Black Teddy Bear Hamsters are popular pets owing to their beautiful, black coats and their docile natures, for which they were specifically bred. They are part of the Syrian Hamster family and share many traits with their golden cousins. They are 5 to 7 inches in length; their average lifespan is about two years, but may be extended to four years in ideal conditions; and they must be kept alone in a cage, for they will fight with their cage-mates. There the similarity ends, for they have luscious, thick black coats. Markings may vary, but most of these gorgeous animals have white paws, and some sport a white triangle at their throat, which gives them the appearance of wearing a tuxedo.
Whereas the Syrian Hamster is prone to biting, the Black Teddy Bear Hamster is less aggressive, and is in fact known for its calm demeanor. The Black Teddy Bear Hamster is an offshoot of the Teddy Bear mutation of Syrian Hamsters that was developed in 1985. Further selective breeding produced a superior animal that is as handsome as it is even-tempered.
However, as with all hamsters, popularity has led to mass breeding. A Black Teddy Bear Hamster bought in a pet shop may not be any more docile than his Syrian Hamster cousin. A professional breeder will keep the integrity of the breed intact by only breeding Black Teddy Bear Hamsters with the friendly gene. Hamster farms, on the other hand, don't take the time to notice whether their pregnant female is snarling at them. So, to ensure that you are acquiring a happy and healthy one, it is best to buy from a reputable professional breeder, or dedicated hobbyist.
When allowing these hamsters to produce litters of little ones, it is essential to start with good breeding stock, and that is another reason to purchase the parents from a serious hamster enthusiast. In keeping with their Syrian Hamster heritage, the parents must be separated once they have mated, since the female may attack the male. Black Teddy Bear Hamster fathers do not help raise the babies. Be aware that hamsters reproduce abundantly, and many unwanted hamster offspring wind up in animal shelters or with small animal rescue organizations.
These hamsters are nocturnal, as are most hamsters, so unless the owner is a night owl, the pet's cage should not be located in the bedroom. Night time is when the hamster will engage in his most intense exercise, such as running on a hamster wheel, replicating the long nightly journeys that he would have taken on the desert dunes of his native Syria.
They may be given the same food as their Syrian Hamster relations, which is easily located in pet stores. Their diet may be augmented with snacks of vegetables, seeds, grains and grass, but uneaten fresh food should always be removed after one day. Water should be readily available, and is best offered in a water bottle suspended from the side of the cage, to prevent spillage.
Chew toys are vital for hamster tooth health, because their incisors are continually growing and your Black Teddy Bear Hamster is no different in this respect. If the hamster is not able to gnaw down its teeth on its own, a trip to the veterinarian will be necessary to have the incisors clipped. Dog biscuits may be provided for gnawing, as well as apple wood, which is free of natural toxins. Hamsters that are not given material to chew on will try to gnaw the metal bars of their cage.
According to ASPCA guidelines, children younger than six years old should not be allowed to handle hamsters, including Black Teddy Bear Hamsters. Older children require supervision until they understand how to treat them with care. Due to their small bodies, hamsters can be fragile creatures. Their poor eyesight makes them susceptible to falling from heights and suffering injuries.
Once the new owner has learned basic hamster care and provided the pet with entertaining chew toys and hamster accessories, it is time to bond with the animal by taking it out of its cage at least once daily and handling it. The proud owner may then enjoy the wonderful personality of his beautiful hamster.