When you get a pet, you want to make sure that you do the right things for it. After all, there is no point taking in a little creature if you’re not going to look after it well.
Hamsters make excellent first pets as they are small and relatively easy to take care of. Many families find that this pet is ideal for their household. Children tend to adore furry animals. That means that a hamster can be a welcome addition to the family home.
If you are just about to get a hamster, you may need some advice. When you get this animal, you want to ensure that they lead a healthy and happy life. You need to provide everything you can to keep your hamster in tip-top condition including healthy hamster food. Here is all you need to know about feeding and taking care of your hamster.
The Best Food For Your Hamster
So what can hamsters eat? Like many mammals, hamsters need a balanced diet so that they can be as healthy as possible. You should, of course, ensure your hamster has cold, fresh water each day. You can get special water bottles that fit the side of the cage from most pet supply shops. Hamsters tend to have a whole lot of energy, and so they need to have water on a regular basis. That way, you can be sure that they will not dehydrate.
In their native environment such as South East Europe and the deserts of Asia Minor within countries such as Syria hamsters would eat seeds, plants and the occasional larvae. If you want to emulate this diet, you should give your hamster specialist seed mixtures. You can buy commercial mixtures online, which will serve your hamster’s needs. Remember to read the packaging before you start feeding your pet.
It’s also a good idea to introduce some fresh fruit and vegetables into your hamster food diet. Some of the fruit that hamsters enjoy include apples, pears, berries, mango and grapes. You can also give your hamster vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and corn. If you are adventurous, you can feed your hamster cooked meat, such as turkey and even beef. You should be careful, though, and ensure you wash the meat to remove grease before you give it your pet.
Here’s a run down of things your hamster can eat;
- Bean sprouts
- Capsicums (Bell Peppers)
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
- Water chestnuts
- Water cress
Meats & Protein Based Foods
- Beef – cooked
- Chicken or turkey – cooked
- Fish – cooked – must be boneless
- Eggs – cooked but not fried
- Yogurt with no or low sugar content
What Food Should You Not Feed Your Pet Hamster?
Of course, there are a whole lot of things that your hamster can’t eat. Pork products, such as bacon and ham, can be terrible for your pet. You should also steer clear of potatoes, kidney beans, the seeds of any fruits, tomatoes, citrus / acidic fruits such as orange and sweets. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your hamster can eat anything. There are some foods out there that appear seemingly harmless but can prove lethal to your pet.
Here’s a rundown of foods you should not give your pet hamster;
- Almonds – the bitter type, the sweet type are fine
- Apple seeds
- Apricot stones
- Cherry stones
- Citrus fruits such as oranges or lemons
- Grape seeds
- Kidney beans
- Peach stones
- Pork based products
- Tinned foods including vegetables
How Can You Create The Perfect Environment?
You need to make sure that your hamster is as comfortable in their environment as they can be. That is why you need to ensure that you create a cozy atmosphere for them. Some hamsters, like dwarf varieties, can live in pairs. You should know that Syrian hamsters have to live alone. These creatures are solitary, and so need space.
Hamsters tend to nest, which means that they need some comfortable materials in the cage. You might want to include some shredded paper in the cage or even some pelleted bedding. You will find that your hamster uses these things so that it can create a bed for itself. You can go a step further by including a small hamster house within it’s cage.
Remember, the bigger the cage, the happier your hamster will be. You should aim to buy a cage that is around 360 square inches or even a little more than that. That way, you can be sure that your hamster will be comfortable and have the space it needs to move around.
Exercise & Entertainment
By their nature hamsters tend to be quite energetic animals. That means that they need room to run around and things to entertain them. You may have noticed that many cages have tunnels and tubes. These features are always an excellent idea as they mean that your hamster can explore its cage. You should also make sure that you get a wheel for your hamster. That way, your pet can run and run for ages.
If you want to get some great little extras for your pet, why not consider a hamster ball? These toys allow your pet to move around your home in a safe and controlled way. There are now loads of toys on the market – take a look and see what you can find.
Remember, once you get a hamster, you need to take care of its welfare. Ensure that you take good care of your pet all the time. That way, your hamster will live a happy life.