Hamsters are cute, furry animals that have firmly won people’s hearts as pets. These pets do not expect much attention, are not whimsical in the care and nutrition, do not require walking or training. At the same time affectionate and amusing. If your choice fell on the hamster as a new member of the family, you are unlikely to be disappointed. And so, the house for the pet was bought, it remains to take care of the hamster’s nutrition, and a charming little ball will delight you and your family. But how to choose food for hamsters? What are the advantages and disadvantages to consider? What to look for when choosing a feed?
Hamster Nutrition Features
First of all, it is worth noting that hamsters are omnivores, therefore, in addition to plant foods and cereals, meat can also be present in their diet. Many manufacturers in the assortment of feeds for hamsters have such mixtures that contain semi-finished meat products consisting of various small worms, bugs, midges or produce additional snacks.
The presence of protein for the animal in the diet is required.
Animals in cages, hamsters, including, in no case can not be overfed, as this is fraught with serious diseases. Unfortunately, no matter how people try, home conditions are significantly different from natural ones, and the pet’s activity is many times lower. Therefore, feed should be poured no more than the norm that the manufacturer indicates. At the same time, many experts recommend cleaning the bowl or the feeder after feeding, and not leave it in the cage all the time. The food should be replaced, and not left in the bowl for a long time if the hamster has not eaten it, as many ingredients, especially if the food is not of the best quality, can begin to deteriorate from moisture in the bowl.
The type of pet diet should be selected depending on the age of the hamster, health status, taking into account the recommendations for a specific type of rodent.
The most popular types of hamsters today are dwarf hamsters, Dzungarian and Syrian.
The popularity of these species is due to the friendliness of the pets, not aggressiveness (not counting the breeding period in females), ease of care and nutrition. But there are also features. So, for example, historically and genetically, it is desirable for Syrian hamsters to predominate in cereals and a small amount of dried fruits, but for Dzungarian hamsters need more moisture and fruits. And for dwarf hamsters, it is advisable to pick up food with smaller ingredients that will be conveniently stored in the buccal sinus.
Tips on how to give a new feed
You can’t switch abruptly from one animal feed to another. Many pet owners change food at the same time and once, which leads to digestion in hamsters. After which the first one seems as if the new feed did not fit. It is necessary to introduce a new type of feed into the diet gradually over a period of 7-10 days, first mixing the new feed with the old one. Every day increasing proportions in favor of a new feed.
What should not be given to hamsters?
For hamsters as well as for humans, there are a number of prohibited products that can cause significant harm to the health and even life of a pet.
- Any foods containing spices, salt and sugar. These ingredients can lead to a serious GI disease or diabetes. Even fruits and dried fruits that can be eaten by hamsters should be given in limited quantities or according to individual needs;
- Flour products (yeast and yeast-free), breakfast cereals, cereal, granola and so on, unless it is a specially designed product for rodents: the hamster’s body is not adapted to such food;
- Not seasonal fruits and vegetables or not typical for the region of its breeding. Firstly, such products are genetically alien to the body of the hamster. Secondly, it is no secret that non-seasonal vegetables and fruits are often processed with special compounds for better storage, which are harmful to health;
- Any food prepared by the methods of frying, smoking, very fatty should also not be present in the diet of the hamster;
- Foods containing a large amount of starch should be in a limited amount;
- Dairy and dairy products.