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Updated disclaimer notice after receiving lots of flak lately: My furbabies live in a regular appropriate-sized hammytat with proper food, water, bedding, hideouts & interactive/exercise toys such as tubes, running & saucer wheels. These playhouse & playtime moments are only for the weekends as it's the only time I have to play with them (though I do handle them at least twice a day before & after work). They have been taught to "treasure hunt" for their favourite treats, have learnt & understand the rewarding purpose of these playhouses. And as you can vividly see in all my vids, they genuinely do enjoy these moments & are super comfortable and relaxed in all my vids. They are never tied up, hurt or forced to do anything that they are uncomfortable with.
Winter Whites are known to be less sociable & more temperamental than other Dwarves & I hope these vids show the super strong bond I have with them only possible because of the TLC & commitment I spent building that trust & rapport with my hamsters. The purpose of my videos is to also show how intelligent, affectionate & sociable they can be once you've won their trust. They have been taught tricks & have even learned how to open doors & cleverly find their rewards on their own! These playtime moments are also meant to capture their cute hilarious antics just for the laughs. Don't we all love capturing such silly moments with our dogs, cats & our very own children as well?
I've been receiving lots of negative comments that I should be playing with them in their "natural habitat". May I ask what is a natural habitat for hamsters? Cos cages are definitely not "natural". Wild hamsters actually live in very harsh terrains & challenging environments (such as deserts & even cold plains) and they go into torpor (temporary hibernation) in order to survive extreme cold temperatures. They should not be living in cages anyway as most cages sold in pet stores are too small & way below the minimum cage size requirements! A large bin setup (min 2ft for dwarves) with plenty of floor running space is more ideal for a happier hamster.
I've also been receiving flak that they should be given a "natural diet". So what is "natural" again? Do bear in mind that hamsters in the wild have very limited access to food & water due to the challenging environment they live in (hence their hoarding behaviour!) and their diet consist mainly of insects, small animals & plant matter. Do remember that any hamster food mix like all cat & dog food sold in pet shops are actually processed food and are not at all "natural"!
The treats you see me feeding them are these Nutri Care Treats given only once a weekend: http://www.vetuk.co.uk/hamster-rat-chinchilla-hamster-rat-chinchilla-treats-c-671_675/mtreat-ums-healthy-bites-nutri-care-for-small-animals-p-928 . Do bear in mind that these videos are all spaced out within a span of a year or so and they are usually uploaded on average 2 weeks - a month depending on whether I have the time or interest to record & upload a video.
Daily, my hamsters enjoy a healthy good mix of the following: http://petloverscentre.com/Forms/Products.aspx?DepartmentID=6&DeptCategoryID=86&ID=3859&action=detail and this: http://petloverscentre.com/Forms/Products.aspx?DepartmentID=6&DeptCategoryID=86&ID=3866&action=detail
Though they are always seen eating in all of my vids, as mentioned, the special treats that you see them appreciatively savouring are only given every weekend when it's the only time I can really, really spend more quality time with them. I've been very OCD about their regular daily feed, only giving them the very best and even creating my own mix such as introducing raw organic high-in-fibre oats to reduce the risk of diabetes, etc... I used to be super OCD with my previous hamsters' diet as I selfishly wanted them to live as long as possible for me but I could see how moody, unmotivated & less happy they were & not as interested with their food & life in general. And despite all my OCD efforts in enforcing all these strict diet controls to sustain them, they still only managed to live for 2 years on average.
As such, my priority now with my current furbabies is more on their happiness. I've been introducing them to plenty of toys, stimulating environments & their favourite treats in moderation every weekend as studies have shown that hamsters are more happier when they have more to do and look forward to. Why deprive of them of what primarily makes them happy so that they can just live a few more months? I understand your concerns, guys, but I assure you as a hamster lover & owner for over 20 years, there's nothing more that I sincerely wish for than to have them be blessed with longer lives.