Welcome to Dashing Hamsters. I created this website back in 2005, initially to have a place to share my love of hamsters. Throughout the years I have come across a lot of information that just often doesn't match up. Care standards and information are outdated, and these little creatures are misunderstood by many. So I decided to make this website as more than just a hamster lover's website, but a hamster website for modern owners who are looking for up to date advice on how to care for and understand their beloved hamsters. On DH you can learn about hamsters, see some cute pictures and read through a hamster filled blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Traveling and Staycation

Traveling with your Hamster
If you are moving, going on a trip or whatever and you want to bring your hamster along then check out these tips:
(the hamster shall be referred to as female here)

- If possible then use your hamster' s cage instead of some sort of travel cage so that she is in familiar surroundings.
- If not possible then find the roomiest travel cage available. Habitrail-like cages work well or your own bin travel cages can work too
- Don't pack too many toys and beds into the cage as it may fall over while in the car
- Don't put the water bottle in, with all of the jostling it will leak
- Put food high in water content in instead, such as cucumber or water melon if you don't have a species that is prone to diabetes
- Make sure the cage isn't in direct sunlight
- Keep it quiet; no loud music, arguing or yelling
- If possible and if needed turn on the A/C or heat (weather determined) to keep the hamster and you comfortable.
- Take a towel or blanket and cover the cage (don't block ventilation though). Being in a dark environment will calm her
- Try not to take too many stops, get there as soon as you can
- If you are going on plane then make sure the airline will allow you to take her and make sure she cannot chew out of the cage
- If you are staying in hotels make sure that they are animal friendly.
- When you get where ever you are going be sure to set up her cage as soon as possible.

     Are you going on a 2 to 4 day long vacation and can't bring your hamster? Fear not, for your hamster can enjoy a 'stay-cation' without you! Hamsters are natural hoarders and this means that they won't eat all of their food in one sitting and so can be left alone without any problems once in awhile. The maximum I've left my hamsters alone was for five days but I don't think I'd do it again. (It worried me too much, hehe). Here's some tips:
- Make sure that the cage is clean prior to leaving
- Leave several handfuls of seed mix/lab blocks in the cage for your hamster --enough to last those few days
- Make sure that the cage is secure and that there is no way for your hamster to escape
- Make sure the water bottle works, and if you're worried set up a second one
- I would advise against giving any perishable foods, in case they rot while you are gone
- Make sure you leave a key and a way you can be contacted in the event of an emergency (flood, bad storm, etc) with a friend or neighbour

     If you are going to be away for longer then you will need to find a hamster-sitter. Here's some things to consider:
- Has this person ever kept a hamster before? If not then it may be best to suggest that they don't handle your hamster unless you are willing to show them how first and are confident that your hamster will not escape from them.
- Does this person know much about hamsters? If not then you should leave a detailed care sheet or set of instructions for them. (Well you should do this anyways)
- Are they going to be coming to your house? It would be best if your hamster can keep his life as normal as possible by staying at home and besides, his cage is likely too big for your hamster sitter. So he'll either need a travel cage or your sitter will need to make some room if he needs to go to their place.
- Does your hamster have any special needs? Any allergies or needed medications need to be considered when selecting a sitter. You need to find someone who will be careful enough to watch for any problems and administer any medications.
- If you pick out a lot of things from your seed mix then you should probably make sure that these are picked out prior to your trip so that your sitter doesn't have to worry about it. The same goes for any fresh foods you want given to your hamster- they should be cut to the size you want prior to you leaving.
- If you are going for more then a week, you need to be sure that the sitter is willing to clean the cage, be sure to provide substrate and bedding.
- Leave contact information for you and for your vet. Also leave instructions for what to do in the event that your hamster falls ill. You may also want to leave money for any emergencies or talk to your vet about paying when you return.
- If your hamster is old then warn your sitter, so that if the hamster passes away in her sleep then your sitter won't have a panic attack about what to do. Also maybe mention to your sitter that in the event that your hamster does die, not to let you know until you return. Bad news like that can really ruin a vacation, and your hamster wouldn't want that.
- Make sure that all necessary supplies are in plain view or with the hamster.
- Don't worry too much and enjoy your vacation!


  1. This one's controversial. I've heard/read many times that a hamster travelling in his/her common cage means disaster (may hurt itself 'flying' inside it during breaking/turning/pulling out). It is said that smaller travel cages are better (safer). But I won't argue since I have no personal experience ;-)

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