As a new pet owner you may have considered that a hamster is an easy care, low cost pet. Unfortunately hamsters do cost equally, if not more, money than other pets such as cats and dogs; there are so many things you will need to buy before and during your hamster's time in your home.
If you are buying a hamster for your small child, then think again; hamsters are often nocturnal and children grow bored very quickly of these animals, leaving you to find a new home for a pet that is no longer wanted.
Vet bills are often high for very minor treatments (such as teeth and nail clipping) and you need to be prepared to pay out for these visits.
Will you be willing to spend over an hour each night with your hamster? Even though you can use a hamster ball, your pet will still need constant supervision.
Things to look out for.
Check the cages aren't overcrowded, they should be spacious and clean.
Make sure hamsters are seperated by sex, the seller should have them clearly labelled and be sure on the sex of all the hamsters. Click here to view an easy guide to sexing hamsters.
Hamsters should be between 5-6 weeks, never younger.
If any of the hamsters appear sick, chances are this will spread to its cagemates, don't take a sickly hamster or one from the same cage.
Check that the hamster is bright eyed and alert when it is awake. It should not be incredibly nervous.
Beware any hamster that has a runny nose, runny or sticky eyes, wet or dirty bottom, sneezing, matted fur or seems lethargic.
Ask if you can handle the hamster you like to see how tame they are, if the shop does not allow it do not purchase the animal; without handling you can't see how healthy the animal is.