Most hamster aficionados are well aware that the tiny rodents are ardent admirers of fresh vegetables and fruits. In fact, many humans actually could take a page out of their book. Some veggies and fruits are totally harmless to hammies, such as strawberries, while others pose a health risk.
Hamsters have speedy metabolisms and thrive when fed commercial mixes that are made up of ingredients such as millet, oats, alfalfa pellets, cracked corn and seeds. You don't have to compile these elements yourself, however, as hamster mix is a staple at most pet supplies stores. Only feed your pet mixes that are labeled as being for hamsters. Other pets have totally different dietary needs, whether mice, gerbils or guinea pigs. In terms of portion size, approximately half an ounce each day is appropriate.
Supplementation is an important aspect of a hamster diet, and the little guys do well with many different types of fruit. Offer your hamster tiny bites of fruit every two to three days. Make sure your pet never is near any spoiled fruit pieces, however. Strawberries are a safe fruit choice, along with apples, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, bananas, raspberries, lychees and melons. Not all fruits are harmless for hamsters, however. For example, citrus contains significantly too much acid. If you're ever unsure of a food's safety to hamsters, ask your veterinarian first.
Chopped Up Fruit
Never allow your hamster to eat a full strawberry on his own. Always take the time to carefully slice the fruit up beforehand. Minimal portions reduce the chances of your hamster not eating the whole thing, and in turn reduces the presence of spoiled items within quick reach of your pet -- definitely a good thing, safety-wise.
Veggie supplementation is also necessary for hamsters. The rules are similar to those of fruit, however. Keep the portions small, cut the veggies up and most importantly, remember that not all of them are suitable for hamsters. Some vegetables that are A-OK to feed hamsters include spinach, squash, kale, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli and lettuce. Hazardous vegetables include raw potatoes, garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and raw rhubarb. Prior to feeding the little one anything new, always seek the "OK" of your veterinarian.
- The Animal Files: Feeding Your Hamster
- ASPCA: Hamster Care
- Dumb Friends League: Hamsters
- The Humane Society of the United States: Hamster Feeding
- Hamsterific: Food For Your Hamster
- Hamster Owners Forum: Safe and Unsafe Food and Treats
- Michigan Humane Society: Veterinary Care - Hamsters
- Dwarf Hamster Corner: Diet
- strawberries image by Scrivener from Fotolia.com