If you have just brought home a new hamster or you’re thinking about getting one, you’ll need to know what they eat.
These animals do not have a complicated diet, but it is crucial that you learn the basics about feeding them.
This article will help you keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.
Basic Dietary Needs of a Hamster
First, you will need to know a little bit about the basic nutritional needs of a hamster.
These animals are vegetarians—they prefer to eat fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Hamsters aren’t meant to digest meat, as they are not naturally carnivores like some other animals.
It is very important that you provide your hamster will all of the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. An unbalanced diet can take a serious toll on your hamster’s health over the long term.
Feeding a Baby Hamster
Newborn hamsters rely on their mother for sustenance, but you can give them the occasional piece of food. Millet and other very small seeds are acceptable for baby hamsters. There is a risk that you’ll need to start feeding the hamster yourself if the mother rejects it or dies.
A lot of people choose to feed their hamsters pellets for a majority of their daily diet. There are lots of different pellet foods that are specifically formulated for these animals. While your hamster is likely to eat these pellets without any issues, it can get boring for them.
If you are you to keep your hamster on a pelleted diet, you should mix in some other foods to keep it interesting for them. This will help you maintain your pet’s health while keeping them happy on a daily basis.
You also have the option of giving your hamster a loose seed mix. These hamster foods contain dried vegetables, seeds and grains for the most part. One of the big drawbacks of this type of food is that lots of hamsters will only eat what they like. This can result in a malnourished hamster, which can lead to all sorts of health issues.
It is crucial that you not put more seed mix in your hamster’s bowl until they have eaten everything. Hamsters that are particularly picky might take a while to eat all of their seed mix, but it is necessary for their overall health.
There are a variety of foods that you can give your hamster as treats once in a while. Keep in mind that these foods should not make up more than ten percent of your hamster’s daily diet.
Some of the best foods that you can give your hamster for snacks include:
- Dandelion greens
- Sunflower seeds
Make sure that you cut up the food you give your hamster into small pieces they can easily eat. Giving them pieces that are too big could cause them to choke. While your hamster will probably just nibble at the pieces, you don’t want to take any chances.
Foods to Never Give Your Hamster
You will also need to know about some of the foods that you should never give to your hamster under any circumstances. These foods are known for being toxic to these rodents. Giving your hamster these foods can cause serious illness or even death.
- Garlic (potentially causes blood disorders)
- Raw beans
- Apple seeds
- Chocolate (extremely toxic and fatal in small amounts)
- Citrus fruit
- Rhubarb leaves
- Onions (will damage your hamster’s red blood cells)
- Sugary foods (leads to excess weight gain and possibly diabetes)
You shouldn’t give your hamster any of these foods, as they can produce a toxic effect even when ingested in small quantities.
Storing Your Hamster’s Food
It is important that you keep your hamster’s food in a sealed airtight container. If any of their food gets wet inside the container, you should remove it immediately. The last thing you want is to give your pet any moldy food that could contain harmful bacteria. Store your hamster’s food in a place that is dry and not too humid.
How to Choose the Best Hamster Food
You’ll want to make certain considerations when looking for a hamster food that will keep your pet healthy over the long term.
1. The Brand Matters
Take the time to look for a reputable brand of hamster food that is well known. The overall reputation of the company is important. You should learn a little bit about the company before deciding on one in particular for your pet’s food.
2. Look at the ingredients
The ingredients of your hamster’s food is something else to consider. Make sure that it has high quality ingredients that will meet their nutritional needs. You should find a complete list on the label of the food.
3. Browse Online
The internet is a great resource for learning about different hamster foods and exploring your options. You can also use it to get the best possible deal on this food.
- Hamsters are vegetarians that prefer to eat fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains.
- If you have a baby hamster, it will get most of its food from its mother. You can give it the occasional piece of food, such as millet seed.
- A pelleted diet is recommended for most hamsters, though it can become a little boring for them.
- If you give your hamster pellets each day, try throwing in small pieces of other food to keep things interesting for them.
- You can give your hamster a loose seed mix, but they will likely pick out the foods they want and leave the rest.
- Do not refill your hamster’s bowl with seed mix until they have finished what you already put in it.
- When you are looking for hamster food, pay attention to the brand and ingredients of each one.
- You’ll also want to make a point of browsing through your hamster food options online to get the best overall deal.