Whether you adopt or buy, getting a hamster is a not a decision you should make without some careful thought. In this section of the Guide we offer advice on both buying and adopting. If you want some help with deciding whether or not to get a hamster in the first place, take a look at the Should I Get A Hamster For A Pet section first.
Hamsters can be bought from pet stores across the US
If buying, it should be from a breeder or shop that has the animals’ best interests at heart. The sad fact is, some sellers treat hamsters as breeding machines and keep them in poor conditions. If you can’t see what environment the animals are being kept in, steer clear. If the vendor keeps lots of adult Syrian hamsters together, your Spider senses should be tingling! Syrian hamsters prefer to be kept apart, so a seller keeping lots together suggests that they are being churned out with little concern for the animals' welfare, or that they are simply being kept in unsuitable, stressful conditions.
Before you buy a hamster, consider adopting one from a sanctuary. Animal sanctuaries are charities, temporary homes for homeless pets of all shapes and sizes.