Hamsters are tiny adorable creatures that many people keep as pets. They are common household pets. Children especially love to keep hamsters as pets as they require low management, are easy to care for, and their diets are not complicated either!
Since hamsters are considered rodents, just like mice, you must be wondering if you can feed your hamster mouse food. And while it is true that your hamster is part of the rodent family, however, mouse food may not be suitable for your little pet hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Mice Food?
The answer is no. While both are rodents, they have different dietary needs and require different foods to maintain their health. Mice are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat.
Hamsters are herbivores. They also require fiber to keep their digestive system up to par while mice do not need fiber. While they are both similar, their diets are different. Mouse food might not sustain your pet hamster.
While they both do eat seeds and grains, they require different nutrients to thrive. Mice would eat about anything when they’re hungry but hamsters do not. They have preferences and some foods might affect their health for the worse.
Keeping these potential dangers in mind, it’s better to feed your hamster their specific diet rather than mouse food that could lead to health risks, further shortening their already short life spans.
What Do Hamsters Eat?
A hamster’s diet should generally consist of 15% protein and 5% fats, they are herbivores and require fiber. They mainly feed on seeds, grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These small creatures are fond of crunchy greens and yummy fruit like strawberries.
You might want to consult the pet store you bought your little friend from to see what kind of diet they fed to the hamster. As hamsters are averse to change, it might be difficult for them to adjust to a new diet. So, it is better to feed them what they were fed and eventually, gradually make changes to their diet if needed.
A lot of pre-made food packages are available in every pet store which would contain all the nutrients your pet hamster would need. This is the easier option to opt for when you’re concerned about whether or not your hamster’s diet is enough for them to live a healthy fulfilling life.
Seeds and grains play an essential part in your pet hamster’s life when maintaining a well-balanced diet. They can be added to their meals graciously and your hamster would enjoy it a lot as they love textured foods. Hamsters have a particular liking towards sunflower seeds, while it is the one they love too much, it’s also important that they feed on other seeds to not miss out on other important nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables are something that needed to be added to a hamster’s diet to give them variety while keeping in mind that hamsters hoard food, stuffing them in their cheeks and then storing it in their cages for later. For that reason, you need to be careful in feeding them fresh fruits and vegetables, making sure that they are limited in number in case your pet hamster might store them for too long so that they become moldy, which can affect your hamster’s delicate digestive system, resulting in health problems that you want to avoid. Too much fruit and vegetables might even upset their stomachs, hence it is important to be aware of their quantity and be careful!
One tablespoon of pellets every day is also important. Timothy Hay can also help your pet hamster maintain their teeth health.
How To Feed Your Hamster?
You should feed your hamster once a day. Either morning or evening, hamsters eat at a regular time so it’s important to pick one. But they also snack throughout the day. Feeding time for hamsters doesn’t have to be boring. But rather, your hamster loves to explore and run around its cage. One way to engage your little pet is to scatter food around its cage so it can look for it and make it so they can have fun searching for their food. It is especially helpful when you have multiple hamsters as they can be territorial over their food bowls, having food scattered around can make it easier for them to feed themselves.
You can also buy treats that hang from their cages at pet stores to encourage play and keep them healthy and energetic.
Hand-feeding your hamster is also a good way to build a bond with your little pet.
What Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Hamster
Like any other responsible pet owner or pet lover, you have to know what foods could potentially be dangerous for your beloved pet. Foods high in sugar and fat should not be fed to your hamster.
While fruits and vegetables are a staple in your pet hamster’s diet, avocados are toxic for them. It’s also best to keep your pet hamsters away from tomato leaves as well as citrus fruits. Caffeine and chocolate are “NO” as well.
Let us start by saying, we understand the situation you are in right now. We have been there more times than you would think. It is often that one accidentally buys the wrong zip bag or packet of hamster food and realizes it once it is too late. In such a circumstance, the best way to go about this is to research and satisfy your parents’ instincts. There is also a common misconception amongst people and specifically new pet parents that since hamsters and mice resemble their body needs must be alike as well. Following this tradition, several manufacturing companies have started the production of food which can be fed to mice as well as hamsters and gerbils. Nonetheless, out of all of this, the major concern for all pet parents is whether food of such a sort is safe and healthy. To make it easy for you to draw a final decision, we gathered all the facts to face and answer the question; can hamsters eat mouse food?
Is it safe for my hamster to eat mouse food?
Unfortunately, there is no standard way to answer this question. If we are speaking, you may feed your hamster mouse food in a particular scenario. Having said that, being a pet parent it is integral to realize that mice and hamsters have entirely contrasting bodily needs. To begin with, hamsters are omnivores and accordingly require a balanced quantity of both meat and vegetables in their diet. Mice, on the other hand, are 360 degrees opposite. They are herbivores by nature and a large part of their diet is plant grains and foods. However, they can eat meat, etc. as well. Being aware of this obvious difference, the conclusion that we draw is that mouse food would be harmful to your pet hamster.
Mouse food is only to be fed to your pet if there are no other alternatives. Petting and grooming two pets simultaneously is a task in itself. Where it is true that their dietary requirements are an important part of it, you might have forgotten to buy their respective food bags. It does not make you a bad pet parent at all. Instead of beating yourself down for it, you should give the food option available a fair try.
How do I know if mouse food is harmful to my hamster?
Any pet animal belonging to the rodent or the house rat group is commonly resistant to minor diseases and issues. Since they are well adapted to live in the wild and thrive off easily available food, they have a naturally strong immune system. Henceforth, there is little you have to worry about when feeding your pet any food which you are certain about.
However, if you are unable to put the concern you have for it to rest, it is completely understandable. In such a situation the very first and the best option is to surf through the internet or check in with your vet. They are sure to guide you in line with what is best for your adorable little pet.
Nonetheless, if you are unable to get access to either of the two mentioned options, the last resort is to experiment. It can go two entirely different ways; your hamster will either find love at first sight or it will reject the food blatantly (which is extremely less likely). But trust us when we say, the experience altogether is exceptionally exciting. The only factor that you need to be mindful of is that you do not feed the food of the experiment in excess. Begin by feeding it in a minimal amount and observing for unusual behavioral or bodily changes. If there are no red flags, you are good to sail the ship off!
Do hamsters like mouse food?
As we mentioned above, a few things aside, hamsters will eat anything. Similarly they are expected to develop a likeness for food quickly too. Especially if the food gives them a good opportunity to nibble and munch. In addition to this, if you feed your two pets at the same time, they are bound to build curiosity for the opposite meal. Yet regrettably, they can’t be given everything that they so adore. No matter how desperately you wish you could put all that they desire at their feet. Ah! The perks of being a parent. If you want to let your pet hamster dig into a bowl at the hand of your ‘parent emotions’, we would strongly suggest otherwise.
What are the differences between a hamster’s diet and a mouse’s diet?
The list in response to this would be never-ending, there are that many differences. However the most apparent and largely impacting is fiber. Hamsters require fiber in their daily diet. If it lacks fiber in its diet, there is a huge possibility of it being vulnerable to gastrointestinal issues. On the flip side, mice do not need fiber as actively. Correspondingly, if you conventionally feed both your fluff adorable pets the same diet; mouse food. One of them is bound to be continuously deprived, if not both of them. As a motto, the last thing that should be compromised when it comes to pets is their diet.
What are some healthy alternatives to mouse food?
Allow us to help you out in choosing a better meal for your hamster’s diet in replacement of mouse food. Knowing that hamsters are omnivores, the variety of food options for them is vast in comparison. Vegetables are always a healthy go-to for food or treat. To make it more trouble-free and easing for you we have listed down all the vegetables that you may serve it; (most of these mentioned are easily available and packed with nutrients for your hamster’s needs)
- Sweet peas
- Green peas
We’ll let you in on a secret too; hamsters like vegetables best if they are lightly boiled in comparison to raw vegetables. You can thank us later!
Hamsters are great pets to keep, they’re low maintenance and adorable little creatures that entertain themselves and don’t disturb your day-to-day life. It’s easy to care for one, and not only that, these cute animals just add a loving presence in your household, especially if you bond with them now and then.
Now that you know if your pet hamster can or cannot eat mouse food, it’s easier to understand that they have different dietary preferences. It’s important to be aware of all the things that might be hazardous for your pet hamster.
If any other concerns might arise, it’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian.