1. cat
  2. cat food
  3. cat mate
  4. cat md
  5. cat sip
  6. cat stop
  7. catit
  8. catmouse
  9. catnip & grass
  10. catswell
You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Dwarf Hamster Setup Steps

Dwarf Hamster

Experience Level: Beginner

Dwarf Hamster


Did you know? Hamsters have fur-lined pouches that extend from their heads to their shoulders to transport food. They will store the food in a special hiding place.

Step 1Choosing a Habitat

• Dwarf Hamsters can be friendly and social if raised together. House same gender pairs only.

• Your Dwarf Hamster needs a home large enough for a (A) food dish and (B) water bottle, a hiding area and an exercise wheel. There should be plenty of room for all cage accessories, and for your hamster to move around freely.
Minimum cage size is 12x12x12" with wire spacing no larger than 1/2" apart.

Cage Placement
• Place the habitat in a cool 65-75º F (18-24º C), low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.

Step 2Play and Hide

These items are essential for your Dwarf Hamster’s comfort, health and well-being.

Exercise Wheel
(C) Remember hamsters are nocturnal and may use the exercise wheel after your bedtime. Hamsters also enjoy running in an exercise ball when outside of the habitat.

Hide House (not pictured)
• Houses should be easily cleaned. Edible homes give the additional benefit of encouraging normal chewing behavior.

Chew Toys (not pictured)
• Your Dwarf Hamster’s front teeth never stop growing, so your pet needs lots of healthy things to chew on like treat sticks and chews. Chew toys should be available at all times.

Dust Bath (not pictured)
 • The container should have enough room for your pet to flip and roll around. Add 2" of bath dust to a container 2-3 times per week to let your hamster take a dust bath for 10-20 minutes.

Nesting Material (not pictured)
 • Hamsters will shred material and make sleep areas. Paper or cotton fabrics are acceptable.

Step 3Bedding

(D) Dwarf Hamsters love to hide and burrow, so provide lots of clean aspen, pine or recycled paper bedding. Line the home with a minimum of 1-2" of bedding.

• Cedar shavings are not recommended for small pets.

• Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed monthly.

Traits and Behaviors

Easily Startled
Be careful, especially when waking your pet. If startled, your pet may bite. Take extra care when awakening your hamster and always handle your pet gently.

Dwarf Hamsters have tons of energy and need to run on a wheel in their habitat, or in an exercise ball daily.

You’ll notice your Dwarf Hamster grooming frequently while awake.

Dwarf Hamster Habitat


New surroundings and environments can be stressful for hamsters. Prior to handling your hamster, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

Things to Watch For

• Cloudy, sunken or swollen eyes

• Overgrown front teeth

• Bare patches in the fur

• Diarrhea or discolored droppings

• Lethargic behavior

• Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally

• Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or small animal veterinarian about the health of your pet.

PetSmart Cares
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.