What is the food and water requirement for a hamster?
Hamsters are tiny creatures with a passion for hoarding food – so it’s up to you to ensure you’re feeding just enough. Because hamster food is readily available at pet stores and supermarkets everywhere, keeping your hamster well-fed shouldn’t be too much of a chore. As long as you’re willing to provide a fresh array of veggies and a supply of well-balanced dry food, Fluffy should be a happy pet.
Ideally, your hamster should be eating a combination of dry and fresh foods to ensure he gets all the nutrients he needs to stay healthy and strong. Dry hamster food or pellets contain all the vitamins hamsters need. Since they don’t spoil, you don’t have to throw away the pellets Fluffy doesn’t eat in a single day. The Humane Society of the United States recommends feeding about 1 tablespoon of dry food a day, no matter what type of hamster you have – as both the smaller types and the bigger breeds need about the same amount of calories to stay healthy and avoid getting too fat.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be considered extras you can feed on top of the dry food. Don’t replace dry food as the main part of your hamster’s diet. Always give fresh food in small amounts — a small slice of fruit, a baby carrot or a quarter-leaf of lettuce — to avoid the hamster’s overindulging or the food going bad. Your hamster will try to bury anything he can’t eat right away, forcing you to go digging for spoiled food pretty soon.
Treats and snacks
If you want to give your hamster treats, do so occasionally and in tiny quantities. Hamsters will get fat if you overfeed them. Good treat possibilities include small pieces of bread or sugar-free cereal, a rare raisin, and hard-boiled egg pieces – hamsters can eat both the white and yellow part. You can also get your hamster a “mineral lick,” basically a small piece of stone-like treat high in calcium. Hamsters can gnaw on these, keeping their teeth in good shape in the process. You can also get chew sticks made especially for hamsters to keep their teeth in good shape.
The best way to offer water to a hamster is to use a water bottle. This prevents the water from spilling, which certainly will happen if you use a water bowl, and allows you to monitor how much Fluffy is drinking. It keeps the water clean from bacteria, which would otherwise make your hamster sick.
a hamster usually needs around 10 ml/100 gr of hamster, every day. So that’s 0.33 fl oz per 3.5 ounces of hamster. This is the same whether we are talking about Syrian hamsters or the small types.
This does change according to how much your hamster is running around. A more active hamster will need the full 10 ml per day. But a sedentary hamster or one who is very old and does not run as much will end up drinking less.
Another factor is your hamster’s diet. What you feed your hamster will make him drink more or less water. If you feed your hammy exclusively dry food (pellets, grains, seeds) he will drink more water. But if you give him mostly vegetables then he will draw a lot of water from them, and not use the water bottle much.
Like humans, hamsters will drink a lot of water immediately after a workout. Aside from this, they will drink water after eating very dry food, and small sips of water when their body needs it.
But since your hamster is very active during the night, when you’re most probably asleep, you won’t see him drink often. Rest assured that your hamster probably is drinking water.
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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