What Russian hamsters eat
If you have decided to have a Russian hamster as a pet and you do not know the food that these small rodents should carry, then you will be interested to know it, so we tell you everything about the feeding of these animals. These animals have to have a balanced diet or, otherwise, problems or diseases may appear.
In general, Russian hamsters do not tend to get sick, but if they do it is usually due to inadequate nutrition, so it is essential to know what we should give them in greater and lesser amounts. Keep reading and know what the Russian hamsters eat and more details about them.
What Russian hamsters eat: their basic diet
Small rodents like hamsters are omnivorous and less herbivorous than chinchillas and guinea pigs. As for feeding a hamster, it is essential that we provide good nutrition, as it will allow you to live longer and with better health.
So, what do Russian hamsters eat? The first thing you should know is that in feeding Russian hamsters you can not miss a good dry feed rich in protein, minerals and carbohydrates, it is the simplest way to give them the basics.
When you buy a feed, it is advisable to look at the nutritional information which is what is normally reflected on the back of each package and informs us what components and how many of them it carries. We will have to check that it has at least 16% protein. However, if this percentage is not reached, we can supplement the feed with fresh cheese or yogurt to reach the necessary proteins, which in some cases, depending on the age and health status of the hamster, reaches 70%.
Many times we opt to buy the cheapest feed in the store and, normally, they have a lot of fat, especially sunflower seeds. The diet of this rodent must be composed of 50% of specific feed for hamsters, 45% vegetables and 5% fruit .
It is important in a good feeding of a hamster: to provide a varied diet, foods rich in fiber (fruits and vegetables) and with few fats, since they do not tolerate them well. The cereals provide carbohydrates. You have to provide proteins, avoid sugary or sweet foods, because like fats do not assimilate them well. Do not make radical changes in the diet. We have to make changes in the food in a gradual or gradual way.
Hamsters grow their teeth throughout their lives, so it is important to offer them some things so they can chew and wear them out. There are food toys that are used for this and that we can buy in a store of accessories and materials for pets.
What Russian hamsters can eat
After these small clarifications, we will go to see how often we will have to give these meals to our little animal, since not all fruits and vegetables are good for them. So, these are the tips on what Russian hamsters eat and how often you can give each food:
- 2 times a week, we can give fruits such as apple, strawberry, melon, grape, mango, blackberries and cherries. If they have bone or seed, they have to be removed, since they are not good for them. In your diet we can also include vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, asparagus and corn. Herbs like hay or clover should be given too. Dandelion loves them and since it is not bad for them we are going to take advantage of it and we will make our mascot happy by giving it to him from time to time, maximum twice a week.
- 1 time every 15 days, we can give them fruits with many calories and vegetables such as lettuce, carrot and cucumber, which should be careful not to be completely fresh. These foods the less water they have already better, although they are not dry or much less rotten, since foods with a lot of water like lettuce can easily produce diarrhea and, being so small, they become dehydrated quickly by diarrhea.
- About sunflower seeds, we should know that although they can eat them well, the less they eat better, because as we have said before they have a lot of fat and, in the long run, they can cause problems.
- Commercial awards such as sticks of dried grains, fruits and vegetables that are foods with honey, which is used to unite the ingredients and make it more palatable, should be offered on rare occasions . It is recommended to give these prizes as a positive reinforcement and because they can gnaw well, however it is not an adequate food nor should you let them eat a bar at once, or in two, but it should be something very sporadic or not directly offer it
- Commercial foods are very complete, but in case we do not have them or if we want to reduce the cost, it can be done by mixing raw cereals like oats, rice, barley, corn and wheat.
- If we add proteins to these components, we obtain a complete food.
- As a complement they can also be offered a little hard bread from time to time.
What Russian hamsters do not eat - do not ever give it to them
Next, we will treat the food that we should never give to our hamster . It is important not to add foods high in sugar or acids, as well as salted or with butter in your diet. They can not eat garlic or onions and we will never give them chocolate, almonds, lemon, aubergines or parsley.
We have to avoid buying mixtures of seeds alone to use instead of the feed or specific croquettes for them, because although it is the cheapest, it is not the healthiest for them, it will be an excess of carbohydrates and fats. The ideal is to buy feed in the form of commercial pellets and supplement the diet with what is mentioned in the previous section.
Feeding problems in Russian hamsters
Russian hamsters are prone to suffer certain problems due to inadequate nutrition, so it is very important to take care of it as best as possible and make sure everything is fine. Although we are sure that you will do very well, here we leave you the health problems of the most frequent Russian hamsters related to poor diet .
- One of these problems are diarrheas, which may be due to having eaten too much fiber or food with too much water, apart from the one that already drinks from your drinker, so we must visit the vet or check that the food that we are supplying does not contain an excessive percentage of fiber.
- If a hamster has irritated lips or nose it is also a sign of poor diet.
- Another frequent disease is diabetes, which is due to a diet too high in sugar.
- Finally, these rodents are characterized by having abazones (sacks in the cheeks to transport food), so if we do not remove the leftovers from each day, we could cause a problem in the cheeks or in the mouth in general.
Other care of the Russian hamster
Finally, we recommend you read this other article on How to take care of a Russian hamster, so that you have more idea about its most basic care, what it means to offer you a care and indicated care so that it is healthy and happy with you.
Also, we recommend that you take it to the veterinarian before any change of appearance or behavior.