Best Hamster Food For Taste & Nutrition

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Best Hamster Food

Even though hamsters are small and bizarre creatures, they're capable of providing you with large amounts of love and entertainment. Because of this, it makes sense that owners would want to keep their hamster's health, happiness, and overall well-being as strong as possible. All of these things can be influenced heavily by your hamster's diet. The food that your hamster eats impacts its health, growth, and happiness, so providing your hamster with the best hamster food available is a key to successful hamster ownership!

There are several things to consider when picking the best hamster food for your little friend. Fortunately, we've created a guide to make sure you're as informed as possible about what should be fueling your hamster.

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   Product

OUR #1 RATED

Oxbow
​Animal Health Fortified Food

Nutritionally-balanced pellets that supply hamsters with many essential nutrients while being delicious and lacking fillers.


​Oxbow
​Garden Select Fortified Food

All-natural ingredients make up these pellets, and they come with great flavors and excellent nutritional values.


SupremePetFoods
Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Mix

A delicious mix of several natural ingredients that hamsters love with no added sugar and a lack of fillers.


Higgins
​Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix

A very healthy seed and nut blend that hamsters go crazy for and get a lot of essential and natural vitamins and minerals from.


​Vitakraft
​VitaSmart High Diversity Formula Food

Containing an assortment of high-quality, natural ingredients, this food is great nutritionally and taste-wise.

What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild?

In order to pick the best hamster food, we first need to consider what hamsters eat in the wild. Although we keep hamsters as pets, that doesn't mean that their biology has changed -- they still need the same type of food to be healthy. So, in short, hamsters are omnivores.

This means that they eat both meat and plants in the wild -- really whatever they can find! The most commonly eaten foods are seeds, grains, nuts, cracked corn, fruits, vegetables, insects, frogs, and lizards.

Although hamsters eat a wide variety of different foods, it doesn't mean that they have to specifically eat these foods. What it does mean, though, is that the food that you feed them should have similar nutritional stats to their wild food.

So, as long as the food that you're feeding your hamster reaches these specific nutritional standards, you should be okay. As for what these standards are, we cover this in depth a little further down the page.

How To Properly Feed Your Hamster

There is some disagreement as to how you should feed your hamster. Some owners say that it's best to feed them in the evening when they're the most active, but that isn't necessarily true. Hamsters are active around this time because it's the safest time for them to leave their secure homes and hunt for food.

In the wild, hamsters aren't sure about when they're going to get their next meal. This results in them hoarding their food. As a pet, hamsters will still hoard their food, and they go to snack on this hoarded food several times a day. This is a hamster's preferred way to eat, so make sure that they have enough food to hoard and eat comfortably.

It can be easy to lose track of the food given to your hamster, though. To make sure that you're never leaving any food to rot, keep track of the food that you're giving your hamster. The PDSA recommends 10g of dry food twice a day for Syrian hamsters. This is a baseline, though, and every hamster is slightly different. Because of this, it's important to monitor your hamster's eating and adjust how much food you give them accordingly.

An important thing to note is that most foods will not be entirely nutritionally-complete. This means that in order to ensure that your hamster gets a complete and healthy diet, their diet should be supplemented with other foods. These can include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and specialized protein blocks.

Seed vs. Pellet Hamster Food

Your hamster can live a very happy and healthy life eating only either pellet or seed food. However, there are certain perks and drawbacks to both that may make either one slightly more appealing for you. We'll go ahead and start with pellet foods.

Pellet hamster foods are excellent and are some of the highest-rated foods in our list. With pellets, everything is consistent, meaning that you know exactly what nutrients your hamster is getting based off of what they're eating. This consistency also prevents selective feeding, which is where a hamster only eats certain pieces out of a mix of food. It's also great for hamsters with specific dietary requirements or health problems. However, this food is boring to hamsters due to the uniformity, which doesn't encourage foraging.

Seed hamster foods provide the diversity that keeps food interesting for hamsters. The different types of seeds will keep meal time exciting and engaging, which is a plus. However, hamsters can decide that they don't like a certain seed and stop eating it, resulting in a lot of wasted food and money. 

Really, deciding what kind of food all comes down to personal preference. If you're entirely unsure, getting a seed and a pellet food and testing which one is preferred is definitely an option.

What Defines The Best Hamster Food?

As stated previously, hamsters have specific dietary needs that need to be met through their foods. Unfortunately, most of the popular hamster foods don't meet these requirements. So, when choosing a hamster food, make sure that it does or has these following things:

  • Nutrition - The nutritional value of a hamster food is the most important aspect to consider. A food needs at least 15% protein, around 4-7% fat, and around 6-15% fiber. If the protein is too low and/or the fat is too high, their diet should be supplemented with small amounts of fresh fruit or veggies and treats. Additionally, the best hamster foods have good salt content and no added sugars.
  • Brand - While brand may seem unimportant, when it comes to hamster food, it's something that could be considered. Cheaper food made by an unknown brand is usually cheaper because of it's lack of quality ingredients and presence of fillers, which may fill your hamster but cause malnutrition. Reputable brands have more to lose if their food has bad results, so it's almost always a better investment to get your hamster food from established brands.
  • Flavor - Although hamsters are small creatures, they still have taste buds. Hamsters can tell if their food is too sweet, salty, or bitter, and they're smart enough to know they don't like foods with those qualities! Therefore, you would want to read reviews from owners on how their hamsters responded to the food. Additionally, start with small quantities of the food to make sure that your hamster likes it.
  • Form - Flavor isn't the only "small" detail that should be considered. The form of a hamster's food is important, too. Hamsters need hard food to keep both their teeth the right length and their jaws healthy. Food that's too soft won't work these areas as needed, and hamsters will need supplemental things to chew.
  • Aroma - Hamsters have an acute sense of smell, meaning that a food's aroma is very important to consider. While most foods will not put off a hamster from just its smell, it can contribute to picky eaters rejecting a food.
  • Life stage - You also need to consider how old your hamster is, as younger hamsters have different nutritional needs. The best hamster food for young hamsters is generally just higher in protein (20-24%), as they need it to grow up healthy.

What Is The Best Hamster Food?

We've taken a look at many different hamster foods, taking into account things such as the quality of ingredients, the price per pound, and the physical health and enthusiasm of the hamsters that consume each food. Through this, we've found five foods that would make an excellent choice for your hamster.

Remember, every hamster is different, so while there is a very good chance that your hamster would respond well to the foods listed below, they may also reject it if they've gotten used to another food already.

our #1 rated

OUR TOP PICK

Oxbow

Animal Health Fortified Food

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Oxbow is frequently considered one of the leaders in pet food crafting, and it's very clear why! This Animal Health Fortified Food by Oxbow is easily one of the healthiest foods that you can get for your hamster. With protein around 15%, fat around 4.5%, and fiber between 10-15%, this food is right in the healthy range for hamsters with a little bit of protein supplementation. The pellet design makes for a food that prevents selective feeding, reducing waste and making sure hamsters get a complete diet. Although the looks aren't that attractive, the taste is very appealing to most hamsters, and the texture is great for hamsters to keep their teeth healthy. Fed correctly, this food has been keeping hamsters happy and healthy for years.

Hamster owners that use this food have stated that their hamsters love it. An overwhelming majority of owners say that their hamsters don't leave any of this food in their bowls. Additionally, owners have noticed that their hamsters have healthier coats and noticeably more energy. Overall, most owners and their hamsters love this food, with some owners buying it for years.

A downside to this food is that it is in pellet form, meaning that it's a little boring. However, owners say that their hamsters love the food and the uniformity doesn't harm it. Additionally, the protein level of this food is right at 15%, which requires some added supplementation to really meet all of a hamster's needs.

PROS​

  • Delicious for hamsters
  • Nutrition and vitamin packed
  • No high-sugar fruits and nuts

CONS

  • Only 15% protein

our #2 rated

Oxbow

Garden Select Fortified Food

Quality

Value

Our Rating

As an alternative to the previous Oxbow hamster food, this Garden Select Fortified Food by Oxbow is just as good of a choice. Boasting a 16% protein, 2.5% fat, and 18-23% fiber, this food meets the dietary needs of a hamster with a little extra fat supplementation. Ingredients for this food were picked to mimic those eaten by hamsters in the wild. Whole yellow pea, tomato, rosemary, and thyme give this food a great flavor while staying natural. This makes the food taste great for hamsters, and the uniform pellets also prevent selective feeding.

Owners of this food have also stated that their hamsters love it. Most hamsters that are given this food eat all of it with no problem and even choose it over other foods. Most owners still supplement their hamster's diet with occasional treats (as you should). However, not much supplementation is needed to make sure that your hamster gets the nutrients that it needs.

A flaw of this food lies in the actual structure. Some owners have reported that the food pellets are more "crumbly" than what they'd prefer. This can result in a portion of the food being inedible or ineffective at keeping a hamster's teeth healthy. Other than this structural problem, the food lacks other apparent flaws and would make a great food.

PROS​

  • Garden-fresh ingredients
  • Great nutritional value
  • Tastes great

CONS

  • Crumbly texture

our #3 rated

SupremePetFoods

Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Mix

Quality

Value

Our Rating

SupremePetFoods is known to make some high-quality foods, and this is no exception. This mixed food has 16% protein, 4% fat and 8% fiber, requiring only a little bit of a protein supplement to make it a complete diet. Not only is it good for foraging, but it's also packed with vitamins and minerals to help your hamster grow strong. The mix of ingredients enhance digestive health, encourage foraging behavior, and promote dental wear while having no added sugar. Overall, this is a very budget-friendly food that has great nutritional values.

Many hamster owners are surprised at how much their hamsters love this food. Most hamsters have no problem eating the entirety of the food, so selective feeding doesn't appear to be too much of a problem. Many owners sneak protein blocks into the mix of food (to pad out the protein consumption of their hamsters) and many hamsters have no problem with eating the protein blocks, too.

Although selective feeding isn't too much of a problem with this food, it is still present in some hamsters. This is a problem that really can't be avoided with mixed foods. Additionally some owners of dwarf hamsters have stated that the food isn't the best for them. This is largely because some pieces of the food are large which makes it a bit hard to eat.

PROS​

  • Good nutritional content
  • Quality, tasty ingredients
  • No fillers or added sugars

CONS

  • Hamsters can be selective
  • Larger pieces

our #4 rated

Higgins

Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix

Quality

Value

Our Rating

The Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix from Higgins is the first mixed food on our list, and a fantastic choice for your hamster's diet. 14% protein, 7% fat, and 9.5% fiber make this a great food ​as long as it's supplemented with a higher-protein food. Unlike most mixed foods available, this food has a very minimal amount of fillers. This means that it's loaded up with healthy food such as natural seeds and fruit bits. The food is also air-washed to reduce dust, and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Owners that feed this food to their hamsters say it's the best mixed food available. While there are cheaper foods, this one is actually healthy for hamsters and mostly meets their needs. Most hamsters eat every piece in this food mix, and it's very clear the ingredients are healthy yet tasty for them. When supplemented with protein-rich snacks, this food creates an excellent diet for hamsters.

Of course, a downside to mixed foods is that it can result in selective feeding, and that does happen on occasion. Some hamsters actively avoid the pellets in this mix, with others being fine with eating everything. It's really a gamble if selective feeding will a problem. Additionally, the protein content is a tad low at 14%, but can easily be supplemented.

PROS​

  • No filler food added
  • Primarily seeds and fruit bits
  • Nice nutritional benefits

CONS

  • Not the best for picky hamsters
  • Lower protein level

our #5 rated

Vitakraft

VitaSmart High Diversity Formula Food

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Another great mixed food for your hamster is the Vitakraft VitaSmart High Diversity Formula Food. 16% protein, 3% fat, and 10% fiber make it a great food, but it does have to be supplemented due to the lack of fat. There are ten whole ingredients in this food, which is above average for mixed foods, and the quality of these ingredients is very decent. This food also contains no risky preservatives, but has good added probiotics. The mixture is tasty and diverse, making it a great eating experience for your hamsters.

Hamster owners say that their hamsters absolutely love this food, not struggling at all to eat most or all of it. Hamsters that eat it for a prolonged time have noticeably softer coats and more energy overall. Additionally, the lack of fat makes this food excellent for weight control as added fat to your hamster's diet can be added on your whim.

This food does contain some fillers and added sugars, which is unfortunate but not a substantial problem with this food. Additionally, some hamsters are picky with the food, with some of them not opting to eat the pellets. Despite these problems, when supplemented properly, this food is an excellent addition to a hamster's diet.

PROS​

  • Mostly-complete nutritional content
  • Plenty of natural ingredients
  • Appealing to hamsters

CONS

  • Added sugars and fillers
  • Some ingredients less favorable

Our Choice

All of the foods that we have reviewed are more than suitable for hamsters and contain all of the essential nutrients that they need to live a happy and healthy life. Hamsters are advanced creatures that have specific dietary needs, but despite this, there's a good chance that your hamster will thrive on any of the foods above.

After analyzing all of the hamster food available on the market, we've determined that the best hamster food is
Oxbow Animal Health Fortified Food.

This well-priced hamster food has been specifically crafted for hamsters by one of the leading pet food manufacturers, and it really shows. The benefits that this food brings hamsters, along with its lack of apparent flaws and big focus on fulfilling the needs of a hamster's diet, makes it a very safe choice for the staple food of any hamster.

Zach David
Zach David
Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several other dogs, tarantulas, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners.