After getting everything ready for your little furry arrival its time to get one at last! Ideally, buying from a breeder is best as they have made sure the hamsters are healthy. If that isn't possible then a pet shop is the next best thing.
Choosing a Species
There are 4 main species of hamster, a russian dwarf, a chinese, a roborovski and a syrian. There are also campbells dwarf and winter white hamsters but if you get your pet from a pet shop chances are they will be one of the first mentioned.
Syrians are the large hamsters, also known as teddy bear, black bear and golden hamster. They are some of the tamest you can get, and are larger so easier to hold. I have also found they are the easiest to tame. They MUST be kept alone at all costs.
Russian dwarf hamsters are smaller but still need a lot of space! They have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive, but with enough taming that won't be the case. Not a good idea to get these for children. Can be kept in pairs but there are risks.
Roborovski hamsters are tiny and very very fast! They are more the type to watch rather than play with, and do best in same sex pairs.
Next you need to make sure the hamster you are choosing is healthy. Check they have bright, fully open eyes and clean fur. Check they are not too thin and have a dry bottom with no poo attached. Lastly, check they are free of cuts or bite marks and that they are in a tank/cage with same sex same breed hamsters to prevent babies.
After you have checked all these things then you are set to go! Make sure you buy a bag of the food your hamsters has been given whilst in the pet shop, and if you intend to change this then mix that bag with the new bag to ensure there are no tummy upsets from changing food too fast.