Hamster Care: What is the best type of hamster food?

By nature, the hamster is omnivorous (just like humans), that is they eat both plants and meat.

In their natural habitat, a hamster diet would consist of seeds, grasses and a few insects. When you decide on what hamster food and treats to buy this should naturally be reflected.

And while you do not need to feed your hamster insects the best hamster food will contain some protein to mimic this.

Also, because the hamster diet differs from that of other animals you should not tempt fate by buying dog, rabbit or other types of food – your hammy needs hamster food!

HOW MUCH DOES A HAMSTER EAT?

Surprisingly and despite their difference in size, both Syrian Hamsters and Dwarf Hamsters eat between 1/3 to 1/2 ounce of food daily (10-15g) and will consume about 6 tablespoons (30ml) of water per day.

What do Hamsters eat? Seed Hamster Food vs. Pelleted Hamster Food

First of all: You should be buying natural hamster food without any additives. Hamster food does not go through the same rigorous testing as food for humans and as such, the easiest way to ensure you don’t feed your hamster anything bad is to buy food without additives.

So, read the labels and ask questions.

With that out of the way, there are basically two types of hamster food:

· Seed Hamster Food

· Pelleted Hamster Food

Historically, seed hamster food was the main and only choice of food when getting a hamster. While it can and often is okay to use, it does risk your hamster being picky only eating its favorite seeds. This will lead to a diet that is not balanced and worse, your hamster will not get all the vitamins it needs.

Thus, if you go with seed hamster food, make sure the food bowl is empty before giving it more food. Otherwise, its diet will not be sufficiently balanced.

For that reason, Pelleted hamster food is now seen as a better option. In it, everything is mixed together so every bite your hamster takes is by definition balanced.

Pelleted food usually looks like small biscuits, cookies or cereal.

Due to the ensured balanced diet, we also recommend getting pelleted hamster food.

WHAT IS PELLETED HAMSTER FOOD?

Pelleted foods, a rather recent innovation in animal nutrition, gives your hamster the optimal nutrition in an easy-to-eat, easy-to-serve format. Each pellet (or nugget), contains a baked, healthy blend of grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

As pelleted foods are also specifically made for other animals such as birds and rabbits, it is important to buy pelleted foods specifically for hamsters.

You should feed your hamster one or two times a day.

Hamster treats: Good treats for a happy hamster

Just as for, dogs, cats and every other pet imaginable, giving snacks to your hamster is something you want to do. You see your little hammy eat the food which gives joy to both you and more importantly the hamster.

But what are the safe hamster treats to eat?

Luckily, most healthy food is and below we have a list of what your hamster can eat and what it can’t.

In general, what you should avoid is giving your hamster sugary foods. Dwarf hamsters are especially prone to diabetes and should not be giving sugary treats and in general, it is better to simply stay from sugary treats no matter the hamster breed.

When you give your hamster a treat you also keep these rules in mind:

· Feed a small cube of fruit or vegetable

· Give it 2-3 times a week (no more than 10% of total hamster diet)

· If you provide carrots, make sure to remove them when they get small (otherwise they can get stuck in your hamster cheek)

LIST OF FOOD YOUR HAMSTER CAN SAFELY EAT

Apples (no seeds)

Bananas

Blueberries

Broccoli

Brown rice (cooked)

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cheese​

Crickets

Cucumber

Dandelion greens

Grapes

Hard boiled eggs

Hay

Kale

Lentils

Meal worms

Nuts (no almonds, unsalted)

Peanuts (unsalted)

Peas

Plain air popped popcorn (i.e. no butter or salt)

Potato (cooked)

Pumpkin seeds

Romaine lettuce

Cooked chicken

Spinach

Squash

Strawberries

Sunflower seeds

Sweet potato

Whole grain bread or toast

Whole grain cereal (no sugary cereal)

Whole wheat pasta (cooked)

LIST OF FOOD YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE TO YOUR HAMSTER

Almonds

Apple seeds

Beans (raw)

Chocolate

Citrus fruit

Garlic

Junk food

Onions

Potatoes (raw)

Rhubarb leaves

Salty foods

Sugary foods

Tomato​

What if I have a fat hamster?

You should always closely watch for any weight chances in your hamster. While hamsters are somewhat round by nature, it is important to make sure your hamster’s stomach doesn’t become too round.

If it does you should start feeding it less. This is most easily done by cutting its food ration slightly.

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