Getting a hamster is a commitment that does not end at just buying your pet. All pets require lifetime care for their needs and hamsters are no exception.
So when considering getting a hamster as a pet you should be well aware of that. Though they are said to be low maintenance, they will still need to have their basic needs met on a day to day basis.
To learn more about this necessary input and the actual cost of a pet hamster, keep reading.
How much does a hamster cost?
A hamster is a quite affordable pet and one will cost between $15-$25. However, most expenses will go into the accessories required for their maintenance like the cage, wheels, exercise balls, hideouts, tunnels, food bowls, and water bottles. Other initial costs that double up as recurring costs are their food and beddings. You can buy hamsters from pet stores, from special hamster breeders, or adopt them from shelters and rescue centers.
Where can you get a hamster
Hamsters are gradually becoming popular family pets making them common and easy to find. There are a couple of places where you can purchase your hamster, whether you are a first-time owner or want to get a companion for your already existing hamster pet.
You can buy a hamster from:
Pet stores are the most usual places where most people will get their pets including hamsters. They are cheaper and have a wide variety of breeds for you to choose from.
Popular pet stores like Petco and PetSmart will almost always have the hamster you have in mind. The range of their cost is the same but Syrian hamsters tend to cost a little more because they are a preferred breed due to their adorable and furry nature.
If pet stores are not your thing, you can get the exact kind of hamster you want from a hamster breeder. Although a little more expensive, pets from breeders are usually carefully bred.
They will be healthier and happier in general. Ensure you are doing business with a trusted breeder though.
Pet shelters and rescue centers
Shelters and rescue centers will usually house abandoned pets who need a loving home. Many people will advise that adoption is the best way to acquire your pet while criticizing pet stores.
They will argue that pet stores should not be facilitating the breeding of more pets when there are so many abandoned pets in shelters and rescue centers that can be adopted.
The downside with this though is that a pet could have been in a miserable home that could have affected the way they behave.
Adoption will be free or you can be required to pay for a small adoption fee that goes towards footing their vet bills and pet necessities.
Initial costs of getting a hamster
The initial costs of getting a hamster will include their basic daily requirements. It is always wise to get quality accessories instead of opting for cheaper ones at first.
Quality will ensure that they last your pet for even their whole life instead of going for cheap things that will require replacements now and then which becomes expensive in the long run.
Initial costs will include the major things like:
Cages will cost from around $50-$100 depending on their type and size. Keep in mind that bigger ones with built-in accessories like tunnels cost more compared to basic ones.
Always go for a bigger sized cage from the word go. You may be tempted to buy a small one if you are getting a young pet but remember that they will outgrow it fast enough and you’ll be back in the market to purchase another cage soon.
Toy prices will be different too. A wheel will depend on your hamster’s size going for $25 and $40 at maximum. Tunnels and tubes are cheaper at around $5. Exercise balls are also important and they will set you back around $20.
A carrier is not a basic necessity but it will come in handy when you need to move your pet. Whether you are going out, having a vet appointment, or an emergency, you will need a carrier to move your pet around comfortably.
A carrier should cost around $10.
Food bowls and water bottles
Food bowls should be heavy and ceramic to prevent them from being tipped over or chewed. They can cost from $3-$16 depending on how fancy you want your pet to eat.
Water bottles on the other hand have many different varieties costing an average of $13.
Recurring costs are brought about mainly by their beddings and food needs. Both are usually cheap though and you can easily afford this considering a bag of hamster food can cost from as low as $2-$4 rounding up to about $50 annually.
You can even add your foods as supplements to their food if they are safe. Once in a while, you could offer your pet foods like kales, broccoli, blackberries, mangoes, mint, or basil.
Hamsters can also have boiled eggs and mealworms as they are omnivorous.
Their beddings and litter are affordable too because they are generally clean animals and you may only need to change them once a week. These can set you back $210 annually.
Vet visits and emergencies
Hamsters do not require frequent vet visits but your hammy could become sick, begin acting in ways you cannot understand, or have an emergency. This will necessitate a vet visit.
Different conditions will have a varying diagnosis. Always have $100 – $200 set aside for times like this. Some people will even opt for hamster insurance which is also okay.
Ways to reduce costs
Your first year as a hamster owner may set you back around $345.
Considering that a hamster’s lifespan is between 2-3 years, your total expenses can easily amount to $885 if you have an annual spend of $260.
This may be quite costly and you will be relieved to learn that there are ways of significantly reducing these costs. They include:
- Using shredded plain paper or unscented paper napkins as bedding.
- Making your toys including tunnels and mazes using used toilet paper rolls and boxes.
- Taking good care of your pet to avoid vet visits.
- Making homemade treats instead of buying them.
- Using a box as a carrier for your hammy.
- You can even make your cage.
How much does euthanizing a hamster cost
Sometimes your pet could fall terminally ill making euthanizing the only available option that’s best for them. Though it’s hard for an owner to choose the procedure, sometimes it’s the only way to stop your pet’s pain and suffering.
Costs of euthanizing a hamster will vary depending on the vet but it can be around $25-$40.
A hamster is an affordable pet and one can cost from $15-$20. You can acquire one from a pet store, a special breeder, or through adoption.
Though the actual cost of a hamster is cheap, the costs of their needs and supplies can become quite high.
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