How to Take Care of Newborn Dwarf Hamsters
The term "Dwarf" hamster encompasses a number of different varieties of hamster. The most common, according to Hamsterific.com, is the Russian Dwarf. Regardless of the classification of dwarf you care for, new babies or pups come with some special needs.
Most of the time, the mother provides all the attention the babies need to survive until it is time to leave the nest. Applying some common sense will go along way toward helping a newborn dwarf hamster reach maturity.
Clean out the cage before the birth of the new dwarf hamsters. Dwarf Hamster Care101 explains that you want to leave the mother hamster alone several days before giving birth. Schedule the cage cleaning within a week of the birth.
Apply plenty of clean bedding to the cage to prepare the stage for the new babies. Put the bedding in single sheets, such as a big piece of toilet paper. Hamsterific.com recommends not using commercial nesting material already shredded. The hamster will shred the bedding herself when nesting.
Move the cage to a quiet room so the mother is not disturbed during the birthing process.
Fill the water syringe fully before the birth. Leave plenty of food for the mother and babies. It is important that the mother be comfortable with the food supply before the birth. If she believes there is not enough food, she will kill the new pups.
Leave the babies untouched for two weeks after birth. Touching the newborns may lead to the mother abandoning them or eating the babies. Once you touch them, the babies will have your scent. Do not remove any pups even if dead or sickly. The mother will handle thinning down the litter if needed.
Change the food and water supply often after the birth. Again, the mother must not feel threatened. If she believes there is not enough food and fresh water, she may kill the pups.
Lower the water syringe on the third day so the pups can reach it. By day three, they may start exploring the cage and moving about on their own.
Clean the cage again once you see the eyes open on the pups. Hamsterific states this will be around the 13th day after birth.
Wean the pups between days 21 to 28 after birth. Weaning is separating the babies from the mother. By this time, they are fully independent and able to eat on their own. Separate the boy hamsters from the girls or you will have more babies.
Check the water bottle frequently to ensure it does not leak. A wet cage is unhealthy for both the mother and babies. If the cage becomes wet within the first 10 days, put clean bedding in a bucket.
Remove the mother and father hamster first. They will be agitated because of the pups. Place the parents in the bucket.
Put gloves on your hands and scoop the pups out. Take as much dry bedding as possible with the pups. Place the pups and bedding into a soup bowl.
Clean the cage then put the pups back in the cage first. Place them in the same location you removed them from if possible.
Place a treat in the cage near fresh food and water. Hamsterific suggests a slice of apple. Put the parents near the treat to distract them. Leave the family alone to resettle.