Feeding Your Hamsters
Feeding hamsters can be great fun, as hamsters are characterful little animals who will seize upon seeds and rusks quickly and shove them into their cheeks or try to stow them away somewhere around their cage. But what is feeding hamsters? Catering for a hamster’s nutritional needs is more simple than for some other pets, but there are still several things about your pet’s diet that you should know.
We’ve created this handy section to give you lots of advice on feeding your pet, from its daily diet through to occasional supplements and treats. There’s a Hamster Food List to provide you with a good idea of the range of foodstuffs your pet will appreciate, as well as advice on diets, portion sizes, and nutritional requirements.
What Do Hamsters Eat?
Hamsters eat a wide variety of foods, but in general they will need three things; dry food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a small amount of protein.
Modern dry food is specially formulated to contain most of the key vitamins and minerals your hamster needs to stay fit and healthy. There are a wide variety of mixes to choose from, many of which you can buy at your local or online pet shop.
Fresh food, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, is a very welcome addition to your pet’s diet. Hamsters can eat leafy greens such as dandelions and clover, but also tasty vegetables and fruit such as for example pears, carrots and cabbage. For a more complete list of hamster foods, have a look at our Hamster Food List.
Occasionally, you might want to supplement your pet’s diet with a little bit of protein. A small amount of boiled egg will suffice. Hamsters are small animals and their stomachs are even smaller, so only a tiny bit is needed!
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild?
In general, hamsters in the wild would survive primarily on a diet of seeds and other plant matter. Hamsters are omnivorous, which means they eat both vegetable and animal materials. It’s not uncommon for hamsters in the wild to be seen eating insects, and for hamsters in captivity to enjoy foodstuffs such as pieces of boiled egg. Each species has its own specific nutritional requirements, and purcoffersing the wrong food can lead to problems stemming from malnutrition, or worse, as some pet species react very badly to substances that others benefit from. Depending on their environment, different hamster species will survive on different diets.
The bulk of a hamster’s diet should be a good dry food, one which has been specifically formulated to fulfil most of your pet’s nutritional needs. There are a wide variety of excellent options available in local pet shops. These will range from basic to flavoured, and can consist of a variety of different foodstuffs such as seeds and pellets.
First off, it’s good to be aware that some varieties of dry food have not been thoroughly examined. Ask a friend for a recommendation, or have a look on our website if you are unsure which brands are reputable. We advise you either buy a brand from a good pet shop or to be sure of the quality of what you’re purchasing beforehand. Some ways to recognise a good quality dry food is that it looks nice and fresh, and that there isn’t much dust in the mixture.
If you’re thinking of purchasing some hamster food that is kept loose, make sure that it’s being stored in a clean, dry place. If hamster food comes into contact with water or damp air, then it can easily grow mould, which makes the food dangerous for hamsters – ingested mould can result in problems with their blood.
Some owners have thought that they were saving money by buying a food that wasn’t intended for hamsters, such as for example rabbit food or guinea pig meals. However, what these owners perhaps didn’t understand is that different mixes exwill bet for a reason.
Most hamster species aren’t kept as pets – there are more than twenty species of hamster alive today and living all across the world, in places such as China and Russia, and throughout areas of Europe.
Once you’ve brought the food home, it’s a good idea to store it in a sealed container somewhere nice and dry. If you notice any food has become wet or mouldy then it’s important that you remove and bin it, because as we mentioned before, ingesting anything mouldy can be quite dangerous for hamsters.
A well-balanced hamster diet includes a high-quality hamster food that has been scientifically made to provide the proper balanced nutrition, including the ideal daily dosage of vitamins and minerals, as well as all other essential nutrients. Check out Hamster Food for further information.