7 Best Hamster Foods for a healthy diet (review & guide)

For those of you, who are in a hurry: Here is our top pick, the Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food.

Hamsters often tend to be picky eaters. What is annoying for us when choosing the best hamster food can be a serious problem when it comes to malnutrition in your little friend. While most other review sites just list every product they can find, we spend hours on the search for the best varied and pelleted hamster foods. Here is what we found.

In this article we are going to review the following 7 hamster foods:

How to choose the best hamster food?

It’s not only that hamsters have different requirements for their food than other rodents. There are also some varieties between different hamster breeds. Due to their faster metabolism, dwarf hamsters need to be fed with food that is specially designed for their needs. In this article, we refer to hamsters like Syrians, Roborovski and Chinese but not to dwarf hamsters.

Even if you choose the best hamster food available, that won’t be enough. Hamsters need fresh components like vegetables or fruits once a day. Make sure that these are low in calories. Feed the high in energy treats only every now and then. About 80% of your hamsters’ diet should be seed mixes or pelleted food.

Nutritional value

The nutritional value of hamster food is by far the most important thing you should think of. As a rule of thumb, the protein level should be about 15% and the amount of fat between 3 and 6%. For pregnant, nursing and baby hamsters the values can be slightly higher.

Apart from that hamsters need many complex carbohydrates. Vegetables and grains are a good source for these. Fiber is another critical part, hamsters need it for healthy digestion. This is the reason why many manufacturers put some timothy hay in their products.

We suggest having some additional hay available in the hamster cage at all times. You can buy it at most pet stores and online for a reasonable price.

Amount of salt

Salt is essential for hamsters, they need it to retain water in their little bodies. In nature, they get salt by licking stones and minerals like many animals do. If you are uncertain if your hamster food contains enough salt and minerals, consider adding a salt lick into the cage.

Amount of sugar

There is food with added sugar and molasses. For most hamsters, this food delivers more energy than needed, which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Be aware of this problem when choosing the food for your pet and have a look at the list of ingredients.

Apart from added refinery sugars, have in mind, that some dried foods can contain a high amount of sugar too. If you have the feeling that your food contains too much fruit, you can mix it with a seed only product.

Ingredients

Hamster foods contain a number of seeds, dried veggies and fruits. As a rule of thumb, you should know every ingredient on the list. Some foods have added vitamins and other supplements which is generally a good thing. Avoid artificial products like preservatives, colors and flavors.

Brand

Most brands care about the quality of their ingredients because they have an image to lose. We recommend going with hamster food from one of the popular brands. It is likely that cheap products can not stand their promises. Brands make sure that their products have the same quality over and over again. Apart from that they often come with better nutritional values and fewer artificial ingredients.

Package size

Some hamsters tend to be picky eaters. If you want to try new food, order a small package first. If your hamster likes the food you can buy in bulk later. When opened most food stays fresh for 3 to 4 months.

Seeds vs. pelleted hamster Food

You can opt for two different kinds of food: Varied seed mixes and pelleted food. Both come with their own pros and cons.

  • Pelleted food is specially designed for hamsters. No wonder that it fulfills all their nutritional requirements in a nearly perfect way. Picky eaters have no choice, so you don’t have to worry, that your furry ball only eats his favorite pieces. But on the other side, pellets are not enriching and they won’t encourage your hamster to forage. Many hamsters get bored with this kind of food quite easily.
  • Varied seed mixes, on the contrary, are interesting and fun. Every bit smells, tastes and feels different. But chances are, that your hamster will only eat the ingredients he likes most.

The best hamster food combines the pros from both and contains seeds, veggies and fruits as well as processed pellets.

Best hamster food reviews

Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food

  • Protein: min 13.5%
  • Fat: min 6%
  • Fiber: max 10%

Kaytee is definitely a brand when it comes to small pet supplies and so it is for hamster food. Actually, we are not only going to review the Fiesta Hamster Food but two more Kaytee products later on.

This hamster food supports the dental health of your hammie through the shape and texture of mostly the pellets. Yes, this product is also a mix of a large variety of veggies, fruits and seeds as well as some well-designed pellets. So you do not have to worry about enrichment or the nutritional value of the parts your hamster chooses to eat.

There are many ingredients that contain antioxidants for general health and immune support. Additionally, vitamins and minerals are added nonetheless. For healthy digestion, the product is supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics.

Generally, the food is naturally preserved and stays fresh a long time, but the bag can easily be resealed. Kaytee recommends using the food within 30 to 45 days.

Pros:

  • Mix of seeds, veggies, fruits and pellets
  • Encourages foraging
  • Supports dental health and digestion
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Supplemented with vitamins and minerals
  • Supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics

Cons:

  • Contains artificial colors
  • Added sugar

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix

  • Protein: 18%
  • Fat: 6%
  • Fiber: 6%

The Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix might be a great choice if you have a diabetic hamster. It is one of the few hamster foods without any added sugars and recommended by the Small Angels Rescue.

The product contains a variety of different seeds and grains such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, maize, oats, wheats and peas. Even some whole peanuts with shells can be found in the Mix. The different ingredients are either whole or processed to pellets. Many hamster owners state that even picky eaters like nearly everything this mix offers. So, malnutrition should not be a problem. Apart from that, the mix of pellets and seeds promotes foraging behavior.

For the support of the digestive system, alfalfa is added but you won’t find any probiotics in this one. If you wonder why there are no fruits in the mix, it is because this food should suit hamsters with diabetes.

The size of the single pieces is suitable for all breeds including dwarf hamsters.

Pros:

  • No added sugars
  • For diabetic hamsters
  • Contains peanut shells
  • Seeds and pellets
  • Encourages foraging
  • Delicious and picky eaters love it
  • Suitable for all breeds

Cons:

  • No veggies and fruits

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Oxbow Essentials Animal Health Hamster Fortified Food

  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: 4.5%
  • Fiber: 12.5%

Many buyers will state that Oxbow is the best brand when it comes to hamster food. As many experts recommend this product as well, we think it is worth taking a look.

The Oxbow Essentials Animal Health Hamster Fortified Food consists of pellets only. There are no fatty seeds, nuts or sugary fruits but a lot of timothy hay, oats and barley. Additionally, the food is supplemented with vitamins and minerals. With this product, you will serve your little friend a complete diet that you can feed every day.

We really like that you won’t find any artificial preservatives, colors and flavors in this food. Nonetheless, even picky eaters tend to really like it as it is so delicious.

The high level of fiber supports the digestive system and the structure of each pellet helps to maintain healthy teeth.

The only thing you can complain about this food is that it does not suit pregnant and nursing female hamsters. As this is 100% pellets you need to add some seeds, veggies and dried fruits for the enrichment and to support your pets foraging habits.

Pros:

  • Complete and balanced diet
  • No artificials
  • No added sugar
  • Rich in fiber
  • Supports dental health
  • Delicious for picky eaters

Cons:

  • Does not encourage foraging
  • 100% pellets may be boring for your hamster
  • Not for pregnant or nursing females

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Wild Harvest Hamster Advanced Nutrition Diet

  • Protein: 18%
  • Fat: 6%
  • Fiber: 10%

The Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet is a hamster food that comes with several convincing characteristics. A look at the list of ingredients tells you in a second how much variety there is. Actually, it contains several vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, onions and spinach which are wholesome and have the right size. Same counts for the various dried fruits.

Of course, there is no hamster food without some delicious seeds and nuts and this one contains a lot of them. Additionally, there are especially for hamsters designed pellets that make sure your little friend gets the right amount of nutrition. Apart from that, there is alfalfa meal added as a source of fiber.

The manufacturer wanted to replicate a diet that a hamster would eat in his natural habitat so that the foraging behaviors are encouraged. We think it worked out very well. Different vitamins and minerals can be found as a supplement to make the food even healthier.

But the product design does not stop at the list of ingredients and the manufacturing process. The flip-top container holds the product fresh for a long time. Apart from that it is easier to store and can be reused after the food is empty.

Pros:

  • Large variety
  • Seeds, fruits, veggies and pellets
  • Minerals and vitamins added
  • Encourages foraging behavior
  • Reusable and easy to store package

Cons:

  • Contains artificials
  • Some buyers complain about bugs

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food

  • Protein: min 13.5%
  • Fat: min 6%
  • Fiber: max 12%

The Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health is the second product of this brand we review. To be honest it is very similar to the Kaytee Fiesta as it comes with some of the same health-supporting features. But of course, there are some differences and we want to take a closer look.

Let’s begin with the differences. A look at the nutritional values makes clear that there is more fiber in this hamster food. Combining this fact with the added prebiotics and probiotics you can estimate that this food is very suitable for hamsters with digestive issues.

Apart from that this product contains more seeds which is kind of contrary. While your hamster will love to eat the fatty sunflower seeds, experts recommend not to feed more than 4 or 5 of them per day. You will notice shortly, that you have to sort some out when you want to follow along with this statement.

Another product feature is the support of dental health through larger and more crunchy pieces that encourage higher chewing activity. Natural antioxidants stimulate the immune system and are good for health in general.

Pros:

  • Mix of seeds and pellets
  • Encourages foraging
  • Supports dental health and digestion
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Supplemented with vitamins and minerals
  • Supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics

Cons:

  • Contains artificial colors
  • Contains to many seeds
  • Added sugar

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Food from The Wild Hamster

  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 18%

This is actually the third and last food by Kaytee we review. The recipe is inspired by ancestral feeding habits so it might be the most natural diet you can find for your hamster.

However, if you think the food only contains whole seeds and veggies you are wrong. This is a mix of sunflower seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, carrots, rose petals and pellets. This might generally be a good thing, as it ensures good nutrition even for picky eaters, but many buyers complain about the number of pellets. Additionally, they say that the bag is quite empty and only filled to ¼ its size.

But there are many good things to say about this food too. It comes without added sugar, fillers and artificial preservatives. On the other side prebiotics, probiotics, omega-3, antioxidants and amino acids are added to support the well-being of your little friend.

Pros:

  • No added sugar
  • No artificial colors and preservatives
  • No fillers
  • Mix of seeds, veggies and pellets
  • Encourages foraging habits
  • High amount of fiber

Cons:

  • Too many pellets
  • Expensive for the amount of food you actually get

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

SLEEK & SASSY Garden Small Animal Food for Hamsters

  • Protein: 12.75%
  • Fat: 6.75%
  • Fiber: 9.75%

Sleek & Sassy is one of the less known brands for small pets. However, they use only natural ingredients for their products and so we thought they should get into this list.

This is a mix of seeds, veggies, fruits and pellets. But you will find only a few from the latter. All ingredients are wholesome and you will find even the shell from the peanuts in this food. Artificials like colors, flavors and preservatives are not used in this product. Therefore you will find a lot of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Pros:

  • Natural ingredients
  • No artificials
  • Added vitamins, minerals and amino acids

Cons:

  • Low amount of protein

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Vitakraft Hamster Treat Stick – Apple And Honey

This is no regular food but a very tasty treat from Vitakraft. Apple and honey are baked together with some selected seeds. Additionally, the product is supplemented with minerals and vitamins so that even the sweet treat has a benefit for the diet.

In the center, there is a stick of natural wood that provides long-lasting chewing fun after the original treat was eaten. However, this is a treat that keeps hamsters mentally and physically stimulated. Apart from that most hamsters really love it and can not get enough of it.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Vitakraft Timothy Hay, Premium Sweet Grass Hay

  • Protein: 8%
  • Fat: 1.5%
  • Fiber: 32.5%

This timothy hay is just an addition but not balanced and complete food. This sort of hay is one of the best sources of long-strand fiber which is very important for the digestive system of hamsters. It also supports dental health and provides a lot of vitamins, minerals along with some protein.

Vitakraft only uses hand-selected premium hay that is harvested at its peak of maturity for best nutritious content. The manufacturer set a great store on the quality of the ingredient and so the hay is all grown without pesticides.

For easy usage, the hay is compressed into mini bales which are packed into a resealable bag.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Conclusion

The hamster food we liked most is the Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food. It is complete, balanced and offers very good nutritional values. Outstanding is the variety of ingredients. We could not find food with such an amount of different seeds, grains, vegetables and fruits. Apart from that the pellets ensure that your little friend gets everything he needs. Essential vitamins and minerals are added, prebiotics and probiotics support the digestive system and the structure of the pellets is good for dental health.

The only thing we would complain about is the added sugar together with the artificials. So if you want to go the extra mile, you can choose to go with the Oxbow Essentials. But as that product is pelleted only, you will have to serve some varied seeds for enrichment and foraging as well.

FAQ

How much should you feed your hamster?

Hamsters eat between one and two tablespoons of their food per day. But do not be surprised if their food bowl is empty very often, as they store food away and burrow it in their bedding for bad times. This is the reason why we advise you to not feed ad-lib.

Should you remove stashes?

When you clean the cage it is likely that you find the food storage of your furry friends. Most hamster owners have a bad feeling about taking it away. Have in mind that you won’t do their health a favor if you let the food in the cage. Mold and bugs can occur very fast when you leave the old food in the cage.

What else can hamsters eat?

Apart from their day to day diet, it is important to feed your hamsters some treats vegetables and fruits. There is a huge variety of things they can eat like broccoli, cucumbers, apples, raspberries but be aware of feeding them apple seeds, almonds and chocolate. You can visit PETMD for a whole list of things that are suitable for hamsters.

Can you feed a hamster bird food?

Hamsters can eat bird food and most of them like it very well. Even though bird food does not harm your hamsters’ health we do not recommend feeding it as standard food. This is mainly because it can lack nutrition.

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