When you own a hamster, your top priority should always be their health and wellbeing. Ultimately ensuring that your furry friend is living a happy and comfortable life in your home. So it’s no surprise we may start to ask questions like whether our hamsters can die from over eating.
The quick answer is yes, hamsters can die from overeating because they can become bloated, have difficulty moving around, and ultimately experience dehydration, which can be fatal.
There are also other serious health risks associated with over eating that we’re going to cover in the following sections. It’s important to provide your hamster with a well balanced diet and ensure they are getting enough activity each day.
So let’s cover all that and more in the following article!
How Much Food Should I Be Feeding My Hamster?
The first question that is often asked when it comes to a hamster’s diet is how much food you should be feeding your furry friend every day. They are tiny animals, so it makes sense that a tiny amount of food should be provided, but tiny is relative, so let’s break that down.
You should serve your hamster approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons of a well-balanced diet each day. That amount should be split up into two servings each day, once in the morning and once at night.
A hamster’s diet should consist of a balance between protein, carbs, and fat, but sometimes it’s hard to know what is rich in each of those nutrients. That’s why hamsters have their own specially designed food pellets that make up a balanced diet without needing to provide different foods.
Their diet should consist of about 90% of those pellets and the remaining 10% should be fresh fruit and vegetables to add variety and treats to their daily meals. However, fruits and vegetables should be given in moderation and always monitored to ensure your hamster isn’t gaining unnecessary weight or seeing adverse side effects from sugar.
Ultimately, hamsters are active creatures and with more activity comes more of an appetite for a well-balanced diet.
How Often Should I Be Feeding My Hamster?
As we know, you should be serving your hamster 1 to 2 tablespoons of a well-balanced diet each day, which consists of specially designed pellets as well as fruits and vegetables. But it’s also important to be serving them on a regular schedule to ensure consistency in their eating habits.
You should be feeding your hamster once to twice a day depending on your hamster’s behaviors, generally once in the morning and once later at night.
Hamsters are nocturnal, but sometimes in a busy house their sleep schedule may be inverted. That’s why it’s important to ensure you hamster always has access to food, but not enough that they may start overeating, which can lead to serious health conditions.
You should providing a similar amount of food each day when they are young and slowly increase the amount as your hamster grows. Generally, your hamster should finish their food each day while maintaining a healthy weight.
If you start to notice obesity, over eating, sluggishness, or any other negative effects, ensure that you revisit their diet and consult with your veterinarian to get a professional opinion.
Aside from a well-balanced diet, you should also be providing your hamster with a fresh supply of water each day. Their water bottle or bowl should be changed at least once per day to ensure the water is fresh, never stale, and always full. Hamsters can’t get water on their own, so it’s important that you always ensure they have access to a fresh supply of water at all times.
What Foods Make Up a Balanced Hamster Diet?
As we’ve mentioned multiple times in this article so far, a well-balanced diet is so important to a hamster’s overall health. Just as humans need a variety of foods and nutrients, so do hamsters, including proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
So let’s cover what makes up a well-balanced diet for your hamster:
|Specially Designed Pellets||Specially designed pellets are formulated to fulfill the general nutritional requirements for your furry friend. They often contain a surplus of protein, which is harder to find naturally in other foods, they are low in fat, and contains lots of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for your hamster to live a healthy life. These pellets should make up roughly 90% of your hamster’s diet.|
|Fruits||Fruits are a great treat for your furry friend because they provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that may not be found in their specially designed pellets. However, fruit is naturally high in sugar and not very healthy for hamsters, which is why it should be reserved as an occasional treat.|
|Vegetables||Vegetables are another great treat for your hamster and should only make up approximately 5% of their diet. These foods contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, but too many vegetables can cause digestive issues, so they are recommended as a treat alongside fruits.|
|Seeds and Nuts||Seeds and nuts are a solid source of protein and fats for your furry friend, but because they are high in fat they can lead to obesity, so they should be given sparingly as an occasional treat, similar to fruits and vegetables.|
|Grains||Grains like oats provide beneficial carbohydrates for your hamster, which give them the energy they need to maintain their active lifestyle. However, not all grains are easy to digest, which is they should be given sparingly as a treat.|
All of the foods listed above are good to include in a well-balanced diet for your furry friend, but the keyword here is well-balanced. You don’t want to give your a hamster diet that is exclusive of just one of those foods, however the specially designed pellets are a minor exception.
And always consult with your veterinarian to get the most relevant opinion for your hamster, especially if you are noticing negative behaviors, such as sluggishness, diarrhea, or obesity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered hamster’s eating habits and over eating, let’s answer a few of the most common questions that are asked alongside this topic.
Can Hamsters Be Overfed?
Yes, hamsters can be overfed, which can lead to serious health issues, such as obesity and sluggishness. And with such a high metabolism, hamsters need to balance activity and food consumption to maintain a delicate balance.
Can Hamsters Die From Not Eating?
Yes, hamsters can die from not eating, which can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and eventually death. That’s why a balanced diet of the appropriate amount of food is so important to your hamster’s health. And always ensure they have a fresh supply of food and fresh water.
Can Hamsters Eat Themselves to Death?
Generally, no, hamsters will not eat themselves to death because they will try to regulate their food consumption since their bodies can only handle a small amount of food per day. However, if you are giving your hamster an endless supply of fruit they may be consuming too much sugar or other unhealthy nutrients, ultimately leading to sickness or even death.
If you’re interested in reading more about hamsters and their eating habits, check out the following articles:
- Feeding Your Hamster – PDSA
- Hamsters Food, Diet, And Treats – Caring Pets
- Tiny Bugs in Hamster Food – The Pet Property
A hamster’s diet is one of your main responsibilities as a pet owner and it can ultimately mean the difference between a happy and comfortable life and serious illness. That’s why knowing what a well-balanced diet looks like is so important.
And lucky for you, it’s not that hard. A well-balanced diet consists of approximately 90% specially designed pellets and 10% fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, and more.
As always, monitor your hamster’s behavior, eating habits, activity, and more to ensure they are getting enough nutrients every day and living a happy and comfortable life.