If you keep a hamster or want to take one in, you must of course not only have the right basic equipment but also know what the little animals are eating and what nutrients they need. Not everything that is good or at least digestible for us humans is also suitable for furry animals. We’ll tell you what to look for when choosing the right hamster food.
Grain Feed – It’s All in the Mix!
In general, you should note that a distinction must be made between the different types of hamsters. There are now of course countless packaged grain mixes for hamsters. However, some feed providers also give you the option of mixing the feed yourself. However, it is important to distinguish between the different types of hamsters. You should pay attention to the following when composing the right hamster food:
- In the feed for golden hamsters or teddy hamsters, for example, corn kernels (in moderation), kernels such as millet, oats, and wheat, and, for example, pea, corn, or bean flakes are useful.
- In the case of dwarf hamsters, most of the feed should consist of seeds (e.g. grass seeds and herb seeds) and other plant components such as dried herbs. Make sure that both the fat and sugar content are very low, as it is believed that some dwarf hamster species are prone to diabetes.
- Animal protein in the form of dried insects or, for example, river fleas (but can also be fed)
not too many fats (sunflower seeds, for example, are very fatty. Sort them out if necessary and only feed them very rarely).
- No sugar or sweeteners like honey or sugar cane molasses.
- No dyes.
- Squeaky-colored vegetable rings not only look unsavory but they can also definitely be left out.
Put Fresh Food on the Menu
Fresh food should not be on your hamster’s menu every day but should be on a regular basis. In the case of dwarf hamster species, this tends to take second place. You can buy dried fruit and vegetables – but why use dried fruit when you can also feed a lot of it fresh? You will probably have most of the groceries at home anyway. Make sure that you don’t feed too much fresh feed and that the feed is actually eaten and not bunkered. Otherwise, it can start to get moldy and this must of course be avoided at all costs. In general, you should use vegetables instead of fruit, as the latter contains fructose. Small hamster species, in particular, should not consume sugar at all if possible.
It is also important that you do not feed your hamster stone fruits such as apricots or cherries. You should also definitely remove the seeds from tomatoes and grapes.
The following fresh feed is suitable, among others:
- grass (please pick it from the roadside)
- cat grass
High Protein Hamster Food is Important
It is just as important that the hamsters’ need for protein is met. For example, you can feed river fleas, unsweetened natural yogurt, quark, or boiled egg white (please not the egg yolk, this is too high in cholesterol). Of course, this is only done in moderation and not on a daily basis.
In addition to the right hamster food, sufficient water is particularly important for the animals. You should change this daily. By the way, special rodent drinkers are not necessary. Still, water or clean tap water is sufficient here. This is best served in a small bowl. Make sure, however, that the bowl is not too big so that there is no risk of the hamster falling into it and even drowning!
Watch Out for Hidden Ingredients!
As with humans and other animals, sugar is anything but healthy for hamsters. Unfortunately, for example, snack sticks or drops that contain sugar or honey are often sold. Honey is often even advertised. You shouldn’t feed these to your little roommates.
Nibble sticks without honey are offered by suppliers such as JR Farm. These are much more suitable for your hamster. Food containing sugar can clog the hamsters’ cheek pouches, they develop tooth decay just like us humans and too much sugar can even lead to death in the small animals!