Live vs Toy
Live Hamster vs Zhu Zhu Toy
As you can guess I take this subject very seriously. Live Hamsters are not toys and should not be treated as such! They are not throw away/disposable pets.
I have had hamsters on and off for the many years from the time I was a young child til now. The first Live Hamster I remember was my brothers when I was very young and she had babies. It was wonderful to watch them grow. My brother was taught, as I was, by our parents to care our own animals correctly. We owned many animals and learned responsibility from that. So I do believe it is a wonderful thing for a child to own and learn responsibility for a pet. I think it is important for a child to have a pet to love and care for and to talk to.
I believe it is a real shame for kids today not to own an animal to care for. Many times it is the selfishness of the parent or a parent that never had a pet that is at fault. Many or even most mother's work full time outside the home now and they really do not need one more thing to do in a days time. Do kids need to be monitored caring for their own pets? You bet. But for what the child learns from caring for the animal as well as the love they can give and receive to that same animal, it is worth it. Another reason children today can not own pets is living conditions. So many places will not let you own a dog or cat or such. Most however will let you have a small animal and Hamsters sure fall into that category.
Many people think that because they own a cat or a dog they would not be able to own a small pet such as a hamster. It might be true in their situation. However millions, probably more then trillions, far more then sextillions, of people have/do/will own several species in one household. Placement of the cages and training of the roaming animals is key.
If you do choose to own a Hamster be sure and learn as much about their care as you can read. When I was a kid you read books. You might only own one or two on the pet, but the Local Library was a great recourse. Now it is much easier, we have the Internet. Owning a Hamster is not rocket science, but they do require the right foods, bedding, the biggest correct cage you can afford for them, a wheel to run in for excersize and some of your time. Don't let them down, they depend solely on you for their very life.
Some ideas to keep a child, or in fact an adult, interested in their Hamster pet. Learn more about it each month. Do a study on Hamster Nutrition and have fun at the Grocery Store buying a bit for the Hamster and cutting it up and or fixing a nice meal for the Hamster. Learn to train your hamster. The more time you spend with it the more time you will want to spend with it. Take photos and videos. Learn to upload videos set to music to YouTube. Set up a page for your hamster on your website. Make a scrapbook about your hamsters life. Learn to build a hidebox and other toys for your hamster. Take simple items around the house, like toilet paper rolls and empty boxes and create a maze and or agility course for the hamster....change it from time to time. Make the hamster an important part of the family conversation, ask about the child's pet at the dinner table or while riding in the car. Tell a little cute story of something the hamster did at dinner. When talking about the pet, call it by name.
Now about the Toy Hamsters. They are great fun. the Zhu Zhus will do many things and it is a riot how they are programmed. You can buy balls for them, vehicles, tubes and all sorts of fun things. For some kids it is their only option.
more to come
The contents of this page for Live vs Toy is still under construction. Please check back later!
-- The Hamster Agility Team
Wed, 19 Jan 2011 18:59:57 -0500