With so many enthusiastic hamster owners who know about the correct size enclosure to buy, correct size wheel to use, the correct type of bedding etc. It’s surprising that the main high street retailers like Pets at Home and PetSmart ignore the community of hamster lovers who are unable to buy the products that they know their hamster actually needs. Why are they ignoring this massive market share of enthusiastic hamster owners who will probably give them more repeat business and spend far more money than someone else who simply walks into their store and makes a careless hamster purchase. For those who know about proper hamster care, it’s not cheap, you need a large enclosure, a large wheel, a large quantity of bedding and various different types of substrates to provide further enrichment. A hamster owner who knows about proper hamster care would probably jolly on down to their local store on a regular basis if the store sold the correct products to buy but they don’t!
Instead, those who know about proper hamster care don’t want to walk into a pet store because they are horrified by all the wrong products being sold, it should be a pleasant day out but it’s not! Instead customers who know about the correct advice have to rely on buying a big wheel or the correct type of bedding from online stores like Amazon.
Why are they ignoring this audience! Gone are the days of children who were none the wiser, with youtubers like Victoria Raechel and ErinsAnimals receiving millions of views about the correct hamster care to provide, there must be millions of people who know about the unsuitable products that pet shops sell, it’s not a good look. There are many other stars on Tiktok, Instagram and many large Facebook groups that discuss correct hamster care all day long, and admire it.
Pet Shops should ask themselves the question: Who are these millions of social media viewers? Maybe then they will realise that they are often targeting tiny cages towards children and young adults who actually know better. They can’t get away with the old trick that worked back in the day when customers were none the wiser.
It’s refreshing to see the younger generation such as Lily in the above video being so knowledgeable about proper hamster care. In the video it is said that the member of staff who served this child and father @chrisdavies50 when visiting Pets at Home also knew about proper hamster care as they kept their own hamster in a large cage. Talking about the member of staff the child says, “he knows about proper care for hamsters but it is really sad that Pets at Home doesn’t”. Unfortunately for pet shop staff who know about proper hamster care it must be hard for them to see hamsters being sold with tiny cages, tiny wheels, fluffy bedding etc. This member of staff didn’t agree with the enclosure sizes and also told the family that pet shops breed hamsters in rodent mills and the child says that this is where loads of hamsters are put together and they can fight and die, a cruel side to the industry that Hamster Welfare have also reported on. This 9 year old expert seems very knowledgeable about hamsters and the variety of different breeds available, her knowledge is surprising and she explains that it’s most likely that a winter white or dwarf hamster from a pet shop will be a hybrid, and if you want a purebred than it is best to buy a hamster from an ethical breeder. With such knowledge at such a young age maybe Lily will become the new Victoria Raechel like her father says.
Hamsters were first taken into captivity in the 1930’s and became popular in pet shops during the 1990’s. Many of the same products the pet shops sold in the 90’s still exist today but over the years more and more hamster care and research has come to the surface which the pet shops ignore. The pet shops need to get with the times and appreciate that the same young generation they are targeting hamsters towards are the same demographic that use social media platforms and Youtube. How much longer can they get away with the old business model of selling the wrong products to people who don’t know better, it used to work but the rise of social media has created a spanner in the works. It’s about time the pet shops cleaned up their act and stopped ignoring the community of animal lovers who know about the correct products to buy.