As with any pet, good quality food and clean, fresh water must be provided at all times. The precise nutritional requirements of hamsters have not been fully determined. In the wild, these animals feed on plants, seeds, fruit and insects. Current recommendations for feeding in captivity are pelleted rodent ration containing 15% - 20% protein. These rations are typically processed as dry blocks or pellets designed for rodents. Seed diets are also “formulated” and sold for hamsters, but these diets should only supplement the basic rodent pellet. Seed diets contain high levels of fat, which can easily become rancid if improperly stored. In addition, when fed alone, these diets often lead to obesity and potential nutritional deficiencies. Other supplements to the diet may include sugarless breakfast cereals, whole wheat breads, pasta, cheese, cooked lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables; all should be fed in moderation. Hamsters eat approximately 12 grams of food daily, and usually consume the majority of this at night. Hamsters are like little pack rats that often hoard their food in a corner of their cage, making it seem as though they eat a lot more than they really do.
Water is easily provided in water bottles equipped with sipper tubes. This method also helps keep the water free from contamination. Always make sure that the tunes are positioned low enough to allow the pet easy access. Juvenile hamsters need special consideration; they need to be strong enough to use the sipper tube as well as able to reach it. The average hamster drinks approximately 10ml of water per 100 grams of body weight (average adult size). Although this amount is only a fraction of the total bottle volume, fresh water should be provided daily, not only when the bottle empties.