SYRIAN HAMSTER DIET: general information

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

Cereals such as barley, buckwheat and millet can be used as the base of the feed mixture but try and include as much variety as possible!

There should always be a higher ratio of flour seed to oil seed. Syrian hamsters generally prefer flour seeds (cereal flakes can also be added)

Should make up the bulk of their diet

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

GRAIN & SEED MIX

Oily seeds should make up a smaller proportion of the mix, such as sesame, flax, safflower etc

1tbsp 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 is sufficient

Introduce slowly to the diet!

FRESH FOOD

Vary the vegetables each day 

Fruit may be offered, but only as an occasional treat due to the sugar content

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 a significant amount of plant proteins

  • Ideal protein sources: dried silkworm larvae, dried mealworm & dried shrimp

 

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are an essential diet component loaded with nutrients. 

Although very beneficial to the diet, remember that these are fattening foods, so offer these in moderation.

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

  • Dried vegetables

  • Nuts 

  • Fatty seeds

  • Coconut flakes