Hamsters, like humans, have their own dietary needs and whilst we need to ensure that we supply them with food that is nutritious, we should also make sure that it replicates what they would eat in the wild. View Post
Your hamster’s diet has a direct impact on its health and wellbeing, so it’s important that they enjoy a diverse range of food, including fruits, nuts and vegetables. We review the best hamster foods, offering a great source of nutrients and minerals.
If you are not sure where to start when shopping for the best hamster food, do not worry as we have compiled a list of our top 5 favorite brands:
- Kaytee Fiesta Hamster food
- Tiny Friends Farm
- Oxbow Fortified Nutrition
- Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Hamster Food
- Science Selective Complete Hamster Food
Things to consider when choosing hamster food
Depending on the size, breed and health of your hamster, you need to ensure that they are fed a high-quality diet of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
The ideal hamster diet will include:
- A muesli-style mix or pellets. These are readily available to buy either in your local pet store or online.
- Small amounts of fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs
- Occasional hamster treats, like nuts, boiled eggs or mealworms
- You hamster will also need constant access to clean, fresh water. It should be in water bottle with a metal spout.
When buying pre-packaged hamster food remember to look out for the following:
Nutritional value: There is limited nutritional benefits from pre-packaged hamster feed, so we recommend that these only make up around 50% of your hamster’s daily diet. The rest should be come from fruit, greens, and plenty of seeds.
Expiry Dates: Most bags of hamster food only last for 3 months before they start to rot. Therefore, you should check the expiry date for freshness, store them in an airtight container and place them in a cool yet dry location.
Salt intake: Your hamster needs salt in order to retain water and stay healthy. In the wild, hamsters get their salt intake from licking different rocks and minerals in order to absorb the salt. Your hamster should not need any salt licks as they should get all they need from their regular balanced, food mix.
You should always see the ingredients on the hamster food bag to check the salt content, as too much can be dangerous for them as it can damage their kidneys.
Sugar intake: Hamsters can get diabetes, and just like humans it needs to be controlled and managed through access to plenty of fluids and a balanced diet. Unlike people, however, hamsters are unable to manage their diabetes for themselves, so it is our responsibility to take control for them.
If your hamster does have diabetes, a balanced diet is crucial, as completely removing sugar could do more harm than good and send your hamster into hypoglycemic shock. Instead, you will need to limit the amount of sugar to smaller than average doses.
A hamster with diabetes will find it difficult to dissolve and convert sugar into energy. Therefore, you should read the ingredients on your current dried feed and check for any added sugars, such as molasses, sugar cane, corn syrup, or fructose. If the food does contain these sugars, then you might want to think about changing to a low sugar feed.
Store bought hamster treats also contain high levels of sugar, so look for the sugar-free varieties or why not try making some homemade versions instead.
Read our informative guide if you want more inspiration on what to feed your hamster.
Do different hamsters need different food
All hamsters have the same nutritional needs however Dwarf hamster are at a higher risk of diabetes. Therefore, as explained above, you need to be extra vigilant with their sugar intake.
It is important to note that although Syrian hamsters are the largest breed, they will consume roughly the same amount of food as a Dwarf hamster. This is because a Dwarf hamster has a higher metabolism.
Most hamsters will consumer between 1-2 tablespoons of food a day unless they are pregnant. In which case, pregnant hamsters should have a diet that is packed with extra protein in order to help their pups grow.
2 types of hamster food
There are two main types of pre-mixed hamster foods readily available to buy online or at your local pet store. These are: –
If you are thinking of buying hamster museli then you will find that these mixes help to add variety to your hamsters diet. They tend to include nuts and seeds as well as other types of grasses and grains such as oats and wheat and often contain dried fruits and vegetables too.
Although variety is the spice of life, you may find that your hamster picks out the fatty sunflower and pumpkin seeds leaving the more nutritious oats and wheat behind. Thus making their diet less well-balanced than before.
Although the bags of hamster pellets may lack color, they are actually bursting with vitamins and minerals. Usually made from a mixture of seed and grains, these brown like blocks are often preferred by Syrian hamsters.
In addition to providing your hamster with a well-balanced diet, the pellets themselves are great for you hamster to gnaw and help to wear down their teeth in order to keep them from becoming overgrown.
How to feed your hamster
Hamsters in the wild spend a lot of time searching for food. Making them work for their meal is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated.
Scattering some of their food around their cage instead of letting them feed them from their bowl is a great game to play. Hiding them within their tunnels or deep down low in the sawdust, encourages your hamster to keep active and is a good idea if you have one hamster that is protective over their food.
You should also resist feeding your hamster every day by simply topping up their food bowl. This often entices hamsters into becoming fussy eaters, as when they know a regular food supply is coming, they tend to just pick out the good stuff and ignore the rest.
We tend to feed Oscar every other day and if we notice him storing food in his nest or his cage then we wait a bit longer to encourage him to eat his secret stash. We also feed our hamster fruit and vegetables a couple of times a week, mixed up with the odd sugar-free treat.
Our guide to the best hamster food
It is important to give your hamster a high quality and high-value mix which you can give in addition to plenty of fresh foods. When it comes to picking a good hamster feed you want to try and find something with around 17-19% protein, 4-7% fat and 6-15% protein. You may even want to combine mixes to get the best balance for your hamster.
Here are our top 5 picks:
This hamster food will not only keep your hamster healthy but happy too, thanks to the variety of textures, colors and shapes. It contains a combination of nutritionally-complete pellets with seeds, grains to encourage natural foraging behavior, as well as crunchy nut pieces that support your hamster’s dental health.
The Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food is rich in antioxidants for healthy immunity and is supplemented with a host of probiotics to encourage a healthy digestion. Overall it is made up of 13% protein (so you may need to top up with mealworms or hard boiled eggs) and 6% fat and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals to ensure that it is nutritionally complete for an everyday diet. Plus, it has no artificial preservatives and comes in an airtight, resealable bag to help contain freshness.
- Contains a blend of textures for dental health
- Encourages natural foraging behavior
- Rich in antioxidants and probiotics
- Does not contain any artificial preservatives
- Does contains artificial colorings
- Will need to top up the protein levels
- A Nutritionally Balanced, Tasty Mix For Hamsters
- Promotes Natural Foraging
- Best Ever Taste – No Added Sugar
- Added Vitamins For Health & Vitality
- Suitable For All Breeds Including Dwarf Hamsters
We have tried a variety of different hamster foods over the past year, as our Oscar is particularly fussy. Whilst I don’t want to encourage picky eating habits, I really like this recipe as it has the right balance of tastes and textures. Plus Oscar goes “nuts” for the giant peanuts.
Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Mix is nutritionally balanced, and contains no added flavors or sugars, 18% protein and 6% fat, so you can feel reassured that your hamster is getting the right amount of goodness. It is suitable for all breeds and ages of hamsters, plus it contains added vitamins and minerals for health and vitality.
- Good for picky eaters
- Nutritionally balanced
- No added flavors or sugars
- Supplemented with vitamins and minerals
- Very seed-heavy
- ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR A HEALTHY, ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: Balanced protein, fat, and carbohydrates provide energy for daily function and performance
- SUPPORTS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTH: Made with antioxidants & prebiotics to support the immune system health of your hamster or gerbil
- PERFECT FOR PICKY EATERS: Uniform kibble prevents selective feeding
- FORTIFIED FOOD: Fortified with vitamins and minerals for optimum health
- VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED: Formulated with the guidance of top veterinarians and nutritionists
For a nutritionally balanced everyday diet for your furry friend, Oxbow Essentials Hamster Food delivers premium nutrition for your hamster.
This hamster food is supplied as a uniformed kibble so your hamster can not take out the good bits. Fortified with vitamins and minerals and containing 15% protein, it is free from sugary fruits and high calorie nuts and seeds and does not contain any artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives.
- Uniformed pieces for fussy eaters
- Every bite is nutritionally balanced
- Free from artificial additives, colorings and flavoring
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals, nutritionally complete daily diet
- One 2.5 lb. Bag
- Designed for hamsters and gerbils’ nutritional needs,
- Sunburst Gourmet Blend for Hamsters & Gerbils contains dried mixed fruits, seeds, grains, nuts, legumes and more.
- Number on choice in Hamster and Gerbil Food
- Digestive Probiotics Natural Colors
If you are looking for a good hamster food blend at a great price, then Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix is the one to go for. Its formula is fortified with natural ingredients like sunflower seeds, grains, nuts and dried fruit in order to make sure your hamster gets all of the essential nutrients they need.
Its recipe is rich in antioxidants, plus it is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals to ensure that your hamster’s nutritional needs are being met. This formula is supplemented with probiotics to encourage healthy digestion and it is preserved naturally with no artificial colorings. Plus, the manufacturers claim to airwash the ingredients numerous times to reduce dust before placing it in a resealable bag to help keep the product fresher longer.
- Great value for money
- Full of antioxidants and probiotics
- A variety of tastes and textures
- No artificial preservatives or colors
- Not every bite is nutritionally complete
- Daily diet for hamsters of all breeds, including dwarfs
- Rich in natural ingredients
- No added sugars
- Helps support digestive wellbeing
- Single component extruded nuggets prevent selective feeding
Hamsters find Science Selective highly palatable as it is rich in tasty wholegrain goodness. These single pellets contain linseed, which is an excellent natural source of Omega 3 & 6, and helps to ensure that your hamster’s coat stays glossy and in good condition.
These nuggets are rich in natural ingredients and contain 19% Protein and 5% fat. Unlike other brands that include molasses, syrup or other sugary ingredients that can lead to hamster obesity, this hamster food contains no added sugar.
- No artificial colors or added sugars
- Hard nuggets promotes good dental health
- Helps maintain a healthy coat and skin
- Good for diabetic
- Supplied in small bags only
The best diet for your hamster is one that is packed full of vitamins and nutrients. Although pre-packaged hamster foods are fine for everyday use, you should supplement their mix with a host of fresh fruits, vegetables and even herbs to ensure not only variety, but that they get the right balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
We are what we eat, and you will notice your hamster’s health and wellbeing suffer if they are not fed a balanced diet. And, as much as we all love our furry friends, try and resist treating them with shop bought sugary sticks and snacks as these can be bad for their teeth and can even cause diabetes.