I’m sure it only makes sense to you as well that many people adopt or buy hamsters to understand what it’s like to have a pet. Such as a dog or cat. In fact, a lot of us also get a hamster when we simply cannot take on the responsibility of caring for a bigger animal. Once again, such as a dog or cat. So how much does a hamster cost?
Just because the animal is small doesn’t mean you don’t have to spend much. It’s very important for you to look after your pet. And in order to do that, you have first know all about how much the pet costs. Along with the food expenses, vet expenses, toy expenses, and some more.
So how about you read this entire comprehensive guide I have created just for you. Take into account the following. And only after you know what the experience is going to be like, financially. Only then plan on adopting or buying a hamster.
Let’s get started then!
But First, Where to Buy A Hamster From?
Simple questions… How much does a hamster cost at PetCo? How much does a hamster cost at PetSmart? When buying from mainstream pet stores like PetCo and PetSmart, the price is definitely far cheaper than anywhere else.
But I would also like to mention that both companies have been involved with animal cruelty. So my advice to you would be to stay away from such commercial stores. And even inhumane backyard breeders. That only care about making huge profits the most inhumanely.
It may seem tempting to head to the nearest PetCo or PetSmart store and buy a hamster worth $15 to $20. Just know that if you go ahead with this decision, you’re supporting the torture these brands and breeders inflict on animals.
So what would be a more ethical option? Purchasing a hamster from a well-known breeder. But then private professional breeders tend to charge a higher amount. This explains why so many pet owners like to buy cheap. So they end up not caring about any moral standpoints.
The next option is adopting a hamster. There are just plenty of pet rescue homes and pet shelters in every locality. So why not bring home someone who actually needs your help! The cost, in this case, is quite affordable for the majority of the time.
How Much Money Does A Hamster Cost?
In comparison to dogs and cats, hamsters are certainly relatively inexpensive. What increases the cost is caring for the animal.
Some of the most important initial costs include toys, cage, hideout, and wheel. Then comes the cost of hamster food, bedding, and substrate. And these are essential if you want to pamper the little adorable creature with all your heart.
So how much does a pet hamster cost? During the first year, you should be willing to spend nearly $350. This includes all necessary expenses. On top of that, $260 per year for the cost of care. By the end of the life of your hamster, you’re likely to have spent around $900. This amount isn’t subjective since that’s what it costs, more or less, for keeping a hamster healthy.
To tell you for a fact, the costliest part of care takes the form of veterinary bills. Now, this doesn’t mean you taking your hamster to the vet clinic regularly. It’s just that the process of spaying and vaccinations are not cheap. Be it for a hamster, cat, dog, or any other pet animal.
So my advice to all to-be pet parents is to keep around $200 aside. Because this is likely to come in handy for vet fees and/or emergencies.
Caring for Your Hamster – How Much Does This Cost?
The cost of a hamster is not steep, that has been established quite clearly by now. But what’s not discussed are the ongoing care costs. This includes everything from food and bedding to toys and hideout. These, when combined, over the span of a hamster’s life can touch almost $900.
Time to break it down for a better understanding…
First off, what do hamsters eat? They have pellets that are easily available at local pet stores. You can buy them online too. Even muesli is healthy for hamsters. Both are packed with enough minerals and nutrients for nourishment. You also get to feed them limited quantities of fresh veggies, herbs, and fruits. Think of these as add-ons to their daily diet.
What about dry hamster food? No doubt, it’s very cheap. You can get a decently sized bag for just $2. But before you buy, don’t forget to check the list of ingredients. Because it’s crucial to pick food that meets all the daily nutritional requirements of a hamster.
Now here’s something not many people know about hamsters. That they forage for food during nighttime. Also, these little creatures aren’t particularly picky eaters, unlike canines and felines. And this means not having to spend a lot of time, effort, and even money on buying fancy foods for them.
Hamsters love to devour cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, sweet peppers, cauliflower, kale, and chicory. As for fruits, make sure you keep the consumption to a minimum. Simply because fruits have natural sugar, which is not a healthy choice when fed daily.
One more thing I’m certain you’d like to know. When buying pre-packaged hamster food online or at your local pet store, keep away from hamster treats. Always check the list of ingredients when buying such treats for your pet. Because, more often than not, they contain unhealthy amounts and types of syrups and sugars.
Those are surely not nutritious, plus they increase the cost. Instead, consider making hamster cookies and muffins at home. The homemade version of treats for hamsters is definitely a healthier as well as a cost-effective option.
Moving on to the food dish or bowl. You have to factor in this particular cost as well. Although it’s a small amount. On that note, did you know that hamsters store food in their cheeks? Fascinating, isn’t it?
Anyway, you can buy a porcelain or plastic food bowl for your tiny pet. Go for the latter because it’s not heavy. This means even if your hamster tips it over, the chances of injury are unlikely. But if your naughty pet is always tipping over his/her food dish. Then how about buying a tip-proof pet bowl!
You have to be a responsible and caring pet parent. This is not optional, right? So buying a spacious cage for your hamster is a must. Now if you wish to avoid wasting money, then get a large cage from the very beginning. Even if your pet is still an infant, he/she is eventually going to outgrow a small cage. So why not purchase a large one!
So what should be the size of the cage? Hamster cages, normally, are 24 inches (length) x 12 inches (width) x 12 inches (height). These are suitable even for the largest Syrian hamster that is most likely to grow as big as 4 to 7 inches.
A large cage is necessary not only so that your hamster doesn’t outgrow it. Although that is a very important factor. Aside from that, all the extra space is paramount when it comes to creating a healthy environment for your pet. Your hamster can grow both physically and mentally in a cage large enough for his/her well-being.
What also matters is that your cute little pet gets a lot of ventilation. So choose a cage keeping that in mind. It’s definitely easier to clean out as well.
DIY Healthy Hamster Treats!
So how much does a hamster cage cost? Anywhere between $50 and $100. And if you’re a DIY enthusiast, then making one on your own to save money is not such a bad idea. These are called bin cages. And they’re cheaper when compared to their fabricated counterparts available online and at local pet stores.
When you DIY things like these, you obviously end up minimizing costs. And this extra money that you save can be kept aside for your other important stuff like food, vet costs, and maybe even more toys. Meaning more money in the bank to pamper your precious pet.
These creatures are rodents, right? Meaning they’re burrowers by nature. So hamster bedding creates a natural habitat for them inside the cage.
Large Syrian hamsters require paper-based bedding as deep as 6 inches. The aim is to have enough in there so they can hide.
Now how much does hamster bedding cost? Around $5 for a normal-sized bag. And this bedding needs to be changed once a week. Also, the bedding should be thick or deep enough for the animal to burrow into.
Do they really need hideouts? Hamsters also have a nest, like birds. And this nest is a hideout, be it small or big. That’s where they stash their food and feel safe. It’s like their very own underground burrow.
But can these hideouts be affordable and made using high-quality materials at the same time? If you want both, then you have to get something somewhere between $2 and $30. You can even build one on your own if you like.
For creating a DIY hamster hideout, you need a cardboard box. One that is smaller in size compared to the large cage. Just keep away materials like plastic and paint since they can be toxic.
Every pet, be it a dog or hamster, requires brain stimulation. It’s a little known fact that hamsters are very active creatures, especially during the night. So toys like bridges, tunnels, and tubes are perfect for them.
As for the cost, you can buy them for anywhere between $5 and $10. But then there are homemade versions made out of empty boxes and toiler roll holders.
Moving on to chew toys, these are necessary for maintaining dental health. Even hamsters love to grind their teeth on something. It’s the best way to have to avoid teeth trimming. So you’re not just making room for fun but also keeping your hamster’s teeth well-maintained.
So what are the best chew toys for hamsters? How about something that’s both effective and tasty? Like a carrot or cob of corn!
#6. Hamster Wheel
Daily exercise is not just highly recommended for humans but for pets too. And what better way to get a hamster to exercise than using a wheel! Plus, you’ll simply love watching your adorable pet run around in the wheel.
The price of a hamster wheel varies based on the size. So it’s only natural to assume that a wheel for Dwarf hamsters is cheaper in comparison to a $40-worth large wheel for Syrian hamsters. Since the latter is bigger in size than the former.
#7. Exercise Ball
This one’s a very useful toy for times when you have to clean the cage. In such moments, you can distract your hamster while he/she is outside the cage with a free-spinning hamster exercise ball. The cost is about $20 based on the size of the ball.
The exercise ball rolls on the floor while the little creature runs inside it. But please keep the toy from colliding with furniture and other such objects. Because this often tends to stress out hamsters.
#8. Water Bottle
A sipper bottle dispenses water quite conveniently for small pets. Such as hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, gerbils, etc. There’s a ball bearing installed for forming a vacuum, which prevents the outflow of water.
Be it glass or plastic, sipper water bottles for small pets are generally inexpensive to buy.
It’s always a good idea to have a carrier at your disposal when you have small pets like hamsters and even cats. You can take them wherever you want quite conveniently in a carrier. Such as the vet.
Carriers for pets of this size cost around $10-$12. Many pet stores give you discounted prices for equipment like this. Or there are special offers you can make the most of in the case of buying one online.
How Much Does It Cost to Take A Hamster to the Vet?
On average, vet visits cost around $35 for one session. In many cases, finding a vet that treats small animals like hamsters is a very challenging task. And when you do, their costs are likely to be higher.
What About Euthanizing A Hamster?
Terminally ill hamsters are just heartbreaking. So the vet might recommend euthanasia in order to put the animal out of its misery. When performed at a professional vet’s clinic, the procedure is painless. In that case, how much does this procedure cost? The cost is around $40 or higher.
How Much Does A Dwarf Hamster Cost? How Much Do Syrian Hamsters Cost?
Be it a Syrian or Dwarf hamster, the cost is pretty much the same in every country. Generally, hamsters cost less than $25-$30. Unless it’s an unusual variety, which means you pay a slightly higher price for it.
But let me bring one thing to your attention here. There’s no shortage of hamsters in animal shelters. And these little creatures are just waiting to be adopted. So do think twice before spending money when you can just as easily get a cute pet from a shelter home. At the same or a lower price!
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Does A Hamster Need A Lot of Company?
It doesn’t really matter how big or small your pet is, interaction is necessary. If you don’t think you’re going to spend quality time, then why get a pet in the first place! I know you live a busy life and maybe don’t have enough time on your hands. Even so, it’s very important to make some time, even for a hamster.
You have to be gentle, friendly, and positive with your hamster. Some of them prefer living alone while some enjoy being a part of the pack. Either way, take the time out and bond with him/her.
As for if your hamster prefers company or not, it depends. Dwarf hamsters are the happiest when together. In a cage with plenty of space and hideouts, so they can stay away from one another too when needed.
In that context, if they start to fight a lot, then consider keeping them in separate cages. It’s what’s required for preventing injuries. But if they get along well, then it’s best to let them stay together. They’re the happiest that way.
Moving on to Syrian hamsters, they have an innate solitary nature. So these types of hamsters prefer living alone. That means if you want to get more than one hamster, you should choose the Dwarf type. Or consider getting gerbils, mice, or rats. Because even these rodents thrive in a group.
The most important thing to understand is that you should treat your hamster pet with gentleness, kindness, and care. It’s your way of showing that you love your pets and have only their best interests at heart.
#2. Do Hamsters Get Along Well With Other Pets?
Survival instincts are a part of both human and animal nature, even more so with animals. So even hamsters have such strong instincts. They don’t like being near bigger animals.
Plus, hamsters are nocturnal creatures. Therefore, it’s a better idea to keep your pet hamster away from very active and playful pets during the day. So your hamster can get his/her beauty sleep. It’s important for the animal to follow its natural sleep pattern. Otherwise, they start to feel very stressed out.
#3. How Much Space Does A Hamster Need?
The more, the merrier – that’s the rule. It’s always in the best interest of your pet to have more space. So that they can run around and do whatever they like. Hamsters, especially, are active little creatures. The cage, most likely includes a wheel, hideout, and maybe some more toys, right? And all of this stuff certainly demands more room.
At the same time, your hamster should get enough room to walk around and explore. Connect multiple cages and tubes together for increasing the space. It’s actually a brilliant way for making their lives more fun and boosting their daily exercise routine. Be creative with the way you keep your pet.
Then comes the part where I talk about mental space. Don’t disturb hamsters when they’re sleeping. That said, make sure the cage is kept in a quiet place. Away from the boisterous energy of other pets and even children.
Also important to remind yourself is that hamsters are nocturnal by nature. And they tend to get very noisy during night time. So you might want to keep yourself away from them as well. Because, just like them, even you don’t want to be disturbed when you’re sleeping. This is particularly the case with Syrian hamsters.
When the source is reputable and also humane, then the cost for a single hamster is about $25. So now you know how much does a hamster cost. The price can indeed increase and go as high as $350. But this is also for buying a hamster cage, bedding, food, and all that.
Expect to spend at least $900 on a hamster. As for vet visits, they can be anywhere between $35 and $50 per session. It goes without saying that initial costs are going to be higher. But once you get the essentials and needful vaccinations and vet care sorted, these prices go down over time.
On top of that, hamsters aren’t fussy eaters. That means you don’t really have to spend out of the way for feeding them. And you can include regular veggies and fruits into their daily diet as supplements. I have discussed which ones in the hamster food section.
In the end, know that you have to be able to afford even such minor costs. While it’s true that hamsters are not as expensive as dogs and cats. Even so, they still require proper care and attention. So never neglect their health, no matter what.
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