What Do Hamsters Eat? (Guide To A Healthy Hamster Diet)

Is it dinnertime for your hamster?

Are you ready to fill up his little food bowl so he can chow down at his leisure?

But hang on a second. There’s something you need to know first.

What do hamsters eat?

You’ll find a 5-star menu for your hamster and all the tips you need to prepare it coming up in this article.

Each day, your hamster should consume one tablespoon of food comprised primarily of hamster food pellets. Additionally, hamsters consume small amounts of herbs, hay, fresh fruits, and vegetables. They can have the occasional treats like nuts, boiled eggs, and mealworms.

But what kinds of fruits and vegetables can your hamster eat and how often should they have treats?

For more details on this finger-licking menu, check out the rest of this article.

hamster eating cheese

What Should Be In a Hamster’s Diet?

Hamsters eat about one tablespoon worth of food each day. (12 grams)

Their diet is similar to that of other small animals like guinea pigs and gerbils but it is not exactly the same.

Do you like a midnight snack?

Well, so does your hamster! They consume the majority of their food at night.

But perhaps you wonder…

…What do hamsters eat? And what can hamsters not eat?

Coming up next, we’re going to give you a rundown of everything that should be in your hamster’s diet. This will ensure you’re giving your furry friend the nutrients he needs to stay fit and healthy.

Join us as we take a browse at your hamster’s favorite menu. What should be on his plate every day and what foods are best left as occasional treats?

Let’s find out!

Hamster Pellets

What can your hamster eat?

We’ll start by looking at the foods that must be the bulk of your hamster’s diet. These are hamster pellets.

Healthy hamsters eat a commercial pelleted diet. This food is full of protein, fat, and carbohydrates which are all good for your hamsters’ health.

Hamsters need to eat pellets containing antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics. This helps to support a healthy immune system.

Additionally, hamster pellets support oral and digestive health. A hamster’s teeth are also kept in check by them as they continue to grow throughout the course of its lifetime.

Finally, choose hamster food pellets that are specifically for hamsters. They have a similar diet to guinea pigs but it differs from other rodents so avoid mixing their food.

We recommend a pro-health bag of hamster food such as this one on Amazon.

These food bags usually contain the seeds hamsters like to eat and need for nutrition such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds.


Another dish that makes up the main meal for your hamster is fruit. Although some hamster pellets include pieces of dried fruit, your hamster also needs to eat fresh fruit.

But what kind of fresh fruits make up the ideal hamster diet?

Here is a list of them.

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Most berries

Always wash the fruit thoroughly before giving it to your hamster. Prior to combining fruit with hamster food, make sure to remove the seeds.

Hamsters respond exceptionally well to fresh fruit, one of the human diets. But be careful not to offer them too much.

Asides from quantity, be careful of the types of fruit you give your hamster.

What can hamsters not eat? What kind of fruit should they avoid?

Key Takeaway:

They shouldn’t eat any kind of citrus fruits. This includes oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and the like.

Encourage your hamster to eat fruits by cutting them small and leaving them in the bowl alongside his pellet food.


red syrian hamster 1

Some of the run-of-the-mill pellet hamster foods include dried vegetable pieces that are good for hamsters. But nothing beats mixing fresh vegetables into your hamster’s meal.

What kind of vegetables should you feed your hamster?

They like anything they would snack on in the wild. This includes the following scrumptious veggies.

  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Green veggies such as cucumber and broccoli
  • Leafy greens like romaine lettuce and spinach

Again, make sure you rinse your vegetables before you put them in your hamster’s food bowl.

Are there any vegetables your hamster should steer clear of?

Most certainly!

Do not give your hamster onions or garlic to eat. It should not eat raw rhubarb or rhubarb leaves as these are poisonous to most rodents.

Hamsters love fresh greens. But vegetables are for your hamster to enjoy as part of a balanced diet which you must predominantly make up of pellets.


What’s next on the menu?

Herbs. Your pet’s diet should also include fresh herbs.

Key Takeaway:

Wild hamsters love to eat fresh herbs and they are awesome for your hamster’s health. Like fruits and vegetables, they make up just a small percentage of the ideal diet for a hamster.

What kind of herbs should you feed your hamster?

Most hamsters like to tuck into the following herbs.

  • Parsely
  • Dill
  • Oregano sage
  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Mint

Herbs are great for your hamster because of their high nutritional value. But you must only give them to your small animal from time to time.

Timothy Hay

Now here’s something every hamster owner should put on their small animal’s menu. Timothy hay.

It’s important to note that not all hamsters eat hay. But, they can use it to make a comfortable place for sleeping and nesting.

We recommend Timothy hay like this bag on Amazon.


Now here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It’s treat time!

What makes a meal even more delicious is when you follow it up with a really mouthwatering dessert. Go ahead, and make the occasional treat part of your hamster’s menu too!

What kind of treats are your pet hamsters’ favorites?

While these might not be your go-to cheat day foods, hamsters go bonkers for some of the following grub.

  • Nuts
  • Boiled egg
  • Mealworms

What kind of nuts are good for you to feed your hamster?

He’ll enjoy walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts. You can give your hamster sweet almonds, but, please, be careful not to accidentally give them bitter almonds which are lethal for hamsters. However, it’s important to remember that hamsters shouldn’t eat nuts as part of their regular diet.

hamster eating

Fresh Water

So, we’ve covered everything you must be feeding your hamster, but what should it wash down all this tasty grub with? You’ve guessed it, the only beverage on your pet hamster’s menu should be fresh, clean water.

Change your hamster’s water daily.

Wild hamsters drink straight out of puddles of water, so your pet hamster is perfectly capable of drinking from a bowl. Even still, it is best you pour his drinking water into a bottle.

Here are a couple of reasons why.

  • To prevent your hamster from knocking the bowl over
  • To prevent the water from coming into contact with contaminants such as nesting materials
  • To help keep his bedding drier for longer

Diet FAQs

So, you’ve just found out that hamsters love to tuck into juicy fruits. But which fruit can they eat?

Take a look.

Can Hamsters Eat Grapes?

Yes, they can. But they should only eat grapes on occasion due to their high sugar content.

Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries?

Yes, they can. Tiny bites every couple of days are fine.

Can Hamsters Eat Bananas?

Yes, they can. Small cubes of bananas every couple of days are a nice treat.

Can Hamsters Eat Blueberries?

Yes, they can. One or two blueberries every couple of days is enough.

What Vegetables Can Hamsters Eat?

Hamsters also love veggies. But which vegetables are ok for him to snack on?

Here’s a list.

Can Hamsters Eat Carrots?

Yes, they can. But they should only eat carrots on occasion due to their high sugar content.

Can Hamsters Eat Celery?

Yes, they can. But be sure to remove the string from it as this could be a choking hazard. Cut the celery into small pieces.

Can Hamsters Eat Lettuce?

Yes, they can. Hamsters love the occasional piece of Romaine lettuce.

The Right Hamster Food For Your Furry Friend

Hamsters don’t eat a lot, just a tablespoon of food per day. Even still, it may be tricky to know what you should feed your pet hamster so he can get all the nutrition he needs.

As we saw in this article, hamsters like to eat a varied diet made up of different types of food. But their main course, as it were, should be commercial food pellets.

Asides from this, these small pets also enjoy eating seeds, fruit, cucumber, broccoli, and other vegetables. Some eat hay and draw important nutrients from a small portion of herbs.

Supplying your pet with these types of foods and fresh water will help him to stay healthy.

Have you found the information about feeding your hamster in this article interesting? Then make sure you check out the other odd pet advice on our website. There you’ll find great feeding tips for different pets like guinea pigs and other small animals.

Thanks for reading!

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