What Do Hamsters Eat? A Guide to Hamster Nutrition

What Do Hamsters Eat? A Guide to Hamster Nutrition

If you’ve recently brought home a new pet hamster, you are probably wondering what it is they like to eat. Hamsters are omnivores, meaning they like both plant and animal based foods. There are a variety of foods you can choose to feed your hamster, but some foods are better than others.

In this blog post, I’ll explain what foods should be in your hamster’s diet, what foods to avoid, and how to introduce new food into his diet.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, small and exotic pet vet, posing with a bunny patient

Dr. Bobby Ortiz, M.V.B.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, aka 'Dogtor Bob', is a small animal and exotic veterinarian based in Dublin. He has a strong interest in Small Mammal (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets) and Reptile medicine and surgery.

He grew up in a family of avid animal lovers, which led him to work as an Aquarist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific in California. It was there he decided he wanted to become a vet, and specialise in exotic animals, that needed the same care and medical attention that dogs and cats are given.

He lives with his wife and Brittany Spaniel Bodhi, and has dreams to build a new tropical marine fish tank in the near future!

What To Feed Your Hamster

The ideal hamster diet will consist of…

  • Hamster Pellets: Hamster pellets provide a completely balanced diet and are often recommended for this reason. They are available in many different shapes but usually resemble small biscuits, cookies, or cereal.
  • Vegetables: Your hamster will enjoy a fresh supply of organically grown greens like romaine lettuce, spinach carrot tops, artichokes, broccoli spears, cabbage, sweet peppers, cucumber, dandelion greens, and any other dark green veggies are great choices. Feed in moderation.
  • Fruit: Hamsters love fresh fruit like apples, pears, peaches, melon and bananas. Remember to only give in moderation as a supplement to their usual diet. If any fruit or vegetables have not been eaten within 24 hours, make sure they are removed to avoid any mould accumulating and causing your hamster to fall ill.
hamster eating vegetables
  • Occasional invertebrates: When fed in moderation, mealworms are a great and nutritious addition to your hamsters diet. They offer protein, fat, and are rich in fibre to help aid digestion.
  • Hay: Fresh and suitable hay such as timothy hay is a great gnawing food that can help ensure your hamster’s teeth are kept in good condition.
  • Water: Make sure your hamster always has access to clean, fresh, water that is changed daily. Bottle water dispensers work very well for hamsters
  • Treats: The occasional treat can be a good way to reward your little pet. A small amount of boiled egg is a good treat to feed a hamster and will also provide a little bit of protein.
  • Plant seeds, grains, grasses, roots, leaves

Foods to Avoid:

To ensure your hamster is thriving and remains healthy, do not feed your hamster the following foods as they can cause more than just an upset tummy; serious medical issues can arise if a hamster ingests any of the following food:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and grapefruit
  • Treats or foods with high fat content
  • Garlic or onions
  • Peanuts
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

Feeding Tips for Hamsters

Want to make feeding time fun for your hamster? Hamsters in the wild spend a lot of time searching for food, so making your pet work for his meal is a good way to keep him busy and prevent boredom. Why not try scattering their food pellets around their cage instead of directly in the bowl? Your hamster will have to sniff to find his food, keeping him happy and occupied. This is a good idea if your hamster is very protective of the food bowl and has a hard time sharing with any other hamsters he may be living with.

Any Other Questions?

If you want to find out more information, you can call into your local Petmania store or message us on social media and a member of their team will be more than happy to help.

If you have any veterinary questions or need advice, make sure to contact your local vet and schedule an appointment to ensure that your pet is happy and healthy or gets the treatment they need.

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