Finding the best hamster food for your little furry friend is one of the most important parts of being a hamster owner.
With the sheer number of options out there, it can be quite a task just trying to figure out what to give your hamster – at least we thought so, and that is why we have put together this guide based on the following criteria:
- Protein content between 12-16%
- Should not get dusty
- Keeps itself fresh
- Be something your hamster actually likes!
- Be crunchy so the hamster’s ever-growing teeth are kept at a reasonable length
These are the main considerations when it comes to hamster food…
… and below, you can see our top three picks when it comes to hamster food.
Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix (2 Pounds)
Having researched both organic and non-organic hamster food, and seeing hamsters indulge in their food, our opinion is the Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix is the best hamster food out there.
Here are the main reasons:
- Pelleted food, ensuring your hamster doesn’t “cherry-pick” its favorite pieces
- Rich in natural antioxidants for general health and immune support
- Contains both prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
- Natural preservation gives it a longer life (i.e. it doesn’t spoil easily)
- Good value for money – lasts about 4 months
- High protein content of 16%
Oxbow Hamster Food
If you’re looking for a GMO-free hamster food, we’ve also got you covered.
The Oxbow food is a great alternative to the Farm Hazel Hamster mix and has a lot of the same qualities.
The only drawback of the food is that some users have reported it has a tendency to become crumbly.
That is something we have yet to experience and to us, it has always delivered and our hamsters have loved it.
- Non-GMO formula
- Contains unique, high-quality garden ingredients that mimic those found in your pet's natural foraging environment
Kaytee hamster food
If you are looking for something more budget friendly for your hamster, the Kaytee Forti Diet Pro is a great choice.
The main drawback and difference compared to our two top picks is a somewhat lower protein content coming in at 13.5% – however, this is still very much within the recommended range (12-16%) for hamsters and thus, there should be no worries.
In addition, it has a lot of natural ingredients that are rare for more budget friendly options.
Finally, the pieces are good chunky ones, helping you keep your hamsters ever growing teeth the correct length.
- Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
- Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
What do hamsters eat?
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!
Hamster diet – how much food to give your hamster?
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 can 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 foods your hamster can safely eat
- Apples (no seeds)
- Brown rice (cooked)
- Dandelion greens
- Hard boiled eggs
- Meal worms
- Nuts (no almonds, unsalted)
- Peanuts (unsalted)
- Plain air popped popcorn (i.e. no butter or salt)
- Potato (cooked)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Romaine lettuce
- Cooked chicken
- 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
- Apple seeds
- Beans (raw)
- Citrus fruit
- Junk food
- Potatoes (raw)
- Rhubarb leaves
- Salty foods
- Sugary foods
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.