Winter White Hamsters known as Siberian Hamsters/ Djungarian Hamster is a cute, small ball-shaped hamster belonging to the genus Phodopus species that are native to Russia. In the article, we will be discussing everything that you need to know to give the best possible life to your cute-little-exotic pet:
Winter White Hamsters are small, about half the size of the Syrian Hamster.
- Size: 2-3 inches (5-8cm)
- Weight: 30-grams (1-ounce)
In the market they are available in three different varieties of colors:
- Average: gray and white body with shiny black eyes
- Pearl: The majority of the body is covered with white fur
- Sapphire: The body is of bluish-gray shade
Now new cross-breed hamsters of other than these colors are available, but here we are discussing the pure breed Winter White Hamster.
Are they a good pet option?
Winter White Hamster has a life expectancy of 2 years, the usual life span of hamsters. It is a great pet option for owners who are not yet ready to commit for more than ten years with bigger pets like dogs, cats, or exotic pets like snakes. However, life expectancy can increase or decrease depending upon the pet’s living condition, diet, and health.
The calm temperament makes these a great beginner pet. With the slow speed, these pets can also live with children and entertain them. Do know that these are nocturnal pets, i.e., they sleep during the day and are active mostly in the dusk and night.
Furthermore, depending upon the owner’s need and will, these pets can stay happy in solitude and co-habituate with same-sex of their types.
You can get Winter White Hamster from an exotic pet store for about $15-$30. But do know that pet owners usually misidentify these hamsters with Campbell’s Russian hamsters, so look out for it.
Winter White Hamster have their signature black dorsal stripe following the center of the body to the end. The back fur of this hamster is the magic area, it turns white in winters. These little pets have furry feet as well. You can differentiate it from the other hamster by looking at its round body with a small face, whereas the Campbell have a mouse-like, slim body.
While buying the hamster, you want to check if the hamster is healthy and energetic with shiny fur and bright eyes.
Housing Winter White Hamsters
Being a breed of dwarf hamsters, these hamsters are so tiny and flexible that they can squeeze themselves through minimal areas. Seeing them do this is fantastic, but this also means that they can quickly get out of the cage bars.
The best way to home them is by keeping them in tanks, used in the aquarium hobby. While choosing the tank, you should always select the big enough for them to play. The ideal tank would be:
- Size: 20-gallons
- Length: 24-inches
- Breadth: 12-inches
Bottom: For the bottom, you can fill the tank with about 2-3 inches of very soft bedding. The bedding will keep your tiny pet warm, along with giving them cushiony ground to play. You can use shredded paper in the substrate below the bedding, etc. but avoid using hardwood like pine wood or wood shaving because their compounds may injure your hamster.
Add some fun: Hamsters love playing, and they can do it all day long. So, in the tank, you may add an exercise wheel or other hamster toys. Or you can go creative and make hill structures, add pipes in the tank. This is a great way to make them happy and keep them busy.
After setting up the perfect home for your tiny pet, you want them to eat, but what should you feed them and how often?
Hamsters love to munch on so many things, but to keep your hamster healthy, you need to feed them a proper diet that includes pellet food specially made for hamsters in the market. You can serve 1-2 tablespoons of these pellets to your pet every day.
Other than this, you can also provide various snacks to your little pet like:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole-grain cereal
But while offering these snacks, you need to be super cautious because some things can be lethal to your poor hamster, including raw beans, raw potatoes, almonds, garlic, onions, etc.
Before offering any fruit or vegetable, you should always wash them properly before serving. And permanently remove the uneaten food from the tank.
Most common health issues
There are a few common health problems that these hamsters suffer from despite being so hardy. Therefore you always want to take them to the exotic vet in the case of an emergency. The common issues include:
- Skin issue (mites)
- Wet tail (diarrhea)
- Respiratory infections
Apart from these, while play, the hamster might run into injuries, so you surely don’t want to keep anything sharp in their close vicinity.
Handling these little pets are not as hard as it may look, but still, there are a few things that one should keep in mind while dealing with these hamsters:
- Do not try to take the new-bought hamster in your hand, not at least for 4-5 days. They take time to adjust to the new family. Give them that time.
- You can talk to them from outside the cage or tank, but do not touch them.
- When they get accustomed to the new environment, you can touch them, make sure they feel comfortable with you, do not stress them out.
The final warning, never wakeup or pick up your hamsters while they are sleeping. It will make the taming process troublesome.
Hopefully, the care guide will help you better understand your pet, and you can enjoy your dwarf hamster!