If you are set on getting a hamster but your parents still need convincing that it is the right pet for you, then take a look at my handy hints for persuasion. As a parent myself, these tops tips certainly worked a treat and within a matter of weeks, little Oscar the Syrian hamster became the latest member of our family.
Preparation, research and determination are the most important things to remember when convincing your parents to get you a hamster. Follow my rules below and it won’t take long before you parents change their minds and a once stubborn no soon becomes an enthusiastic yes.
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Top tips for convincing your parents to get a hamster
There are three main rules to convincing your parents that a small ball of fluff is the perfect pet. Follow my advice below and I can ‘almost’ guarantee that it won’t just be a hamster eating out of your hand but your parents too.
Learn about hamsters
It is really important that you feel ready to look after a hamster – after all they might be fun for a day or two but once you’ve committed to having one, you could be looking after it for 2 years or more. The best thing you can do is to research as much as you possibly can, all about hamsters.
For example…what type of hamster would suit you best? What do hamsters eat? What kind of cage do hamsters live in? How much does a hamster cost? How often do hamsters need cleaning out?
You can answer all these questions and more by either going online, looking through books or asking questions at your local pet store. Afterall knowledge is power and the more information you have the less reasons your parents have to tell you that you can’t have one!
Prepare for getting a hamster
In the days leading up to the big discussion, make sure that you are on your best behaviour and can show your parents that you are capable of being responsible. Help out with tasks and chores around the house such as cleaning, doing the dishes and making your bed daily – ideally without being asked! If you have family pets, why not offer to feed them, walk them and show them as much love and attention as possible.
When it comes to having ‘the’ conversation, pick a time to discuss getting a hamster when you know your parents will be stress-free and available to listen. Try and catch them in a good mood or better still try and make them smile and laugh beforehand. Make sure you have practiced what you would say in advance and think ahead to any questions or concerns they may have and how you would answer them.
Be determined to get a hamster!
When it comes to convincing your parents to get you a hamster, state your case and your facts in a clear and confident manner. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have and try to turn any negatives into a positive.
If your parents are taking a while to be convinced about getting a hamster, do not resort to whining and crying. Simply discuss what you have to do to get a hamster and be prepared to be patient.
Offering to contribute to the cost of owning a hamster with your own pocket money shows that you appreciate the responsibility of a pet and will show your parents that you are serious about wanting one.
Finally, if nothing else seems to be working then why not take them to your local pet store. One look at those adorable balls of fluff with their cute twitching noses is enough to convince any parent to let you buy a hamster.
How much does a hamster cost?
A hamster doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact you can give a hamster a home for free if you choose to adopt. If, however, you would prefer to purchase a hamster via a breeder or petstore than you can expect to pay up to $20.
Looking online and in store you will see hundreds of different hamster cages, toys, tunnels and accessories for sale. Hamsters are, however, relatively easy to look after and despite what your parents may think, they don’t need a cage packed full of gadgets and gizmos. The basic items that you’ll need to purchase (with help from mom and dad) needed cost a lot either, some of which you make yourself at home.
Below I have listed the start-up essentials that your hamster will need:
- Cage – depending on the species of hamster you pick, you need to have a cage large enough for it to live and scamper around in. Hamster are incredibly energetic, so need plenty of space to play. Cages range from $20-$100.
- Bedding – hamsters are burrowers by nature, so you need to ensure that you have enough bedding for them to hide. A typical Syrian hamster will need a layer of around 6inches and paper-based bedding is best. Costs range from $12-$40.
- Food dish – although your hamster may scoop up and store food in its cheeks, a simple food dish is not expensive, generally costing around $5.
- Water bottle – whether you choose plastic or glass, these should be filled up daily and are inexpensive, costing around $6-$12.
- Hideout – all hamsters like to retreat to a safe place and depending on the type of material these are made from they can priced anywhere between $5-$12.
- Chew toys – in order to keep your hamsters teeth in tip top condition it is important that you purchase toys for them to grind their teeth on. I prefer the wooden ones and they generally cost around $2.
- Toys – hamster need brain stimulation and are incredibly active (especially at night). Therefore tunnels, tubes and bridges are great for them to run around in. These cost around $5-$10 depending on the type of material they are made from. My kids love to make their own versions using toilet roll holders and empty boxes.
- Wheel – Hamsters need to burn off energy and just love running around in a wheel. The cost of a wheel will vary depending on the size required. Therefore, the cost of a wheel for a Russian Dwarf hamster is going to be cheaper than a wheel for a Syrian but should cost no more than $40 max.
- Food – I would recommend that you feed your hamster every other day to encourage him to finish their bowl as they can become incredibly fussy if pandered too. I purchase the pellet and seed mix as this gives plenty of variety and is very nutritious. These bags cost $18.
- Carrier – this may not be essential straight away, but it is good to have something that you can carry your hamster in if you ever need to take it out of the house – for exampke to the vets. A basic hamster carrier costs around $10-$12 (although we tend to make our own versions with boxes we already have around the house).
- Medical fund – Please make sure that you keep back some money, just in case your hamster falls ill. It’s amazing what a quick trip to the vets can cost!
Related Questions – Q&A’s
Below I have listed the most common questions that I get asked by parents, when they are considering buying a pet hamster for their kids.
How long does a hamster live?
Before buying a pet hamster it is worth considering how long you are likely to be looking after it for. As you are its sole provider for food, love and wellbeing, it is important that you are prepared to take on this responsibility for the duration of its life.
On average a healthy hamster will last between 2-2.5 years, although this will vary depending on the species, diet, genetics, exercise and quality of care.
What species of hamster should I get?
There are a number of different species of hamster and depending on the characteristics, temperament and physicality’s of them, you should choose one that best fits your family situation.
There are 5 main species: –
- Syrian Hamster – these tend to be the most popular type of hamster in America amongst children as they are generally tame, like to be handled and live alone. It is also not uncommon for these hamster to live to the grand old age of 3.
- Roborovski Hamster – these dwarf hamsters are incredibly cute, fun to watch and tend to stay awake during the day longer than other species of hamster. A Roborovski hamster can be harder to tame as they are super quick and often very shy. These too can live past the age of 3 years when kept in good conditions.
- Campbell Dwarf Hamster – these hamsters tend to be more sociable than the Robo above, as they are bolder and a lot friendlier. Campbell dwarf hamsters are best kept in pairs or groups but do watch out for any argumentative behaviour as they can often be territorial. These hamsters tend to live to around the age of 2 years.
- Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster – very similar to the Campbell hamster above, this species tends to be more reserved. As these two species can be interbred it is often hard to find a true Winter White Russian hamster, but if you are lucky enough to keep one, it should remain a firm family member for a good 2 years plus.
- Chinese Hamster – these hamsters are slightly larger than the dwarf species but not quite as big as a Syrian. Chinese hamsters are really playful and need lots of space to run around. Difficult to catch, these speedy balls of fluff can live up to 2 years. There are restrictions in some states such as California where this species is illegal, so please check guidelines before purchasing one.
If having read all of this and having followed my top tips you have been lucky enough to convince your parents to get you a hamster, then please remember to look after it well. Remember to love it, handle it regularly, feed it daily and always be the one to clean it out.