The main ingredient of your hamster's diet should not be veggies or fruits. Hamsters need the balanced nutrients of commercial pellets or hamster food. Veggies can be a great nutritional complement as long as you use them as treats, just a small piece every day or every other day. If you find such treats stored from one day to the next, you're feeding too much -- and there's a risk the veggies will rot and make your hamster ill.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and bok choy are good treats for hamsters. Not only do they provide plenty of vitamins -- especially vitamin A -- but they're also a good source of water. Other leafy vegetables to try include Swiss chard, dandelion leaves and kale.
Other Green Veggies
You might need to try a few green vegetables to discover what your hammy loves to eat. Broccoli and cauliflower are favorites among hamsters -- but you might discover your furry one prefers zucchini or cucumbers. Celery, asparagus and limited amounts of cabbage are also acceptable options.
The Rest of the Rainbow
Hamsters enjoy more than just green veggies. In fact, squash and carrots -- two colorful vegetables -- are among hamsters' favorites. In small quantities, some hamsters might enjoy parsnips and radicchio as well as sweet bell peppers and sweet potatoes.
What to Avoid
Just as important as the type of vegetables your hamster can eat are those he shouldn't touch. For example, hamsters should not be given eggplant, raw potatoes -- although small pieces of cooked potato are fine -- or scallions. When introducing a new vegetable, offer only a tiny amount and wait 24 hours to make sure he doesn't develop diarrhea -- some hamsters might be allergic or develop tummy trouble after eating some vegetables, even if those veggies are usually fine for most hamsters.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.