Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Pets >
Our daughter wants a hamster. We did not ant to buy it at Pet-
Co, we have heard of their mis-treatment of animals etc. Who
else sells them? Are their any clean, wholesome small pet shops
out there that people have had recent experience with? I heard
you have to get them young. Does any family out there have a
hamster that gave birth in the last few months? We are looking
for a Golden hamster. We would come get it. Also I heard the
hamsters chew through plastic and metal cages and glass is the
best. What is your experience with cages? We have already read
several children books on caring for hamsters but it is always
great to hear from real people. Thanks for your help
RabbitEars, in Kensington (right at the top of Arlington, near the hardware
store and the ice cream store) has rescued small pets, including rabbits, guinea
pigs, rats, and, yes, hamsters. I know they have some long-haired hamsters
right now (ethereally cute) but I've seen golden hamsters, too. They've all been
taken in from local shelters, so you'd be doing a hamster a favor to adopt from
That Pet Shop in San Pablo (maybe it's Pinole..) is a small
family run pet shop.
It's on San Pablo Avenue near Tara Hills Drive way out near
Hercules (you can find them in the phone book...call for exact
address and directions).
They have hamsters, rats, mice, sometimes bunnies or kitties.
Jeff is the owner and he's really nice.
A woman named Karin works there and she's the ''rat lady''...I bet
she knows hamsters too.
I'd like to add a suggestion for getting rats instead of
hamsters. Although we've never had hamsters, we do have 2 rats.
They are VERY social, handleable, smart and sweet pets.
Because they are social it's best to get 2 so they have company
(make sure it's two of same sex if you don't want babies).
Either way, call That Pet Shop...you'll find them very helpful
There is a great small pet store in Kensington, run by some
extremely thoughtful and conciencious folks. I'm sorry that I
don't recall the name, but I hope someone else can send it in.
It is adjacent to the parking lot for the Kensington Ace
Hardware on The Arlington at Amherst. The parking lot is on
Amherst. If these folks do't carry hamsters, I'm sure that
theyd know of a great, responsible source
I happen to know that THAT PET SHOP unfortunately closed in
June/July of this year. The shopping center's lease went up too
Re: Thinking about breeding rabbits
Here's a story for you:
My son had two hamsters. When my son was seven, he decided it would
*fun* to breed them. During ONE DAY, they fornicated until there was
semen everywhere -- the female was covered in it, the cage was a
disaster. Both hamsters were exhausted. Female gives birth and things
are progressing well enough. One of the babies dies. Mother eats half of
it. My son, already freaked by the previously mentioned fornicating,
gets really freaked out. I clean out the half eaten baby. Yuck. The
father is returned to the cage some time after the babies are well able
to look out for themselves. Father kills the babies, the mother is
almost mortally wounded trying to defend them, and we weren't around to
stop the carnage. The mother has a huge, gaping wound on her side and
the babies are all dead. The father, who was once a dear and loveable
pet, is so damaged by the female that he dies shortly after. Son is no
longer even interested in the thought of owning, let alone breeding, any
small animal ever again.
Okay, those are the worst case scenarios, but I have seen rabbits turn
vicious after breeding, or at the very least, lose interest in their
If you do decide to go on with this idea, please have everything ready,
be prepared, by a book or two to educate yourself, and ABOVE ALL -- find
homes BEFORE you have the babies. Otherwise, you may end up with a bunch
of bunnies you didn't want in the first place. Oh, and rabbits do not
ever stop screwing so you can't let them run around unless you want to
see your kids utterly revolted by the whole experience after a (short)
I went to two local pet stores and was appalled by the condition
of some of the animal habitats. The hamsters seemed ok, but
considering the bad conditions of some of the cages and
aquariums, it was obvious that the owners were not animal
lovers, to say the least. Can someone recommend a place that is
run by people who take excellent care of their animals? Also, I
am in contact via email with a breeder in San Francisco whose
email screen name is ''DreamGuardian.'' Not sure if this is the
name of the business or not. Does anyone know of and have any
opinions about this breeder? Thanks for your responses.
This place is excellent for rodents: Your Basic Bird
2940 College Ave, Berkeley 510.841.7617. In place of hamsters, I
recommend rats. Friendly, smart, always ready to play. When loose,
they actually seek you out. Neat pets. The only thing is, get them from a
good place, and make sure they have been handled regularly since
very young. Hamsters seem more innocuous, but they sleep all day and
they seem to bite.
My six year old daughter has loved having a dwarf hamster. They are small like
a mouse but furry and cute. Minimal work and very tame if you play with them
regularly. They are small enough for young kids to handle. One warning, we lost
one to a respiratory problem caused by the "fluffy bedding" we bought in the pet
store - they accidentally swallow some and it causes problems. Use only toilet
tissue for bedding. They shred it up to be very fluffy. Of course for real
reciprocated affection and bonding I vote for dogs and some cats.
Well, the Great Pet Debate is winding to a close, and it looks like we will
be getting a hamster. We've visited three pet stores & read a few books,
but before making a committment I would like to know if anyone has had any
experience, positive or negative, with Tropical Fish & Pet in Pinole, Lucky
Dog Pet Shop in Berkeley, or Lucky Goldfish in Oakland. Does anyone know
of other East Bay pet stores that sell hamsters? Are there hamster
breeders out there who sell babies? Anyone's pet expecting? All advice
will be greatly appreciated.
We purchased a hamster from Lucky Dog Pet Store on San Pablo and I wouldn't
recommend them. They
were so eager to get rid of the hamsters that I felt they misled us. I
thought they were very manipulative
(taking advantage of my son's eagerness to have a pet). I would not get the
very small hamsters (can't
remember what they are called--I think it's Russian something). Even with a
great deal of attention, the
small hamster we purchased from them never did like interacting (esp. with
children) and was not a fun
and loving pet.
We bought our hamster at Wet Pets in San Pablo. They had a mangy
looking one there at the time, but our guy is very cute, heatlhy, and
we've had no trouble with him, other than the accidental escapes.
Enjoy your nice new pet!
I have only bought live food at Lucky Dog, but Victor Yool, who writes a
biweekly gardening column in the Chronicle, gave it a hearty recommendation
in a column a few months back. He said something like "It kept my brothers
and I in furry friends for years".
We bought our son's pet mice at Petco and they came with a health guarantee (I
forget how long--maybe 3 weeks). You might wish to check them out. (They're
a big chain.)
I have a 6 year old w/ asthma and he wants a hamster. Anyone have kids w/
asthma that have hamsters? I wanted to know what kind of affect they have
on asthmatics if any. Thanks! Em
My son and I
have recently become summer babysitters for a dwart hamster (Siberian),
which is very cute and has short fur and not much of it. I'm allergic
to fur myself, but I've never had any problem with this little critter.
If you want to look for hamsters, make sure you don't get a teddy bear
hamster which does have long fur and might cause some problems.
Regarding non-allergenic pets, I have faced the problem of wanting cuddly pets
but being extremely allergic to all furry things. I discovered by chance though
that either pet rats are small enough or they are not allergy ridden for me, and
that they make GREAT pets. They are loving, gentle, very social little
creatures. They need, like all babies, to be mothered and gentled when very
young if you want one which is bonded to you. And they love company so I would
definately get two (of the same sex!) (preferably females). Frederick Chopin Jr.
(had great wee piano playing like hands) filled a huge pet void for me and won
the hearts of all of my family and friends who though rats are unappetizing.
Their is a marvelous vet named Dr. James Harris 510-339-8600 in Montclair who
has cared for school rats for years. It was well worth our while to drive there
from Berkeley when needed. He can educate you about the right (and wrong) kinds
of wood shavings to put in the cage, what to feed them, etc. and was very
reasonbly priced- he loves these little critters too.
this page was last updated: May 25, 2008
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network