In this blog, we will discuss Russian Dwarf Hamsters, their temperament, and their behavior with other pets. We will also discuss their diet, training, and grooming and how they are different from Winter White Dwarf hamsters. This blog will also provide you with all the necessary information you will need to pet one.
Russian Dwarf Hamster
The Russian hamster belongs to the genus Phodopus of phylum Chordata. It is also referred to as the Russian dwarf hamster, Djungarian hamster, striped dwarf hamster, and Siberian hamster. The lifespan of Russian hamsters in the wild is around 12 months, but with proper care, they can live up to 2 years. These tiny animals weigh merely 30 grams and grow up to 3 inches when they reach the adult stage. This breed prospers in the subtropical climatic zones of China, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.
Are Russian Hamsters Smart?
Yes, Russian hamsters are not only smart but curious too. It is said that they can learn their names, understand routine patterns, and recognize scents, voices, and act accordingly. Hamsters are known to treat their owners differently because they know their behavior by their scent and voice. It is due to this very reason that they might nip a stranger but never their owners. Shouldn’t we give more credit to Hamsters for being this intelligent?
Temperament of Russian Hamsters
Russian Dwarf Hamsters exhibit goodwill and are very affectionate. They are easygoing creatures; however, if they feel threatened, survival instinct kicks in, due to which they may bite or pinch the threat lightly. It is important to provide them with a safe environment so that they do not feel intimidated. Moreover, they are very social and therefore can be very interactive. Interestingly, they were found to be the friendliest among all other breeds of hamsters.
Behavior With Other Pets
Although Russian Hamsters are very friendly and cheerful, keeping them with other pets might be risky—both for hamsters and the other pets. You can keep them with other pets only under strict supervision and safety rules. If you intend to keep these hamsters with other pets, it is advised to keep them separate and not allow them to mingle too much. For instance, cats and hamsters do not get along as hamsters are rodents and cats prey on rodents.
What Are the Necessary Exercises for Russian Hamster?
Russian Dwarf hamsters are agile, energetic, and active creatures, and therefore, exercise should be incorporated into their lifestyle to keep them mentally and physically active. Below are a few exercise ideas.
1. Exercise Ball
You can give your hamster an exercise ball to play with for 20 to 30 minutes. Your hamster will not only enjoy it, but it will also prove to be an excellent physical and mental activity for it.
2. Exercise wheel
You can place the exercise wheel inside the cage, and it will help your Russian hamsters to get some exercise done while being inside the cage. It is advised to select the size of the exercise wheel according to the size of your hamsters, so they can play around it without any hassles. Besides, the chances of slipping from a suitable size wheel and injuring themselves are low. For a Russian Dwarf Hamster, you will need a cage measuring 24 x 12 inches.
This is, however, a general figure based on the average size of Russian hamsters.
What Should You Feed a Russian Hamster?
Russian Dwarf Hamsters should be given a clean, unprocessed, and fresh food, such as prime quality hamster lab blocks, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Timothy hay is also a popular feed for hamsters having immense nutritional value for hamsters. It helps them in maintaining a healthy, working digestive system and regulation of weight and dental health.
Hamsters require a high fiber diet to maintain digestive motility, and therefore, timothy, oat, and brome hay can be incorporated into their diet, but it should not be more than 10% of their staple diet. Chocolates and high-fat foods shall be avoided because they may cause serious medical conditions. Furthermore, Hamsters are prone to diabetes, so the diet must steer clear of sugary foods and processed sugary treats.
Training a Russian Hamster
Training a Russian hamster is quite tiring unless you know the right strategies to employ to make the training experience exciting and worthwhile. Following are the strategies you can implement while training your hamster.
1. Earning Trust
Russian Dwarf Hamsters are quite timid, preferring an atmosphere of solace, so they don’t feel uncomfortable. Tend to them and make sure they trust you before you start training. Once you earn their trust, it will surely make a massive difference in their days ahead with you.
Training a hamster can sometimes prove to be a Herculean task, and to avoid that, you must not lose your calm. Prevent rushing into things and stop expecting your hamster to be trained overnight.
3. Offering Treats
You can teach tricks like jumping, running in circles, and standing and then give treats to encourage them later. In this way, they will learn faster and perform better for the reward that will await them after the trick.
Grooming a Russian Hamster
Russian Dwarf Hamsters require a clean, hygienic environment to live in. Although they groom themselves frequently on their own, you can still follow a minimal cleaning routine to ensure a safe and healthy environment for them to thrive in. Here are a few things hamsters’ owners need to take care of.
You should bathe them every two weeks. You need to make sure you are not giving them too many water baths as that will strip their coat of important molecules. Soft, clean washcloths can be used to clean them during the intervening period between their baths.
Russian Hamsters do not require constant brushing. You can brush them once a week, and that will be sufficient.
3. Trimming Their Fur
Russian Hamsters do not require their furs to be trimmed regularly. If they refuse to be brushed, trim their fur but keep in mind that fur should not be trimmed too close to the skin as that may make them prone to the environment and harsh weather.
Hamsters are prone to certain diseases and health conditions. Here are a few you should look out for.
1. Alopecia (loss of hair)
2. Fur mites
3. Diarrhea and constipation
5. Dental problems
6. Wet Tail
If you notice any of the above problems, take your hamster to the vet.
Winter White Dwarf Hamster: How Is It Different From Russian Dwarf Hamster
Winter White dwarf hamsters are very similar to White Russian hamsters except for the fact that the former can grow a white fur coat over their bodies while in a cold environment. In hot climates, on the other hand, they have the same brown fur like that of the Russian Dwarf hamsters.
Winter White dwarf hamsters can be very friendly and social. However, they cannot beat Russian Dwarf hamsters in terms of cheerful nature. They can be very vocal about things that bug them and do not shy away from letting their owners know what they do and do not like.
The Russian Dwarf Hamsters are brilliant little creatures that, when tamed, can be the most loving pets. These little agile creatures expect a reasonable exercise, grooming, training, and good diet to thrive. If you are looking for a caring, lovable pet that requires little maintenance and is not prone to serious diseases, a Russian dwarf hamster is perfect for you.