Can Hamsters Eat Timothy Hay?

by Hamster Care

Providing hamsters with a nutritious, balanced diet is one of the basics in proper hamster care. Offering the wrong foods can lead to hamster obesity, nutritional deprivation or even death. Knowing which foods are safe for hamsters, and in what quantities, increases the likelihood your hamster will live a long and healthy life.

Can hamsters eat timothy hay?

You’ve all heard that in general hamsters eat regular hay. Based on this, it’s perfectly valid to ask yourself:

Can hamsters eat timothy hay? The answer is they most certainly can. Not only that timothy hay is not harmful to your pet, but from my experience and additional research, I can tell you it’s desired as a regular part of your hammy’s diet.

Even if the answer seemed obvious to you from the beginning, there are some things you should know about this food before feeding it to your pet, like with any other food.

In order to find out these useful pieces of information, and to learn a thing or two about your hamster’s diet and how to implement timothy hay into it, I suggest you make yourself cozy and keep reading.

Hamster diet basics

A balanced diet is required to meet all of a hamster’s nutritional needs, and the staple of that diet is a specialized pellet mix. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the cornerstone of a proper hamster diet is a commercial hamster feed, available at any pet store. These mixes contain seeds, grains, cracked corn, and pellets, all of which are necessary to meet a hamster’s minimum nutritional requirements. Hamsters should be fed this mix daily.

Fruits and vegetables

Every two to three days, hamsters should be offered fresh fruits and vegetables as a supplement to the commercial pellet mix. Spinach, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower and apples all are healthy options. These foods tend to spoil quickly, so proper cage cleaning also is important to maintaining a hamster’s overall health. The ASPCA also recommends avoiding other fresh foods, such as onions, raw potatoes and rhubarb, as these foods pose short- and long-term health risks to hamsters.

Timothy hay

An excellent source of minerals and fiber, timothy hay is a staple component in many animals’ daily diets, fulfilling a variety of nutritional needs. Timothy hay aids in maintaining a healthy digestive tract, promotes dental health and regulates weight. While not nutritionally necessary for hamsters, timothy hay is a safe and healthy supplement that can be offered two or three times a week, and should be part of a hamster’s overall balanced diet.

Timothy hay bedding

In addition to its nutritional value, timothy hay is an excellent source for hamster bedding. The Humane Society of the United States cautions against using commercial pine and cedar bedding for small animals, such as hamsters, because of health concerns associated with those products. Timothy hay offers a safe alternative to those harmful bedding options, and can be purchased easily at most pet and grocery stores.

Can timothy hay be harmful to hamsters?

There’s logically nothing in this food that can be considered a threat to your hammy. The simple contents and the organic way of growing it makes timothy hay a perfectly healthy option.

There’s only one thing you should pay attention to when feeding this food to your hamster, and it’s the amount of it. Fiber and protein are good, but in an extensive amount, they can cause some problems.

These problems may vary, but in most cases, they will be some minor digestive problems like an irregular stool or maybe some constipation or diarrhea.

Constipation can occur if your pet eats less fiber than needed, due to the dehydrated pellets that are the main component of their diet. This also depends on the amount of water they drink in a day.

Diarrhea is the complete opposite of this, and it occurs when your hammy eats more fibers than needed. This can also happen if you give it more vitamin C than needed. To prevent this, just keep in mind your hamster’s size when deciding on the amount of food you give them.

On the rare occasion, your pet experiences this, depending on the severity of the problem you should contact your vet and ask for advice on what digestive supplements you should give to your hamster, or is there any need for any veterinary intervention.

Chances of this happening are slim to none, but It’s my duty to prepare you even for that. A responsible pet owner should be aware of all scenarios and should educate himself on how to react in all of them!

If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!

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By HamsterCareTip.Com

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