Hamsters are small animals, and it can be difficult to gauge exactly how much to feed them, especially if you are a new hamster owner.
The amount that you feed your hamster largely depends on their weight and age, but in general, a hamster will eat around 2 tablespoons of food mix per day. Smaller hamsters, such as Dwarf varieties, will only need around 1 tablespoon per day. If you notice that your hamster is not finishing their food or that they are rapidly gaining weight, you are probably feeding them too much. If they finish their food rapidly, you may need to increase their portions slightly.
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Hamsters can hold a large amount of food inside their cheeks. Some people estimate that they can hold as much as the equivalent of their own bodyweight in cheek storage! Stashing food away is perfectly normal behavior for hamsters, but if you notice them storing large amounts of their food away, you are probably giving them too much.
In this article, we go in-depth on how much to feed your hamster, how often, and what foods are best and what foods to avoid. Let’s get started!
What Do Hamsters Eat?
Hamsters are omnivores, meaning they mainly eat food sourced from plants, but in the wild, they are known to snack on insects and small frogs and lizards. A hamster’s diet should consist of around 15% protein and no more than 5% fat. In general, the best food to give your hamster in order to provide them with all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need are commercial hamster pellets.
Commercial pellets will give your hamster a healthy, balanced diet with every bite and prevent them from picking and choosing what they prefer. With loose seed mixes, hamsters will often only eat their favorite items and leave the rest, resulting in an unbalanced diet. Pelleted diets largely solve this problem, but they should be as high-quality as possible and free from any unnecessary ingredients. Still, this can get monotonous for your hamster, and you should supplement this with seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits occasionally.
The best diet for a hamster consists of commercial pelleted food combined with a variety of fresh fruits, seeds, and vegetables.
Hamster Feeding Chart
Veggies and Green Grains Fruits Proteins Fats Lettuce Cooked brown rice Apple (no seeds) Hard-boiled eggs Pumpkin seeds Kale Whole-grain cereal Cantaloupe Mealworm Sunflower seeds Dandelion green Cooked whole-wheat pasta Banana Crickets Pistachios Spinach Oats Blueberries Cooked chicken Pecans Cucumber Barley Peaches (no pit) Dubai roaches Brazil nuts Frequency and Amount Daily 1-2 tsp. Daily 0.5-1 tsp. Every other day < 1tsp. 2-3 times/week 0.5 tsp. 2-3 times/week 0.5 tsp