Best Hamster Food Review
Hamsters are a fun pet to own; they are low-maintenance pets which makes them ideal for beginners, they can go about their daily activities on their own, and that includes exercise. However, they require care which means their environment and their diet. Like any other pet, hamsters have specific dietary needs, and these needs require high quality food.
Due to the dietary needs of hamsters, they have learned to store food by filling up their cheeks during feeding time, and it can be fun to watch. They are able to hold the equivalent of their body weight in their cheeks, and you begin to wonder where all the food goes as they are tiny, especially the dwarf breed. They enjoy eating a variety of food that include vegetables and timothy hay. They enjoy hoarding their food and later foraging to find it.
Wild hamsters are omnivores which means that their diet includes plants, fruits, insects, and seeds. Domesticated hamsters should be placed on diets that reflect their natural preferences while offering well-balanced nutrition. That is why you have to give them the best food that’ll help them live a healthy life.
Hamsters all have varying daily caloric requirements, which mostly depend on their size. You can maintain your hamster at a healthy weight by providing means of exercise through a hamster wheel and by ensuring that his cage has a few vertical structures for climbing, that way, they keep moving and maintain a healthy weight.
Hamster food comes in different forms; some are pellet food, while others are grain mixtures. Carefully formulated hamster food is a great way to provide your hamster with all the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. There are numerous types of hamster food available on the market, and choosing the high-quality option may seem difficult.
In this article, we will provide some insight into what a hamster needs from his food and how, what foods to avoid, tips on how to feed a hamster and choose the best hamster food.
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR CHOOSING THE BEST HAMSTER FOOD
Hamsters are lively, intelligent, and friendly pets, and to maintain their health and happiness, you need to know how and what to feed them, the foods they can eat, if they need supplements, and what they need to drink. If you want the best for your hamster, that means you have to get the best quality food and not just the first hamster food you can find.
The nutritional requirements of hamsters are different from that of other animals, so it is important to understand what they need in terms of nutrients. The food you choose will depend on your hamster’s specific preference and some other vital factors. In this buyer’s guide, we will go over some important factors to note before purchasing hamster food.
TYPES OF HAMSTER FOOD
There are different types of hamster food which we would be explaining below.
Seed Hamster Food
Seed food for hamsters has been well known for a long time as the top choice to feed hamsters. Hamsters love seeds, especially sunflower seeds, but they have to be given in moderation. Seeds, grains, and nuts should be given sparingly as they are high in fat, even though your hamster could happily munch on them all day.
It has different ingredients in their whole forms, and while it’s a good way to provide your pet will a nutritional diet, some hamsters may become picky eaters and eat only the parts they like best. If your hamster becomes a picky eater, then he would be losing out on some essential minerals and vitamins. However, there are great seed hamster foods you could choose from, but you will have to be vigilant. If you notice your hamster being selective with the bits he eats, do not provide him with another meal until he has eaten every part of his balanced meal. This will ensure that he gets the proper nutrition out of his food and maintains a healthy life. If you own a Campbell Russian Dwarf hamster, then watch out for fattening seeds as the breed is prone to diabetes.
Pellet Hamster Food
Pellet food is similar to seed hamster food, but there is one main difference. Pellet food contains a healthy combination of all ingredients pressed into small pellets that provide your hamster with a balanced diet even if he’s a picker eater. Seed food allows your hamster to pick their best bits, but pellet food provides them with complete nutrition and prevents your hamster from being picky with its food. Pellets contain an optimal blend of fiber which is why it is recommended to feed your hamster a tablespoon of pellets every day. However, pellets are a common food type for other types of animals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, so it is important that you buy the correct option for your hamster.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Hamsters love to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including celery, lettuce, spinach, carrots, green beans, pumpkin, broccoli, and bananas, but hamsters love corn. If you’ll be offering your hamster fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure that they are thoroughly washed to get rid of any pesticides or coating that may have been used to grow or protect the produce. Once you’re sure the fruits or vegetables are clean, cut them into small pieces to make it easier for your hamster to chew and enjoy. However, some fruits are high in calories, so they should be given sparingly, and the daily calories that your hamster takes should be adjusted to prevent your hamster from gaining weight. Fruits and vegetables should be given to your hamster only two or three times a week.
Timothy hay is a grass hay that has a pleasant scent; it provides your hamster with the fiber they need. It also promotes their instinct to forage. Provide your hamster with a handful of timothy hay three times a week for a proper diet. Keep in mind that most commercial foods available on the market already contain this ingredient in their formulas.
High Protein Foods
Adding a good protein source to your hamster’s diet is vital. You could add protein sources such as meat, a bit of cooked fish, or a hard-boiled egg. However, you should only give your pet these meals occasionally; it is just a way to provide your pet with a snack or a change in appearance and flavor. It should not become part of your hamster’s everyday diet as their regular diet should be high quality and provide them with their daily nutritional requirements.
FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID GIVING YOUR HAMSTER
Sometimes you might be tempted to give your hamster a bit of your snack, but you may come to regret it later. Just like there are foods that are good for your hamster, there are also foods that are harmful to them. The food mentioned below should be avoided all together.
Hamsters may look like a smaller version of a squirrel when chewing on nuts, but bitter almonds contain cyanide and are high in fat.
Your hamster might like the sugar rush they get from dark chocolates, but the sweet treat contains theobromine, a toxic component that hamsters have trouble digesting. The more they eat the dark chocolate, the more the toxin builds up in their system and causes health complications such as internal bleeding and heart attacks.
Garlic and Onions
These ingredients are loved in our kitchens, but they contain thiosulphate, which is deadly for hamsters.
In general, you should avoid feeding your hamster junk food such as candy and other high-sugar snacks. There are also certain fruits that shouldn’t be given to your hamsters, such as pineapples, apricots, and peaches. Avoid giving your hamster all citrus fruits.
It is also important to protect your hamster from their hoarded food. You may be wondering if you should disturb their stashed food while cleaning their food and the answer is yes, clean out the food to prevent mold, spoiled food, and attraction of bacteria and bugs. These tiny furry animals depend on you to provide them with the proper nutrition to lead a healthy, long life.
FACTORS TO NOTE WHEN BUYING HAMSTER FOOD
Like every other mammal, Hamsters need the right combination of fats, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and water. If you do not provide your hamster with the proper diet, it won’t thrive. Hamsters are rodents, and this means that their teeth continue to grow throughout their life, so they need something to chew on to keep their teeth strong, healthy, and at the proper length. They can either chew on food or safe chew toys. Below are a few factors you should take into mind when choosing hamster food.
A Balanced Diet
Knowing the right balanced diet for feeding an adult hamster is very important. Pregnant hamsters, young hamsters, and lactating hamsters need a bit more protein in their diet. The basic protein intake should be between 12% to 15%; it defers for age groups. Hamsters tend to burn through carbohydrates quite quickly, which is why they need food high in complex carbohydrates from grains and natural vegetable sources.
Protein is the main nutrient they need to boost growth and healthy muscles. However, when it comes to providing hamsters with protein, it is best to provide them with vegetable protein which includes nuts, grains, and soya. Some hamster food blends come with mixed proteins, but keep in mind that mixed proteins are difficult for your hamster to digest. They also contain a lot of fat which can cause them to become obese.
The suitable amount of fat gotten from protein should be between 3% to 6%. It is important to watch the fat level in your pet’s diet to prevent obesity. If your hamster is more active, you can be on the higher end of the range, but opt for a lower range if he is less active. However, they do not totally eliminate fat from their diet as no mammal can be healthy without fat as it helps fur and joint health.
Home Made or Store Bought?
Many ready-made hamster foods are available on the market, but it may be more fun to make up your own combinations. The main problem with making the food yourself is the difficulty of providing a balanced diet; that is why it’s best to make homemade mixes as occasional treats. However, it is vital that you always check that you’re offering your pet a well-balanced diet. If you cant get what you want at your local pet store, you can check out suppliers who offer online shopping.
Always ensure that the food you get for your hamster is made from high-quality and healthy ingredients. Always avoid hamster foods that contain artificial ingredients and fillers. Also, avoid giving your hamster food that has a high number of corn coupled with dried foods such as raisins. However, you can give them fruits such as grapes, bananas, raspberries, and blueberries, but do not give it in excess as it can disrupt their digestive system.
The natural foods that hamsters eat include seeds, grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The best quality hamster foods are fortified with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to promote your hamster’s health. It is important to keep the ingredients of a hamster’s food in mind depending on the breed of hamster you own. Large species such as the Syrian prefer larger pieces in their meal along with some fruits. Dwarf hamsters, on the other hand, can’t eat large pieces and are prone to diabetes, so they need foods with no added sugars, which means you should limit their fruit intake. However, vegetables are a crunchy option for all types of hamsters, but it should be given in moderation.
Like every other pet food, hamster food should be made with a formulation that meets all their nutritional requirements. Vegan hamsters rarely eat insects and meat; they tend to eat more veggies and foodstuff compared to other hamsters; however, it is difficult to observe their eating habit because they eat at night. They also have the habit of hoarding their food when they are full, which is why it is important that they are receiving a well-balanced meal.
Hamsters do not require sugar in their diet no matter how much they might like it; your sugar foods are good for you but not your pet. Hamsters get appropriate amounts of natural sugar from fruits such as berries and apples and from some vegetables like a carrot to maintain their health and keep them happy. Some hamster food contains dried fruits that are also sources of sugar, but keep an eye out for the amount of fruits in the mix and maybe choose something with less fruits in the mix. Giving your hamster sugar will only make them fat and sick.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
These are tiny organisms that live in the guts of humans and animals that aid digestive health. Most store-bought foods are filled with prebiotics and probiotics, but if you prefer to make your own mix, you can add a hamster supplement to the mix to give it a boost.
Hamsters need salt in their diet as it helps them retain water and stay healthy. In their natural habitat, they get it by licking mineral rocks. If the food you buy for your hamster doesn’t have salt, you might want to think of providing your hamster with a mineral lick. They will help themselves to as much as they need, and they would also get some essential trace elements from their mineral lick.
Like we mentioned before, hamster’s teeth never stop growing, so they need the right food to help them maintain the right length and healthy jaws. If the food you give them is too soft, it won’t be able to work the teeth and jaws as required. If your hamster prefers soft food, then make sure that he has enough safe things for him to chew on, such as a chew toy.
Play and Appearance
A crunchy appearance is best fr adult food as it helps maintain their tooth health. Vets usually recommend feeding your hamster with pellet-based food instead of muesli mix as hamsters tend to play with their food; they carry it about their cage and stash some away.
They usually eat the parts they like most and leave the healthy part behind, just like a child would do with a bowl of veggies and candy mixed together. It’s better to offer them appearance and interest by giving small amounts of fruits, vegetables, and other treats along with chew toys. It can be fun watching your hamster stuff his cheeks until it looks like it would explode, and then he would run off to store his stash of food in his sleeping space.
Even if you are feeding your hamster with ready-made food, you can also add some fresh fruits and vegetables to the mix. Each hamster has its preference, but you could try foods such as pieces of apple, pear, carrot, lettuce, and unsalted nuts as treats. However, it is best to avoid citrus fruits and tomatoes.
Your hamster will enjoy having something extra in his diet, but offer it in moderation and remember to clear out their food stash before it gets moldy. If your hamster’s stash becomes larger, it may be because you are overfeeding him; reduce the number of treats or food until he stores only a small amount.
It is important that your hamster has access to freshwater every day. The best way to provide them with water is through a feeding bottle. It ensures that your pet always has fresh water to drink. If you drink the water from your faucet, you can give it to your pet, but if your water supply isn’t great, then plain bottled water would be the best option. If you have to use a water dish, make sure that the dish is cleaned and the water is changed a few times a day. They tend to poop in the dish, fill it with their beddings and spill it. The dish you buy should be too heavy for your hamster to easily knock over.
PELLET vs SEED FOOD?
Hamster food is usually sold in pellet form, seed form, or a mixture of both, and you may be wondering which is best for your hamster. To choose the right option, knowing your hamster’s eating habits might may choosing much easier.
Pellets are easy to handle and have a nice appearance, but they all look and taste alike. It discourages foraging and may cause your hamster to get bored of their food. Seed food, on the other hand, is a mixture of nuts, grains, and fruits, and it has a more interesting look. Seeds allow hamster forage, but they also tend to pick and choose the bits they like best, and this could be a bad thing as they wouldn’t be getting the proper nutrition they need.
The best solution is to give your hamster majorly pellet food and then add a sprinkle of seeds to make things interesting. It will ensure that they get a balanced diet with the right diet while keeping mealtime interesting.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR HAMSTER’S DIET
We all love to change our diet every once in a while, and it’s no different for hamsters. Hamsters live in a world of food, play, and sleep, so their food is very important to their well-being. If you decide to change your hamster’s diet, make sure you introduce the new food gradually to avoid upsetting his digestive system. On the first day, add 10% of the new food to 90% of the old food, and on the second day, make it 20% to 80% and continue until you have completely changed his diet. Make sure that your hamster is eating the new food and make sure he remains healthy.
After going through the buying guide, choosing hamster food should be much easier to handle, but to reduce stress, we have compiled a list of the best hamster food for you to choose from. Let’s take a look at the list.
The Best Hamster Foods Are Reviewed Below
Below is a list of the best hamster food available on the market, along with their specs and features. Having this information will help you make the best choice possible.
Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food
Kaytee has been a manufacturer of pet food and pet-related items for over 50 years. This hamster food comes with a variety of natural ingredients that are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. It also contains probiotics that aid your pet’s digestive health. The food comes with varying sizes and appearances, which helps maintain your pet’s dental health.
This hamster food also provides your pet with antioxidants that help promote their immune system. It is a high-quality food that contains a variety of seeds and ingredients while having an affordable price.
- Contains DHA, probiotics, and omega 3
- Large crunchy pieces
- Brand: Kaytee
- Model: 100502074
- Weight: 5 Pounds
- Dimensions: 3.75 * 8.25 * 9 inches
- Form: Mixed
- It is affordable
- It is a well known and trusted brand
- It contains probiotics and antioxidants
- It contains a variety of seeds and not just sunflower seeds
- The 25lb bags sometimes have freshness issues
Sun Seed Vita Prima Dwarf Hamster Food
This hamster food from Sunseed is made to provide your hamster with all the necessary nutrients they need. The food comes in smaller pieces which makes it suitable for dwarf hamsters. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and no added sugar, which is important because dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes.
The food is also fortified with vitamis A, D, and E. the unique blend offers a variety of ingredients, including oats, seeds, ancient grains, fruits, vegetables, and pellets fortified with probiotics and omega 3.
It also has a crunchy appearance which encourages chewing, this maintaining proper dental health.
- Fortified with omega 3 and probiotics
- No added sugar
- Nutrient-rich blend
- Brand: Sun Seed
- Model: 20077
- Weight: 2 Pounds
- Dimensions: 3.25 * 6.5 * 10 inches
- Form: Foraging Blend
- It contains no sugar or molasses
- It has a crunchy appearance which helps with dental health
- It is a blend of small pieces, which makes it suitable for dwarf hamsters
- It contains a wide variety of appearances and ingredients
- If your pet requires more protein, you may need a supplement
- Some customers have complained about receiving crushed or broken food
Oxbow Essentials Hamster Food
Oxbow offers you hamster food that contains all the essential nutrients that your pet would need. It offers thirty meals for each bag. The food contains oats, barley, timothy hay, and other ingredients for your hamster to enjoy. It helps maintain your pet’s dental health and doesn’t contain any sugar or fruits.
It contains more fiber to help promote digestive health. It doesn’t contain any artificial colors, additives, or ingredients. So you can feed your pet knowing the food is all-natural. It contains all the essential minerals and vitamins, along with calcium.
- Supports immune system
- It contains well-balanced nutrients
- Fortified food
- Brand: Oxbow
- Model: 744845302096
- Weight: 1 Pound
- Dimensions: 12 * 2.9 * 7 inches
- Form: Kibble
- It contains oats and barley
- It uses only natural ingredients
- It is highly nutritional
- Suitable for picky eaters
- It is very appealing to hamsters
- It is quite expensive
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to some FAQs.
What food can kill hamsters?
Foods such as onions, chocolates, chives, garlic, citrus fruits, celery can harm your hamster. Avoid giving them these foods.
What should you not feed hamsters?
Do not feed your hamster food such as raw beans, almonds, garlic, raw potatoes, apple seeds, and citrus fruits. They are incredibly dangerous to your pet.
What real food can hamsters eat?
You can feed your hamster food such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cucumbers, apples, and bok choy as they are safe and are great as occasional treats.
Can a hamster bite kill you?
It is rare for hamsters to bite; they only do so when they are scared. Bites from rodents such as hamsters are usually small and superficial, but they can sometimes cause deep puncture wounds. Every bite should be immediately cleaned with large volumes of soap and water and monitored for any signs of infection.
Can hamsters drink milk?
Milk is great for the body, even hamster bodies. Milk helps hamsters grow strong bones; it can also help deal with symptoms of cough until you can get your pet to the vet. However, not every type of milk is a suitable choice, and your hamster may not be interested in taking milk by itself. However, you should avoid giving your pet cow’s milk as the nutrients are more suitable for calves and not hamsters.
What do hamsters love the most?
Hamsters love pears, apples, bananas, and strawberries. But it should be given in moderation or as a supplement as they contain sugar. Make sure you get rid of any fruit or vegetables not eaten within 24 hours.
Do hamsters like music?
Hamsters tend to enjoy classical music but keep the volume at a minimum to avoid stressing them.
Hamsters are popular human pets because of how cute they are and because they require a little amount of space. They have a shorter lifespan compared to other pets, so providing them with a well-balanced diet can help them live long and healthy lives. High fiber, low-fat diets are best for hamsters.
We have listed the best products to choose from; you can either select one or use it as a guide to find what you want. Good luck finding the best hamster food for your adorable pet.