What do hamsters eat? A guide to the best hamster food and hamster treats.

If you are looking for the right hamster food, you are at a right place. A few care-abouts are must while preparing a diet plan for your little goofy, chubby-legged friends as they are highly prone to catch diarrhoea and vomiting.

The name “Hamster” is derived from the German word ‘hamstern’ that means ‘hoard’ so it is very clear how they eat. Hamsters have pouches in their cheeks where they store the food and carry it back to their colony for later eating. Even domestic ones show the same characteristics sometimes. They keep on demanding more of the food and store it under their bedding place. Keep an eye on this naughty creature’s eating habits and only feed what is needed.

What can hamsters eat?

Hamsters are omnivores that don’t mind eating meat as well as veggies. In the wild, they love to include in their menu seeds, grasses and insects. They also need carbohydrates and protein-enriched diet for healthy development.

Nowadays many people love to captive them as pets at home. Are you one of those people? If yes, then you must understand, even if domesticated, a hamster still needs the same variety of food – both meat and veggies. They need variation in their menu on a daily basis, and you can refer to the food list below to help your hammy plan a balanced diet.

What should I pay attention to when feeding my hamster?

Hamsters, with their sneaky teeth, are able to eat on a vast variety of food. Vegetables, grains, meat all are their favourite. Although we are providing you with a complete food list that hamsters can eat, always start with small quantity and judge what to give more and what to give less by regularly observing the interest level of your hammies, and also their reactions after taking each kind of food. The best practise is to introduce new food slowly to avoid upsetting their stomachs.

Also, when giving fruits and vegetables, always rinse off with water and let them sit a room temperate before giving to your pet. It is also important to make sure that they’re completely pesticide-free, and one way to do so is to avoid wild plants and vegetables.

For busy pet owners, consider ready-to-feed hamster food and supplements available in the market as an alternative. It’s good to have such reserve at home in case your pet comes across any problem with their new food exploring. When choosing these kinds of hamster food, the only note is to get organic ones and avoid any coloured or synthetic mixture, and get them only those from reputed manufacturers.

Best Hamster Food List

Fruit & Vegetables:

· Apple, Asparagus, Avocado (skinned and seedless), Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage – should only be fed in small quantity, Carrots, Cauliflower leaves and stalks, Chinese Leaves, Coriander, Corn-on-the-Cob, Corn Salad, Courgette, Cranberries, Cress, Cucumber, Curly Kale, Dates, Figs, Green beans, Kidney Beans (cooked), Kiwi Fruit, Kumquat, Logan Berries, Lychee, Mango, Marrow, Melon, Parsley – a good tonic (Apparently), Peach, Pear, Peas, Plums – stones should be removed as can be dangerous when gnawed, Potato (only cooked), Raspberries, Rhubarb (cooked), Rocket Chard, Star Fruit, Strawberries, Sweet Potato, Soya bean Sprouts, Swede, Sweetcorn, Sweet Peppers, Water Chestnuts, Watermelon, Water Spinach, Prunes, Raisins, Coconuts, Boiled Potatoes


· Walnuts, Chestnuts, Sweet Chestnuts, Pecan, Peanuts (shelled or unshelled), Pistachio, Beechnuts, Cashew Nuts, Hazel Nuts, Brazil Nuts

Meat / Protein

· Chicken (cooked), Meal worms, Egg (scrambled or boiled)


· Biscuits (not chocolate ones obviously), Bread (fresh or stale), Dog Biscuits (one of my past hamsters LOVED dog biscuits), Toast (even the crusts)

Foods That Can Cause Health Problems To Your Hamster

So you know all the food items that can be given to a hamster. Great. But there are things more crucial to be kept in mind and that is a short list of food that should never ever be given to your hamster or it will kill his health.

There are many such items that should be kept off of a hamster, and as a rule of thumb, do not give him the food that are citrus in nature. Also, avoid sticky treats like chocolate or sweet that will stuck in your hamster’s cheek pouches.

Here’s a complete list of the no-nos:

  • Rhubarb (raw)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Kidney Beans (raw)
  • Potato tops
  • Tomato leaves
  • Onion
  • Chocolate

So far you know enough about what to feed them and what not to feed them. But at the same time, there are some feeding etiquettes that you must care about:

  • While feeding apples or cherries, do remove the seeds and stones. They usually get stuck in their throat. Sometimes causing a death
  • Moreover, there are some foods that can be given to your hamster but not in abundance or it will harm him. Feed him only a short quantity of cabbage, kale and lettuce as they may cause liver problem
  • Onion kills the red blood cells of a hamster and garlic can cause indigestion
  • Additionally, discard the idea of feeding your goofy pet with sugar products. They can harm his teeth.

Can A Hamster Eat Carrots And Apples?

I got asked about this quite often and my answer is: Why not? But always start small. Feed him only a chunk of carrot and observe for a few days. If he shows interest and doesn’t show any sign of diarrhoea or indigestion you may add on to the quantity. By the way, carrot is a great food to keep hamster’s teeth sharp and healthy.

While feeding your hamster with apple, do not forget to remove the seeds and peel off the skin of the apple. He might be allergic to it. Hamsters are good at chewing though, you should always avoid hard pieces like seeds.

Final Note

As a final note, I leave you with a few general suggestions while preparing the food for your hamster. Buy only fresh ingredients and wash them properly so as to remove any pesticides. Diarrhoea is the main disease that might hit your hamster. If your pet is hit with it, raspberries plant is the best diet to cure his diarrhoea. Additionally, make sure he consumes plenty of water.

Do not forget to keep the food-bowl clean and germ-free. Wash them regularly.

Find out more on how to select the best dwarf hamster cages here.

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