Hamsters are great small animal pets, and seem to want to eat anything their little paws can grab. Not all treats are healthy for your little friend, however, so it's wise to check before feeding your hamster something new. When it comes to rice, hamsters can eat raw (uncooked) and cooked rice safely, although some precaution should be taken.
Uncooked Rice vs. Cooked Rice
Rice of any kind should only be given as a treat, and only a couple of grains at a time. As it lacks the nutritional density of seeds or pellets, rice should not constitute the majority of your hamster's meals. Both cooked and uncooked rice are fine for hamsters to safely eat, although uncooked rice is easier for the hamster to store in its cheek pockets. Cooked rice should not be too moist or overcooked, as it could become stuck inside the cheek pockets, and rot.
White Rice vs. Whole Grain Rice
Whole grain or brown rice is a better nutritional choice for hamsters than white rice, as the outer husk of the rice grain has not been removed. This husk contains important B vitamins as well as fiber and iron. However, as rice should only be given sparingly as a treat, the nutritional content is less important than in other elements of your hamster's diet. Both whole grain rice and white rice can be safely eaten.
Other Additions to Your Hamster's Diet
A hamster's diet should consist largely of seeds, nutritional pellets or blocks, and some fresh vegetables and greens. Treats of rice, cottage cheese and small amounts of fruit are fine to give on occasion. Other treat and supplements include whole grain pastas (cooked or uncooked), bread, dog biscuits, hard-boiled egg and dandelion leaves. Try to avoid cereals with sugar, and anything with oil or grease.
Take Caution When Feeding Treats
It is important to note that when feeding rice or any kind of treat for the first time, supervise your hamster to ensure he does not have any allergies or issues with eating the new food. If you are feeding fruit, use small pieces, and be sure to remove any pips or seeds, as these can be quite toxic to hamsters. Never feed a hamster almonds, raw potato, chocolate, onion or kidney beans, as these are all deadly.