Hamsters are small rodents ( belong to a subfamily Cricetinae ) that are omnivores which means they eat almost everything ( vegetables, seeds, fruit, meat, etc ).
Hamsters do best with specially formulated pelleted food on daily basis but they can also eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, herbs, small bites of meat, eggs… This means that you have plenty of options to make a great mixture that is going to be a perfectly balanced daily diet for your hamster.
It is advisable to learn what is the best food for your hammy in order to keep him a healthy and happy pet. Keep reading our article and find out how to combine different foods to make a daily diet for your furry pal, that contains adequate amounts of all nutrients, vitamins, minerals necessary for a healthy life full of activity.
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A high-quality pelleted diet is basic and the most important diet for your hammy. Pellets or rodent blocks are perfect mixtures of nutrients that your pet needs every day.
Hamsters could be rather picky when it comes to food. If you give them some mixture of seeds, nuts, and other things they might choose the ones they like and leave the rest behind. That means they will not receive all the healthy stuff they should. This is the reason the pelleted diet is recommended.
When eating pellets they cannot choose the parts they like, simply they will eat everything, which is a good thing. Pellets come in different shapes- cookies, biscuits.blocks. Another advantage of pellets is that those blocks are quite solid so your hamster will be chewing on them, keeping his teeth short and healthy.
The Best Food for Hamster- Top Brands
California Hamster Association recommends Harlan Teklad brand food They say that is food is a perfectly balanced formula for testing animals in the lab.
This means that it is even better than regular commercial mixes you can find in a pet store, as it is assumed that you will feed your pet some other food beside pellets. Harlan Teklad brand food is carefully designed to fulfill all nutritional needs of lab animals without adding any other food.
Kaytee brand mixes – Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food or Fiesta Hamster food. Great tastes and variety. Rich in vitamins, minerals and probiotics.No artificial colors and flavors. Big size packs and economical price. Even picky hamsters such as Robo like this food.
Wild Harvest Hamster food – great variety of high-quality nutritional elements ( seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables. A great formula is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 acids that make your pet’s skin and coat healthy.
Vitakraft Vitasmart Hamster food – a great diversity of ingredients, budget-friendly yet very tasty and healthy mix. Vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 acids, are added to this perfect blend.
Can I Give Human Food to My Hamster Every Day?
Besides pelleted food, hamsters should eat other things too. A variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, cereals, meat should be found on the hamster’s menu on daily basis. Some human food is suitable for everyday consumption while some others should be given on special occasions.
Note that according to experts, two tablespoons of food daily is just enough for an adult hamster. When I say food I mean any food you give to your pet including pellets and other things.
If you would like to learn more about how important are seeds and nuts in hamster’s diet please read our article – ‘What Nuts and Seeds Can Hamster Eat?’
It is recommended to feed your hamster with well-washed vegetables. Portions need to be small ( in most of the case fingernail size) like anything you give to your hamster ( Syrian hamsters can take bigger portions then Dwarf due to their size)
Some of the vegetables should be given more often than others. Carrots for example – are a good treat for your furry friend but they are rich in sugar and Dwarf hamsters shouldn’t eat them too much and too often as they are prone to diabetes.
Although very tasty food should be served on rare occasions and not more than half of teaspoon. Tomato has a substance called tomatine that is a solanum alkaloid.
If your hammy ingests too much of it, his digestive tract and neurological system can be affected. If you have any doubt, it is better to choose some other safer vegetable than a tomato.
Other vegetables and plants that your hamster can eat on daily basis:
- Sweet potato ( remove the skin before you give it to your pet )
- Green beans
- Cabbage ( not too much )
- Sweet bell peppers
- Dandelion leaves
The hamster should eat fruits but not too much and not too often. Most of the fruits are sweet and some hamster breeds ( Dwarf ) are prone to diabetes so not suitable for frequent usage.
You should avoid giving your pet any citrus fruit ( lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit ) as this is too acidic for your little friend
In some occasions your furry friend can enjoy in following safe kinds of fruit :
- Peach ( no stone)
- Apples ( no seeds)
- Grapes ( no seeds )
- Plums ( no pit)
Meat and other protein food
Although hamster in the wild has not plenty of choice when it comes to meat and in fact does not eat meat to often, you can treat your hamster with small portions of meat and other protein food.
It is ok if you give your hammy a little bit of cooked ( without any seasoning) chicken, beef, or cooked fish ( salmon is quite ok ) without bones of course. Raw meat is great NO-NO for hamsters. You can also give some dog canned ( wet ) food to hamsters but in super small portions.
Low fat cottage cheese is another excellent source of proteins, safe for hamsters.
Plain tofu or low-fat yogurt are high-quality treats for your hammy. A boiled egg is another great choice, your furry pal will be thrilled.
Can Hamster Eat Pasta ?
The simple answer is YES. Hamsters can eat pasta. They can eat it either cooked and not cooked but do not give them too much of it.
If you prefer to give pasta to your hammy, make sure you serve wholewheat pasta. This one contains 9% of fibers ( that is OK for hamsters ) and other nutrients more then white pasta so it is a better option.
Bread – hamsters can also eat bread or toasts but very moderate, not too often. Even better if the bread is made of the whole grain flour.
I found many questions about pizza and is it safe to feed your hamster with pizza. Well, no, your hammy should skip this one. Pizza bread is ok but with all that topping, greasy cheese and other stuff, your pet simply doesn’t need that.
Keep your pizza for yourself but be careful, excessive consumption of pizza and dough, in general, can lead to obesity and different cardiovascular diseases in humans.
Healthy Snacks for Hamster
There is a great choice of packed snack that you can buy in a pet store, but most of the experienced hamster owners as well as reputable institutions such as California Hamster Association do not recommend that. I found that these treats are filled with sugar and contain artificial colors so skip them.
It is better to give fresh food treats to your hammy . I have gathered some ideas :
- Baby food is a good option unless it contains onion or garlic or any other spice.
- Baby rice, puffs or cookies
- Plain cereals
- Mild cheese
- Dog treats – but again anything that does not contain spices, garlic or onion
- Fish liver oil – contains vitamins A and D. You can serve grain with few drops of oil on the top of it. These kinds of treats can be given once a week.
- Yeast – very rich in vitamin B that is crucial for maintaining the nervous system healthy and keeping the level of stress as low as possible. It is known that a great deal of illnesses hamsters suffer from, comes from the stress so it is important to decrease stress as much as possible. Try to find nutritional yeast in health food stores( it is not the same as baker’s yeast) and feed your hammy with the pinch of it, once a week.
I hope you got a picture of the type of food your hamster should eat on daily basis. Do not be too stressed about it, just follow the basic steps, making a high quality balanced diet for your furry pal and always keep in mind not to exaggerate with the size of the portion. These tiny animals do not need too much food.