How to feed a hamster


A hamster, like any living being, will be healthier if they are given a properly balanced and nutritious diet.

In the case of hamsters, the best way to start a healthy diet is to buy a commercial brand of hamster food. When buying branded foods, your hamster will have better nutritional balance and better health. In addition, it goes without saying that your hamster needs a constant supply of fresh water.

A water bottle attached to the side of the hamster's cage is probably the best option for your hamster. If you don't have a cage that lends itself to a bottle, one container may be enough. Just make sure the container is heavy and not easy to turn. You will have to update the water supply every day or two, to make sure that the water is not contaminated and does not stagnate. You can also choose to supplement the hamster's diet by adding fresh fruits and vegetables from time to time. Although fresh foods are not a necessity when you have properly balanced hamster foods, your hamster will probably appreciate the variety in his diet. At the same time, some goodies may allow you some interactivity with your hamster.

There are a few foods that should be avoided with hamsters, as they can cause health or digestive problems, or they can be toxic to a hamster:

Do not feed your hamster with:

  • Almonds
  • Apple seeds
  • Cabbage
  • Citrus fruits (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, etc.)
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kidney or red beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Rhubarb
  • Junk food designed for humans (chocolate, chips, etc.)

Cooked potato (served cold) and cooked beans (also cold) may be good for your hamster, there is some debate about whether these foods are good in small quantities. This list was compiled with the idea of ​​erring on the safety side when the potential health problem is uncertain. If you decide to feed your pet with these foods, it is advised that it be done in very small quantities.

What can my hamster eat?

Seeds and nuts: Your hamster will probably enjoy nuts and seeds. These are wonderful treats and will be included in many commercial pet mixes. You should be careful to avoid feeding a dwarf hamster with too many nuts or seeds. Nuts and seeds are very fatty foods and can cause a condition known as "fire" in a dwarf hamster, which can result in hair loss. One or two seeds every two days is probably enough if your hamster is a dwarf.

Vegetables: Green vegetables are another favorite hamsters delight. Feeding with a small slice of cucumber (which is also a good source of water) or a piece of lettuce will occasionally be appreciated. But be careful not to overdo it. They should not be fed more than once every 2 or 3 days. In the case of lettuce, the excess can cause liver problems in the hamster, so feeding with this delight should be in moderation.

Avoid sticky treats: When feeding your hamster you should also consider the consistency and texture of the food with which you are feeding it. A food such as peanut butter or honey may seem like a good treat for you, but they are sticky and could get trapped in the hamster's dry cheek pouch. In general, you should not feed the hamsters with sticky foods, which can adhere to the inner wall of the bag. In case the cheek pouch becomes affected, as a result of eating something sticky, the only person able to remedy it will be your veterinarian. In any case, all foods used to supplement a hamster's diet should only be administered in moderation. A delight every two days is probably fine, but too much or too often can lead to health problems.

Diarrhea, gastritis and liver problems can be the result of feeding your pet too many treats, too often. All foods should be given at approximately room temperature. Allow cooked vegetables to cool before feeding, also make sure that cooked vegetables are free of spices, oils or any other seasoning. Any food in the refrigerator or freezer must also have time to acclimatize at room temperature. Once your hamster has had the opportunity to eat fresh food, be sure to clean up any remaining food. If you leave it in the cage for more than an hour the food will start to rot, which will cause the cage to stink and may pose a health risk to your little friend (s).

Note about dwarf hamsters: The foods listed below are generally acceptable for all hamsters, but dwarf hamsters are especially prone to diabetes, as a result, you should generally avoid eating fruits and vegetables with high glucose levels ( sugar) if you have a dwarf. If you decide to feed your dwarf with a fruit or vegetable with high amounts of sugar (such as corn, carrots, bananas, mangoes, etc.) be very sparing with the quantity and frequency.

Approved food for a hamster:

  • Alfalfa
  • Apple (without seeds)
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cashew nuts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Chestnuts
  • Corn
  • cheese
  • Irons
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Grapes (without the skin)
  • Green beans
  • Hay
  • Mango
  • Flour Worms
  • Peach
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Pear
  • Pistachios
  • pumpkin
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Turnip
  • Walnuts
  • Water chestnuts
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

Other foods may also be acceptable for feeding a hamster. This is not an exhaustive list, they are simply some common foods that can be fed to a hamster. In case of doubt about a certain food, it is always better to err on the side of the safety>

Proper food to feed a hamster

The first thing you should do to feed your pet well is to know what is the right food for it. In the case of hamsters, you will find a variety of specific food products for them in specialized pet stores. Mainly, these food preparations are made up of a mixture of seeds, corn and grains.

However, you can supplement the diet of your adorable little mouse giving you some fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. Within these are peaches, apples or pears as well as carrots, broccoli or asparagus. Other fresh foods you can give your hamster are berries, green beans, and zucchini.

Instead you must avoid food With a lot of sugar or high water content as it can cause diarrhea or diabetes problems. Similarly you should not give your hamster the following foods:

Almonds or foods with cyan acid

Watermelon or fruits with lots of water

Fruits with seeds

With the previous recommendations, you know how to feed a hamster properly, but you should also consider integrating solid rewards into your diet. These prizes are given mainly to take care of the health of your teeth, with which you must gnaw frequently to avoid their excessive growth.

Some awards what can you be:

Small pieces of edible sticks, especially for rodents

Branches originating from fruit trees

In hamster feeding the hydration It is essential and must be supplied carefully. You should give it enough water, supplying it through a special dispenser that is in stores. You should fill and change the water regularly.

Considerations when feeding a hamster

Since you know the key guidelines to give your pet adequate food, it is time to end some more considerations.

For example, you should know that the best time to feed your hamster It is at night or in the morning, however, you should also give him the possibility to eat some snacks throughout the day.

It is also recommended to choose a small ceramic bowl for your food, so that you can better control your portion of food and avoid overfeeding. This one you will place on the opposite side of the «bathroom»Of your pet.

As for fresh food you should not give it to them every day. The most advisable thing is to do it every two or three days.

Finally, when you feed your little animal, leave your hand for a few seconds inside the cage so that the hamster knows that it is you who feeds him and suits your presence. Also do not forget to clean your pet's cage at least once a week and so you will avoid mold mildew in the environment causing bad odors.

How to feed a hamster is a tip for Small Mammals, and talks about Feeding.