- What to look for in a Good Hamster Food
- Different Types of Hamster Foods
- Overall Best Hamster Food
- 6 More Really Food Hamster Foods
- Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Hamster & Gerbil Food
- Kaytee Fiesta Gourmet Variety Diet Hamster & Gerbil Food
- Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Dental Health Mouse, Rat & Hamster Food
- Oxbow Garden Select Hamster & Gerbil Food
- Vitakraft VitaSmart Complete Nutrition Hamster Food
- Brown’s Tropical Carnival Biscuits Hamster & Gerbil Food
- Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Hamster Food
|Quick Pick: Best Hamster Foods 2020|
Cute and popular, hamsters do have some special requirements for their care and feeding. We can tell you what you need to know about hamster food and the best hamster food mix. In this article we’ll look at:
- What to look for in a good hamster food.
- The different types of hamster foods.
- The best hamster food.
- And what you need to know about feeding your hamster.
Hamsters are adorable but they do require good care and feeding like all pets. They are small rodents and they typically live 2-3 years, at most.
The most well-known species of hamster commonly kept as a pet is the golden or Syrian hamster. They are sometimes called a “fancy” hamster. They have several different color variations such as “honey bear, “panda bear,” “black bear,” “European black bear,” “polar bear,” “teddy bear,” and “Dalmatian.” Some of these hamsters have long hair.
Dwarf hamsters are also popular as pets. There are several varieties such as Roborovskis and Russians. Russians are also known as Campbell’s dwarf hamster which is the most common. Roborovskis are very small and fast which makes them difficult to keep as pets.
Chinese hamsters are also kept as pets. They have a prehensile tail that’s about 4 cm long. They are less common than other hamsters but are sometimes mistaken for dwarf hamsters.
What to look for in a Good Hamster Food
Like other pets, your hamster needs a balanced diet to be healthy. Hamsters are omnivores so don’t be surprised if you see your little guy stuffing his cheeks with anything you give him. In fact, food hoarding is a particular behavioral characteristic of hamsters. They are known for carrying food in their big cheek pouches and hiding it. When their cheeks are full they can make their heads appear to be double or even triple in size.
In order to be healthy, your hamster needs at least 16-17 percent protein in his diet. But if the food has too much protein, your hamster is likely to reject it. This can cause your hamster to become picky and lead to nutrient deficiencies.
A bag of seed mix is popular with some owners but hamsters need a variety of nutrients in their diet that may not be supplied by these mixes. Along with protein, hamsters also need the nutrients from fruit and vegetables. If you give him a store-bought seed mix he will probably pick and choose from the seeds and not eat all of them which, again, leads to an unbalanced diet. Lots of hamsters will pick out the sunflower seeds to eat and ignore the other ingredients.
A good hamster mix, usually in pelleted form, will usually have a blend of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains that provide protein and the other nutrients that your hamster needs. We recommend that you also give your hamster some pieces of fresh vegetables and fruits that are safe for him to eat. Pelleted foods are usually considered to be better for hamsters than seed mixes since your hamster can’t start picking through the ingredients to find the things he likes.
Not all greens, fruits, or vegetables are good for your hamster. You can give your hamster small pieces of broccoli, parsley, apple, pear, carrot, and turnips. Avoid giving him onions, garlic, chives, leeks, lettuce, raw potatoes, and oranges. Hamsters can be prone to diabetes so go easy on giving your pet additional fruit as it contains sugars. You can give your hamster small pieces of fresh food every day or two but it should not be a large portion of his diet. A couple of raisins or a few pieces of hardboiled egg are plenty for a hamster. If you give your hamster too much fresh food, he will store it in his cage somewhere and it will rot. It’s best to remove fresh food from your hamster’s cage within a few hours of giving it to your hamster.
Most of your hamster’s food should come from a commercially-prepared food. We don’t recommend trying to put together a diet for your hamster yourself. A good commercial diet should be complete and nutritionally balanced.
Hamsters don’t usually like changes in their food so if your hamster has always been fed one kind of food, you will probably need to continue to buy the kind of food he’s used to then slowly transition him to the food you want him to eat.
Be sure to provide your hamster with fresh, clean water at all times from a water bottle with a drinking tube attached to it.
Different Types of Hamster Foods
- Dried Fruit. You can give your hamster dried fruit in very small amounts but don’t give him a lot. Hamsters can be prone to diabetes and dried fruit contains a lot of sugar. The same is true for fresh fruit to a lesser degree. Only give it to your hamster sparingly.
- Dried Veggies. You can give your hamster dried vegetables but fresh, raw vegetables are better.
- Pellets. Pelleted food for hamsters is most often recommended for a complete, balanced diet.
- Seed Mix. Seed mixes are popular as food for hamsters but they don’t usually provide a complete and balanced diet. This is especially true if your hamster picks among the seeds and doesn’t eat everything.
- Sunflower Seeds. A popular seed for hamsters but, again, it often leads to an unbalanced diet.
|Our 2020 picks for the Best Hamster Foods|
Overall Best Hamster Food
Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster & Gerbil Food pelleted food doesn’t contain seeds, high sugar fruits, or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Seeds and fruits can be high in calories but low in nutritional quality. Too much of these foods can lead to finicky eating patterns and even obesity in your hamster. These pellets provide a complete diet that’s balanced with nutrients that provide proper nutrition for good weight, digestive function, and dental health. It contains a blend of timothy hay, oats, and barley that taste good to your hamster and provide good fiber for digestion. Fortified with stabilized vitamin C, A, and B12. This is the bestrated hamster food on Chewy.com.
6 More Really Food Hamster Foods
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Hamster & Gerbil Food is another bestseller on Chewy.com. It contains pellets, sunflower seeds, corn, wheat, and yucca for odor control. It’s also fortified with DHA and omega-3 fatty acid for brain, heart, and eye health, as well as prebiotics and probiotics for good digestion. No artificial colors or flavors and it’s naturally preserved. This is a complete diet for good nutrition, a healthy immune system, and growth.
Kaytee Fiesta Gourmet Variety Diet Hamster & Gerbil Food has a blend of fruits, vegetables, seed, and grains. The pieces have different shapes, colors, and textures to appeal to your hamster. The food is a blend of ingredients including corn, sunflower, carrots, peanuts, banana and more. It contains DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids for heart, brain and eye health and prebiotics and probiotics for better digestion. Naturally preserved for optimum freshness and it has no artificial colors or flavors. This is a complete diet for proper nutrition, a healthy immune system, and growth.
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Dental Health Mouse, Rat & Hamster Food has wholesome ingredients in a pelleted form that are good for your hamster’s teeth. Small pets like hamsters have teeth that grow continuously so they need to chew and gnaw to keep them trim and clean. This food provides the essential nutrients necessary in crunchy, extruded nuggets for your pet. It contains corn, oats, and peanuts plus yucca for odor control. It’s also fortified with DHA and omega-3 fatty acids for brain, heart, and eye health. Prebiotics and probiotics support digestion. Naturally preserved with no artificial colors or flavors. This is a complete diet with proper nutrition for a healthy immune system and growth.
Oxbow Garden Select Hamster & Gerbil Food is a pelleted food that is complete and balanced with all of the nutrition your hamster needs. Ingredients include whole yellow pea, tomato, carrot, spinach, and banana. The garden fresh blend also includes a mix of three varieties of hand-selected grass hay to encourage meal enrichment and variety. This food is non-GMO certified and farmed in the USA.
Vitakraft VitaSmart Complete Nutrition Hamster Food is a super premium diet that offers high diversity for your hamster. It has lots of different colors and textures to encourage natural foraging. Ingredients include soybean, alfalfa, flax seed, Timothy hay, beets and more. It contains DHA and Omega 3 fatty acids and is specially designed to support complete health and well-being during middle age and maturity. Essential fiber aids digestion and antioxidants support the immune system. No artificial colors, preservatives, or pesticides.
Brown’s Tropical Carnival Biscuits Hamster & Gerbil Food are a natural food and treat in one. They come with ZOO-Vital biscuits that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The food is a fortified blend made with natural seeds, grains, nuts, fruits and veggies and no filler seeds or hay. Antioxidant-rich baked crisps provide a crunchy surprise. No artificial colors or flavors. Only natural preservatives.
Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Hamster Food
If you’ve never had a hamster before you may have some questions about feeding.
- How much food should I feed a Hamster – Hamsters aren’t very big and they don’t require very much food on a daily basis. You should count on feeding your hamster one to two full tablespoons of food in a 24 hour period. Anything above this amount and your hamster will hoard it away. The larger Syrian hamsters (also called golden hamsters) might eat a little more. Smaller dwarf hamster may eat a little less.
- How often should I feed a hamster – Most people feed their hamster once a day, either in the morning or in the evening.
Hamsters can be cute, fun little pets but they require a complete, balanced diet like other pets. We recommend a good commercially-prepared food. It’s generally best to buy a pellet food so your hamster can’t pick out the pieces he likes, ignoring the other ingredients. Feed your hamster one to two tablespoons of food per day. You can supplement with a little fresh food such as fruit and vegetables a few times per week.