How to Figure Out Your Hamster's Favorite Food

Syrian Hamster stuffing his jaw pouches with dandelion greens.
Syrian Hamster stuffing his jaw pouches with dandelion greens.

How To Figure Out Your Hamsters Favorite Food

I can just go ahead and tell you what your hamsters favorite food is. Its sunflower seeds. However sunflower seeds contain a lot of fats and oils so don't give the hamster to many sunflower seeds. If you do you can end up with an overweight hamster and a overweight hamster can develop diabetes.

I have a big patch of dandelion greens outside in the summertime and hamsters love them. I often take them out there one at a time and just let them graze. I only do this about once a month though for each hamster and they love it. I have a large plastic ring I set on the ground and I set the hamster inside the plastic ring and set there and watch the hamster. The plastic ring has sides that are about three foot high so the hamster can't get out of the plastic ring which is about three foot across.

You can hold food out to your hamster and see what it does. If it sniffs it or licks it that's okay. But if the hamster bites the food turn the food loose and let the hamster take it. Don't ever try to feed your hamster chocolate, alcohol, or candy. All of these things can harm your hamster and possibly kill it. Always keep doing your own research so you'll know exactly what to feed to your hamster and what to never give it. This is why I suggest to everyone to keep a journal. With a journal you can keep careful detailed notes and refer back to it when you need to.

Below you'll find a great selection of hamster foods to choose from. You want a all natural hamster food with as natural of ingredients as possible. This is an important reason to read labels and find out what's in the food before you feed it to your hamster.

Your hamster should have access to food and water at all times. Now this doesn't mean they should have access to treats all the time. Treats should only be given about once a week and then only a small amount at a time. If you give items like greens, carrots, or strawberries too often your hamster may develop loose bowels or diarrhea. So always go easy on the treats.

Other treats include egg whites, well washed fresh spinach, peeled cucumber, apples, pecans, peanuts, small pieces of dog biscuits, and of course sunflower seeds. But remember treats must be given in moderation. Never overdo it. And never give your hamster any citrus fruit.

Foods that are toxic to hamsters are citrus fruits, tomato plants, dry beans, apple seeds, onion, and rhubarb. If you feed any of those things to your hamster it will kill it. You should also not give your hamster chocolate, alcohol or candy of any type. You should wash any fruit or vegetable you give your hamster with cold running water. And as far as water goes you should never give your hamster tap water or water out of your home spigot. I suggest purchasing bottled water for your hamster as bottled water is the best water for it.

You should use a gravity water bottle for your hamster. This way your hamster will always have fresh water. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the water bottle and make sure you keep it full of fresh bottled water all the time.

Remember that your hamster has large jaw pouches where it carries food it is taking to store. The insides of these jaw pouches have linings that are very sensitive. Be cautious about giving your hamster any food that has sharp or jagged edges as food of this type could tear the hamsters pouch linings and injure your hamster.

Your Hamster Must Have Wooden Chew Sticks

Your hamster must have wooden chew sticks and a mineral block to insure that the hamsters incisor teeth stay worn down and don't over grow the hamsters mouth. Its perfectly normal for a hamster to have yellow teeth. There's nothing you can do about that and you shouldn't try. However you should keep a mineral block and wooden chew sticks in the hamsters cage to insure its incisor teeth stay healthy. Below are some wonderful wooden chew sticks for hamsters.

Like other rodents hamsters teeth never stop growing especially the incisor teeth. This is why they must have something hard like wood sticks or a mineral block to chew on to maintain healthy teeth. If you think your hamsters incisor teeth are getting too long you must take it to a veterinarian to get the teeth trimmed. Don't attempt to do this yourself unless you are 100 percent sure that you know what you're doing.

Your hamster should get a good bit of calcium in its diet for healthy teeth growth and development. This is a good reason to give them a dog biscuit to chew on once a week. Dog biscuits contain a good deal of calcium so this will be good for your hamster. Dog biscuits are also hard and this will help with their teeth health.

Keep In Mind Hamsters Are Lactose Intolerant

After being weaned from their mothers at 21 - 28 days of age Hamsters are lactose intolerant and you should not give your hamster milk or milk products.


Here's a real cute Black Bear Hamster peeking out from behind a bowl of food. Black Bear Hamsters are a color phase of Syrian Hamsters.
Here's a real cute Black Bear Hamster peeking out from behind a bowl of food. Black Bear Hamsters are a color phase of Syrian Hamsters.

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Below Are Some Great Foods For Hamsters

White Russian Dwarf Hamster In This Photo
White Russian Dwarf Hamster In This Photo

How To Figure Out Your Hamster's Favorite Food

You need to feed your hamster as natural a food as possible. This means your hamsters food should not have a lot of additives and preservatives. If you look just below you'll find one of the best hamster foods there is. It can be fed to hamsters or gerbils and it's a great healthy food for either.

Always Read Food Labels Before You Give The Food To Any Animal.

I can not stress enough that you need to always read the labels on any food that you feed to your hamster. I see people just buy food all the time and feed it to their animals with out reading the label or labels. Be sure that you always read the label on any food product you are going to feed to any pet. Or to yourself for that matter.

Remember Your Hamsters Are Nocturnal.

I do almost everything I'm going to do with my hamsters after they get up in the evenings. I change or add to their food in the evenings and I check all the water bottles and make sure they are full each evening. You should wash your hamsters water bottle thoroughly with warm soapy water at least once a week. You don't want algae to start growing in your hamsters water bottle. If you keep the water bottle clean this won't happen. Hamsters are nocturnal so try your best to go along with this. In case you don't know nocturnal means that nocturnal animals are active at night when your asleep. For this reason don't put the hamsters cage in your bedroom or it will keep you awake all night with its noise. Luckily the newer exercise wheels are silent unlike those old metal hamster wheels.

How Much Will My Hamster Eat

Most people find it hard to believe that even a Syrian hamster is only going to eat about a tablespoon of food a day. Now this does not include treats but take it easy on the treats. You don't want to create a overweight hamster as this can lead to diabetes and heart disease even in a hamster.

Fish liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D and a few drops of fish liver oil on their food once or twice a week will help to keep your hamster healthy and happy.

Keep The Hamsters Food In A Bowl

You should keep your hamsters food in a bowl in their cage and once the hamster figures out the food is going to be there it will stop moving the food and hiding it. You need a shallow bowl that the hamster can reach into easily and take the food out of the bowl. About once a week take the bowl out of the cage and wash it with warm soapy water to insure that it stays clean.

You should keep in mind that a healthy diet will result in a healthy hamster. The key things to a healthy diet are.

1. Proteins

2. Carbohydrates and Fats

3. Vitamins

4. Minerals

5. Fresh Clean Chlorine Free Water

Again its important to read the label on your hamsters food and make sure that the food you are feeding to your hamster does not contain a large amount of sugar.

I use bottled water for the drinking water for my hamsters. I never use spigot water because I don't drink it myself so why would I give it to my pets.

Egg Whites Are Great For Your Hamster And It's Health

About once a week boil a couple of eggs to the hard boiled stage and offer a small amount of the egg white not the yolk every two or three days. Keep the unused portion in the refrigerator and dispose of any unused egg white in a week. I usually give them egg white about every other week for three to four days. In the wild hamsters eat insects and get a lot of protein from the insects so by giving them egg whites you are providing them with much needed protein. I will occasionally offer my hamsters a few crickets. Some hamsters will eat crickets and some won't.

Junk Food Is A No No For Your Hamster

Don't feed your hamster anything that you would consider junk food. This of course includes candy. You should also remember never to feed your hamster citrus fruits, pickles, rhubarb, chocolate, caffeine, cabbage, dry beans or cooked beans, and onions. Hamsters are also lactose intolerant so don't give them dairy products including milk.

If you wouldn't eat it why would you give it to your hamster. I suggest keeping a good detailed journal and make careful notes. Write down what your hamster likes to eat. You should also write down when you clean your hamsters cage, what you observe it doing and other details. You can refer back to the journal weeks or months down the road and learn a lot about your hamster.

Hamsters Are Real Cute Critters So Treat Them Well

You need to be sure to always continue your research about your hamster and your particular breed or species of hamster. If you keep male and female hamsters together your going to end up with baby hamsters. You can not keep Syrian hamsters together except for breeding or they will fight often to the death. Russian Dwarf Hamsters can be kept together in small groups. I suggest keeping two females and a male but you will end up with baby hamsters. But please be responsible with your baby hamsters. You can sell them or give them away but please don't just turn them loose. Wild Russian Dwarf Hamsters are now well established in southern Florida and on the North Carolina Outer Banks.

Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On How To Figure Out Your Hamsters Favorite Food

I've been raising hamsters commercially now for over forty years but I learn something new about hamsters on a regular basis. Be sure to always continue your research and try to learn everything you can about your hamster and its particular species or type. Thanks for reading. It is really appreciated.

© 2013 Thomas Byers

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Please Post Your Comments On How To Figure Out Your Hamsters Favorite Food. And Thanks For Reading 2 comments

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Your very welcome. I hope everyone finds the information helpful. I've been keeping and raising hamsters now for over forty years.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Thanks for this interesting and useful hub which I am passing onto my chidren and their families who have pet hamsters.

I vote up,across and share.

I also look forward to many more by you.

Eddy.

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