Best hamster food
Everything You Need to Know

Published on

Although the term "fur-baby" tends to refer to a cat or a dog, you know it in your heart that your hamster has a special place in your family as your own fur child—even though they're not very furry.

To help you give your hamster his or her best growth, you want to be able to fuel them up for a healthy life.

Since a hamster's nutritional diet isn't exactly common knowledge, we hope this guide can help you with the finer details of the ideal hamster diet.:


The Details of the Ideal Hamster Diet

You don't have to hire a nutritionist to get the numbers right with the perfect diet for a hamster.

Although the details may change depending on the age or life-stage of your hamster—as well as the breed of your hamster—these nutritional numbers are generally pretty accurate when it comes to giving your hamster the right diet:

1. Protein should make up around 17 to 19 percent of your adult hamster's diet. If your hamster is still growing and aged under half-a-year, protein should fill up 20 to 24 percent.

You can check out the nutritional value of your hamster's packaged food or pellets to see the numbers. If you are feeding your hamster a natural diet, you might have to calculate your own numbers based on the particular food you're giving him or her—but we'll get into that later.

2. Fat should make up only four to seven percent of your adult or young hamster's diet.

To help encourage a healthy weight in your hamster, you want to control the fat in his or her diet either through food or through putting in a means of exercise, like a wheel.

However, you also don't want to give too little fat to your hamster—which can be just as unhealthy.

3. Fiber should make about six to fifteen percent of your hamster's diet—no matter his or her age.

This component in your hamster's (and anyone's) diet is critical—it's crucial for proper digestion. If you notice your hamster having bathroom issues, a lack of or excess of fiber might be the problem.

Picking Out the Menu:
Types of Food to Feed Your Hamster

From muesli to pellets, there are so many different types of food to test out with your hamster.


Picking out your hamster's food is not as simple as just choosing the first bag you see. You have to consider nutritional benefits and preference, among other things.


The more natural you choose, the better—especially since most hamsters like fruits and veggies as components of their everyday diet.


For a little extra protein, you can also feed your hamster with pieces of hard-boiled egg or mealworms.


There are foods that you'll want to avoid as it can be quite unhealthy or dangerous for your hamster, but we'll get into that later.

How much food should you give your hamster?

You want to spoil your small fur-baby—but how much is too much?


According to the PDSA, you should be feeding your fully-grown hamster around 8-10 grams of dry hamster food, at least two times per day.


However, that's just a suggestion. You need to take your hamster's age, breed, and health status to gauge how much he or she needs.


If you want to be the most accurate, you can also ask your hamster's vet on the recommended quantity and type of food your hamster should be waiting.

Hamster eating sunflower seeds

The Best Times to Feed Your Hamster

Although there might be varied opinions when it comes to feeding times for your hamster—whether young or fully grown—the general consensus is two times a day, especially when they are on average pretty active.


Interestingly enough, hamsters actually stuff and collect food in their cheek pouches to snack on later—waking up multiple times a day to snack on the food they've got packed and hid in their cheeks.

Foods to Avoid in Your Hamster's Diet

Although you may want to always slip a bit of food from your dinner's leftovers into your hamster's cage for munching, you might need to be a bit careful about what you give him or her to eat.

To help keep your hamster as safe and as healthy as possible, avoid these foods since they can be dangerous to your mini fur-baby:

  • Almonds: Generally too high in fat for a hamster's digestive system
  • Celery: The physical, stringy texture of celery can be a choking hazard
  • Chocolate: Just like with dogs, chocolate can be quite harmful to your hamster
  • Garlic and Onion: This type of food can lead to indigestion and various blood disorders
  • Iceberg Lettuce: Not only is this low in nutrition, but it can also cause diarrhea
  • Peanuts: Too high in fat and can endanger your hamster of dehydration
  • Spicy food: In general, this type of food can cause diarrhea in your hamster
  • Tomato leaves: Are poisonous to hamsters

Other foods that should also be avoided include:

  • Apple seeds
  • Raw beans or potatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Rhubarb leaves or raw rhubarb  
best food for hamsters

Things to Consider When Buying Hamster Food

Whether your hamster's vet has dictated a specific dietary need that your hamster has or if you need help choosing which type or brand of food your hamster needs, there are different properties and components of hamster food that you should consider.


Unfortunately, although your budget may not allow for extremely high-quality food, you also want to avoid the cheapest, most affordable packaged food. Most of these brands contain fillers in their foods and are rated low in nutritional value.


Especially since hamsters—just like all creatures and human—have specific nutritional needs, you'll need to do your research to make sure that you are investing in a nutritionally beneficial, packaged hamster food.


To help you choose the right hamster food, here are a few things that you should be considering:

1. Brand Name

Although this isn't a necessarily make or break component of the type of food you serve your hamster when it comes to nutritional value, the brand name packaged foods that are the most popular generally have a reputation for setting out healthy foods.


If you're going to be investing in a brand name food, you can usually rest assured that it contains the nutritional value that your pet needs. Most no-brand packages have a lack of quality in ingredients and can cause malnutrition in your hamster's health.

2. Flavor and Taste

Check out the reviews about how other hamster owners rate the flavor and taste of the product—not that they themselves have taste-tested it, but how their pets have reacted to flavor, taste, and texture. Just like human food, hamster food can be too sweet, bitter, or even salty. You can tell your hamster's reaction to food if they reject to eat it.


To help transition your hamster to a different food type, you want to introduce and integrate it in small quantities so they can get used to it.


3. Nutritional Value

Obviously, as we stated before, the nutritional value of your hamster's food can also have a significant impact on their health. Try and stay within the constraints that we mentioned above when it comes to protein, fat, and fiber.


Taking the time to read the nutritional value label at the back of your hamster's food can help you check out the numbers related to the various components. Try and choose a food with a healthy balance.

4. Your Hamster's Age

From how old they are to your hamster's life stage—whether they're still growing or if they've reached adulthood—plays a massive role in the type of food your hamster needs.

As we mentioned before, just like with other animals and humans, the nutritional requirements will change depending on the age of your pet. Younger hamsters have different dietary needs than adults and vice versa.

5. Type of Food

From pellets to a scrambling type of muesli, you want to consider the form of food, as well. Not only does the food need to be the right length or size, but it also needs to be the right texture to have them chew like normal.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Hamster Food

If you find yourself standing in front of the hamster food section in your local pet supermarket, you might need a bit of guidance.


From the employees to your hamster's vet, there are various opinions or suggestions you need to work through to pick out the very best hamster's food for your pet's health.


To help you out, here are a few tips:


1. You need to be aware that some—if not most—pre-packaged foods won't have the right nutrition for your hamster.


2. Check with your vet the right time to feed your hamster—some people suggest that evenings are best since most hamsters are nocturnal.


3. Don't leave food in your hamster's cage to rot. Make sure you're cleaning that area of the cage thoroughly since this could lead to your hamster eating expired food.


4. Even if the packaged food you're giving him or her is not entirely high-quality, you can also add in natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, and specialized protein blocks to your hamster's diet.

FAQ on Hamster Food

Before you head to your hamster's vet, take a look at the answers to these frequently asked questions that most hamster owners have also had:

What is the best food to feed a hamster?

Although this can vary from vet to vet, hamster to hamster, and various ages, there is a general consensus when it comes to the nutritional variety of a hamster's diet.


Especially since hamsters prefer foods that have a variety of different textures and tastes, you will benefit choosing a hamster's packaged or fresh foods that are made up of various types of food.


You can never go wrong with natural and whole ingredients, but of course, the packaged natural foods can be quite expensive.


It's beneficial to know that a hamster's diet should range more than just pellets! You can switch up the diet by also adding healthy, natural, and whole foods, like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and actually—insects.

What is the best food for a Syrian hamster?

The Syrian hamster is a unique type of hamster but will generally eat the same type of food that other types of hamsters.


However, it is suggested that you choose a commercially prepared food for your Syrian hamster—however, you should definitely check the label before buying to see if there are adequate vitamins and minerals.


You can choose from pellets, mixes, and blocks of food. You can even mix up your hamster's diet between the three. Especially since most hamsters prefer a variety of different textures and flavors, this can be quite helpful in giving him or her a healthy diet.

Do hamsters eat cheese?

You love cheese, right? Well, actually—most likely—so does your hamster! Although the hamster can eat cheese, this food shouldn't play a major role in his or her diet. Putting cheese in the part of a treat—to be given once a week (at most)—should be okay. You'll definitely want to keep the cheese in small quantities for your hamster.

Can hamsters eat bread?

Just like with cheese, hamsters can also eat bread—and usually like it. However, it's not the highest of quality foods to be giving to your fur baby.


Brown or wheat bread is the safest type of bread for your hamster, but still should be given in small quantities on rare occasions.

We hope that this guide has helped you pick out not only the best food for your hamster's health but also answered any questions you may have had about the finer details of hamster health and diet.

Scroll to Top