If your family is like ours, the hamsters may be close by no matter what you are doing. This could lead you to wondering if the hamsters can share a snack or a meal with you. Can hamsters eat people food? If so, what kind, how much, and how often can they do this? Is it safe for your hamster to eat people food? Yes and no. There are only certain kinds of people food they can eat and some are even poisonous.
What is a proper diet for my hamster? Hamsters need to eat a diet that consists mainly of dry rodent pellets. These are generally found anywhere pet foods are sold. In addition, a healthy dose of various seeds and grains is recommended. Seeds should not be the only diet and should be limited as compared to the pellets. This is because many nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, are high in fat and can be detrimental to your hamster in unhealthy doses. Hamsters can also be given diced apples, carrots, dark greenery, and other vegetables as an occasional supplement. Hamsters also need to have fresh supply of water at all times.
Can I feed my hamster some of my table scraps? Most of the time, the answer to this will be no. Hamsters certainly cannot eat your spaghetti (even though the cheese topping may smell good). Although they can eat whole grain wheat pasta by itself. They also cannot consume many items from your fruit plate. Many dwarf hamsters are susceptible to diabetes. Therefore, most fruits cannot be given to them. Those they can eat, like apples, must be given only in moderation. Never give hamsters grapes or citrus fruits. If your dinner roll is made from fresh whole grains, your hamster can have a nibble or two.
Which people foods are appropriate for hamsters? The only people foods hamsters should be eating include apples, nuts, seeds, grains, fresh dark greens,fresh bell peppers, fresh green beans, fresh carrots, and a few other vegetables. Keep in mind though, that this should not be their only diet. As was mentioned above, hamsters should diet mainly on rodent pellets, which have the proper balance of high protein that meets their needs. Some cheeses are fine now and then in moderation and in small amounts. A hamster will certainly take the people food at any time. But that doesn’t mean they need it. Talk to your veterinarian for the exact diet that is appropriate for your hamster. Each hamster will be different, based on breed and individual nutritional needs.
Can I make homemade treats for my hamster? Of course. But take care in the ingredients used and how often you are feeding the treats to the hamster. Treats should be just that. A hamster who eats more treats than food can quickly develop malnutrition. If you have a food dehydrator, hamsters can enjoy dried fruits and vegetables in moderation. You can also make them a homemade vegetable pretzel treat that my kids and I invented for our hamsters. It’s actually so tasty, you may want to eat some too!
*Always contact a licensed veterinarian for the health of your animals. The information above is not meant to replace the advice of a qualified professional and is derived solely from the author’s own personal experiences.
More from Lyn:
Homemade Hamster Treats: The Perfect Gift for Hamster Lovers
Helping Kids Care for Their First Hamster
Can Kids Care for a Hamster with Special Needs?