Generally, Hamsters need four things to complement their nutritional need- dry food, fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of protein.
So what exactly can you feed your Hamster? Let us quickly take you through a guide that we call the ‘Hamster Food’ that will help you understand what to/not to feed your little one. Plus, did you know, quality food can add years to the Hamster lifespan?
The foods considered best for Hamsters are the ones that are similar to what they might eat in the wild that includes:
Banana; seedless apples; cherries (without pits); blueberries; blackberries; cherries (without pits); cantaloupe; cranberries; seedless grapes; coconut; mango; lychee; strawberries; melon; peaches (without stones); plums (without pits); raspberries; raspberry leaves are few fruits that make good hamster food and are generally easily available. Considering that hamsters love fruits, they can also double up as good hamster treats.
*Note: If your hamster is a hybrid, don’t feed them anything sweet as hybrids are more likely to develop diabetes. This can also considerably decrease the hamster lifespan, without you realizing.
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Asparagus; bean sprouts; bok choy; broccoli; cabbage; chestnuts; cauliflower; celery; carrots; corn on the cob; cucumbers; green beans; kale; peas; romaine lettuce; sweet potatoes; spinach; sweet bell peppers; turnip; water chestnuts; zucchini are some vegetables that make good hamster food.
Meat and Protein
Meats and various sources of protein form an important part of hamster food. Cooked ground beef (well-rinsed); cooked chicken or steamed/baked turkey; low fat cottage cheese; cooked fish cod (remove bones & skin); whole grain bread soaked in low fat / skim / soy milk; boiled/ scrambled eggs; plain tofu; plain low-fat yogurt.
Other Hamster Foods
Buckwheat; baby food (without sugar, onion or garlic); cheese (mild, in moderation); cooked plain brown rice; cooked wheat pasta; dry toast; flax seeds; sugar-free cereals; unsalted pumpkin seeds; nuts (but not almonds); sesame seeds; roasted soybeans; lentils; oatmeal (dry or soaked in low fat milk); yeast bran and wheat germ; unsalted peanuts; unsalted popcorns without butter; alfalfa.
- Provide fresh water regularly.
- Clear off the leftover pieces of food to avoid rotting.
- Be wary of overfeeding to prevent obesity.
- When introducing a new food, be sure to start with small amounts.
If you are buying food for your hamster from the market, be sure of the ingredients and the nutritional value. A balanced mix of cereals and seeds is an ideal Hamster food.
How much should you feed?
“Hamsters like to hoard food, and when they hoard food, they become fat, and then your hamster can get diabetes,” states Dr. Carol Osborne.
Thus, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you don’t overfeed them. According to experts, Hamsters, on an average, eat only about one to two tablespoons (in total) full of food per 24 hours.
So, what all shouldn’t be a part of your hamster food?
Almonds; canned food; chocolates; chips; candies & junk food; pork products; raw potatoes; raw kidney beans; eggplant; avocados; tomato leaves; any citrus fruit (oranges, lemon or lime etc); watermelon; any stones or seeds from any fruit; jams & jellies; spices; garlic; onions; leeks; chives and pickles.
Hamster lifespan is directly related to the food they consume. Now that you have a fair idea of what foods are good and bad for hamsters, we will advise you to feed your tiny one wisely for an ideal hamster care. What’s more important is an in-person full-fledged consultation with a vet, since every pet is different in a way and what they may be allergic to and what suits them also depends on each pet.