Posted: March 21, 2012, 10:20 p.m. EDT
Campbell’s hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) are a poor choice as a pet for children under 10 years old. If your child is less than 10 years old, he or she will generally do better with a Syrian hamster. Campbell’s hamsters tend to be in motion constantly and move faster than Syrian hamsters. Children may have difficulty dealing with this much motion and speed. Campbell’s are also too frail to withstand a child grabbing it — many have been squeezed to death.
For kids 8 to 10 years old who have previously owned a small animal, the Campbell’s may be a good choice. Kids just need to realize that the dwarf hamsters in general are more active and won’t sit on laps. Also, kids must accept that any time the Campbell’s hamster is outside its cage, he or she must supervise it.
Campbell’s hamsters can be good pets for adults and children (in age ranges previously mentioned) who are interested in an active pair that enjoys playing and exploring the world. Campbell’s hamsters demand your full attention when outside the cage, so they offer a great diversion. Campbell’s enjoy exploring and are generally content to run around a hamster playground for long periods of time.
Excerpt from the Popular Critters Series magabook Hamsters with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Hamsters here.