Grains Hamster

Hamster’s Diet

Hamsters eat fruits and vegetables, but not all vegetables are good for them. Some foods cause allergic reactions in Hamsters that may result in death. A Hamster’s body cannot produce its own Vitamin C, so we must give them vitamin C-enriched foods to avoid diseases and infection.

What should you feed?

In the wild, Hamsters consume plenty of hay. Hay is rich in fiber and helps maintain their body’s health. Likewise, give your Hamster low calcium content hay, Timothy-hay-based pellets (specially made for Hamsters). Consult your Hamster’s veterinarian regarding good food to feed them, too.

You can provide your pet with one cup of fresh vegetables daily. Ensure the vegetables are washed properly before feeding them to your pet (they may contain residual fertilizer). Avoid feeding them cold vegetables; whatever you give them should be at room temperature.

Hamster’s Usual Favorites (Vegetables)

  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicory
  • Spinach
  • Sweet peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Cress
  • Courgette

You can provide your pet fruits but they should be fewer than vegetables. In this way, you can balance your pet’s vitamin and mineral contents and also provides the required vitamin C. The fruits which Hamsters can eat are,

  • Apples, Pears
  • Bananas 
  • Grapes 
  • Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Elderberries
  • Papaya
  • Apricots
  • Cherries (Seedless)
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Guava
  • Honeydew Melons 
  • Kiwis 
  • Kumquat
  • Lychees (Seedless)
  • Mangos
  • Peaches (No stone)
  • Peas
  • Plums (No pits)
  • Pomegranate
  • Starfruit
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon (Seedless)
  • Tomatoes (To be fed when ripe without stem or leaves)
  • Dried Organic Coconut
Dite Hamster

Meats for Hamsters

Once in a while, you have to provide your pets treats so that they will become even happier and healthier. Meats Can be provided as treats. They are

  • Cooked Chicken Breast (Or freeze dried ones from the pet shop)
  • Dried crickets
  • Eggs – Boiled (feed whites) or scrambled with no oil/milk
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Mealworms (from the petshop)
  • Plain low fat yogurt
  • Tofu (blanch it in hot water for 10 seconds before feeding your pet, a recommended serving of one teaspoon a day would be good enough)
  • Fully cooked small pieces of turkey in Small amount

Few Hamster’s favorite greens are

  • Asparagus 
  • Artichoke 
  • Beansprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery 
  • Corn or Baby Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potato – have to be COOKED before being served! Raw potatoes cannot be fed to hamsters! 
  • Romaine Lettuce 
  • Spinach
  • Squash/Pumpkin 
  • Tomatoes (Stalk & Leaves removed as they are toxic to hamsters!)

Grains, Nuts& Seeds for Hamsters

  • Bran & Wheat Germ
  • Cooked Pasta, dried
  • Cooked Rice, dried
  • Dry toast
  • Flaxseed
  • Oats 
  • Peanuts (ideally raw and in shell, hamsters love it as a chew) 
  • Popped Quinoa
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Unflavoured Popcorn 
  • Walnuts (if with shell, drill a hole for hamster)
  • Pine nuts

Plants and Flowers for hamsters

  • Bramble leaves 
  • Blackberry leaves 
  • Chickweed
  • Clover
  • Cornflowers
  • Dandelion leaves and flower
  • Groundsel 
  • Hawthorn leaves
  • Marigolds 
  • Michaelmas Daisies 
  • Roses
  • Salvias
  • Sow Thistle
  • Sweetpeas
  • Wallflowers
  • Watercress
  • Young grass
  • Millet Spray

Overall Safe Food for Hamster

  • Apples (no seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Potato (cooked)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Hay
  • Whole grain bread or toast
  • Whole wheat pasta (cooked)
  • Brown rice (cooked)
  • Whole grain cereal (no sugary cereal)
  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Small pieces of cooked chicken
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Nuts (unsalted, no almonds)
  • Peanuts (unsalted)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Plain air-popped popcorn (no butter or salt)
Veggies Hamster

Chewing

Hamster teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Chewing on hay all the time makes your Hamster grind their teeth. Some of the foods hamster loves to chew apart from toys are,

  • Cardboard
  • Coconut shells
  • Hay cubes
  • Unbleached loofah
  • Pumice stone
  • Seagrass

Before you give them any softwood branches to chew, bake them on low heat for an hour and give them a good wash to make sure they’re safe for your hamster. Good woods to use are:

  • Apple
  • Dogwood
  • Elm & Red Elm
  • Grape & Grapevine
  • Hawthorn
  • Hazelnut
  • Pear
  • Poplar
  • Quince
  • Willow (goat, weeping, or pussy willow)
  • Yucca

What NOT to Feed your Hamsters

There are foods that cause allergies or are generally toxic for Hamsters; whether they contain too much calcium or sugar or simply don’t provide nutritional value, do NOT feed these to your pets as they may cause choking, gassiness, or make your Hamster bloated:

  • Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks
  • Chocolate and caffeine products
  • Beans and potatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Potato chips
  • Celery
  • Avocados
  • Apple seeds
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Almonds
  • Canned foods
  •  Spicy and seasoned foods
  • Kidney beans
  • Light green leafy veggies
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Plants treated with pesticides
  • Seeds
  • Plants high in oxalic acid
  • Dairy products
  • Foods with high fat content

Feeding Schedule

Feed your pet twice a day (morning and evening). Ensure cleanliness of their enclosure by removing all residual food an hour after you give it to them. Make sure you remove the old food before giving them a new serving.

Hay and water should be present in their hutch at all times – regularly check to make sure it is clean. Wash the water bottle daily and provide them chlorine-free fresh filtered water.

Overfeeding

Between socializing and eating, be more mindful when feeding them. Overfeeding leads to obesity, and this shortens their lifespan. When you overfeed them they start to store the food in their cheek pouches and start to bloat.

Maintain a schedule and never provide them anything other than hay if it isn’t feeding time.

Canned foods

Avoid giving them foods that you eat, apart from vegetables. Never ever provide them preserved foods like chips, popcorns, biscuits, candies, or any other sugar-content canned foods.

Hamsters don’t have the bodily ability to break down the sugars. Never give them milk or curd or any dairy products, either. Consumption of these, accidental or not, will make them suffer from severe diarrhea.

Wild Hamster

Importance Of Vitamin C

Hamster bodies can’t independently produce Vitamin C, hence why we provide supplements. Vitamin C is essential for living organisms to ensure healthy skin, joints, and blood vessels.

Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Swollen Joints
  • Weak
  • Lack energy
  • Rough hair
  • Lose their appetite
  • Lose their weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding of joints

Vitamin C enriched food for your Hamsters

  • Green (bell) peppers
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Red cabbage
  • Turnip greens
  • Kale

Force-feeding

Though Hamsters love to eat, they sometimes refuse to eat for 2 days. Being sick robs them of energy to consume food, for example.

Loss of appetite is the first symptom of all health-related issues in Hamsters. At these times, take them to their veterinarian, and with their guide, you may force-feed your Hamster. Ask your vet about the frequency and the number of other supplements to feed your pet.

You will NOT be force-feeding your Hamster with fruits and vegetables. Your vet will suggest a critical care powder, and you have to mix that with warm water. Force-feeding this liquid substance requires a needless syringe.

  • Remove the needle and fill it with the mixture (1 part critical care powder: 2 parts warm water). Never lift your Hamsters from the round when force-feeding, as this may cause respiratory problems if food goes on the wrong tract.
  • Your Hamster won’t be comfortable with this process, so use a blanket so that your pet may rest and hide with and hold them gently. Ensure there are no air bubbles in the syringe. Once preparations are done, softly push the filled-up syringe just behind their front teeth.
  • Don’t completely push the food using the plunger! Give time to chew and get used to the mixture. If they cough or squeak during the process, immediately stop pushing the plunger and proceed after they stop coughing.
  • Remember to discard any left-over food when feeding. If you suspect that your Hamster might be ill, constantly check their weight. The continuous drop indicates there might be something wrong – immediately take them to their veterinarian.
Hamster

Forcefeeding water

Never force-feed water to your Hamsters as they can aspirate into his lungs. Instead, give your pet food with high water content like watermelon and/or soak the vegetables in water before you give them to your pet.

Those options will give them enough water that they will need. Also, make sure that their water bottle is working by squeezing them.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters are beautiful pets who have to monitor while feeding. Always remember that the loss of appetite is the first symptom of any kind of sickness. Always give them low calcium content hay and pellets, specially made for Hamsters. Ask their veterinarian about the appropriate food proportion for your Hamster specifically (they have different dietary needs).

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