Long haired teddy bear hamster is small, sturdy rodents that can make excellent pets when given proper care and veterinary treatment. The average lifespan of a long haired teddy bear hamster is relatively short, about 1-2 years, but they can live up to 5 years. Long haired teddy bear hamster is typically nocturnal and enjoy digging and hoarding food.
Long haired Teddy Bear Hamster Housing
Long haired teddy bear hamster housing should provide at least a 15–20-gallon cage with at least 150 square inches of solid (not wire) floor space, but bigger is always better. Wire cages, aquariums, and plastic habitats can all be used as long as they provide a safe, escape-proof home for your hamster – hamsters are escape artists!
The home must be well ventilated to provide fresh air. This prevents the buildup of odors from urine, feces, and spoiled food. Long-haired teddy bear hamsters, with a few exceptions, should always be housed alone, as they can be fiercely territorial and do a lot of damage to each other in a fight.
Bedding for Long haired Teddy Bear Hamsters
Preferred bedding materials include carefresh, grass hay. Temporary use of plain white unscented toilet paper or paper towels is also acceptable. Do not use cedar or pine shavings as they contain aromatic oils that are very irritating to the skin and mucous membranes of long-haired teddy bear hamsters. Commercial nesting materials (often referred to as “fluff”) are not recommended as they can lead to intestinal blockages, embedded eye bags, or strangulation of limbs.
Bedding should be changed 1-2 times a week and be deep enough for long-haired teddy bear hamsters to burrow and dig, especially under hides. Long-haired teddy bear hamsters prefer to sleep in secluded, quiet places, so hiding places within the habitat are especially important.
Toys for Long haired Teddy Bear Hamsters
Long haired teddy bear hamsters love toys and use them for a variety of needs, from chewing, climbing, exploring, digging and hiding. Many long-haired teddy bear hamster owners use paper bags, cardboard boxes with holes in them, hiding places, and paper towel rolls to provide sustenance for their hamsters. Solid connecting tunnels also provide an enriched environment, but should be cleaned weekly.
Long haired teddy bear hamsters usually enjoy running on exercise wheels. Make sure to only provide a solid running surface for the wheel to prevent injuries.
Most veterinarians recommend chew blocks or chew sticks designed specifically for rodents to help keep teeth healthy. Regularly rotating toys will keep your hamster engaged and not bored.
Temperature for long haired teddy bear hamsters to live in
The optimal temperature for a cage is 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity around 40-70%. At temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, long haired teddy bear hamsters go into a state of numbness similar to hibernation.
Long haired Teddy Bear Hamster Diet
Long haired teddy bear hamsters do well on commercial diets, pellets or blocks that contain 16% protein. Work with your veterinarian to determine your long haired teddy bear hamster’s caloric needs based on their size and health, but most long haired teddy bear hamsters need between one-eighth and one-third cup of pellets per day.
Seed-based diets are “formulated” and sold for long haired teddy bear hamsters, but these should be used with caution and only as a supplement to feed. Seed-based diets do not provide the necessary nutrients and often lead to obesity and vitamin E deficiency.
Long haired teddy bear hamsters can be supplemented with additional fruits and vegetables, but these foods should not be their primary diet. Hamsters like:
Sudden dietary changes can lead to intestinal disturbances and diarrhea, which can be serious and even lead to death in hamsters. Therefore, be sure to introduce a new item slowly one at a time.
Long haired Teddy Bear Hamster Medical Needs
Annual veterinary checkups are necessary to maintain the health of your long haired teddy bear hamster. Your veterinarian will give your long haired teddy bear hamster a thorough examination, record your weight, check for dental disease, and check diet and feeding. They can also help with nail trimming and early detection of medical problems.
Long haired teddy bear hamsters have anatomical differences from other rodents, which can be confusing to their owners. Long haired teddy bear hamsters have raised coloring glands on their rumps that look like alopecia or tumors. These are scent glands, not lesions or dermatitis. If these glands are asymmetrical or otherwise problematic, it’s always a good idea to have them checked out by a veterinarian.
Like many prey species, long haired teddy bear hamsters may conceal disease until it has progressed. Healthy long haired teddy bear hamsters are alert and bright-eyed. They explore their surroundings and have clean, shiny fur. Healthy long haired teddy bear hamsters do not have nasal or eye discharge, and their nails and teeth are of normal length. Always call your veterinarian at the first sign of lethargy, difficulty breathing, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite, behavioral changes or any other symptoms.
Long haired teddy bear hamster cleaning needs
Both food bowls and sippers should be cleaned and provided with fresh food daily. Most long haired teddy bear hamsters will drink from a water bottle that is secured to one side of the cage with a licker. Cages should be cleaned weekly or as needed. Prolonged exposure to unsanitary conditions is unpleasant for hamsters and can lead to skin, eye and respiratory infections. Make sure 1-2 corners of the cage are available for urination and defecation, away from sleeping and eating areas.
Diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) is effective in disinfecting cages, but cages must be thoroughly rinsed after cleaning and drying before rehoming a long haired teddy bear hamster to prevent irritation of breathing and skin.
Long haired teddy bear hamster coats should be brushed regularly, especially in long haired varieties. Long haired teddy bear hamsters also need their nails trimmed regularly. If your long haired teddy bear hamster’s nails are overgrown or don’t look normal, contact your veterinarian. Owners should monitor their long haired teddy bear hamster for any growth, check their teeth for dental disease, and check their tail for fecal buildup or urine staining.
Long haired teddy bear hamsters usually keep themselves clean and do not require additional soap and water bathing unless directed to do so by your veterinarian. It is important to remove the sand from the hamster’s cage when it is finished bathing so that it does not become a constant breathing irritant.
Handling of long haired teddy bear hamsters
Long haired teddy bear hamsters are nocturnal animals and can be easily startled if awakened suddenly. They have poor eyesight, so it’s best to talk to them before picking them up. Long haired teddy bear hamsters will bite when frightened or lacking socialization. For this reason, they are usually not suitable as pets for small children.
To start handling a new or young long-haired teddy bear hamster, start by offering small, high-value treats. Daily handling is important. First and foremost, handling long haired teddy bear hamsters helps to socialize, tame them, and make them friendlier. Some will even become affectionate and enjoy their time with their owners. Daily handling also provides an enriched environment. This, along with the frequent rotation of toys, helps eliminate boredom. This daily interaction should be started quickly and frequently, and then gradually extended for longer periods of time, if the long-haired teddy bear hamster enjoys it. Handling young mice in this way usually results in long-haired teddy bear hamsters that are docile, tame and rarely active.