If you’re like a lot of the people on this planet, then you understand how having a pet can make life a whole lot better. Pets not only make great companions, but they can also put an end to boredom, especially when you have a cute little rodent who does fascinating, erratic things 99.9% of the time. If you’ve recently gotten yourself or your child a brand new hamster, or maybe you’ve had one for quite some time, then you already understand that it’s your responsibility to make sure that your hamster is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. With that being said, there are a few things that you need to know about feeding your tiny rodent friend. If you’re the proud owner of a hamster, or you’re thinking about getting one for your family, then keep reading to learn some important tips about feeding your new best pal.
Buying the Right Food for Your Hamster
Most of your hamster’s diet should consist of hamster food that you can purchase from a pet store. Typically, hamster food will be made up of pellets or seeds, and they’re designed specifically for the hamster’s various nutritional needs. So you should try your hardest to never stray too far from that diet. In fact, because hamsters don’t really care for changes to their diet, you don’t want to switch foods too often at all. If you do need to switch for whatever reason, then you should slowly transition them to new food over a few weeks. Also, it’s important to mention that hamsters really like sunflower seeds. If you buy food that contains sunflower seeds, then you need to make sure that they’re not just eating the sunflower seeds and leaving the rest behind. This is because sunflower seeds aren’t capable of satisfying all of the hamster’s dietary needs.
You can also supplement your hamster’s diet with fresh food! They particularly enjoy pumpkin, green beans, broccoli, spinach, parsley, turnips, and asparagus. They like fruit, as well, so try giving them some berries, pears, or peaches from time to time.
Feeding Your Hamster
Whether you feed your hamster in the morning or at night, it only needs to eat one time of day, every day. Some people recommend feeding them at night because hamsters are nocturnal animals and will be awake to digest the food. Other people say that feeding them during the day is just fine because they wake up quite often to eat. As we said before, it doesn’t really matter when you feed them, just as long as you feed them at the same time every day because hamsters love schedules. Now that you know how often to feed your hamster, let’s talk about actually feeding it!
- Hamsters are more than capable of scratching up a plastic bowl with their little claws, so make sure that you purchase your hamster a small ceramic food bowl. Small bowls are recommended because they leave the hamster with plenty of room to play
- Hamsters like to use the bathroom far away from their food and will typically use one corner of their cage to do so, so place their food dish at the opposite end of where they tend to use the bathroom the most.
- The food bowl needs to be cleaned with soap and water at least once a week.
- Give your hamster approximately one tablespoon of pellets every single day. They can also receive treats like fruits, veggies, or hard snacks that you can buy at the pet store.
- Hamsters are sneaky little critters, so they like to hide their food quite often. If you notice that your hamster’s bowl empties rather quickly, then start paying attention to what they’re doing with their food when you walk away. This could prevent you from overfeeding your hamster.
- If you’d like to bond with your hamster, then you can try hand-feeding it the treats you have for it. As you feed the hamster with one hand, pet it softly or hold it with the other hand. This will allow your hamster to start trusting you.
- It’s also important for you to monitor your hamster’s weight. As we said before, hamsters like to hide and store their food, which can cause you to accidentally overfeed your hamster. And because they have so much skin, it can be hard to see when they’re getting too fat. So make sure that you’re monitoring its weight every so often.
Hamsters are great pets for children or for people who don’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to a more high-maintenance animal. As long as you’re properly taking care of your hamster’s dietary needs, then you should have a happy-go-lucky critter who will make life a little more pleasant for quite some time.