Hamsters are skillful omnivores like humans, so there is actually quite a wide variety of foods that you can feed your pet. Wild hamsters eat a diverse diet consisting of plants, meat, and a wide variety of insects.
Despite the hamster’s wide voracious appetite, there are still quite a few considerations for the owner of a domestic hamster in order to ensure good solid nutrition.
Basic Hamster Feeding Guidelines
The majority of your hamster’s diet should stem from either pelleted food or a loose seed mix provided by your trusted pet food supplier. Both types have their relative pros and cons, so many owners actually like to have both and feed their hamster well-mixed bowl of both kinds
Pelleted Food: These simple food pellets have all the nutrition a healthy hamster needs packed into each and every bite, their the frosted corn flakes of the hamster world( but without all the nasty added sugar). A hamster fed on these should be a robust and healthy fellow, that is if you can make sure he eats it. The main problem with this food source lies in its monotony. Good for hamsters but as previously mentioned wild hamsters like variety and this is no different for their domesticated cousins. Some hamsters will rebel against pellets and can make a big hassle to get them to eat it.
Loose seed mix: A dense mixture of many types of seeds, hamster often love the variety provided by it. In fact they can love it so much that they will only eat the seeds they like the best leaving the rest for the trash pile. While a seed mix as a whole provides all the neccessary nutrition for your fuzzy friend, this happens to be the cast only if all the types are eaten. If you choose to feed your hamster a seed mix, then make sure they eat all the seeds. Dont refill until they eat all their vegetable or seeds in this particurlar case.
A mixture of both: One solution to this thorny problem, involves making a casserole of both at the same time. This helps your hamster to get the full bodied nutrition of the pellets, while also pleasing their taste buds with the yummy seed variety. Once again though watch your hamsters eating habits to make sure theirs no funny bussiness going on. Of course now you would have to buy both types from your pet supplier but it should last as long as if you bought two of one type.
The best hamster food mix that we recommend is 50/50 mix of mazuri rat and mouse diet combined with higgens sunburst.
What Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Hamster
While hamsters can eat many foods, unfortunately, they can’t eat everything. They are fluff balls not garbage disposals after all. Fatty nuts like peanuts and almonds should definitely be avoided. While they are not directly poisonous to your pet, their high caloric density of fats can lead your furry friend to gain too much weight and have problems with obesity. Of course never feed your hamster any kind of alcoholic beverage as these will very toxic for them.
Here is a basic list of more foods to avoid feeding your hamster.
- Apple seeds
- Grape seeds
- Fruit pits
- almonds and peanuts
- Garlic and onions
- Any sugary sweets like chocolate
What Foods Can I Feed My Hamster?
While there are many foods you can let your pet enjoy in moderation. You do have to be careful with fruits, especially with the little dwarf hamsters. Fruits can have a good bit of sugar, while humans won’t get to much sugar from fruits, little hamsters can have to much sugar from fruits and potentially develop diabetes. So to protect your hamster make sure to give them fruit only sparingly.
Can Hamsters Eat Carrots?
A resounding yes! Carrots can serve as excellent snacks for hamsters, they often solve two problems at the same time. They give your pet a good item to chew on to help their teeth (hamsters teeth grow constantly throughout their lifetime, so they need items to chew on to keep the growth in check), while also be a good source of nutrition.
Give your hamster a very tiny test piece first and check if they have any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before you give them any more. While carrots are in general good for hamsters, just like humans some foods affect different hamsters in different ways. These small food tests should be used on any new foods you ever feed your hamster to test for any problems.
As with all fruit make sure not to feed your pet too many carrots as they do have sugar and to much sugar can become a big problem for your pet. Be extra careful with the little dwarf hamsters!
Can Hamsters Eat Grapes?
With grapes and hamsters mixing well, the science is still somewhat unsure. Grapes have been know to be toxic for other pets like cats, dogs and ferrets. For hamster this does not seem to be true. There has been no found connection between hamsters eating grapes and toxicity. So grape peices (not whole ones) should be okay for your pet, however avoid any citrus items as these can be too acidic for the little hamsters stomache.
Cut the grapes into small little peices and remove any seeds that might be present. Just as with the carrots and all special food items, feed your hamster just a small test peice first to check for any problems. While some hamsters absolutely love grapes! Others actually despise them!
Can I Feed My Hamster Cheese?
Yes, but it should only be a low fat variety and should not make up a siginificant portion of their diet. Feed them only a very small piece no more often than once a week or so only as a special treat. As with other foods start with a tiney test piece first to monitor for negative reactions.
Can My Hamster Eat Bread?
While hamsters can eat bread, it doesn’t really give them any special nutrition and isn’t very good for them. Given the large variety of other treats you can give your hammy, bread should probably be avoided. If you do feed your hamster bread make it a brown bread instead of white to cut down on sugar content.
Other Foods That You Can Feed Your Hamster
- Cauliflower and Kale
- Cucumbers, celery and bok choi
- Sweet potatoes but only if the skin has been removed
- Cherries, strawberries and raspberries
- Peaches, mango and cantaloupe
Remember before feeding your hamster any special treats, feed them a bitty test piece and wait a few days to see if they display any negative symptoms.
How Can I Make My Hamsters Eating More Natural and Fun?
One good way of spicing up hamsters eating time (we do not recommend feeding actual spices to your pet!) is by scatter feeding your little guy. Take a handful of food and sprinkle it around different parts of their cage. This imitates the way a wild hamster has to forage for food. Since food is pretty much a hamster’s favorite hobby, this can provide them with hours of fun and entertainment. Helping to kill boredom for your hamster, which is a very serious foe for a pet hamster.
Another cool thing to do is to take some wheat stalks and carefully place them at various points in your hamster’s cage. This kills two birds with one stone by giving them some extra nutrition while providing a new fun way to engage your hamster.