Pet hamsters are among the easiest small animals to feed, so the easiest thing to do is to buy the best quality hamster food mixes and augment the seed mixes with some fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a mealworm or cricket as a treat occasionally. In short, what you need to look for is a diet that will provide your hamster with 12-15 percent protein and 3-6 perfect fat.
What types of hamster foods are there?
The hamster foods fall roughly into two types:
- Ground mix nugget pellet diets – This is where all the ingredients are ground up, mixed together, and compacted into uniform brown squares or nuggets. Although this diet may not seem appealing, it is a complete diet and provides gnawing exercise for your hamster as well. Pelleted foods are a good choice if your hamster is selective as it can't pick and choose what it eats.
- Seed mix feeds – This consists of mixed seeds and ground grains. Mixes are better for hamsters than pellet diets because the mixed-seed diets provide activity opportunities hamsters who can then snoop around in their dish of mixed seeds. This is in effect foraging just a hamster would do in the wild. No wonder most hamster owners like the seed mixes!
No matter which diet you decide to offer your hamster, it is recommended to read the label before you buy them as some diets, both the pellet and the seed mixes, have added a sweetener to the food, which is not suitable for hamsters.
Also, it’s best to check to see if the food should be refrigerated once it's been opened. Even if the food doesn't have to be chilled, buy in quantities that you'll use up within three months absolutely maximum. You really should feed hamsters with food you know is fairly fresh. Hamsters need access to fresh water all the time, so make sure that you change the water often.
What vitamins are important for hamsters?
Commercial hamster diets are complete diets, but not all are high quality or balanced, so it important to read the ingredients to make sure that your hamster enjoys a varied diet and vitamins. However, to be honest, researches admit that even now, not enough is known about the mineral and nutritional requirements of hamsters.
How much should you feed your hamster?
All hamsters require about 10 grams of food per day along with a few like fruit or vegetables. Favourites are carrot, apple and celery, but fresh foods can include almost any sort of fruit or vegetable. But, do no feed hamsters salad like leafy greens or spinach as it’s not good for their stomachs.