Toys & Chews
Hamsters teeth grow continually throughout their lives. In captivity, they require non-toxic wood chews, Whimzees or lightly cracked, unsalted, unseasoned nuts in the shell. Whimzees are a brand of dog chew which are both safe and widely available. Pet stores also sell a variety of wooden chews for your hamsters but not all hamsters are interested in them.
Hamsters enjoy having lots of enrichment: saucer style wheels, hides (plastic, wood, ceramic, etc.), bend-a-bridges, tubes, small containers, mugs, pots, ladders, mazes, shelves, hammocks etc., etc. The options are endless! Ensure that there is not an opportunity for your hamster to climb anything tall, as they can fall and hurt themselves. Wood items should be sealed with a non-toxic sealant such as Mod-Podge or non-aerosol water-based wood sealant.
Tip: Check out a dollar store or other discount stores for items like cardboard boxes and tubes (avoid ones with sparkles, ribbons and metallic paper), ceramic hides, flower pots, cups, bowls as well as large dog bowls and candy dishes which make excellent sand baths. Use household cardboard boxes and tubes or make hamster toys out of popsicle sticks and hot glue. Also, when shopping at Petco or Petsmart, you can save money by showing the online price of the item while at the register.
When shopping be aware of some very dangerous products that are marketed to hamsters. See our unsafe products guide for more.