Welcome to a post of me telling you how terrible I was to Beanie. I don’t claim to be a perfect hamster owner now, but I definitely wasn’t when I started out with Beanie. That’s this week’s topic: the worst things I bought and used with Beanie.
I will be linking related posts at the end of this post if you’d like to learn more about the mentioned topics.
Beanie’s First Diet
When I got Beanie I purchased the cheapest ($8), best looking hamster seed mix I could find in the hamster section of Walmart. A mix which is too low in protein, and on the low end of everything else. There was almost no variety; the mix mostly consisted of pellets, millet, and dried corn. Bleh.
I researched a lot about hamster diet for my blog post about it. I learned the food I was giving Beanie wasn’t healthy, and I found a much better option: Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend for Hamsters and Gerbils, which has WAY more variety, and is a lot healthier. It is $16 a bag where I live, but that only makes it about a dollar more a month than the other stuff, and it’s totally worth it.
Beanie’s First Cage
In January of 2019 when I decided I wanted to get a hamster, I did some research and purchased a cage from a buy’n’sell website. The cage was the Ware Chew Proof 4 Story Small Animal Cage.
This cage had about 200 square inches of floor space, but in my mind the additional floors added up to the bare minimum, so it’d be okay (it’s not okay!!).
This cage is really tall, which isn’t good for hamsters. They may be able to climb, but they’re not good at it and a fall from the top could seriously injure your hamster.
There are some really weird fancy bends in the bars, which Beanie escaped through the first night I had her.
The base is about 2 inches deep, which does not provide enough depth for burrowing.
The additional platforms and ramps are mesh, which could’ve easily caused Bumblefoot, a painful foot infection.
Overall, this cage does not meet any of the requirements or safety standards for an appropriate hamster cage, and I feel so bad for having Beanie in it for a torturous month and a half before I upgraded her.
Things That Came With The Cage
As mentioned, I purchased Beanie’s first cage off a buy’n’sell website. Along with her cage I was given several other items, most of which I don’t use anymore or threw out for safety reasons, and now we’re going to talk about the unsafe things I did use.
The first thing is Beanie’s first wheel. It was an 8 inch, navy blue, cheap, mesh wheel, and I don’t recommend using those types of wheels because:
- The mesh causes Bumblefoot
- They are very loud
- Small pets are known to get caught and break limbs while using these wheels
Overall, terrible wheel, but I lined it with cardboard and used it for about 2 months (Beanie outgrew it). Thankfully there weren’t any incidents, but I wish I hadn’t used it since something could’ve easily gone wrong.
Next we have the well-known, popular hamster ball. It was a transparent, 8 inch hamster ball that I stopped using shortly after getting Beanie. I stopped using it because hamster balls pose many dangers to small pets, such as:
- Caught/cut toes
- Falling down stairs
- Lack of oxygen
And not to mention how much hamsters must hate being in hamster balls. Your hamster is locked in a terribly ventilated little prison. They can’t get out. They can’t hide if frightened. They can’t get food or water. They can’t do anything but stand dumbfounded or run.
When you take your hamster out to play, put them in a playpen, or your bathtub (close the drain) with some toys. They’ll be a lot happier being able to climb around on their toys and run about freely than bumping around in a little ball.
Hamsters are great little pets, and they deserve to be well cared for by people since we’re the ones who domesticated them. If you use any of these products, it’s not the end of the world. You can fix it. You can give your hamster a better life. You need to acknowledge your mistakes, learn about what you’re doing wrong, and fix it.
If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!
Victoria Raechel (An Awesome Hamster YouTuber!)