A short guide to feeding all species of hamsters.
In the wild all of the hamster species eat a variety of seeds, plants and insects. We can give our pet hamsters all of the nutrients they need by giving them a varied and balanced diet.
The main part of your hamster's diet should consist of a good quality hamster mix. As with us, foods containing lots of artificial colours and additives won't do your hamster any good. I have seen hamster mixes containing bright purple biscuits and bright yellow popcorn. This sort of hamster mix is best avoided.
Your hamster can be fed a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Give your hamster a small piece of fruit or vegetable daily. Don't give your hamster citrus fruits or onions as these foods are very acidic and will give your pet an upset stomach. Instead, have a look at the following list and see how much variety you can treat your hamster to. All of the fruit and vegetables offered to your hamster should be well washed to remove any residue of dirt or pesticides. Drain off surplus water and present the goodies to your pet.
- Sweetcorn/corn on the cob
- Cauliflower and Cauliflower greens
- Dandelion leaves
In the wild your hamster would also eat insects. You can provide the protein that your hamster needs by giving your pet any of the following foods.
- Dry cat food (poultry kitten kibble is ideal)
- Cooked chicken or turkey
- Crickets or mealworms (live, canned or freeze-dried)
- Scrambled or boiled egg
Your hamster can also have millet sprays and all hamsters, particularly the dwarf species love to eat small bird seeds such as foreign finch mixes, mixed millets, linseed and budgie tonic seeds. Try mixing a little into your pets hamster mix. Other foods that your hamster will enjoy include cooked rice, cooked pasta, cooked potatoes and milky porridge.
A dog biscuit (such as Biscrok or Bonio) will help to keep your hamster's teeth trim. Place on in your pet's cage for it to gnaw. Your hamster can also keep its teeth trim by gnawing on a piece of cuttlefish.
Don't give your hamster sticky treats like chocolate or sweets. Chocolate is very toxic to many animals and sticky foods, particularly those which will melt, will get stuck in your hamster's cheek pouches. If you would like to give your hamster a special treat why not try some of the following foods - hamsters love them!!
- Biscuits such as Malted Milk, Custard Creams and Wholemeal digestives.
- Carrot cake
- Low sugar breakfast cereals such as Cheerios
- Cashew nuts
- Brazil nuts (all nuts should be unsalted).