The hamster is an omnivorous rodent, so its diet is very diverse in nature: seeds, cereals, plants, fruits and vegetables, small insects… The food available varies with the season, it is important to offer it a varied diet. all year round, including a mixture of cereals, fresh ingredients, and feed and mineral supplements.
Nutritional needs of a hamster
The energy requirements of a pet hamster obviously depend on his lifestyle and degree of physical activity: the more he spends daily, the richer his diet should be. However, an average energy hamster needs 15% protein and 5% fat, as well as several vitamins and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium). The amount distributed also depends on the type of hamster and its size: the golden hamster consumes 12 to 15 g of food per day, and the Russian hamster 6 to 8 g.
Specialized mixtures for hamsters
Most of the pet hamster’s diet is dry food, consisting of a mixture of seeds and grains adapted to its nutritional needs. It is recommended to opt for such a mixture, and not for granules, the composition of which is not diverse enough to cover his needs as an omnivore.
The mixture should contain cereals such as wheat, as well as various seeds and legumes, including oilseeds (sunflower), providing it with the necessary fat. Some mixtures also include small dehydrated insects, herbs, flowers and dried fruits. It is desirable that it is not enriched with fats or added sugars and has a sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins. There are several mixtures that are rich and varied enough to meet all the needs of a hamster, so it is recommended to choose a base mixture that should be enriched with germinated seeds, fruits and vegetables.
What kind of food to offer a hamster?
Additional fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to supplement your hamster’s diet. They should be given in very small amounts, every day or even every other day, to avoid diarrhea caused by their water content. In case of surpluses, the remains must be systematically removed from the cage to avoid contamination due to their decay.
Hamster can be offered fruits such as grapes, apples, pears, peaches, small red fruits. A serving should not exceed the equivalent of two fresh grapes. From vegetables, you can give turnips, carrots, chicory, chicory, chicory, cauliflower, broccoli. Be sure to remove cores and seeds that may be poisonous to your hamster, and never give him onions or potatoes.
Food for hamsters
It is recommended to give your hamster animal proteins in small amounts, at most once a week. This technique can be topped with half a hard-boiled egg cut into small pieces, a cube of ham, a spoonful of cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt, or even a few mealworms sold in pet stores. You can supplement your hamster’s diet with suitable treats (not human food and sweets), preferably with a firm texture that allows him to gnaw on the seeds you have sprouted (zucchini, sunflowers).