A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Dr. Peter Fritzsche
Thought to inform myself more on hamster care, since we have one now. So brought home a few pet books from the library. Learned from the fish experience not to bother with the ones in juvenile non-ficion section. A lot of the info in here was already familiar to me, but I was reminded of some important things- like how stressful it is for the hamster when you rearrange stuff in its home cage. Also learned more about the history of these little pets. They are not really domesticated animals, only having become part of the pet trade since the 1980's. In Syria where they come from, people consider them pests. There are twenty different kinds of hamsters, only a few which are suitable to keep as pets. I also didn't know that in the wild some hamsters hibernate through the winter, they can make ultrasonic sounds (similar in frequency to bat calls) and that they can become diabetic. I was also unaware that the use of exercise wheel in hamster cages is a controversial topic among pet owners. The book included some material based on research, from observing the behavior of wild hamster in their natural habitat. Some of the more useful information in the book (for me) was a list of natural foods the hamster can eat (including hay, cat grass and kitchen herbs), instructions on how to find/trap a hamster that has escaped its cage, and tips on how to help your child deal with the death of their pet when it reaches old age (at two or three years).