Russian Dwarf Hamster Information

Russian dwarf hamster information The Russian Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus Sungorus) is native to eastern Kazakhstan and southwestern Siberia. The Russian Dwarf Hamster is also called the Siberian Dwarf Hamster or Dzungarian Dwarf Hamster.

Head-body length : up to 13 cm
Body weight : between 45 and 65 grams depending on body size
Life expectancy : 1.5 - 2 years

Russian Dwarf hamsters are crepuscular, meaning they are most active in the evening and early morning. However, the animals sleep cyclically, i.e. a few hours of sleep alternate with a few hours of wakefulness, which means that these dwarf hamsters are also regularly awake during the day.

How do you tame a Russian Dwarf hamster?

Always read carefully before you decide to get a Russian Dwarf Hamster. They are very nice pets that are awake regularly, so they can also be seen during the day. This can be especially fun for children. Although the Russian Dwarf Hamster looks very cuddly, he does not always like to cuddle and he finds being picked up very scary, especially in the beginning. Because the animals do not see depth, they can run away from your hand if they are startled, so it is important when children handle the animals that there is always a parent present who can help and support.

A new resident should be approached calmly, especially during the first few months. The animal must first become familiar with its own enclosure and feel safe in it before it dares to approach people. Of course, there are also daredevils who immediately approach you and are social, but most hamsters are a bit shy at first. Give the animal time and try to make contact calmly by talking to the hamster. Giving treats out of hand often works well to gain the animals' trust.

Tip! Russian Dwarf Hamsters love dried mealworms

What does the housing of the Russian Dwarf Hamster look like?

Russian Dwarf hamsters need a spacious enclosure of at least 80 x 40 cm (LICG). A good enclosure gives the animals the opportunity to dig. In the wild, Russian Dwarf hamsters build beautiful corridors and they would like to continue to do so in captivity. A castle in the wild is located at a depth of at least 1 to 2 meters and is approximately 1 meter long. The depth of the castle depends on the ambient temperature. As temperatures rise, the dwarf hamster will dig deeper underground to reach the cool earth, a kind of natural air conditioning.

Hamsterscaping is therefore very fun for Russian Dwarf Hamsters.

Russian Dwarf Hamster At our home this translates into a spacious accommodation with digging possibilities! A terrarium is the best choice thanks to its closed character. It is important that a terrarium allows good ventilation, so preferably it has two grilles (top and bottom). This is especially important in summer when temperatures rise above 25°C.

Russian Dwarf hamsters cannot tolerate high temperatures in combination with high humidity, which is why a temperature between 20 - 24°C is recommended and a humidity below 70%. You can use a hygrometer to measure these values.

What is a good home for a Russian Dwarf Hamster?

Russian Dwarf Hamsters are in luck! because almost all houses made for hamsters have a good size for this dwarf hamster species. Russian Dwarf hamsters are prey animals and do not like to walk around the enclosure openly, but if they occasionally come across a shelter they feel a lot safer. Our advice is therefore to have at least two houses for the hamster. A house where the dwarf hamster can sleep and another one where he can hide. At least one of the two houses must be larger so that the dwarf hamster can also store its food supplies there. Being able to put away food supplies can cause stress for the animals.

What is a good exercise wheel for a Russian Dwarf Hamster?

The hamster exercise wheel is a very important part of the design of the dwarf hamster enclosure. Russian Dwarf Hamsters are active animals that like to run, often at night. This is because they naturally run a lot during the night in the search for food. So this is, as it were, in their DNA. In addition, scientific research has shown that running on an exercise wheel makes hamsters happy, digestion is promoted and the animals generally remain in good condition.

A running wheel for a Russian Dwarf Hamster must have a diameter of at least 20 cm and consist of a closed running surface.

What is good bedding for the Russian Dwarf Hamster?

It is important that the ground cover is diggable for Dwarf Hamsters , which means that they can make corridors and holes in it, which preferably remain standing. This can be achieved by choosing ground cover that is already diggable in itself or mixing ground covers with each other so that they are diggable. An example of a diggable ground cover is the Humus and the Holenzand , but also Cotton & Cotton . A nice mix is, for example, the mix of Cotton & Hemp Fiber , Cotton & Wood Fiber or a mix of Wood Fiber , Hemp Fiber and Hay. Ground covers such as Back 2 Nature are not suitable because animals cannot dig in them. An ideal height of the ground cover for digging is around 20 cm.

What is a good sand bath for Russian Dwarf Hamster?

Russian Dwarf hamsters like to take a sand bath every now and then. Sand has a degreasing and therefore cooling effect. Because sand has a degreasing effect, it also has a drying effect. Animals with skin problems should therefore not be given a sand bath. If the sand dries out the skin too much, it can become itchy, causing the animals to bathe even more. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the hamsters' bad behavior and to remove the sandbox if there are signs of skin problems (red spots, bald spots, scabs, wounds).

What is Winter Paralysis in Russian Dwarf Hamsters?

If the ambient temperature is below 17°C for a long time, these dwarf hamsters can go into winter paralysis . This is different from hibernation, namely shorter. The animals wake up briefly every day, after which they go back into paralysis. It only occurs in Russian Dwarf hamsters. It is very important to recognize this correctly, because it is often thought that the animals have died, with all the consequences that entails. A Russian Dwarf Hamster that is in winter paralysis feels cold and sometimes even a little stiff. Take the animal in your hands and let it warm up and wake up in your hands.

On the one hand, winter paralysis is triggered by a drop in temperature, but on the other hand, food shortages can also play a role. If the animals are malnourished and it is slightly colder, but warmer than 17°C, they can also go into hibernation. The length of the day also plays a role here. If it also starts to get dark at 5 p.m. for the hamsters, the body can receive a signal that winter has started.

Are Russian Dwarf Hamsters Nest Builders?

Russian Dwarf hamsters are real nest builders, they always need nesting material so that they can line their hole with it. Making a nest is therefore part of the natural behavior of a dwarf hamster. Therefore, always give him 15-25 grams of nesting material.

Nesting material must be nice and soft, absorb moisture and have fragile fibers so that the animals cannot become entangled in it. Materials such as cotton, hemp, toilet paper and hay are ideal.

What is good food for Russian Dwarf Hamster?

Russian Dwarf hamsters are granivores (seed eaters). The diet of Russian Dwarf hamsters consists mainly of seeds and a little bit of vegetable food in the form of herbs , but also animal proteins. Dwarf hamsters catch small insects in the wild, so it is good if their diet also contains animal proteins .

Russian Dwarf hamsters carry their hamster food in their cheek pouches. What you see is that the hamster stuffs his food into his cheek pouches and quickly takes it to his house or pantry. Carrying food in the cheek pouches is also called "hoarding". Thanks to the cheek pouch muscle, the food is held in the cheek pouch and the hamster can transport it safely and quickly.

Dental formula: 1013/1013 (Ratio of incisors at the top - bottom = 1: 2-3) Incisors continue to grow
Molars do not continue to grow: The large cheek pouches that extend to the shoulder blades are a flexible protrusion of the buccal mucosa
Stomach: consists of two chambers: the anterior stomach and the glandular stomach
Small cecum: with limited ability to process crude fibers. Protein-rich cecal droppings are only eaten in case of food shortage

The percentage of crude fiber in the diet should be a maximum of 10% for optimal digestibility and absorption of the diet.

What is good gnawing material for Russian Dwarf Hamsters?

Russian Dwarf hamsters have a natural need to gnaw. This is because dwarf hamsters are rodents and have continuously growing incisors. It is therefore necessary that they can gnaw on something to wear down the teeth. If dwarf hamsters do not have enough opportunities to wear down their teeth, the teeth may become too long or grow crooked, with all the consequences that entails.

Gnawing wood is used by rodents to wear down their teeth. Because rodents' teeth are always growing, they need to be gnawed regularly so that they do not grow too long and crooked.

Some Russian Dwarf hamsters gnaw wood very actively and others not at all. On the one hand it is a matter of taste, but on the other hand it is a matter of need. If a dwarf hamster has no need to gnaw because its teeth are kept at their length through food, hay or other nibbles, it will gnaw less on wood. It is good to always provide natural gnawing wood so that the animals can always gnaw when they need to gnaw.

How do you recognize dental problems in Russian Dwarf Hamsters?

If you notice that your hamster is very enthusiastic about taking the food, but then does not eat it, there may be something wrong with its teeth. Drooling can also indicate dental problems. If you suspect that there are dental problems, it is best to contact your veterinarian.

How is the reproduction of the Russian Dwarf Hamster?

Russian Dwarf hamsters are semi-solitary (live in pairs in the wild). Once young are born, the parents care for the young together until they are old enough to leave the nest.

The female is willing (in heat) and ready to mate every 4 days. This takes about 12 hours. If successful mating has taken place on these days, the young are born after approximately 19 days.

The difference between males and females can be seen in the distance between the genital opening and the anus. This distance is greater for a male than for a female.

Sexual maturity : from 4 weeks
Breeding mature: females from 12 weeks
Number of litters : 3-4 per year
Litter size : average 7 (max. 10) litters per litter
Gestation period : 19-21 days
Birth weight : 1-2 g, nest stayers
Weaning time : from week 3

Health of the Russian Dwarf Hamster

Russian Dwarf hamsters are generally quite healthy animals. The most common health problems are dental problems, diabetes, Parkinson's (tremors) and eye problems. In connection with dental problems, we recommend that you check them regularly to detect any dental problems in time.

To prevent diabetes, it is important that the Russian Dwarf Hamster is purely bred and not hybrid (crossing with the Campbelli). In addition, the Mandarin color has the greatest risk of developing diabetes, so it must be properly bred. Animals that are already predisposed to developing diabetes (genetically, certain breeding lines) should not be given sweet snacks.

Parkinson's or trembling in dwarf hamsters is mainly seen in black-related colors such as: Black, Russian Blue, Merle Black, Pearl Black, Merle Russian Blue, Pearl Russian Blue.

It is not necessary to treat the animals preventively with anti-parasite. It is not necessary to provide extra vitamins with a complete hamster diet.

If you have the following symptoms, it is wise to consult a veterinarian

Dental problems

Drooling, moist nose and eyes, protruding teeth, not eating, losing weight, eating foreign materials that are softer than the food.


Bald spots, lots of scratches, scabs, wounds, bumps and lumps


Wet and dirty ass, drinking a lot, falling over, listless, different shape and color of the feces

hamster and dwarf hamster
Your rodent and rabbit definitely deserves a real specialist

Please accept cookies to help us improve this website Is this OK? Yes No More on cookies »