Hamster Food and Dietary Needs
Hamsters are little animals and there dietary needs are less but they must be fed with nutritious food. The hamster food could consist of natural food made up of fruits, vegetables or nuts or cereals. Apart from that, there are commercially made foods for hamsters. These foods are somehow not very suitable for hamsters and natural food is suggested to keep hamsters healthy for a long time.
Hamsters mostly rely on herbs or fiber based diet in the wild. Their diet should not consist of fats and the major nutrition content should be protein or fiber. Processed foods or foods with preservatives or additives should not be fed to hamsters. There are many diseases which occur due to harmful or toxic foods and currently diet leads to major health concerns in hamsters.
List of Natural Foods
There are so many fruits and vegetables which could be given to hamsters.
The fruits include:
All types of berries
The vegetables list includes all low starch vegetables, specially:
Hamsters could also be given meat but it is preferred if the meat is cooked. Eggs, fish, chicken and beef are best source of protein. Sometimes worms and other insects like crickets or grasshoppers are also given to hamsters.
Seeds and Nuts:
The seeds allowed for hamsters include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, squash seeds, peanuts or other nuts except almonds. Soybeans and popcorn could also be given to hamsters as treats.
Cereals and Lentils:
Cereals include: Oatmeal, bran bread or plain bread, brown or white rice. Other lentils could be used as a high fiber diet for hamsters.
Human foods could also be used for hamster consumption but in lower quantity.
Toxic Foods for Hamsters
The vegetables and fruits with higher level of acid in them are not suitable for hamsters. These could include lemon, garlic, onion, avocado, oranges and citrus fruits etc.
Similarly almonds are strictly forbidden for hamsters as they could be fatal for them. The seeds of fruits like grapes and apples are also not suitable. Chocolate, butter and cream are not given to hamsters because they are high in carbohydrates.
Salt and spices should be totally absent in hamster food along with sugar.
Potatoes contain starch and they are also not favorable for hamsters.
Hamsters should be given food in small quantities every time. The quantity of food depends on the age of hamster. Similarly different breeds of hamsters have different requirements according to their size.
Food for Baby Hamster
When baby hamster is weaned, it should be given food same as required by an adult hamster. The small hamsters have high nutritional needs and they should be given variety of foods. Baby hamsters should not be given milk because they are lactose intolerant. Cooked eggs and vegetables are best for baby hamsters.
Commercially Available Food for Hamsters
Commercially available hamster food is made with variety of seeds and it is an easy option to feed the hamsters with this food or pallet. The food should be chosen after reading its nutritional values and ingredients carefully. The choice of hamster should also be given importance in this regard whether it prefers fresh food or pallets.