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If you're the enthusiastic, conscientious hamster owner, you probably know a lot about your pet's specific dietary needs. Most of a proper hamster diet comes from a balanced hamster mix combined with occasional fresh treats and sometimes with supplements. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian first.
Healthy Hamster Diet
A suitable hamster diet begins with simple hamster mix. It's not something you put together yourself; it's available at pet shops everywhere. Commercial mixes typically include pellets, millet, cracked corn and sunflower seeds. Regarding portion size, the Humane Society of the United States recommends a sole tablespoon each day, along with a healthy offering of supplementation a few times a week, too -- think certain hamster-friendly fresh fruits and vegetables in tiny bites.
Controlled and small treats are suitable if given only once in a while. A few tiny nibbles of some pizza crust may be a proper occasional hamster treat. Make sure you give him only the crust, however, and that nothing else is on it, whether tomato sauce or cheese. Other foods that are safe in moderation include cooked plain pasta, steamed chicken and unsweetened plain yogurt. New foods can trigger tummy issues in hamsters, however, so make sure to keep amounts very small. Always seek the advice of your vet before you make any dietary introductions, too.
Hamsters aren't the only rodents that can enjoy the rare munch of a pizza crust. Pizza crust is a suitable rat treat, the ASPCA suggests. However, as with hamsters, it is crucial to keep portions small with rats. Large amounts of human foods can bring upon obesity issues in small animals, so take note.
Not all people foods are safe for hamsters, so know what you're doing before you feed your pet anything beyond hamster mix. Your vet is the best resource when you're even a little bit uncertain. Some "everyday" foods are actually very dangerous to hamsters. They include raw kidney beans, citrus fruits, chocolate and other candy, rhubarb, garlic, raw potatoes and pickles.
- Pizza image by Stephen VanHorn from Fotolia.com