DWARF HAMSTER DIET: general information

Should make up the bulk of their diet

Scatter feeding is best because this encourages natural behaviour and keeps hamsters active

Various millets and (non-treated) grass seed can be used as the base for the mixture 

There should always be a higher ratio of flour seeds in the mixture (starchy components)

You can source the ingredients from supermarkets, health food stores and online

GRAIN & SEED MIX

Seeds with higher fat percentage should be offered in smaller amounts

1-2 tsp per hamster per day is sufficient. In general the food should last until the next feeding

may be fed daily

A necessary and healthy addition to their diet

You can collect plants providing they haven't been sprayed with chemicals or soiled with dog/bird/other animal faeces

In nature you can collect forage such as dandelion, bramble, plantain & hazel leaf

You can dry forage yourself in a dehydrator/oven/in the sun, or you can purchase pre-packaged dried plants

DRIED/FRESH PLANTS

Dried forage is useful if you can't access fresh forage (e.g. Winter or if you live in an urban area)

A small, daily serving of vegetables in sufficient

Introduce slow!

With diabetes prone hamsters opt for mainly green and leafy veggies

FRESH FOOD

Fruit may be offered, but only as an occasional treat due to the sugar content. For diabetes prone hamsters, avoid fruit completely

Herbs are often available in supermarkets. You can offer coriander, basil, parsley and more

Some examples of popular hamster vegetables include bell pepper, celery, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce, carrot, cauliflower, fennel

Supplements

Protein

Hamsters do require a good supply of protein in their diet. They are not true herbivorous animals despite the majority of their diet consisting of seeds and other plant sources (some plant sources provide protein but not enough as an only protein source).

 

  • Pea & soy flakes contain significant amount of plant proteins

  • Dried insects such as mealworms, silkworms etc may be offered for protein

 

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are an essential diet component. You can offer the nuts chopped up for a smaller portion.

Remember that these are fattening foods, so offer these as supplements/treats.

 

Examples:

  • Sunflower seed

  • Pumpkin seed

  • Pine nut

  • Walnut

  • Cashew nut

  • Hazelnut

Branches

Branches are a great supplement for hamsters.

 Branches also contribute to the abrasion of their teeth - this is important as they are continuously growing. The branches provide a fun activity for them. 

Apple & hazel branches are common and easy to identify for beginners.

HAZELNUT TREE

REMOVE NUTS BEFORE FEEDING

APPLE TREE

REMOVE APPLES 

Treats

In general, I recommend avoiding pet shop treats. They often contain various unhealthy ingredients which may be harmful to hamsters. Some healthy alternatives include the following:

  • Fruit (avoid with diabetes prone hamsters)

  • Dried veg (avoid with diabetes prone hamsters)

  • Pea flakes

  • Millet sprays

  • Nuts/fatty seeds