Getting your first hamster can be very exciting. The first play with your hamster or his first meal served can be equally exciting. But inexperience and excitement easily led to overdoing such things.
So can you overfeed a hamster? No, it is not recommended. Overfeeding your hamster could raise several issues, including heart problems, malnutrition, and obesity. And all of these contribute negatively to your hamster’s life expectancy. So consider overfeeding a poison for your little buddy.
But it is indeed hard to find a proper measure of your hamster’s appetite. Hence, we are providing a thorough guide to help you find the perfect balance between when to feed your hamster and when to not.
Can You Overfeed A Hamster?
No. It’s not recommended. Most hamsters tend to hoard food in their mouth. It is a survival mechanism for them to survive in the wild. Being so low in the food chain, they prefer to hoard food in the pouch and that is the root of the overfeeding problem.
You give them a bowl full of meals, it takes seconds before the bowl goes empty. It creates an impression in the owner’s mind that his hamster is very hungry as it empties the entire bowl in seconds. Thus, we end up filling our little buddy’s bowl over and over again. Until our hamster is obese.
And that’s why hamsters are generally so prone to overfeeding. Besides, they are nocturnal species, so it is hard to monitor their eating habits at night.
What Is The Correct Measure For Feeding A Hamster?
Hamsters are generally classified into two groups, dwarf hamsters and Syrian hamsters. Dwarf hamsters are the normal house hamsters that we pet, while the Syrian hamsters are a much bigger counterpart to dwarf hamsters.
Dwarf hamster normally requires about 1 tablespoon of food daily. There are many species of dwarf hamsters. Depending on your hamster’s breed, they may require a bit more or less than 1 tablespoon of food.
A general rule of thumb to get a proper measure of your hamster’s appetite is by observing his plate. If he is not finishing his meal or he is leaving a lot of seeds left on his plate, you are overfilling his bowl.
Syrian hamsters generally require about 2 tablespoons of food a day. Since Syrian hamsters are much bigger in size, they require a lot more food compared to dwarf hamsters.
Even though the Syrian hamster is a single breed of hamster, your hamster appetite may still vary. As mentioned earlier, observe his plate. If your hamster is leaving a lot of food behind, try reducing the amount of food served.
But do not exceed the recommended feeding measure unless, on occasion, you intend to treat them.
Diet Plan For Your Hamster
To achieve the best possible dietary plan for your hamster, it is recommended to contact a vet. Your hamster may have certain nutrition deficiencies or allergies, which will vastly alter the diet plan. But a general overview of a hamster diet is given below.
|Oats, wheat, milk, cooked potatoes, cooked rice
|Small bits of chicken, fish, or beef Cottage cheese
|Vitamins and Minerals
|Carrots, spinach, broccoli, sunflower seeds
Here is a video to help you get a better idea about your hamster’s daily diet:
Does Overfeeding My Hamster Cause Diarrhea?
Yes. Overfeeding your hamster could cause digestive problems such as diarrhea. We have put extensive effort and attention into a proper diet for your hamster and for good reasons.
And being small and fragile, hamsters are particularly much more vulnerable to life-threatening effects during diarrhea. Much like us, diarrhea is caused by excessive eating and our digestive system not being able to cope with digesting the extra food.
It is also an effect of intaking excessive amounts of the wrong sort of food. So we should be particularly careful how much our hamster eats and also what he eats and how often. Likewise, to suit the hamster’s digestive system, it is better to circulate different meals.
Not only does it prevents our little hammy’s taste buds from getting stale, but it helps with digestion too.
Heart Problems In Hamsters
Another of the lethal effects of overeating is obesity, which in turn contributes to heart problems in hamsters. Much like us, obesity causes excessive fat to form in our veins that interrupts blood flow.
Worsening of such a state could result in heart attack, even in hamsters. Although all hamsters are prone to obesity and heart diseases, females are particularly more prone to it than males, especially after pregnancy.
Due to hormonal changes, female hamsters tend to eat a lot after pregnancy. Without proper effort from the owners, they could also get lazy. Eating more than usual after pregnancy is natural and is nothing to worry about. But if your hamster stops exercising, obesity becomes a threat.
Consequently, females are much more prone to get heart attacks. But this can easily be prevented if we focus on encouraging our mother hamster to exercise and play just like prior to pregnancy.
Malnutrition In Hamsters Due To Overfeeding
Hamsters is very picky eaters. As already mentioned, they will hoard the food away before eating. And will only eat foods of their liking.
Due to overfeeding, they anticipate meals very often. So they will avoid food if they do not like and wait for their next meal. Even if you are giving them small amounts of food but giving them very frequently, they will develop such bad habits.
This could lead to malnutrition as your hamster is only eating a certain type of food. And it could lead to instant obesity if your hamster is only eating sweet foods.If you’re a hamster owner, you might be wondering about what veggies your pet can safely eat or if they can live with guinea pigs. At RodentsFact, we have articles on what veggies can hamsters eat and can hamsters and guinea pigs live together. Our article on what veggies can hamsters eat covers the safe and nutritious vegetables you can include in your hamster’s diet, while our article on can hamsters and guinea pigs live together explores the compatibility and safety issues of keeping these two rodents in the same habitat. By learning about these aspects of hamster care, you can provide the best nutrition and living conditions for your pet.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic that we hope to answer to clear any remaining doubts.
Q: Does Overfeeding Reduce My Hamster’s Life Expectancy?
Overfeeding your hamster induce obesity, and much like us, obesity negatively impacts life expectancy in both hamsters and us. So yes, overfeeding could very well reduce your hamster’s life expectancy.
Q: Does Overfeeding Cause Gastritis In Hamsters?
Gastritis is an indication of the presence of undigested food. The digestive system in hamsters does not always keep up with the excessive food fed, hence can very well induce gastritis.
Q: What Are The Symptoms Of Overfeeding?
Weight gain beyond recommended for your hamster breed, fluffing exceedingly, and watery, greenish feces.
We have extensively discussed the topic can you overfeed a hamster? Let’s answer the question once to conclude. You shouldn’t overfeed your hamster as it could have several bad side effects. They include but do not limit to digestive issues, heart problems, and reduced life expectancy.
As owners, not only do we have to maintain a routine to feed our pets but also take care of what we are feeding our pets and how frequently. Let’s not only adopt pets but also adopt the responsibility to take care of pets.