7 Best (High Quality) Hamster Foods in 2019


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Hamsters in the wild enjoy a varied diet that includes plants, insects, fruits, and seeds. When hamsters live under human care, their diet should mirror their natural preferences to provide complete and balanced nutrition. There are several types of hamster foods available on the market; when you choose a high-quality option, you can be sure you are providing your hamster with a great set of nutrients that support overall health.

Watching a hamster fill his cheeks during feeding time can be a very endearing experience. These small furry pets can hold the equivalent of their body weight in their little cheeks and you might wonder where all of that food goes. These pets are small, especially if they are dwarf size. They may only weigh a couple of ounces. These pets will enjoy a variety of foods that include vegetables, fruits, seeds, and timothy hay. They love to hoard their food and later forage to find it.

Each hamster has a certain daily caloric requirement, depending on his size. You can help keep your hamster at a healthy weight by providing opportunities for exercise. This includes providing a hamster wheel and ensuring that his cage has some vertical structures to give your little one a chance to climb and get moving.

To find the best hamster food brand, keep on reading. You will discover which types of foods are available, which foods to avoid, and which options are the highest quality available on the market. There are many options available and it could get confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We have simplified this process for you so your best furry friend can have the healthiest, longest life possible!

Different Types of Hamster Foods

  • Seed Hamster Food – Seed hamster food has long been recognized as the top choice for hamsters. It is comprised of multiple ingredients in their whole format and while it can provide balanced nutrition, hamsters may become picky eaters, choosing only their favorite ingredients to consume. If a hamster engages in this practice, his nutrition then becomes limited and therefore, lacking. While there are still many great seed hamster food options, as a hamster caregiver, your vigilance will be required. If you notice your hamster is opting to eat only certain parts of his meal, do not supply another mealtime until all components of his balanced meal have been consumed. This will ensure proper nutrition for his best health.
  • Pelleted Hamster Food – Pelleted hamster food is similar to seed hamster food with one very big difference. While it does contain a healthy blend of ingredients, it is innovative in that it combines all ingredients into compressed pellets to deliver balanced nutrition for even the pickiest of eaters. Seed hamster food gives your hamster free reign over which ingredients are preferred – on the other hand, each bite into pellets provides complete nutrition, not allowing your small furry friend to only pick the tastiest of treats. Since pellets are a common food for other types of animals, such as rabbits, it is vital you pay mind to ensure you are purchasing the correct option for hamsters.
  • Fresh Vegetables and Fruit – Hamsters love chowing down on different kinds of fruits and vegetables, including spinach, celery, pumpkin, carrots, and bananas. If you will be providing your hamster with a yummy fresh fruit or vegetable treat, be sure to thoroughly wash it to rid it of any coatings or pesticides which may have been used to protect the produce. Once clean, cut the fruit or vegetable into tiny pieces to make it easy for your hamster to bite into and enjoy. Keep in mind that some fruits can be high in calories and so these snacks should be given sparingly, and daily calories should be adjusted as well to prevent weight gain in your small pet. These yummy treats should be provided only two, max three times, per week.
  • Timothy Hay – Timothy hay is a green hay that has a sweet smell; it provides hamsters with the fiber they need. It also stimulates their inherent instinct to forage. A handful of timothy hay provided two to three times a week is a good addition to your hamster’s diet. Many commercially available foods already include this ingredient in their formulations.
  • High-Protein Foods – A good protein source is a helpful supplement in your hamster’s diet. For example, a little bit of cooked fish, meat, or even a hard-boiled egg can be a great protein source. This should only be an occasional treat to supply your fur buddy with a protein snack and a change in flavor and texture. This should not be a regular addition to your pet’s food, however, as their regular diets, when high-quality, will be able to meet their daily nutritional needs.
  • Seeds and Grains – Seeds, nuts, and grains should be eaten sparingly because these foods are high in fat. Your hamster will happily munch away at these yummy foods because they are enjoyable for them, but for them to live a full life, their diets should be kept low fat. A well-rounded diet supplied through a commercially available food should cover these concerns.
  • Foods to Avoid – Just as there are different types of foods that are beneficial for your hamster, there are also foods that should be avoided to prevent illness. For instance, any kind of junk food like candy, chocolate, or other high-sugar snacks should not be shared with your hamster. In addition, there are certain fruits that should never be given to your furry pet, like apricots, pineapples, and peaches. All citrus foods should be avoided. While there is a list of foods hamsters should avoid, they should also be protected from their own hoarded foods. Many hamster owners question whether or not they should disturb their hamster’s hoard stash while cleaning their cages. The answer is yes, clear them out to prevent spoiled food, mold, and attraction of bugs and bacteria. These small animals are highly dependent on you to provide quality nutrition and keep them on track for a long, healthy life.

Review Section

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Hamster & Gerbil Food

Key Features:

  • Preserved naturally to maintain freshness
  • Ingredients specially formulated for hamsters
  • Crafted with a texture that makes it easy to eat
  • Complete nutrition with added supplements

Overall Best Hamster Food – Your little furball gets wholesome ingredients that promote health with Kaytee’s hamster and gerbil formula. Small pets require a protein-rich diet to help them with muscle development, immune support, and also to keep a healthy coat and maintain good skin. This recipe delivers all the essential nutrients your little one needs to maintain excellent health inside and look it from the outside.

This recipe contains sunflower seeds, grains, and wheat along with yucca to help mitigate the odor of stools. In addition to providing well-rounded nutrition, Kaytee also includes DHA and Omega-3 for optimal cognitive function, heart support, and eye health. Prebiotics and probiotics are included as well to encourage healthy digestion.

There are no artificial colors or flavors contained within this pet food and it is preserved naturally for long-term freshness. Each bite is not only yummy for your hamster, it is also made with a texture that is super easy to eat. Your hamster will enjoy his meal while getting boosted nutrition that supports overall health, from muscle development to optimal organ function.

Pros: 

  • Highly palatable formula
  • Added supplements for extra support
  • Added yucca for odor control
  • Affordable product

Cons:

  • Bag may not be easy to reseal

Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster & Gerbil Food

Key Features:

  • Created to mirror a hamster’s natural diet
  • Added vitamins for immune support
  • Fiber-rich to support gastrointestinal health

Runner Up – With this hamster food by Oxbow Essentials, you can provide your small pet with a healthy diet that contains a blend of timothy hay, barley, and oats. These ingredients are not only flavorful, they are also very high in fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive system for your hamster.

This formula is crafted without seeds, fruits that are high in sugar, and artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Although hamsters do enjoy their fair share of seeds and fruits, these foods can be too low in nutritional value and too high in calories, making it easy for your favorite furry pet to gain excess weight. In addition, providing these tasty treats too often can create a picky eater, making it difficult to ensure proper nutrition.

Oxbow Essential’s has created a product that provides your hamster (or gerbil) with a balanced set of nutrients that not only promote a healthy weight, but also support digestive function and even dental health. Each morsel is fortified with a blend of vitamin C, vitamin A, and B12 to keep immune health strong. Since hamsters are herbivores, maintaining a fiber-rich diet is of ultra-importance.

Pros:

  • Farm-fresh timothy hay for fiber
  • Fortified with added vitamins for immune health
  • Balanced nutrition with a tasty finish
  • Affordable product

Cons: 

  • Due to natural ingredients, texture of food may vary

5 More Top Rated Hamster Foods

Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Hamster & Gerbil Food

With this Higgins sunburst gourmet blend, your hamster will be provided with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that support whole body health. This formula is crafted with dried mixed fruits that are appropriate for hamster digestion, sun-cured hay, pre-cooked legumes, yummy veggies, and more! It will not only be a food your furry buddy craves; it will also help to stimulate his inherent foraging instinct. Additional DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids will support a healthy coat and good skin and flaked vegetables are easy to consume and provide digestive support. This product provides a ton of nutrients and yummy additives for a happy mealtime without the unnecessary addition of artificial ingredients.

Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Food

Tiny Friends provides your small pet with a delicious formula that delivers balanced nutrition and encourages foraging. It is appropriate for hamsters of different ages and is made without any added sugar, making it ideal for little ones that need a good weight control product. Your hamster will enjoy mealtimes because of the many yummy ingredients included, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peas, and plenty more. This food is made in the United Kingdom with only the most wholesome ingredients.

Brown’s Tropical Carnival Hamster & Gerbil Food

This hamster food by Brown’s is crafted in a way that makes mealtimes nutritious, delicious, and fun. It contains a myriad of textures, shapes, and flavors that keep your hamster excited and satisfied. It is made with fruits, veggies, grains, and seeds and includes healthy bacteria that support the digestive tract. This product contains all the required vitamins and nutrients to ensure a healthful, long life. This product is available in a 2 lb. bag and a 5 lb. bag.

Vitakraft VitaSmart Complete Nutrition Hamster Food

Vitakraft provides your hamster with a premium diet that offers complete nutrition. Since hamsters love to enjoy variety during mealtime, this product is great for offering just that. It has different textures and different colors and encourages the foraging your hamster innately craves. Nutrition is delivered via multiple ingredients, including soybeans, flaxseed, alfalfa, beets, and timothy hay. In addition, DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids assist with supporting good health both within the body and reflected in their coats. This food is fiber-rich, promoting optimal digestion and is also packed with antioxidants to support immune system health. This product is made without any artificial preservatives, colors, and pesticides. It is available in a 2 lb. bag at an affordable price.

Oxbow Garden Select Hamster & Gerbil Food

This hamster and gerbil food by Oxbow has a garden fresh flavor that is packed with nutrition to provide a complete and balanced meal for your small fur friend. Within this mix is yellow pea, carrot, tomato, banana, and spinach to provide a host of essential nutrients that support overall health. This product is non-GMO certified, offering you an extra sense of comfort, knowing your hamster is ingesting only the highest quality foods. There are three hand-selected grass varieties included in this formula that offer an enriching experience and mimic a natural foraging setting. All the ingredients contained in this formula are farmed in the USA and hand-picked especially for your pet’s best health. This item is only available in a 1.5 lb. bag.

FAQ

  • Can you feed a hamster bird food? Hamsters can and may even enjoy food that is meant for birds; however, food meant for birds will be lacking in optimal nutrition for hamsters. Since hamster food is specially formulated to mimic what is found in a natural environment, it is the best option to provide your pet with. In a pinch, bird food could be helpful to buy a day or two, but for long-term feeding, hamsters and gerbils should only be provided with foods specifically made for their small, complex bodies. Hamsters require lots of fiber and low calories – most hamsters will dive into whatever food is being offered and if it is tasty, they will keep diving in. Therefore, it is important to pay mind to their nutritional requirements and avoid providing foods not meant for them. There are several bird seeds that hamster owners tend to offer as a treat, including budgie seed, millet, and linseed. Although each hamster owner will opt for special treats depending on his hamster’s likes, it is always important to consider balanced nutrition and total daily caloric intake. If you have a question regarding a specific kind of bird seed, veterinarians are always the most helpful in providing guidance.
  • How often should I feed my hamster? Your hamster should be enjoying one mealtime per day. This meal should be about one tablespoon of hamster food provided in a ceramic bowl to avoid scratches into plastic material where bacteria could grow. Since hamsters are nocturnal, feeding at night may be the best option; however, the most important aspect of mealtime is consistency. Once you have designated a feeding time, make it a habit so that your hamster can count on the schedule provided. Your hamster’s diet can be supplemented with some fresh food ingredients every other day – examples include raisins, berries, carrots, pumpkin, and cauliflower. You could also opt for a protein-rich food, like small pieces of a hard-boiled egg. Whatever you are feeding your hamster, be sure to clean up after mealtime to ensure a healthy, clean space free of spoiled food, mold, and bacteria. Keep in mind that while it is ultra-important to provide your hamster with a balanced diet, there are certain foods that should be avoided at all costs. Examples of foods that should be avoided include onion, citrus fruits, and kidney beans.
  • How long can a hamster go without eating? How long a hamster can go without eating is highly dependent on the overall health of the hamster. If your hamster is healthy, he may live without food for three to four days. Hamsters are not the type of animals that can store consumed foods in their cheeks and bellies and therefore would not have much to count on should they be left without food. However, hamsters do tend to stash away food in their beds so if they are left alone, they may be able to forage and find some hidden snacks to hold them over. If a hamster is left alone in the wilderness, outcomes are much less likely to be favorable. Not only do hamsters require food and water to survive, their environments also play a crucial role in their overall health. Hotter climates will require more water be provided and cold environments, without proper nutrition to help their body develop the muscle and fat required to withstand changes in temperature, could also end detrimentally. If your hamster has been left without food and water for a couple of days, be sure to provide water first. An electrolyte solution may be even more beneficial, provided via a dropper.
  • How much food should I feed my hamster? On average, a hamster should have one or at max, two tablespoons of hamster food per day. This depends on the type of hamster you have. For example, a dwarf hamster will need less food than a larger hamster like Golden Hamsters. Hamsters are well-known for hoarding their food and you may find it stored away throughout their bedding in their designated stash spots. Since hamsters like to be up all night, they may do best when fed in the evenings. When hamsters hoard their food, they are not only saving up their snacks for later, they are also entertaining themselves with their instinct to forage – this act alone keeps them from becoming bored or stressed by providing an activity to engage in.

Conclusion

Hamsters are popular human companions for multiple reasons: not only are they tiny and adorable, they are easy to care for and require only a small amount of space. Their lifespans are much shorter than most other pets and providing a quality diet helps to ensure they will live the longest, healthiest life possible. These little ones can live two to three years – with proper nutritional support, they can reach their maximum lifespan with ease.

Low fat, high fiber diets are ideal for hamsters. Fiber assists with the regulation of lipids, which in turn, assists with lowering the risk of heart disease. There are many sources of fiber, including veggies, oats, and fruits. When you decide on the high-quality food for your fur baby, be sure to provide consistent mealtimes at measured levels. Overfeeding, even with a high-quality product, can still lead to unnecessary weight gain and subsequent health issues.

With the information provided above and the awesome recommendations we scouted on your behalf; you have a great starting point for providing your hamster with the best chance at a quality life!

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