $20 to $40. (plus the size of the enclosure). Occasionally, you'll also need to buy new chew sticks, nests, and other toys, which typically cost $10. Additionally, remember to include emergency medical treatment in your budget as well as yearly veterinarian exams.
Pros & Cons of Keeping a Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster as a Pet
Hamsters are intriguing, space-efficient pets since they are typically silent. Additionally, they don't need a lot of upkeep. But because they are usually awake at night, you might not see them when they are most active. Additionally, they are swift, delicate, and little, which makes them challenging to manage.
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Purchasing or Adopting Your Campbell's Dwarf Hamster
Visit a reputable breeder or rescue group if you are convinced you want a Campbell's dwarf hamster. Pet retailers frequently sell hybrids or mistake this species for one of its related species. Depending on your age and skin tone, you should expect to pay anywhere from $15 and $25.
Look for a pet with sparkling eyes and a lustrous coat when selecting your pet. Its tail has to be tidy and dry. And it need to reside in a spotless environment where no other hamsters seem to have any health problems.
Your local exotic vets may be able to recommend a reputable breeder or rescue where you may obtain your hamster. Although their prices are sometimes higher than those of rescues, breeders' major advantage is that they frequently have a greater range of younger animals. If you purchase one from a pet shop, the staff members there might not correctly sex your animal. Additionally, you can unintentionally end up with a woman who is pregnant. Always keep hamsters alone or with other animals of the same sex to prevent unintentionally breeding oneself.
Does a Campbell's dwarf hamster make a good pet for kids?
These hamsters can be good pets for older children who are able to handle them gently and understand that they are small, quick, fragile animals.
Are Campbell's dwarf hamsters hard to take care of?
Campbell's dwarf hamsters are relatively low-maintenance with their primary care needs involving daily feedings and regular cage cleanings.
Does a Campbell's dwarf hamster like to be held?
These hamsters can learn to be comfortable with gentle handling, though they don't always like to sit still for long.