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3 Best Food for Hamsters (Quick List & Review)

Finding the best hamster food for your little furry friend is one of the most critical parts of being a hamster owner.

With the sheer number of options out there, it can be quite a task just trying to figure out what to give your hamster – at least we thought so, and that is why we have put together this guide based on the following criteria:

  • Protein content between 12-16%
  • Should not get dusty
  • Keeps itself fresh
  • Be something your hamster actually likes!
  • Be crunchy so the hamster’s ever-growing teeth are kept at a reasonable length

These are the main considerations when it comes to hamster food…

… and below, you can see our top three picks when it comes to hamster food.

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Best Hamster Food Top Picks at a Glance

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Preview
Editor's Choice
Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix 2lbs
Oxbow Animal Health Garden Select Hamster And Gerbil Food, Garden-Inspired Recipe for Hamsters And Gerbils, Non-GMO, Made In The USA, 1.5 Pound Bag
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Pet Hamster & Gerbil Food, 3 Pound
Good for
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Key Features
Made from soya, whole peanuts and sunflower seeds
Non-GMO food made from three varieties of grass hay to support variety
Pelletted food made from a variety of corns and seeds
Top Benefit
High protein content of 16%, even picky eaters love it
High protein content of 16%, good value for money. Crunchy pieces good for teeth health
Crunchy pieces that are good for teeth health
Editor's Choice
Preview
Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix 2lbs
Good for
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Key Features
Made from soya, whole peanuts and sunflower seeds
Top Benefit
High protein content of 16%, even picky eaters love it
Check Latest Price
Preview
Oxbow Animal Health Garden Select Hamster And Gerbil Food, Garden-Inspired Recipe for Hamsters And Gerbils, Non-GMO, Made In The USA, 1.5 Pound Bag
Good for
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Key Features
Non-GMO food made from three varieties of grass hay to support variety
Top Benefit
High protein content of 16%, good value for money. Crunchy pieces good for teeth health
Check Latest Price
Preview
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Pet Hamster & Gerbil Food, 3 Pound
Good for
Both Syrian and Dwarf Hamsters
Key Features
Pelletted food made from a variety of corns and seeds
Top Benefit
Crunchy pieces that are good for teeth health
Check Latest Price

3 Best Foods for Hamsters (Quick Review)

#1 Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix

tasty treats

Having researched both organic and non-organic hamster food and seeing hamsters indulge in their food, our opinion is the Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix is the best hamster food out there.

Key Features

Pelleted food, ensuring your hamster doesn’t “cherry-pick” its favorite pieces.
Rich in natural antioxidants for general health and immune support
Contains both prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
Natural preservation gives it a longer life (i.e., it doesn’t spoil quickly)
Good value for money – lasts about four months
The high protein content of 16%
Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix 2lbs
  • A Nutritionally Balanced, Tasty Mix For Hamsters
  • Promotes Natural Foraging
  • Best Ever Taste - No Added Sugar
  • Added Vitamins For Health & Vitality
  • Suitable For All Breeds Including Dwarf Hamsters

#2 Oxbow Food

oxbow food

If you’re looking for GMO-free hamster food, we’ve also got you covered.

The Oxbow food is an excellent alternative to the Farm Hazel Hamster mix and has a lot of the same qualities. The only drawback of the food is that some users have reported it tends to become crumbly.

That is something we have yet to experience, and to us, it has always been delivered, and our hamsters have loved it.

Oxbow Animal Health Garden Select Hamster And Gerbil Food, Garden-Inspired Recipe for Hamsters And Gerbils, Non-GMO, Made In The USA, 1.5 Pound Bag
  • Non-GMO formula
  • Features three varieties of grass hay to support variety & meal enrichment
  • Contains unique, high-quality garden ingredients that mimic those found in your pet’s natural foraging environment
  • Uniform, complete, balanced formula

#3 Kaytee Forti Diet Pro

kaytee forti diet pro

If you are looking for something more budget-friendly for your hamster, the Kaytee Forti Diet Pro is a great choice.

Compared to our two top picks, the main drawback and difference is a somewhat lower protein content coming in at 13.5%.

However, this is still very much within the recommended range (12-16%) for hamsters and thus, there should be no worries.

In addition, it has a lot of natural ingredients that are rare for more budget-friendly options. Finally, the pieces are good chunky ones, helping keep your hamsters’ ever-growing teeth the correct length.

Sale
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Pet Hamster & Gerbil Food, 3 Pound
  • Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
  • A nutritionally complete diet for hamsters and gerbils
  • All natural

What Do Hamsters Eat?

By nature, the hamster is omnivorous [1] (just like humans). That is, they eat both plants and meat.

A hamster diet would consist of seeds, grasses, and a few insects in their natural habitat [2]. This should naturally be reflected when you decide on what hamster food and treats to buy.

And while you do not need to feed your hamster insects, the best hamster food will contain some protein to mimic this.

Also, because the hamster diet differs from that of other animals, you should not tempt fate by buying a dog, rabbit, or different types of food – your hammy needs hamster food!

Take a look at the video below to see what should you feed your hamsters.

How Much Does a Hamster Eat?

Surprisingly, despite their size difference, both Syrian Hamsters and Dwarf Hamsters eat between 1/3 to 1/2 ounce of food daily (10-15g) and consume about six tablespoons (30ml) of water per day.

Related: What Do Hamsters Eat for Snacks?

What Do Hamsters Eat? Seed Hamster Food vs. Pelleted Hamster Food

pellets in hand, one of the best food for hamsters

First of all, you should buy natural hamster food without any additives.

Hamster food does not go through the same rigorous testing as food for humans, and as such, the easiest way to ensure you don’t feed your hamster anything bad is to buy food without additives.

So, read the labels and ask questions.

With that out of the way, there are two types of hamster food [3]:

· Seed Hamster Food

· Pelleted Hamster Food

Historically, seed hamster food was the main and only food choice when getting a hamster. While it can and often is okay to use, it does risk your hamster being picky, only eating its favorite seeds.

This will lead to a diet that is not balanced, and worse; your hamster will not get all the vitamins it needs.

Thus, if you go with seed hamster food, ensure the food bowl is empty before giving it more food. Otherwise, its diet will not be sufficiently balanced.

a bowl in front of hamster filled with best food for hamsters

For that reason, Pelleted hamster food is now seen as a better option.

In it, everything is mixed together, so every bite your hamster takes is by definition balanced.

Pelleted food usually looks like small biscuits, cookies, or cereal.

Due to the ensured balanced diet, we also recommend getting pelleted hamster food.

What is Pelleted Hamster Food?

Pelleted foods, a relatively recent innovation in animal nutrition, gives your hamster the optimal nutrition in an easy-to-eat, easy-to-serve format.

Each pellet (or nugget) contains a baked, healthy blend of grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

As pelleted foods are also specifically made for other animals such as birds and rabbits, it is crucial to buy pelleted foods specifically for hamsters.

You should feed your hamster one or two times a day.

Hamster Treats: Good Treats for a Happy Hamster

 

a hamster eating treat

Just as for dogs, cats, and every other pet imaginable, giving snacks to your hamster is something you want to do.

You see your little hammy eat the food, which gives joy to you and, more importantly, the hamster.

But what are the safe hamster treats to eat?

Luckily, most healthy food is, and below, we have a list of what your hamster can eat and what it can’t.

In general, what you should avoid is giving your hamster sugary foods.

Dwarf hamsters are especially prone to diabetes [4] and should not be given sugary treats, and in general, it is better to stay from sugary treats no matter the hamster breed.

When you give your hamster a treat, you also keep these rules in mind:

  • Feed a small cube of fruit or vegetable.
  • Give it 2-3 times a week (no more than 10% of the total hamster diet).
  • If you provide carrots, make sure to remove them when they get small (otherwise they can get stuck in your hamster cheek).

List of Food Your Hamster Can Safely Eat

  • Apples (no seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice (cooked)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese​
  • Crickets
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Grapes
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Hay
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Meal worms
  • Nuts (no almonds, unsalted)
  • Peanuts (unsalted)
  • Peas
  • Plain air-popped popcorn (i.e., no butter or salt)
  • Potato (cooked)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cooked chicken
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweet potato
  • Whole grain bread or toast
  • Whole-grain cereal (no sugary cereal)
  • Whole wheat pasta (cooked)

 

List of Food You Should Not Give to Your Hamster

  • Almonds
  • Apple seeds
  • Beans (raw)
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruit
  • Garlic
  • Junk food
  • Onions
  • Potatoes (raw)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salty foods
  • Sugary foods
  • Tomato​

What if I Have a Fat Hamster?

You should always closely watch for any weight changes in your hamster. While hamsters are somewhat round by nature, it is essential to make sure your hamster’s stomach doesn’t become too round.

If it does, you should start feeding it less. This is most easily done by cutting its food ration slightly.

Don’t forget to check Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix!

Supreme Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Tasty Mix 2lbs
  • A Nutritionally Balanced, Tasty Mix For Hamsters
  • Promotes Natural Foraging
  • Best Ever Taste - No Added Sugar
  • Added Vitamins For Health & Vitality
  • Suitable For All Breeds Including Dwarf Hamsters

Resources

  • 1. Hamsters – Nutritional Requirements [Internet]. www.pfma.org.uk. [cited 2022 Jan 14]. Available from: https://www.pfma.org.uk/hamsters-nutritional-requirements#:~:text=In%20their%20natural%20habitat%20hamsters
  • 2. Bradford A. Hamster Facts: Diet, Habits & Types of Hamsters [Internet]. livescience.com. 2014. Available from: https://www.livescience.com/27169-hamsters.html#:~:text=Hamster%20habitat&text=In%20the%20wild%2C%20they%20like
  • 3. petMD. What Can Hamsters Eat? Carrots, Grapes, Tomatoes, and More | petMD [Internet]. Petmd.com. 2016. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/exotic/nutrition/evr_ex_hm_what-can-hamsters-eat
  • 4. Miedel EL, Hankenson FC. Biology and Diseases of Hamsters. Laboratory Animal Medicine. 2015;209–45.
hammy eating the best hamster food

What foods are your hamster’s favorite? Please let us know in the comments below!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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