Hamster of the Moment Winner!
Information for Hamster Owners:
Safe and Unsafe Foods & Treats
Tip: Use the "find" function on your webbrowser to search for a food
Some fruits and vegetables that are safe for hamsters to eat, but please read the notes next to the foods, include:
Alfalfa - usually given dry. High in calcium. Use caution when feeding as too much calcium may cause health problems.
Avocado (skinned and seedless)
Basil - herb, hamster may not like it.
Broccoli - related to cabbage, feed occasionally.
Brussel Sprouts - small amounts occasionally - not all hamsters like the strong taste. Also related to cabbage.
Calabrese - Also known as summer broccoli or the usual broccoli everyone is used to. Related to cabbage so feed occasionally.
Cabbage - should only be fed in small amounts occasionally as too much can cause health problems
Carrots - can include greens if they're fresh looking and clean.
Cauliflower leaves and stalks - small amounts occasionally as it's in the same family as Cabbage.
Chard, Swiss - also known as leaf beet, silverbeet or perpetual spinach.
Cherries - stones should be removed as they can be dangerous if gnawed
Chestnuts - sweet chestnuts only, the ones you would eat, not horse chestnuts
Coriander - green leafy herb, not all hamsters will like herbs.
Corn Salad - a kind of winter salad lettuce
Curly Kale - should only be fed in small amounts occasionally as too much can cause health problems. Related to cabbage.
Dates - remove stones before giving to hamster. Only very small amounts as these are sticky-sweet.
Fenugreek - limit to no more than 15 seeds a day if giving to a diabetic hamster. Not all hamsters like it.
Kale - should only be fed in small amounts occasionally as too much can cause health problems. Related to cabbage.
Kidney Beans (cooked)
Lettuce - small amounts occasionally - in excess it can cause liver problems
Mange Tout - flat podded peas normally used in stir fries.
Mint - herb, not all hamsters will like this but is generally liked.
Mung - I assume the bean sprouts. Make sure you have a good source of these that is very very clean.
Pak Choi - Also known as bok choy. Also related to cabbage so small amounts only.
Parsley - a good tonic
Peach - Do not give the peach pit to a hamster
Pear - again, no seeds are to be given.
Plums - stones should be removed as can be dangerous when gnawed
Radish - stick to mild varieties such as mooli or daikon. Only feed occasionally as it's related to cabbage.
Raspberry Plant leaves - beneficial for diarrhoea, make sure they aren't the rough part of the leaf before giving to hamster.
Sage - herb, hamster may not like it.
Squash (summer or winter varieties)
Sugar Cane - small amounts very occasionally. Too much sugar can cause tooth decay in hamsters.
Swede - also known as rutabega
Turnip - related to cabbages, limit amounts given.
These are field greens that can be fed to hamsters. Only feed items you are absolutely sure of what they are (there are a lot of unsafe to eat look-a-likes out there) and not from near roadsides where the plants can pick up high concentrations of heavy metals. Be sure to wash them and dry them well before offering the hamster.
Bramble (Blackberry) leaves
Cow Parsley - Be absolutely sure you can tell the difference between Cow Parsley and Poison Hemlock! They look very similar, see this page
Dandelion - leaves and flower, use with caution, can be a diuertic (increases urine output).
Marigolds - Only applies to Calendula which has yellow/orange daisy-like flowers, not French or African marigolds which are round and ruffly in shape usually.
Sow Thistle - I'd recommending blanching before use due to the spines
Miscellaneous other things you can feed to hamsters:
Acorns - ripe without bugs in them. Limit quantity as they're high in tannic acid.
Biscuits - avoid amaretti biscuits as they contain bitter almonds
Brazil Nuts - small amounts. High in fat.
Bread (fresh or stale)
Breakfast Cereals - small amounts, stick to low sugar varieties.
Cake - but not chocolate cake. Avoid almond flavoured cakes as they are sometimes contain bitter almonds.
Chicken (cooked) - unseasoned
Coconut - small amounts, high in fat.
Crickets - preferably from a clean source such as a pet shop.
Dog Biscuits - avoid the black charcoal ones and check the ingredients list
Egg (scrambled or boiled) - avoid giving too much egg yolk to older hamsters. High in fat. Egg white, cooked, is fine for all ages.
Fish (cooked) - deboned and unseasoned. Not all hamsters like this.
Mealworms - Preferably from a clean source such as a pet shop.
Meat (cooked) - choose unseasoned lean pieces.
Millet - either on a "spray" or loose.
Nuts - limit these due to high fat.
Pecan Nuts - limit these due to high fat.
Peanuts (shelled or unshelled) - limit these due to high fat.
Pistachio Nuts - limit these due to high fat.
Pumpkin seeds - Generally give dried and toasted. A slightly healthier alternative to nut treats as it's lower in fat.
These should not be fed to hamsters:
No Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, kumquats, limes)
Kidney Beans (raw)
Onion or any other onion family member such as chives, spring onion, leeks, shallots, garlic, etc.
Potato tops/greens - poisonious to humans if consumed as well as to hamsters.
Green potato - poisonious to humans if consumed as well as to hamsters. This is potatoes that have been exposed to too much light.
Rhubarb leaves - poisonious to humans if consumed as well as to hamsters.
Tomato leaves - poisonious to humans if consumed as well as to hamsters.
(there are probably many many more wild plants out there you shouldn't feed to hamsters)
Rabbit Mix (containing antibiotic ingredients)
Sweets - boiled, sticky, gummy, etc. - can get stuck in cheek pouches. Causes tooth decay.
Toffee - can get stuck in cheek pouches. Causes tooth decay.