Feeding pet hamsters

Feeding pet hamsters

Did you know that hamster's store extra food in their cheek pouches and store it in their cage for later? That's right. Who knew these tiny beings could be food hoarders!

When it comes to hamster diet, the best food for hamsters is commercial food store-bought food which is specifically designed for them. Among a variety of brands and food types to choose from, the following guidelines may help you in picking appropriate food and treats for your pet hamster.

  • Pelleted food: A hamster can be picky if offered with a muesli style mix or loose seed mixes by eating only their favourite items by consuming bits which are high in sugar and leaving behind the food which is high in fibre. For the same reason, pellets are the best hamster food. Although some hamsters may find it boring as it becomes monotonous for them and refuse to eat, mixing it with other food as long as pellets make up for a maximum of their diet is the best choice.
  • Seed hamster diet: It's necessary to pick a seed mix diet containing dried vegetables, grains and some seeds. There are various seed mixed foods which contain pellets in a balanced proportion as well. While feeding a loose seed mix, make sure to check that your hamster has emptied the food bowl before refilling it since they tend to only eat their favourite things and leave behind the nutritious bit.
  • Fresh fruits and treats: Commercial treats should be avoided since they are very sugary for hamsters. There are a variety of human foods which can be offered to hamsters. However, it's necessary to provide it in moderation and not exceed 10% of their dietary intake. Healthy items like whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruit (in moderation or it may result in diarrhea) make up for great hamster treats.

Food items which are completely safe for hamsters are:

  • Apples (no seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice (cooked)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Grapes
  • Hay
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Nuts (unsalted, no almonds)
  • Peanuts (unsalted)
  • Plain air-popped popcorn (no butter or salt)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peas
  • Potato (cooked)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Small pieces of cooked chicken
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Whole grain bread or toast
  • Whole wheat pasta (cooked)
  • Whole-grain cereal (no sugary cereal)

A few items that hamsters shouldn't eat are:

  • Any sugary or salty foods
  • Any junk food
  • Apple seeds
  • Almonds
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruit
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Raw beans
  • Raw potatoes

The best hamster feeding practice is to provide them with a pelleted diet. But if a hamster is fussy, sprinkle the pellets with a few seeds or incorporate a seed mix diet which contains pellets in it. 

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