Congratulations! Welcoming a hamster, mouse, or gerbil into your home is so much fun. Like, seriously a ball. These tiny animals are a joy to watch and handle (with care) and we have all the hamster, mouse, and gerbilsupplies you’ll need to keep your new buddy happy and healthy.
We know the information on small animals can feel a bit overwhelming (because woah, it's a lot), but don’t worry. We'll cover some of the basics first-time small pet parents need to know, like what supplies you’ll need.
First thing’s first. Your cute hamster or mouse will eat most of his or her food at night. That’s right! These small animals are nocturnal; they sleep during the day and are awake at night. So if you’re a light sleeper, make sure to place their habitat somewhere where you won’t hear 'em munching away all night. A gerbils’ sleep cycle, on the other hand, depends on what species they are. If you’re unsure about what species you have, consult your vet.
Food, too, is (obviously) one of your most important supplies. Hamsters, mice, and gerbils require lots of forage and greens. If you provide them with a high fiber diet made up of small animal hay, greens (veggies), and some fruits, pelleted food isn’t necessary. However, some pet parents do opt to feed their rodents pelleted food, so it’s vital to provide them with a high-quality mix and NOT the junk food found in lots of big box pet stores that can cause obesity. And remember, your tiny buddy should always have access to fresh water.
As far as hamster supplies go, a good rule of thumb is to feed about 1-2 tablespoons of pelleted food (if you choose), along with 1 teaspoon of fresh veggies per day. A gerbil can eat about 1 tablespoon of pelleted food as well as 1 tablespoon of fresh veggies. A mouse can also eat about 1 tablespoon of pelleted food and a very small amount of fresh veggies. Providing your small animal with hay (Timothy Hay is a great option) is critical for their digestion and dental health (it helps wear down teeth) and encourages foraging and nesting behaviors. You can also offer a small helping of fruit, but be careful to not give too much or intestinal issues could arise.
A Quick Tip
Those chubby cheeks double as food storage for hamsters, gerbils, and mice, so if you notice the food dish emptying out quickly, they're probably storing food in their cheek pouches or somewhere inside their home. Both of these are normal behaviors for these small animals... just be sure to clean out their habitat frequently to remove stored food before it goes bad.
As a new hamster, gerbil, or mouse parent, do your research on the breed you have, as certain breeds cannot be housed together. (And unless you want to become a grandparent, don’t house males and females under the same roof.) If you’re not sure what breed you have, talk to your veterinarian right away.
A cage? Super important, so also do your research. These tiny creatures love to burrow and nest and also like to have separate areas for eating, sleeping, and pooping. So, make sure your cage is large enough for your small pet to do what makes them happy. Consider a tri-level cage that provides options for healthy activity and the ability for your hamster, gerbil or mouse to hide and play above ground level.
And don’t forget one of the most important supplies, quality bedding, to fill the base of your small animal cage. We recommend changing bedding every few days for freshness.
Having a small rodent is a wonderful experience. They’re curious, playful, and fun to observe and handle. With the right gerbil, mouse or hamster supplies, you’ll be able to take the best care of them for their whole entire life.
Shop our pet supplies online for everything you need for small animals: hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits and rats.