Most people don't know what to look for when it comes to hamster food, nor do they realize that the average hamster food doesn't completely fill a hamster's nutritional needs. Keep reading to learn what to include in a proper hamster diet.

You Hamster's Nutritional Needs

There are a few things to keep in mind as you're forming the perfect diet for your hamster.

Hamsters Are Omnivores

Hamster not only love to eat, but they love to eat a variety of foods. Hamsters are omnivores, therefore, in the wild, they'll eat anything from seeds, fruits, greens, to the occasional insect. For a complete diet, hamsters should not only be given a quality hamster food with plenty of essential nutrients, but a variety of fresh foods as well.

Essential Nutrients

The ideal hamster diet will include all of these essential nutrients:

  • Proteins
  • Fat and Carbohydrates
  • Water
  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
  • Minerals 

All He Does Is Eat Eat Eat: Image by Jpockel, FlickrAll He Does Is Eat Eat Eat: Image by Jpockel, FlickrPellet Foods VS Loose Mix Foods

With a quality pellet food like Living World Extrusion Pellet Hamster Food, your hamster will receive most of the nutrition he needs. The risk with pellet foods come with the fact that many don't contain all the nutrients you hamster needs, but this can be fixed by supplementing your hamsters diet. Another potential problem is that your hamster might potentially get bored with the constant supply of pellet food.

Loose mixes like eCOTRITION Organic Blend for Hamsters & Gerbils are another great option, however, some hamsters tend to pick and choose which parts of the loose mix they want to eat, leaving the rest uneaten and potentially causing nutritional deficiency. This can be fixed by supplementing the food, and leaving the uneaten parts of the loose mix in the cage until your hamster realizes he has to eat it.

There's also the option of making your own, organic food for your hamster. Just be sure that you're completely aware of your hamsters nutritional needs, and don't feed him any food that he can't eat.

Healthy Foods For Your Hamster

Listed are some natural, healthy foods that you can supplement your hamster's diet with.

  • Give Me More: Image by Jpockele, FlickrGive Me More: Image by Jpockele, FlickrApples (without the seeds)
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Sweet Potato
  • Cooked Potato
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Cooked Chicken (in small amounts)
  • Meal Worms
  • Crickets
  • Hard Boiled Egg (every once in a while)
  • Seeds
  • Lentils 

Keep in mind that different hamsters have different nutritional needs. If you own a dwarf hamster, don't feed him any fruit or sugary foods, they have a higher risk of diabetes.

Foods You Should Never Feed Your Hamster

Here are some foods that you should never feed your hamster.

  • Apple Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cabbage
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Pickles 
  • Rhubarb
  • Red or Kidney Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Junkie or Sugary Foods

It might also be best to avoid processed hamster treats, they're usually sugary and can be replaced with something much healthier for your hamster.Hamster Mike: Image by MarinaAvila, FlickrHamster Mike: Image by MarinaAvila, Flickr

A Balanced Meal

An example of a balanced meal would be a  tablespoon of commercial food, a few leaves of healthy greens, a thin slice of apple without the seeds, and a small piece of broccoli or cauliflower. Your hamster will pick at it throughout the day. Add a little bit of the commercial food throughout the day as it runs out so your hamster will always have something to munch on. Remember that if you have a dwarf hamster, avoid feeding him any fruit or sugary vegetables.

Now that you know what your hamster needs, he can enjoy a balanced, nutritional diet. Make sure that your hamster has clean fresh water at all times, and remember to change out his food on a daily basis.

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