A few months ago we decided that we would like to adopt a small animal into our household. Originally, we were going to adopt a senior citizen guinea pig, but someone else adopted her before we were able too so we looked to see who else needed a home. We ended up adopting a teddy bear hamster and our youngest named him Marshall.
Marshall is an adorable cream colored hamster but his demeanor has been less than adorable. To be honest he was down right mean and none of us could put our hands into the cage without being aggressively bitten. We did a bit of research on teddy bear hamsters and learned that it can take awhile to tame a baby hamster and you really can’t rush the process. So we began talking to him without trying to pick him up and we disturbed him in his cage as little as possible. The only time we went into his safe area was to clean his litter and give him fresh food and water.
After a few weeks he became a bit calmer and my husband was able to pick him up for the first time without being attacked. Unfortunately, when any one else in our family tried to pick him up he would go into bite mode. I was beginning to think that the only one who would be able to fully enjoy Marshall would be my husband but this weekend Marshall warmed up to the rest of us. We were actually able to hold him and pass him around giving him little pets and treats. Small animals like hamsters often end up being returned to pet stores or to the humane society because people are not understanding when these small creatures show aggression.
Hamsters really do make great pets if you give them the time they need to acclimate to their new home. Every hamster is different, some may become easy to handle right away or some may be a bit more stubborn like our Marshall and take a few months to come around. Adopting Marshall has been a rewarding experience for our family because our kids have learned how to take care of a small pet and how to be patient as he acclimated to his new environment. Now they get to enjoy getting to know Marshall and discovering his unique personality.
Whenever you are adding a new pet to your family whether it is a small hamster, a fish or a dog make sure you take the time to research what is required. Get your kids involved in the research process so they understand fully what their new pet will require. Remember that all animals need time to get to know their new homes and make sure you have the ability to give them that time before bringing them home. Also, try adopting from the humane society or a local animal rescue before heading to the pet store because there are a lot of animals waiting for loving homes.