Oct 3, 2007

Maintenance and Commitment

I've been lobbying my wife for some time to consider adopting a small pet for our kids. She's adverse to anything that will require too much maintenance or commitment (I can understand that--our kids require a lot of maintenance and commitment).

But then I took her by a cage full of teddy bear hamsters. Now she's considering the possibility. I'll ask her not to check out this blog for the next week or so. This open-mouth shot will undo the ground I have gained in this debate.

Thanks for the link, Kat.

Photo source: pyza


Booge said...

Be warned, Raging Wombat: these critters tend toward cannibalism. At least the mess of them my friend had. It was like the Thunderdome up in there. Eight hamsters enter, one hamster leaves.

Arachnophile said...

*squeee pocket-pets*

If you are looking for mazimum pet-itude for minimum effort, I'd consider a same-sex, litter-mate pair of gerbils more than any of the hammy breeds. (as long as you don't have a cat+little ones - often a tragic mix)

If you've seen my pet-site, you know I've got several of each. (and 3 Degus :)

Gerbils are a bit cleaner, they can be super-human friendly and are a lot more active in daylight hours. Don't get me wrong, I' loves my hammies but I've had gerbils for years and they are hardy, fun and just an all-round lovely little animal. They are very social though, so it's better to have a pair. JUST don't get them from a pet store because those guys regularly don't sex-check and then you get a dozen in-bred babies before you can say, "incest.". *rolleyes*

You local rescue orgs almost always have small animals up for adoption too. I've gotten nice, baby pairs from the SPCA.

I've got a bazillion sites I can give you if you want more info on any of the hammy species or gerbils or rats for that matter. :D Habitat enrichment is a bit of an obsession for me.

Rodent's always look scary, mid-yawn and those teeth are like getting stabbed (deeply from two sides) with a dull fork, when you get bitten... Not that it happens very often. I did have to get antibiotics for some deep wounds in my hands once.... that's a whole 'nother story.

Uhm. This was meant to ENCOURAGE Mrs. Wombat, not scare her away from our little friends. ;)

Ugh! Sorry, long post.

Arachnophile said...

Oh, I missed Boog's post first.

A lot of rodents will do that if they aren't housed properly or if really stressed.

Having 8 or so of them together is WAY too many, even for dwarf hammies who are more social than Syrians.

Syrians will kill eachother when they reach adulthood and should never be housed together.

Plus, if they aren't sexed and are left to breed indescrimanently, the only out for the mom is... well to put 'em out of their suffering.

I've never had it happen and I've kept all of the afor mentioned breeds.

*eep* sorry. I don't mean to take-over here. I'll shut up now.


LuvBJones said...

I almost screamed out loud when I saw that thing! Good God! Is this creature yawning or about to sever a finger? The polka dots are an especially nice touch.

bats :[ said...

Sad-story-with-a-point alert!
My worst animal experience was with the hamster that belonged to a family friend's mentally-retarded adult son Jimmy. I was seven years old, and although Jimmy was gentle with his pet, I kept wanting to pick it up; the hamster finally got fed up and bit me. Blood, carrying on, and general mayhem ensued, and the hamster went to Animal Control for two weeks to make sure it wasn't rabid.
It wasn't (no surprise there), but at the end of quarantine, Jimmy's mother wouldn't let him have his hamster back. This was over 40 years ago, and I still feel bad about Jimmy and his pet. (I'm sorry, Jimmy, wherever you might be.)
Hamsters are kind of touchy, crotchety critters, particularly with little kids who really do want to play with them. I think gerbils or a "bigger" guinea pig would be more suitable.

Raging Wombat said...

Hmm, sounds like Gerbils are the way to go. Very good info. Thanks.

Kritter said...

I like gerbils, and I've had them in the past, but I love piggies. Piggies are very nice pets, very gentle and affectionate, and a little easier to handle than gerbils because they are bigger and more placid (or just lazier). But they require "out of the cage" time to run around, need to have their claws trimmed once a month or so, and need daily Vitamin C in their diets just like people do (I give mine vitamins in the water bottle). They also need fresh veggies/fruit daily, and timothy hay. And of course the cages are larger and therefore more expensive. But gerbils are nice, they're not likely to bite and they're fun for little wombats to watch.

Callandrea said...

My only advice concerning hamsters is to get a female if possible! I've had a male Syrian and he was one stinky little fella. I now have a female dwarf and she's much *ahem* sweeter smelling.

Mine have all come pre-socialized (ie: from other homes) but I've heard that it is extremely important to socialize them immediately.

Good luck!

Laura said...

Someone needs itty bitty widdle Crest Whitestrips!

Cozytailmom said...

You really need to include a spew warning before posting something like that. Now I have to clean diet coke outta the keyboard. ;>

Arachnophile said...

LOL - actually for our rodent's these orange/yellow teeth are healthy. If your hammy has pearly whites-they need medical attention STAT!