January 21, 2010

What is a good diet for my hamster?

hamster dietLike caring for any pet, caring for your hamster requires a good diet. What to feed our pets is probably one of the most important questions a pet owner can ask and this is true no matter what kind of pet, large or small. Hamsters will thrive when given a healthy diet and many pet stores offer commercial brand hamster foods that are healthy and nutritious. In most cases, store bought hamster foods will have the correct balance of nutritional elements and will appeal to your hamster’s tastes. In addition to a nutritious diet, hamsters will also need plenty of water and should always have a fresh supply in their cages.

Should you choose to supplement your hamster’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables it is important that you do your research first. Hamsters will eat almost any kind of fruit, vegetable, seed or nut but this doesn’t mean that all foods are safe for your hamster. For example, you should never feed your hamster almonds, apple seeds, citrus fruits, eggplant, garlic, red beans, mushrooms, onions, pickles, rhubarb, tomatoes, or human junk food. On the other hand, there are a wide range of foods that your hamster will enjoy.

Feeding a hamster various seeds and nuts make a great treat. Often included in commercial hamster foods, seeds and nuts have a high fat content and are enjoyed by hamsters. However, be careful when feeding seeds and nuts to dwarf hamster as too many in the diet can cause fur to fall out. One or two nuts on alternate days is more than enough for a dwarf hamster while average hamsters can probably eat twice as much. Hamsters also love to eat green vegetables like cucumber or lettuce. One of the side benefits of these foods is that they also provide your hamster with water. Still, too many green vegetables, especially lettuce, can cause liver problems; as such, you should only feed your hamster green vegetables every two or three days.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.