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 Care standards and information are outdated, and these little creatures are misunderstood by many.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.

Book Reviews

I've been asked again and again which books about hamsters are best. I've read plenty of them but while some are clearly better than others I think it is important to at least know why or maybe I can help you pick which one to read first at least. I know that I hate buying a book and then it being... well less then great, so maybe this will help you out a little. I'll add books as I read them too.
**organized by date of publication**


Dwarf Hamsters (Barron's 1999 Edition)

Written By: Sharon Vanderlip

     I think that back in 1999 this was a fantastic and well informed book. However since this book was written we have learned so much about hamsters and there care. This book certainly has some great information about the different dwarf hamster species and their scientific names. However after that the care information is, for the most part, no longer valid. For example according to this book the recommended cage size for 2-4 dwarf hamsters is a 10 gallon aquarium, which we now know is too small for even one hamster let alone four. Another thing is that diabetes wasn't as present in dwarf hamsters at this point so it isn't mentioned so much, some species of dwarfs are now quite prone to diabetes and it is a very relevant factor when it comes to dwarfs. Or perhaps the fact that the Hybrid dwarf (RC/WW mix) is mentioned as almost rare and not much of a concern in this book meanwhile now hybrids are ever present in today's society and is a problem when it comes to trying to make a healthy line of pure Russian Campbell Dwarf or Winter White Dwarf hamsters. So while I am 100% certain that this was once a great book, it no longer is entirely valid.

     I think I'll give them seven sunflower seeds out of ten. It was once a great book, just be careful as the care information is mostly outdated. Despite it's age, its well written and interesting.


Popular Pet Series: Hamsters (2001)

Written By: Many authors- It's a Critter's USA Magazine
    Overall this is a pretty decent book, some of the information is behind and outdated but it was written in 2001, and we've come a long way in understand hamsters since then. It contains several articles, some of which are very well written and some not as full of awesomeness. No matter what each article talks about something interesting and they got some pretty awesome authors in there too. Considering this seems to be the book that everyone buys (at least from what I see myself at pet stores), it's a pretty good book for people to be starting off with.

I'll give this a seven out of ten sunflower seeds. So while it shouldn't be your only source of information it certainly isn't a bad place to start off.


Hamsterlopaedia (2002)

Written By: Chris and Peter Logsdail, Kate Hovers

     What can I say? This book is quite amazing. It is stock full of information in many areas of hamster keeping. Some of the care is outdated- for example diabetes isn't even mentioned in lines of Russian Campbell Dwarfs yet, they never mentioned any dangers of pine shavings and they bring up some points that just aren't valid anymore. Let's face it, a lot has been learned about hamsters since 2002. When this was written- this was top notch. Don't leave this book behind yet though. This book does have an excellent section on the anatomy of the hamster (trust me, it's actually interesting!), the breeding and showing section is detailed and the A-Z Ailments section is a good place to start your research about ailments though it isn't completely detailed so keep researching. The one thing that did stand out, that bothered me was the mention of physical punishment of a hamster. They don't learn this way, hitting/tapping a hamster isn't the answer.

     Despite some of its basic care section being outdated this book is great. I'd give it eight sunflower seeds of ten. This one should be on your list for sure.


Training Your Pet Hamster (2002)

Written By: Gerry Bucsis and Barbara Somerville

     This book is a wonderful and easy-to-follow book for beginners or veterans alike. It covers not only the basics but it gets you on the right start with your hamster research. For those that don't like the text-book style of other animal-care books will actually enjoy this one as it's less formal than most books The basic care is reasonably correct and a lot of the book is focused on choosing a large and enriching habitats for your hamster. This book was a bit ahead of its times and is still pretty valid today.

I give this book eight out of ten sunflower seeds for proper information, an enjoyable writing style and for advocating a proper sized cage.


The Hamster Handbook (2003)

Written By: Patricia Bartlet

     I will give this book one thing, the section regarding the history of hamsters is great and is very interesting. It must be one of the greatest collection of hamster history that I've read so far. Now keep in mind that this book was written in 2003 when hamster care was at a point where not a lot of agreed upon or known about regarding hamster care so some of the care is what I would now consider outdated. She shares a lot of her personal experience with hamsters which I first thought was a nice touch. However the more I read, the more nervous I got. She explains how to build a breeder rack system, which are primarily seen in animal mill situations and in laboratories. She also mentions that she sells to pet stores- something that a responsible breeder never does in order to keep track of their lines and ensure that their hamsters go to good homes. Something else that bothered me is that she seems to not have a clue about roborovski dwarfs, the pictures of robos are actually Russian Campbell dwarfs. It's worth reading but I would only get it to check out the history and that's about it.

I'd give it a four sunflower seeds out of ten just because there is some good information and the history is fantastic, the score is on the low end because some of the suggestions aren't great.


Hamsters: The Ultimate Pocket Pet (2005)

Written By: Virginia Parker Guidry

OK, well to start this book is ok. And just that, ok. The author probably should have thought about at least looking at a hamster first though. Judging by the book she either doesn't know how big hamsters are or she doesn't know how big an inch is. For example her recommended cage minimum is 19 square inches. That is so small it's sad. Not only that but she recommends that Syrian hamster's wheels should be about 5" in diameter. I've had dwarfs that outgrew 5" wheels. Syrians usually need 8"+ wheels. The care besides that was decent but the whole book gave an air of being rushed. Especially when it came to the end, the Health session was short as ever, the breeding section would be no help to someone with an accidental litter or even someone wanting to breed and the last chapter just ended without warning. Her information for the most part is correct and somewhat updated but the rest just had me puzzled.

I will give this book five out of ten sunflower seeds. It's ok, it's not the worst book out there but it is a good example of a pet care book written by someone who doesn't really know their stuff.


Hamsters (Barron's 2007 Edition)

Written by: Peter Fritzsche

      While a lot of the information is wrong, false or is simply not explained well enough it is generally a good book. It's easy to follow, full of pictures (possibly there only selling point for the book) and it's simple. However I think that it should have gone farther in their research, it feels like it was written in a rush and not enough information of included to be a 'complete' book. Something that really stuck out to me is that the author had no clue about the different species. The pictures are labeled incorrectly, he doesn't use proper names for the species, was all over the place with colours and mentioned that the colour of a hamster determines it's personality.

I'd give it a four sunflower seeds out of ten just because they do have some correct information and they didn't lie about having lots of pictures.


Hamsters For Dummies (2007)

Written By: Sarah Montague

     This book is great to cover some basic points quickly, though some of the information is false so don't make this book your bible or anything, it's a good place to start. Besides that a lot of the paragraphs sounded really familiar, some were quite similar to other books. This book is organized and easy to follow, however a lot of what is written is outdated information or are only partially true. Perhaps if the author has spent less time making up witty comments and more time researching then this could have a been a pretty good book. I will give her two thumbs up for mentioning that breeding is serious, expensive and time consuming as well as mentioning that the decision to breed should not be taken lightly- something that isn't often mentioned in other books.

     I think this book gets five sunflower seeds out of ten. It's got some basic information down, it's not entirely outdated and it is easy to follow.

The book you're wondering about not on here? Send an e-mail to holly.hammie@gmail.com or leave a message and I'll try and get a hold of that book so it can be added to the Reviews.