When a hamster moves in, you don’t always immediately think about where the little rodent should go if you go on vacation for a longer period of time, if you have a weekend trip coming up or if you get sick.
For hamsters, the small world they live in is their home. Any time they are singled out or relocated to a new environment, it means stress for them in the first place. If you are only going away for three to four days, then you can leave the hamster alone. However, you should check a few things before you leave. Does the little roommate have enough to eat when you’re not around? Your hamster has probably set up a pantry for bad times to help himself to. Nevertheless, make sure that he is sufficiently supplied with food. However, do not give him any fresh food before you leave. This could start to mold and attract insects. Check the litter and remove any wet patches. Also, fill the nipple bottle with fresh water. In summer you can draw the blinds or curtains in the room so that the room does not heat up too much. If you now make sure that the cage is intact and that the little rodent cannot escape from its home, you can go on your short holiday with peace of mind.
When a longer vacation is coming up
If you plan to travel for a long period of time, there are three ways you can take care of your hamster in the meantime:
- You take your hamster and its enclosure with you.
- You take the hamster and cage to a pet sitter or boarding kennel.
- You have an acquaintance, relative, neighbor, or pet sitter who will take care of the hamster so that the rodent can remain in its familiar environment.
The latter is definitely the most comfortable option. Not only for you but also for the hamster. In this way, the little rodent is exposed to the least amount of stress. He continues to live in his familiar surroundings with his familiar smells and sounds. So you don’t have to worry that your little roommate will suffer health damage from the stress. Small animals such as golden and dwarf hamsters are best kept in their environment. In principle, it is not advisable to take the animals with you on holiday. Especially in hot areas, the climatic change brings with it a lot of stress for the hamster, to which they react sensitively. Therefore, think carefully beforehand whether you want to subject your little rodent to this.
Traveling with the hamster
If you do not want to go without your pet on holiday, please find out in good time before you travel whether your hamster will be accepted in the hotel or holiday apartment of your choice. In this way, you can save yourself and your animal travel companion unpleasant surprises on site. For stays abroad, inquire about the entry requirements and regulations in the respective holiday country. Remember to inform yourself in good time so that you still have enough leeway to have any necessary veterinary measures taken.
In general, you need an official veterinary health certificate when crossing borders outside the EU. Very precise customs officials require a repeated confirmation of the certificate from the veterinarian present at the borders. For your border crossing, therefore, select borders where an official veterinarian is present. The transport should always take place in a sufficiently large, well-ventilated transport box that is protected from heat and light. Never put this box in the trunk! Secure the travel cage securely to a car seat. The hamster must not be thrown around during a possible braking maneuver. Put a little house in the box for the little rodent and pad the travel cage with bedding and hay. If you also give him a piece of apple or carrot, both hunger and thirst will be satisfied during the journey. Never open a window while driving, otherwise the hamster could catch a cold. If you go on holiday in summer, use the evening, night and early morning hours. Firstly, this is a time of day when hamsters are usually awake, secondly, even if you’re stuck in traffic, it doesn’t get too hot in the car.
Holiday care for hamsters who stayed at home
A hamster is anything but willing to travel. A strange environment, climate fluctuations, great heat, countries with high humidity, and above all the hardships of transport do not please the little rodent at all. The best solution is therefore to leave the hamster at home in its familiar environment. The only thing you need is a knowledgeable caretaker for the time of your vacation. To find a pet sitter for your little roommate, it’s best to ask around your circle of friends, acquaintances, and relatives first.
If you can’t find a carer among them, don’t hang your head, after all, there are plenty of like-minded pet owners who offer holiday care for small animals. In return, they usually only expect that you will take care of their animals yourself at some point. You can find addresses of such pet sitters on our “Marketplace” page under “Classifieds”, but also via newspaper advertisements, veterinarians, animal shelters, and pet shops. Animal holiday quarters, so-called animal pensions, are now also plentiful. You can also find these in our business directory on the “Marketplace”.
Here’s what to look out for with pet sitters
The pet sitter should check on and take care of the hamster every evening in evening, just before the hamster’s usual wake-up time. Don’t forget to give the cage a thorough cleaning just before delivery, then no cleaning by the keeper will be needed for a period of one week.
Before departure, also put together a “care pass” for your hamster.
You can download an example of a care pass here.
Also, make sure you have enough food and bedding for when you are away. Only keepers who really have experience with hamsters should give them a free run and play lessons. For two to three weeks of vacation, the little rodent can cope with staying in the cage. Advise the pet sitter to wash their hands thoroughly before touching the hamster. This is especially true if you have one at home. This avoids the transmission of pathogens. If the pet sitter takes your hamster into their home, examine the premises carefully and point out possible sources of danger to the caretaker.