The health quality of pet hamsters varies based on the care they are receiving at a particular pet store location. When choosing a healthy hamster, the prospective pet owner is looking for the basic signs of good health, such as clear eyes, alert behavior and a clean, shiny coat.
If the pet store is keeping their hamsters in a clean, roomy cage with fresh water and food, that is a good sign the animals are cared for and healthy. Check the prospective pet for any signs of diarrhea or wet staining under the tail, as this is a common sign the animals are in poor health even if they look good otherwise. It's also recommended to handle the animal to ensure that it has a good temperament before purchasing.