Food

Hamster food

Finding the ideal hamster food remains a challenge. A dwarf hamster is an energetic animal with a high metabolism. It is therefore important that he can get all the nutrients he needs from his food. Think of: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide the body with energy, just like proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are particularly important for the brain and red blood cells. The brain cannot even do without glucose, a type of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are mainly in grain products, but also in products such as pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. Carbohydrates can be classified in two ways:
  • Single or multiple
  • Digestible or indigestible
Single carbohydrates
Single carbohydrates are often referred to simply as sugars. They consist of one or two molecules. They occur naturally in fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). The sugar we add to food is obtained from sugar beet or sugar cane. The chemical name for this is sucrose or sucrose. Sucrose consists of two molecules: glucose and fructose.
Multiple carbohydrates
The multiple carbohydrates, also called complex carbohydrates, are chains of simple carbohydrates (glucose molecules). Depending on the number of molecules, one speaks of oligosaccharides (3-9 molecules) or polysaccharides (more than 9 molecules). They occur in grains (bread, rice, pasta, …), potatoes, legumes and vegetables and do not taste sweet. Multiple carbohydrates can be further divided into digestible carbohydrates or starch and non-digestible carbohydrates or dietary fiber. These only occur in plants. The multiple carbohydrate glycogen occurs in the liver and muscle tissue of animals.
Digestible carbohydrates
Digestible carbohydrates are absorbed by the body. This allows them to provide the body with energy. Simple and multiple carbohydrates are all examples of digestible carbohydrates.
Indigestible carbohydrates
Unlike digestible carbohydrates, non-digestible carbohydrates are not absorbed by the body. However, these carbohydrates have an important function in the body. They ensure that the intestines and digestion are kept going. Non-digestible carbohydrates are also known as dietary fiber If the body gets a lot of carbohydrates and fats, the body will get the energy from the carbohydrates and store the fats in the body. This increases body weight over time. That is why it is important that the nutrition of hamsters is balanced.

Proteins

Proteins are important. It provides calories and amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks for the protein in body cells. The body can make some amino acids. Others must come out of the food. These amino acids are called essential amino acids. Another word for protein is protein. There are animal and vegetable proteins. Animal proteins are mainly found in meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs. Vegetable proteins are mainly found in bread, grain products, legumes and nuts.

Fats

Fats are a source of energy, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. There is unsaturated and saturated fat. Fat in foods always consists of a combination of both. Function of fats in the body:
  • Supply of energy
  • Transport of fat-soluble substances (vitamins, minerals, etc.)
  • Fat is a raw material for the building blocks of cell membranes, hormones and prostaglandins
  • Fat gives a feeling of satiety that lasts longer than sugar

Distinction in hamster food

A distinction is made in age. Younger hamsters, for example, need more fats where older hamsters benefit more from extra fiber. That is why it is important that you look closely at the composition of the food you buy. Not only age is distinguished in age of your hamster, but also in type. You can imagine that a Syrian hamster needs different food than a dwarf hamster. A dwarf hamster needs real dwarf hamster food, which is smaller than the food for a Syrian hamster.
Young dwarf hamsters
Young dwarf hamsters have small cheek pouches and are more comfortable with small granular food. Take Versele-Laga Mini Hamster Nature or Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert for example, these have very small grains, seeds ect.
Adult dwarf hamster
When we talk about an adult hamster, we are talking about a hamster between 12 weeks and one and a half years old. In principle you can go in all directions in terms of food for adult hamsters. For my hamster I use Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert, but you also have other brands, for example Vitakraft Menu Vital Dwarf Hamster.
Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert is high quality food. The makers have really immersed themselves in eating some hamster in the wild and have made a nice composition of it. The food is also very suitable for animals sensitive to diabetes. Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert is not a cheap feed, but in my opinion you do get value for money.
Composition of Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert:
Plata millet, canary seed, pea flakes, quinoa seeds (6%), barley, bean sprouts (5%), puffed amaranth (5%), barley flakes, oat kernels, silver millet, perilla seeds (3%), red millet, carrots, linseed (2% ), grass seed, parsnips, dandelion leaves, lucerne, mealworms (1%), yarrow, narrow plantain, sesame (1%), calcium carbonate, beetroot, marigold blossom, camomile blossoms, rose blossoms, wheat semolina bran (24% millet)
Crude protein 15.5% · Crude oils and fats 6.5% · Crude fiber 7% · Ash 5.5% · Calcium 0.5% · Phosphorus 0.4%, Vit. A 6,500 IE ∙ Vit. D3 520 IE ∙ Vit. E / all rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate 58.5 mg ∙ Copper as copper (II) sulfate, pentahydrate 3.4 mg ∙ Iodine as calcium iodate, hexahydrate 0.5 mg ∙ Iron as iron (II) sulfate, monohydrate 32.5 mg ∙ Zinc as zinc oxide 42.3 mg ∙ Manganese as manganese (II) oxide 22.8 mg ∙ Selenium as sodium selenite 0.1 mg
A cheaper, but good alternative is Vitakraft Menu Vital Dwarf Hamster. Vitakraft Menu Vital Dwarf Hamster is one of the oldest food for dwarf hamsters. The food has been around for a long time and is very popular because of its small-grain structure.
Composition Vitakraft Menu Vital Dwarf Hamster:

 

Grain 67.8%, Seeds 9%, Vegetables 6%, Nuts 3%, Shellfish, Minerals
Crude protein: 14% Vitamin A 6173 IU, Vitamin D3 637 IU Selenium 0.036 mg, Iodine 0.01 mg Zinc 4.80 mg, Manganese 3.36 mg, Iron 10.20 mg

My personal preference is for Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert. This has no compressed chunk and contains ingredients that come from the original habitat of the hamster, for example, different types of millet. In addition, the diet contains VitalPlus Granivor. This is a special blend of vitamins and trace elements, tailored to the needs of the dwarf hamster. Quinoa, amaranth and mung beans provide the necessary energy and flaxseed, sesame and mealworms complete the diet. I am very satisfied with this mix and Harry loves it.

How much food does a dwarf hamster need per day?

A Dwarf Hamster needs an average of 3 to 6 grams per day. This is high-quality food that contains all nutrients and what they eat at a minimum. It is important to look at the nutritional analysis of the hamster food and use it as a guideline. This minimum applies only to dry food…. so flowers and any herbs are out of this. Flowers and herbs are NOT the main food of a dwarf hamster. Do not overfeed your hamster. Hamsters like to hoard their food naturally, if you give them little food you deprive them of the opportunity to hoard.  
Tip: feed your hamster in the evening. Hamsters often wake up at night and then look for food.

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