Hamsters – The Tiny Little Pets That Require a Quality, Healthy Feeding Regime
There are various species of hamsters, most having their origins in Syria. They make a very popular household pet but different breeds have different requirements so you should check beforehand as they can be very territorial and some are best kept as single pets. It is a well known fact that they are nocturnal creatures so do not expect much activity from them during the day. They may become irritated if disturbed and this may be frustrating if they are in a household with a very young family.
With regard to hamster food, "hoarding" is one of their more endearing habits and as they are very partial to a late-night snack they tend to save some of their favorite food in their pouch and consume this later. As with most small rodents, it is not a good idea to feed them with heavily processed foods and anything that contains too much sugar so check carefully as many foods can contain sugar in various forms. Never feed them with chocolate or sweets and other canned foods are citrus fruits, rhubarb, onions and tomato leaves. If in doubt, check with your hamster food supplier or perhaps buy a handbook for guidance as feeding the wrong food can have dire consequences in a small animal.
With regard to good foods, these are many and varied, and it is a good idea to introduce each new food very gradually into their diet. Sometimes feed the new food one day and wait a few more days before trying it again. If there are no adverse effects then you can continue to use it and as always each hamster is different and may react in a bad way to certain things as do humans so it is really a case of trial and error. In the case of fruit and vegetables, always rinse them thoroughly with water to remove any residue or chemicals which may be present from the place of purchase. It is interesting to know that if you use a small bowl to feed the hamsters they tend not to "hoard" as much as they see the bowl as they place to keep the food safe therefore eliminating the possibility of stale food being hidden around the cage and possibly causing bacterial problems.
You can buy very good hamster food mixes from a reputable pet shop which are tailor made to provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients to ensure good health. This feed can be stored as long as it is kept in a cool dry place and mainly contains seeds, oats, barley and suchlike. Ideally you should use the food mix as a basis for their diet and supplement this with fruit and vegetables. Luckily, you can safely feed your hamster with seasonal fruit and vegetables all year round and there is a wide array to choose from but the important thing here is to firstly check the unsafe foods as these are many fewer and easier to remember. As with all animals you should always supply fresh drinking water via a drinking tube and this should be changed on a daily basis.
A hamster's teeth grow continuously and attention should be paid to this by using using a small piece of wood which has not been treated with anything or a safe chew stick purchased from your hamster food supplier to ensure that it has something to gnaw on theby keeping the growth rate to a minimum level.
Source by Gail Anderson