The Roborovski dwarf hamster is also known as the Robo dwarf hamster or the Russian dwarf hamster. It is one of the most timid, the smallest and cutest hamster species, which makes it an incredibly popular pet.
In addition, the Roborovski hamsters are quite quick, active, curious and playful pets. Caring for them is relatively easy as long as you follow the proper care process. Here is a comprehensive guide on the ultimate Robo dwarf hamster care process.
Who Should Care For a Robo Hamster?
A significant part of the care process is determining who can handle Robo hamsters and who cannot. A full-grown Roborovski dwarf hamster grows 2–3 inches long. You can also find some that are slightly larger or smaller. These pets take longer to tame—they are quick, they can bite and they are challenging to handle.
Their small size, biting risk and speed make the Robo hamster unsuitable for children, even with supervision. This pet can easily suffer from eyes popping out, broken bones and injuries. In addition, one can easily drop or crush them to death.
Therefore, they are suitable for adults or teenagers with previous experience caring for other mice or hamsters. In short, the Robo hamster is not a beginner pet. They require special care to ensure they live a long time.
What Are the Enclosure Requirements For a Robo Hamster?
One of the first things you should consider before bringing a Robo hamster home is the type of enclosure you should provide. Make sure to go for housing that is at least two feet long, two feet wide and one foot high. If you intend to keep more than one hamster, opt for a bigger cage, where you should multiply the size of a single cage by 0.5.
When it comes to the type of Roborovski dwarf hamster cage, the best habitat is a wire cage with a plastic bottom. Note that the Robo hamsters require a very secure cage to prevent escape. Therefore, choose an enclosure with quarter-inch spacing to ensure your pet does not squeeze through.
One of the best wire cages with a plastic bottom to consider is the Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage. Apart from the wire cage with a plastic bottom, you can also go for a plastic or a glass aquarium with a well-secured and ventilated top.
What Are the Primary Items To Include in a Robo Hamster’s Enclosure?
As stated above, the Robo or Russian dwarf hamster is a very active animal. Therefore, when providing optimal care for this hamster, ensure the enclosure has everything this pet may need. Here is a list of the primary things to include in their cage:
Roborovski hamsters are playful animals and can be bored if you do not enrich their enclosure. One of the must-have enrichments is the exercise wheel. When purchasing an exercise wheel, go for one with a smooth-running surface about 8–10 inches in size. Be sure to avoid wheels with bars or mesh, as your pet’s paw can easily get damaged or trapped by them.
In addition, provide your pets with a sterilized sand bath. Note that you should not use water to bathe your hamster. Instead, consider offering them non-toxic, dust-free and unscented bathing sand for your pet to clean itself.
Another vital enrichment is chew toys, as Robo hamsters love to chew. Make sure that the chew toys you provide are non-toxic and safe. You can also include interactive toys like wood pieces, cork bark, reptile vines, oat sprays, mazes and tunnels. Note that ladders and levels are not ideal for the Roborovski hamster as they can easily fall and injure themselves.
You should add at least one to two inches of bedding on the enclosure’s bottom. In the wild, the Roborovoski hamsters are avid burrowers. Therefore, you must provide a deep bedding layer to mimic their natural environment.
When providing bedding, you should be very careful about the type of substrate that you provide for your pet. Some of the bedding, such as corncob byproducts, pine shavings and cedar, are unsuitable and can put your pet at a health risk.
The best bedding for your pet should be dye and chemical-free, non-toxic and dust-extracted. It should be one that hamsters can easily ingest. Robo hamsters enjoy a mixture of coco peat and paper bedding. You can also provide them with commercially available aspen shavings, like the Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding or the Brown’s Naturally Fresh Aspen Small Animal & Bird Bedding.
Food bowl and water dispenser
A Robo dwarf hamster’s enclosure should have a dedicated section for the pet to eat. In this section, place one food bowl if you have one hamster. However, if you have several, place multiple bowls to avoid aggression during food time. Like any other pet, your hamster will need water. Make sure to install a suitable water dispenser on the enclosure’s side.
What Do Robo Dwarf Hamsters Eat?
Like other hamster species, Roborovski hamsters are omnivores. One essential thing to note when buying food for your pet is to always go for quality and choose a variety of foods. The Robo hamster can survive on pellets, but limiting their diet to one food is not advisable since adding a variety can encourage their foraging behavior. Here is a food list for the Robo dwarf hamster that you can add to your pet’s diet:
- Dried bananas
- Sunflower seeds
- Hamster biscuits
- Apples with no seeds
A significant part of your hamster’s diet should consist of pellets. As for the fresh foods, offer them as a treat. You should also not feed your hamster fresh food in large quantities. Make sure to observe your pet’s feeding habits. If your Robo hamster does not eat some fresh foods, remove them from the enclosure to avoid spoilage.
To establish a feeding schedule, feed the Robo dwarf hamster daily by placing the food and water in their food bowl and water dispenser. The ideal feeding time is during the evening when your pet wakes up. Note that you should remove any uneaten food from the cage after 24 hours.
What Is the Best Method For Handling the Roborovski Hamster?
The best way to handle the Roborovski hamster is gently and calmly. Make sure you do not jostle or squeeze your hamster when holding them. You should also sit on the ground when handling your pet. As stated above, any drop, even a few feet off the ground, can cause serious injury to this adorable animal.
Caring for a Roborovski dwarf hamster is relatively easy if you follow all the specific requirements. Note that this pet is not ideal for beginners, but for experienced hamsters or mice keepers. This is because the Roborovski hamsters are very fast, making them sometimes difficult to handle, especially for a child. Robo hamsters are also more difficult to bread than other dwarf hamsters.