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Old 03-11-2018, 06:10 AM  
Hamsters University
Serendipity7000's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,926
Default Re: What food to buy.

It can be difficult to find a good hamster mix for a dwarf hamster. Your Winter White hammy is almost certainly a hybrid unless you got your hammy from a breeder (hybrids are winter whites and campbells interbred over a very long time - they may look like a winter white but still be a hybrid). A hybrid still is a lovely pet hamster, but they can be prone to diabetes, so a sugar free mix and one without a lot of fruit is best.

Out of those, the best quality mix (quality of ingredients) is the Versele Laga snack nature one - however it does contain some fruit, quite high on the ingredients list, and is quite low in protein.

The Jolly Crisp one doesn't seem too bad - also very low on protein but does seem to contain a lot of corn (it lists both maize and popcorn which are both corn).

The Marukan one has more protein (13%) and a reasonable list of ingredients without sugar or fruit. What you could do is get that one and give your hamster supplements to increase protein and variety. They need 18% to 20% protein really and not enough protein can lead to all kinds of conditions.

Supplementing with human food and mealworms could be the way to go (some hamsters won't eat mealworms!) High protein foods are brazil nut, hemp seeds, plain cooked chicken or beef, dried shrimps - as well as mealworms. You could also see if you can get freeze dried chicken pieces which might be easier.

So for example, half a brazil nut a week, as an extra, a mealworm a couple of times a week, and a bit freeze dried chicken or shrimp twice a week. Your hamster will only eat what it needs of these and you'll find out which ones they like.

In addition, supplement with a bit of fresh veg. Just a tiny bit - thumbnail sized. Broccoli, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower, are all fine, or a parsley leaf, a spinach leaf, or a bit of watercress. Not lettuce and cabbage - they can have issues.

Veg can be put out daily and they do seem to very much appreciate fresh veg! Although initially every third day, for a week then every 2nd day for a week and then every day, so their stomachs adjust. Too much veg all at once could give diarrhoea.

The mineral stone isn't necessary and not really recommended these days. The chews don't look very healthy. Can you get those chew sticks which are a piece of wood with food stuck on? It's mainly to help keep their teeth trim. Chewing cardboard can help too so putting cardboard tubes and a tissue box as a hide/toy can help - they often shred the cardboard for their nest.
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