Ideal diet for your hamster

Ideal diet for your hamster

Your hamster relies on you to give them everything they need to stay happy and healthy. While hamsters are often thought to be quite uncomplicated when it comes to care, they still need a specialist diet gives them all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they require. That’s why it’s so important to do your research into hamster nutrition to find the best diet to meet your pet’s needs. To help get you started, we’ve put together a handy guide to feeding your hamster below.

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What do hamsters eat in the wild?

While hamsters make popular domestic pets, they have their origins in dry, warm habitats. The Syrian hamster was first discovered in Syria, and several other species of hamster are found in Europe and Asia.

In their natural environment, hamsters tend to eat seeds, nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables. That means that they’re classed as omnivorous, so need both meat and plant-based food in their diets. Some hamsters also eat insects and other animal material (such as carrion).

What does your hamster need to eat at home?

At home, it is important to give your hamster food that mimics their diet in the wild. While that doesn’t mean you need to give your pet carrion because of their dinner, it does suggest that you should look for a complete and balanced food that has all the nutrients they have to stay healthy. This could include:

A specialist hamster food: Many brands have developed balanced hamster food that contain all the nutrients your hamster needs. Something like our Pets at Home Hamster Nuggets or Science Selective’s Hamster Food could be a good choice

A mixture of nuts, seeds and grains: As hamsters often eat grains, seeds and nuts in the wild, choosing a food that contains these could also be a great way of giving your hamster the nutrients they need (and they’re likely to enjoy it too!). For example, our Pets at Home Complete Hamster Muesli is a balanced diet with plenty of tasty seeds and grains. Alternatively, the Nature’s Feast Hamster Food has a healthy blend of seeds, fruit and veggies that your hamster is definitely sure to love. Remember that these mueslis often include nuggets, which means you shouldn’t need to feed extra nuggets or mealss alongside them

Fresh fruit and vegetables: Your hamster will likely enjoy eating fresh fruit and veggies from time to time. Adding these into your hamster’s diet will give variety, along with additional vitamins and nutrients at mealtimes. For example, apples, leafy greens and root vegetables are good choices. Just remember to give these occasionally and in small amounts. Too many too often could cause stomach upsets

Don’t forget to always make fresh, clean water available to your hamster. The best way to do this is usually through a bottle and a sipping tube. Remember that hamsters don’t have great suction, so a bottle with a valve-less tube can be generally a good idea.

Is there anything your hamster shouldn’t eat?

Generally, hamsters will be happy and healthy if given a complete and balanced diet, as suggested above. However, there are some things that hamsters shouldn’t eat. Some of these can be poisonous for your hamster and others could cause weight problems.

  • Sugar: Too many sugary treats (like fruit) or treats that contain plenty of sugar can cause problems for your hamster. Try to avoid giving too much to your pet and always avoid offering your hamster sugary treats meant for humans (like chocolate or sweets)
  • Grapes: Grapes could be poisonous to hamsters, so always avoid giving these to them
  • Rhubarb: Like grapes, rhubarb is poisonous to hamsters and could cause them serious harm
  • Wet or powdered food only: Hamsters need texture in their diets, as this helps to keep their teeth healthy. If you need to give wet or powdered foods on advice from your vet, be sure to remove this once eaten, as it can degenerate quickly (especially as hamsters like to hoard their food)

Learning more about hamster nutrition

If you have any questions about your hamster’s diet or are worried that it’s not meeting their needs, it is important to speak to your vet. They will be able to advise you on any changes you might need to make.

For more general questions about feeding your hamster, our instore experts are on hand to help. Find your nearest store today and we’ll be happy to talk you through all the different hamster food options. We also have plenty of more small pet information available in Pet Talk.

By PetsCareTip.Com