Feeding your Hamster

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Feeding your Hamster

What do hamsters eat? Diabetes Nuggets and muesli Treats Water Greens Root Vegetables Fruit Grass and Hay Dangerous Foods Your hamster will need a balanced diet to keep them happy and healthy and we have a useful guide to help you choose the best food available for your hamster. What do hamsters eat? Hamsters in the wild are omnivores – just like us - which means that they need both meat and vegetables in their diet. Hamsters also have an elongated pouch on each side of their heads which they stuff full of food to be stored and eaten later.  In the wild hamsters live on a diet of seeds, nuts, berries, worms, grubs, grasses, green leaves and insects.   You can feed your hamster a handful of hamster muesli or nuggets daily.    You can also offer very small amounts of hay, greens, fruit, vegetables, seeds or the occasional meal worm.  Do not feed your hamster too much fresh food as this can cause tummy upsets and diarrhea. Feed your hamster at the same time each day and you will soon find that they come out to welcome you.   Hamsters will store food in their cheek pouches and put it in a hiding place (which is often in their nest) to eat later.  Remove any food that is no longer fresh each day and clean out the hidden food once a week. Food should be placed in heavy ceramic or plastic shallow bowls that will not tip over.    Always introduce new foods to your hamster gradually over a period of 10 days. View our Hamster Products section for a selection of nutritious nuggets, muesli and treats BackTo Top Diabetes Some types of hamsters are prone to diabetes and foods that are high in sugar should not be fed such as fruit (see our fruit section below) and honey based treats.  Russian Campbell Dwarf Hamsters, Chinese Hamsters, some lines of Winter White Dwarf Hamsters and Hybrid (Russian Campbell crossed with Winter White) Hamsters are all at a higher risk for diabetes.  Syrian (Golden) Hamsters and Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are not prone to diabetes. View our Hamster Health section to learn more Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation BackTo Top Nuggets and Muesli Dry hamster nuggets and muesli will provide all the minerals, vitamins, fibre and nutrients required and are also clean and hygienic. These dry foods contain a mixture of pumpkin seeds, millet, grass pellets, maize, flaked oats, peas, toasted soya and wheat flakes, sunflower seeds and meal worms.  Some also contain chicken and rice nuggets.   Dried foods also help to keep your hamsters teeth trim. View our Hamster Products section for a selection of nutritious nuggets, muesli and treats BackTo Top Treats Treats in the form of mineral blocks, fruit and honey sticks are great for chewing on and help your hamsters teeth stay in good shape.  There are also forage mixes of herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables available as healthy snacks to give as a treat. View our Hamster Products section for a selection of nutritious nuggets, muesli and treats BackTo Top Water Always provide fresh clean drinking water for your hamster and check the supply each day.  Water bottles should be fitted to the cage at the right height for your hamster to reach the spout.  Water bowls are easily fouled and hamsters can become wet if they get in them which can lead to illness. View our Hamster Products section for a selection of water bottles and Hamster feeding accessories BackTo Top Greens Always feed greens (and any new foods) to your hamster gradually and in very small amounts as hamsters can get stomach upsets and diarrhea from eating too many fresh greens.   Cabbage, celery, and lettuce contain too much water for their volume and can have a dangerous laxative effect on hamsters so if you are using these as food only feed a tiny amount. Make sure any greens have been washed before you feed them to your hamster. As hamsters are hoarders be careful to check for hidden food – greens and other fresh foods will spoil and go rotten if left so remove any uneaten food to prevent this. Green leafy plants recommended include: dandelion leaves (and flowers), kale, chard, chickweed, clover, broccoli leaves, stems and florets, green beans, endive, radicchio, chicory, and spinach.  BackTo Top Root Vegetables Root vegetables can be fed - in very small amounts - such as carrot, parsnip and turnip.  Potatoes should be avoided. BackTo Top Fruit Fruit can be fed in very small amounts to hamsters but as fruit contains a high amount of sugar it may be best not to feed it to hamsters that have a high risk of diabetes.  Russian Campbell Dwarf Hamsters, Chinese Hamsters, some lines of Winter White Dwarf Hamsters and Hybrid (Russian Campbell crossed with Winter White) Hamsters are all at a higher risk for diabetes.  Syrian (Golden) Hamsters and Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are not prone to diabetes.   Fruits that can be fed to Syrian (Golden) Hamsters and Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are:  apple (remove pips), pear, banana, blackberry, cherry (remove stone), peach (remove stone), plum (remove stone), raspberry and strawberry.   Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit should not be fed to hamsters as they are too acidic. View our Hamster Health section to learn more Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation BackTo Top Grass and Hay Grass and hay can be fed in very small amounts to your hamster and there are a wide selection of hays and grasses available in store that come in the form of treats.  These are mixed with herbs, fruit and clover.   Alfalfa Hay and Timothy Hay are also available.   Dont feed your hamster lawnmower clippings as these can upset your hamster’s digestive system and make them ill.  Be careful when giving your hamster fresh handfuls of meadow grass as this could contain buttercups which are poisonous.   View our Hamster Product section for a selection of nutritious hays and grasses for hamsters BackTo Top Dangerous Foods Never feed your hamster chocolate as it is toxic to most animals. Hamsters are lactose intolerant and can not digest milk. Toxic foods include:  potatoes, kidney beans, parsley, rhubarb, tomato and avocado. Garlic, onion, leeks and chives are dangerous and can cause haemolytic anaemia. Grapes and raisins can contribute to acute kidney failure. Never feed peanut butter as it can clog up your hamsters pouches and cause infection. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation BackTo Top