Proper feeding is very important to keep your hamster healthy and happy for a long time. Because with the right nutrition you lay the foundation for a long hamster life. Here you can find out everything about the species-appropriate nutrition of hamsters.
In order to be able to offer your hamster a species-appropriate diet, you need to know exactly what is on the menu of these rodents. In the wild, hamsters eat fruits, seeds, leaves, insects, and small worms. The feeding of hamsters in pet keeping should also be based on this. Here you can read what is important for the species-appropriate nutrition of your hamster!
The basics of hamster nutrition
Hamsters need a varied diet. You should definitely keep this in mind when feeding your hamster. The following conditions are therefore recommended for feeding:
- 50% grain (available as ready-mixed feed)
- 40% fresh feed
- 10% animal protein (in dwarf hamsters the protein content is even 50%!)
It is important that you also feed your hamster hay. It consists of about 25 percent raw fibers, which can prevent diarrheal diseases with a sufficient amount.
Dry food for hamsters
As a basis for nutrition, you can feed the hamster ready-made food, which is available in every pet shop. It usually contains all the important substances that the animal needs. Dwarf hamsters need a feed mix that also contains fine seeds. There is a special dwarf hamster ready-to-eat food with insects, fine seeds, and much more.
However, you can also mix budgie food with normal hamster food, which contains large and coarse grains. The feed mixture for budgerigars contains hemp and millet seeds, which also taste good to dwarf hamsters.
Mix dry food for hamsters yourself
For a self-mixed feed mix for your hamster you need:
- foxtail millet
- corn grits
- some crispbread
To make the homemade food varied, you can also add the following from time to time:
- pine nuts
- dog biscuit
- sugar-free cornflakes
- proso millet
- sunflower seeds
- wheat grains
You can also occasionally offer your hamster peanuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, walnuts, and hamster waffles. However, these should really only be given as treats in between, as they are real calorie bombs!
Fresh food for the hamster
A species-appropriate diet for hamsters includes not only dry food but also fresh food. This includes vegetables, fruit, and forage.
Healthy vegetables for the hamster
Vegetables are an important part of hamster nutrition. Hamsters like the following types of vegetables:
- Cucumbers (only in small amounts)
- Tomatoes (only in small amounts)
You can also feed the hamster broccoli and zucchini. Cucumbers and tomatoes should only be fed seldom due to their high water content. Hamsters naturally consume little water – a large amount of water could overwhelm the rodent’s kidneys.
Be careful with fruit for the hamster
Most fruit contains sugar, which can negatively impact your hamster’s health. In general, therefore, fruit should only be fed occasionally and in small amounts.
You can occasionally feed small amounts of apple pieces, strawberries, and raspberries to the hamster. Watermelon should only be served very rarely because it contains a lot of water. The high water content of the melon can overwhelm the hamster’s kidneys.