You’ve finally made the plunge! You have got yourself your dream pet, the cute and furry little hamster.
You stood at that pet shop for ages convincing everyone around you, that the adorable creature staring at you from behind the cage was the perfect pet for you. That cage has finally made itself to your home. You wake up everyday with it next to you in the cage and bid it goodnight before you go to sleep, wishing it dreams of hamster heaven. In fact you have already named that furry creature and he is one of your best buds.
Once the excitement sets in, it is only natural to go overboard with feeding them titbits of everything you eat and cuddling them close. While the latter is not exactly harmful, the former is quite dangerous for your friend, as hamsters tend to have sensitive stomachs.
So, what should you feed your hamster? Definitely not that Mars bar that you love, or that delicious chocolate pudding that everyone must simply taste. Some might be even wondering if they are feeding their treasured pet the right thing. Not to worry, here are a few dietary specifications that could help your hamster lead a healthy life.
Water is really important, so make sure your pet hamster always has a supply of clean water to drink. The best choice would be to get a water bottle attached to the cage for your hamster. The bottle should typically require very little suction so that your pet hamster can drink water with ease. If it isn’t possible, just place the water in a wide bowl which is easily accessible to it. Remember, they don’t possess the dexterous hands that we humans have. Make sure that you regularly replenish the bottle or bowl with clean water so that your hamster never goes thirsty. It would be advisable to wash the bottle at least once a week to ensure that dirt does not accumulate.
When in the wild, hamsters are great burrowers and forage for seeds, fruits and nuts and store it underground to munch on. A very peculiar feature of hamsters is their cheek pouches. Hamsters have cheek pouches in which they store the food they forage for. In fact, when these cheeks are full, the size of its head can even become twice its original size. So don’t be surprised if you find your hamsters cheeks bulging or that the food that you placed has vanished into thin air!
So what exactly should you feed your pet hamster once you have brought it home?
There are many commercial feeds and pellets available a pet stores, produced having these dietary restrictions in mind. It is a safe option to grab these from a nearby pet store so that your pet gets the necessary nourishment it requires. Ensure that the commercial feed is suitable for your hamster breed. A tablespoon of commercial feed a day would be sufficient for your pet hamster.
It is just natural to want to treat your pet hamster and you will find a large variety of very attractive treats for your hamster in a local pet store. Anyone would like a little variety in their meals and so would your pet hamster. Treats would typically be fruits and nuts and even seed mixes. Moreover treats would be an excellent way to entice your pet hamster if it is a poor eater.
You don’t necessary have to buy the treats for your pet hamster. Apart from the commercial treats, you could feed your hamster a few fruits and vegetables. Some good fruits for the hamster would include apples, pears, bananas. Carrot, cauliflower, lettuce and broccoli would be vegetables that it would enjoy munching.
Feeding your hamster small quantity of your leftovers isn’t a bad idea too, but make sure it isn’t too spicy that it would cause digestive trouble to it. Some leftovers which your hamster would love are bread, eggs (hard-boiled or scrambled), boiled rice, tomatoes, yoghurt, peanuts and even cottage cheese! Just make sure that you don’t feed too much of these treats. It is entirely possible for your hamster to become obese if it overeats, and no one likes a hamster that finds it difficult to lift itself up.
There are a few treats that should be avoided at all costs when feeding your hamster! Sticky treats, junk food, chocolate, garlic and onion are unhealthy and not suitable for your furry pal. In fact sticky food could get caught in your hamster’s cheek pouch and could cause quite a lot of harm. Sugar based treats are a no-no as hamsters are susceptible to diabetes.
There will be an urge that most pet owners tend to have, to feed your pet just that little bit extra in your enthusiasm to make it happy. However much you want to do it, resist the temptation! Hamsters are prone to diarrhoea if fed too much and you definitely don’t want to see your pet suffer and cleaning the mess could be quite a smelly ordeal.
A good balanced vegetarian diet will ensure that your hamster stays fit as a fiddle.
Now that you know what to feed your pet and how to take care of it, you and your hamster are going to have a wonderful and healthy time together as best pals.
And remember; don’t feed your hamster any ham!