Hamster, like all pets, have their own very specific dietary needs that can only be met with the right high-quality food that is designed to meet these needs. However, with so much choice on the market, how do you know which one is right for your little furry friend? Our panel of pet experts and hamster lovers have produced this list of the best hamster foods to point you in the right direction.
Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food provides the complete nutrition your hamster needs to stay strong and healthy. It includes an assortment of vegetables and fruits to provide enrichment and variety and is rich in natural antioxidants for immune support and general good health. The food mix is naturally preserved to lock in its freshness, while the different shapes and textures in the food support natural chewing activity and good dental health.
Contains a range of grains, fruits, and vegetables for complete nutrition
Supports digestive health with prebiotics and probiotics
Rich in naturally occurring antioxidants for immune support
Supports dental health through encouraging natural chewing activity
Animal Health Hamster and Gerbil Fortified Food by Oxbow is a complete feed that offers your hamster everything it needs to stay fit and healthy. Its optimally balanced nutrients help maintain digestive functions, healthy weight, proper nutrition, and dental health. Suitable for hamsters of all ages, except when pregnant or nursing, the food is free from high sugar fruits, nuts, seeds, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Provides complete nutrition with added vitamins and minerals
High fiber level aids with digestive mobility
Supports dental health through encouraging natural chewing activity
Contains no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
Free from high-sugar fruit, nuts, and seeds
Made with various highly nutritious ingredients, including grains, seeds, fruits and veggies, the Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet for Hamsters and Gerbils offers optimal and nicely balanced nutrition. Some of the ingredients you’ll find in this formula include oats, alfalfa meal, whole corn and millet, pumpkin seeds, banana chips, dehydrated apples and carrots, and many, many other tasty and healthy foods. The blend is also boosted with antioxidants and contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for skin and coat health.
Contains a mix of grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables
Highly diverse formula for good health and great taste
Packed with antioxidants
Added vitamins and minerals
Comes in a convenient flip top container
If you have a dwarf hamster, then this is the food you need. Vitakraft Vita Prima Sunscription Dwarf Hamster formula is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of dwarf hamsters throughout their lives. It offers a high-diversity diet that is fortified with Omega 3 Dhal and probiotics. The mix contains grains, seeds, and vegetables, as well as added vitamins and minerals to look after your hamster’s skin, coat, immune system, and digestion.
Provides a high-diversity, nutritious diet specially formulated to meet the needs of dwarf hamsters
Fortified with Omega 3 Dhal, probiotics, vitamins D and E, and calcium
Contains grains, seed, and vegetables
Supports your hamster’s immune system, healthy digestion, and healthy skin and coat
The Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food by Kaytee is designed to be a complete food for hamsters and gerbils. It is made from larger pieces than other Kaytee hamster foods to support dental health though encouraging your hamster’s natural chewing activity. The formula includes prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and is naturally preserved to lock in the food’s freshness and goodness.
Large crunchy pieces to support dental health by encouraging chewing
Rich in natural antioxidants for immune support and general wellbeing
Contains prebiotics and probiotics
The Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix is designed to be a nutritionally balanced food for all breeds of hamsters. The mix of food bits, shapes and sizes is created to encourage foraging, while providing the vitamins and minerals your little furry friend needs. The mix contains soya, sunflower seeds and whole peanuts, but no added sugar.
Offers a balanced diet for all breeds of hamster
Contains a mix of grains, seeds, soya, and nuts
Has added vitamin A and D3, as well as calcium
Contains no added sugar
If you have a variety of small furry friends, then this mix is ideal as it is suitable for hamsters and Gerbils. The food by Higgins is created with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives to meet the nutrition needs of small animals such as hamsters. The recipe includes probiotics and DHA Omega 3 to support both the digestive system and your hamster’s immune system. All the ingredients are air washed to reduce dust and the mix includes grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, and mixed fruits, ensuring your hamster will never get bored of their food.
Suitable for the nutritional needs of hamsters and gerbils
Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Created using a mix of nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and mixed fruits
Fortified with vitamins, minerals, DHA Omega 3, probiotics, and amino acids
Even small mammals need treats from time to time and these Yogies from eCOTRITION are perfect for this. Suitable for most small animals including hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats they are a tasty cheese flavored snack that is made with real yogurt. The treats contain sources of real and artificial cheese flavor and are not designed as a substitute to your hamster’s normal complete food.
An exciting snack food for small mammals including hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice
Contains sources of real and artificial cheese flavor
Intended to be a treat, not to replace their usual complete food
Tasty, healthy, yet budget-friendly, the Vitasmart Hamster Food by Vitakraft is always a good choice. With a diverse mix of ingredients, including various grains, seeds and few legumes, fruits and veggies, this formula meets the dietary needs of hamsters, plus tastes great – a huge plus for picky pets. Of course, the blend is also supplemented with vitamins and minerals and contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, for both good brain health and a nice coat.
A mix of grains, seeds, legumes and fruits
Provides complete nutrition for hamsters
Fortified with all important supplements
Plenty of essential fatty acids and omegas for shiny coat
Higher levels of fiber for good digestion
Simple but nutritious, the Kaytee’s FortiDiet ProHealth is specifically designed to provide proper nutrition for hamsters, mice and rats. Besides the usual ingredients you see in hamster formulas, such as whole grains and seeds, this formula is also supplemented with various vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion. Since the pellets are quite big and crunchy, they’re also good for tooth and gum health. Importantly, the food is naturally preserved and remains fresh for quite a long while.
Simple but nutritious formula
Supplemented with important vitamins and minerals
Contains probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion
Big, crunchy pellets support dental health
Suitable for hamsters, rats and mice
The nutritional needs of hamsters differ to those of larger mammals, so it is important that the food you buy reflects their specific needs. Of course, your hamsters specific preferences play a role in the food you buy, but some other key considerations include:
When choosing a food for your hamster you want one that provides the complete nutrition that they need. Most experts agree that the average hamster needs a food mix that has around 15% protein, and between 3- 6% fat. These percentages should be slightly higher for pregnant, nursing, and baby hamsters. Hamsters also burn through carbohydrates quickly, so food needs to be high in complex carbohydrates from natural vegetable and grain sources.
Hamsters need salt to help them retain water and stay healthy. In the wild they lick minerals and rocks containing salt. If the food that you choose does not have salt in it consider adding a salt lick to your hamster enclosure.
Hamsters do not need sugar in their diets, at least not in excessive amounts, avoid foods with added sugars, including molasses. Some foods contain dried fruits, which are also sources of sugar, be aware of the amount of fruit in the mix and maybe alternate with another similar but fruitless mix if the concentration is quite high.
Hamsters need to chew to keep their teeth at the right length and their jaws healthy. If the food is soft it is not going to work the teeth and jaws as needed. If your hamster prefers this type of food, then add plenty of safe chewing opportunities to their enclosure.
Good quality pelleted hamster food meets your hamster’s nutritional needs just as well as the same quality seed hamster food. In terms of nutritional requirements, it is quality that is the most important element. However, where pelleted foods can fall down is in that they do not provide any variety. All the food in their bowl looks, tastes, and feels the same. This does not encourage foraging and may lead to your hamster becoming bored with their food. Seed hamster food does provide variety and encourages foraging, but if you have hamsters with specific dietary requirements or health problems then certain mixes may not be suitable. As with many things as long as you get the quality right you can be led by your hamster’s preferences and even offer a mix of both. Just remember not to drastically change your hamsters diet to quickly or too often as this can cause health issues.
One of the difficulties with knowing how much to feed a hamster is distinguishing between what they actually eat and how much they put into storage. Hamster avidly store food and the balance between eating and storing differs depending on the breed of hamster in question.
Experts state that on average hamsters only eat between one and two tablespoons of food in a period of 24 hours. Any other food that is gone from their bowls is likely to have been stashed away for later. It is a survival instinct that hamster have developed to help them survive in the wild during lean times. In captivity you are unlikely to find these stashes until you clean out their enclosures. While you should provide a little additional food to support the natural behavior it is important that old food is removed regularly as it will attract mold and bugs.
By following the tips in our buying guide and choosing one of our best hamster foods, you can increase the likelihood of having a healthy and happy hamster for a long time to come.