Hamsters are considered inexpensive animals to buy and keep.
From private they are sometimes even given away and much can eat the small rodents also not.
Nevertheless, both the purchase of the hamster and the running costs can be surprisingly high.
In this article you will learn how much you have to plan for the purchase of a hamster and its basic equipment and what the running costs depend on. We will also give you tips on how to save money without compromising your hamster’s quality of life.
Hamster: Purchase price
The purchase price for a hamster depends on several factors. These are:
Pet shop, breeder, animal welfare or private sale.
Generally, the purchase price is between 5 and 30 dollars.
But why are the costs so far apart?
Breeder or pet shop: costs and differences
Those who want to buy a hamster for the first time often see the pet store as the best place to start.
Here hamsters are also seemingly cheap. However, since they must first be bought from a breeder and cared for until resale, the price is often higher than directly from the breeder.
In addition, many pet shops do not disclose the name of the breeder. This makes it unclear whether the animals are really purebred and healthy or whether an inbred litter was delivered to the store by a private person.
With the breeder you have several advantages. These are:
often a lower purchase price
Control of the heredity
parents are known
keeping conditions can be checked
Hamster is purebred
This way you will not be surprised if the supposed dwarf hamster grows bigger.
In addition, typical problems due to inbreeding are avoided or at least the risk is kept low.
Many breeders can also give you comprehensive advice on the respective breed.
Further possibilities are the animal welfare or private donations.
Animal welfare and private donations
For animal welfare animal shelters, Hamster in Not e.V. or Hamsterhilfe come into question. Here there is no purchase price, but a protection fee.
If the animal was given away together with accessories, these can be bought directly with it.
If you do not want a young animal, this can be a good option.
Young hamsters may also be available if an unwanted litter was given away.
It is worthwhile to inform yourself at the respective places.
However, you have here as well as with private donations again potential disadvantages.
Because it is possibly not a purebred hamster or the result of inbreeding.
This is often accompanied by health problems.
However, it can be an advantage that the animals are already tame and well accustomed to humans.
Partly the hamsters from private hand are given away however or if an attitude is not at all more possible, free of charge with the entire accessories.
At this point, therefore, a considerable saving is already possible.
Breed as a cost factor
The rarer a breed or a color scheme is, the higher the purchase price usually is.
A golden hamster therefore usually costs less to purchase than the Campbell hamster, which is not as common.
If it is a rare color, the price can also be higher.
Sex and purchase price
This difference is not always given, but can occur.
Females are sometimes offered more expensive, because you could breed faster with them.
Therefore, inform yourself in advance whether there is a difference in purchase price between the sexes.
Costs for hamster cage, terrarium or hamster home
Also to the acquisition belongs of course the suitable accommodation for your hamster.
Commercial hamster cages are usually much too small, but can still cost 25 to 50 dollars- although they are not suitable.
For a terrarium, a multi-story hamster cage or a hamster home that even looks decorative in the living room, you should plan 50 to 150 dollars.
This may seem like a lot at first. However, a large shelter with plenty of room to move will have a positive effect on your hamster’s health and behavior.
You will therefore save on veterinary costs and enjoy your pet more.
How much do equipment and toys cost?
The equipment in the hamster home includes:
For the sleeping house you have to pay 10 to 30 dollars.
A hamster drinker or a small nipple drinker you can plan 3 to 10 dollars.
Food bowls cost 1 to 3 dollarseach.
The price range for toys and activities is much larger.
If you integrate a safe running wheel with a large diameter and otherwise make toys yourself, 10 to 30 dollars are quite sufficient.
For food balls, pens and tubes can now and then also 10 to 30 dollars.
However, since the purchase is usually made once, the expenses for this are kept within limits.
In addition, the elements of the basic equipment can also be used when a new hamster is purchased.
The equipment is therefore often a one-time cost.
Running costs in hamster keeping
The running costs in hamster keeping are made up of the following factors:
How high are the feed costs for a hamster?
Hamster food consists of seeds, green or fresh food and animal protein.
For high quality dry food consisting of seeds, dried flowers and herbs you have to calculate with 6 to 10 dollars for 500 grams.
But since even a medium hamster needs only a very small amount per day, 500 grams will easily last about two months or even longer.
So you should plan about 5 dollars per month.
You don’t have to buy fresh food like herbs, grasses, fruits and vegetables for your hamster.
You can simply offer him a small piece of your food.
A small leaf of dandelion, a shoot of golliwoog or some parsley is also sufficient. Alternatively, you can grow a small flower pot with suitable plants.
The costs for this are therefore extremely low.
There is still the animal protein. Boiled egg whites, yogurt or mealworms can be used for this.
While a piece of egg or half a teaspoon of yogurt falls off when eaten by humans, you should plan on 4 to 8 dollars for 100 grams of dried mealworms.
These will also last for a long time, so the cost will be very low.
For your hamster’s food, you only need to budget a few cents per day.
Our tips: Plan for one dollars every day. This way you can feed your pet very high quality food and still have savings for vet costs or new toys.
How much do bedding and sand cost for the hamster?
Suitable bedding options are:
For large packages you pay about 2 to 10 dollars per piece, depending on the type. For 60 liters of small animal litter you have to plan only 1.50 to 2 dollars.
This package size is sufficient for two to three months. With hay and straw even clearly longer.
With a total expenditure of 10 dollars you have enough shavings, straw and hay for three months.
It will be a bit more expensive if you use hemp litter and offer your hamster cotton flowers in addition.
Even then, the expenses are only about 5 dollars per month.
Still missing is the band sand for your hamster.
This costs 0.50 to 3 dollars per kilogram. The larger the package, the lower the price.
In addition, it can be reused very often and you can remove feces and other impurities by simply sifting.
Buying a 5kg bucket once is therefore usually enough for the whole hamster’s life.
Unfortunately, a blanket statement cannot be made here.
Some hamsters are healthy all their lives.
Others have teeth that are too long, get abscesses, diarrhea, diabetes or tumors. Also a pushing out of the eyes or bone fractures are possible.
The costs can therefore range from zero to several hundred dollars.
However, financially speaking, treatments usually do not exceed 200 or 300 dollars per hamster.
The better, safer and more species-appropriate the hamster housing is designed, the lower the veterinary costs will be.
You can also save money if you make your own toys or keep your hamster busy with food games, branches, twigs and secure free-range areas.
However, you should not underestimate the costs.
It is best to save 10 to 20 dollars specifically for the hamster before the purchase and every month of keeping.
This way you have a cushion if it should come to a more extensive treatment at the vet or you have to replace something in the equipment.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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