Just like other animals and living beings, the Russian dwarf hamster needs to eat food that is well-adapted to its lifestyle to help keep it in good health. So, how should you feed your Russian dwarf hamster? In this article, we'll share some helpful tips!
To begin with, the Russian dwarf hamster is an omnivore. This means that they can eat both plants and insects. It is also important to note that the Russian dwarf hamster requires a daily protein intake that must be meticulously respected. A protein deficiency could have serious repercussions on its health.
What your hamster should eat
The first thing to do is check the composition and vitamin concentration levels of the food you buy. A quality product should have the following levels:
Protein: between 15% and 17%
Fiber: between 2% and 10%.
Fat: between 2% and 9%.
Minerals: between 4% and 7%.
There are two staple foods that you should feed your Russian hamster:
Seed mix: this type of food is closest to the Russian dwarf hamster's lifestyle. It is made with grains, plants, fruits or vegetables and it contributes to its dietary balance. Moreover, as the Russian hamster is an outstanding sorter, this type of food will allow it to sort out what it wants to eat first or later. However, be careful not to fill your hamster's bowl until it is empty. Deficiencies could quickly appear if it doesn't eat its whole portion.
Extrudates: Extrudates are also a healthy and balanced food for hamsters. It is generally more expensive than a seed mixture and is a great alternative for its health. Moreover, this alternative prevents your hamster from sorting out its food and suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Also, extrudates maintain your hamster's oral health.
Fruits and vegetables
Giving fruits and vegetables to your hamster is not forbidden. On the contrary! Fruits and vegetables can keep your master's diet diverse and is an important source of fiber for it. However, be careful not to give a large quantity of fruits and vegetables to your pet. They should only be given in small quantities and at room temperature. You should also check the cage regularly to make sure they the food is not rotting. Hamsters can't tell the difference between expired and non-expired food and it could disturb its digestive system. Lastly, you should not give your hamster canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, raw beans, or potato sprouts.
Russian hamsters love eating small insects. In their natural habitat, they regularly eat them. From time to time, you can give your hamster insects that you can find in pet stores. You can mix them with oats and serve them at room temperature.
How much should you feed your Russian dwarf hamster?
Contrary to what you might think, the amount of food to give your hamster daily is very small. It should fit in the hollow of a teaspoon. However, it is important to regularly check your pet's weight and to check with your veterinarian to know what the optimal quantity for your hamster is.
There are a few exceptions
Just like humans can snack on a little square of chocolate at snack time, hamsters also has the right to have treats from time to time. Treats help to develop their taste buds and give a boost to their heart. There are all kinds of treats: cereal bars, dried fruit, etc. But be careful: the treats you can find in supermarkets are very sweet and very fatty. They should be given in extreme moderation, at a maximum of one time per week.
Don't forget water!
Even if your hamster drinks very little, it is important to change its water every day. It is also important to check regularly if the bottle is working properly to make sure that your hamster can access it at all times. As for the water, choose room temperature water. Tap water is fine. However, it is important that you give your hamster water, and only water. Their digestive system cannot tolerate other drinks.
To learn more about taking care of hamsters, you can read this article: Practical advice when looking to adopt a hamster.
What about you? How do you feed your Russian hamster?