To bite or not to bite? That is the eternal hamster question. Hey guys! It’s Em, and today I am joined by my little hamster Wookie Latte, who’s a little bit shy, and we’re going to be talking about hamster nutrition. “Hamshter”? “Hambshter”? “Hamster” nutrition. [sped-up voice] He is my rescue hamster, and I say “rescued” because he was found outdoors in a park in a box, by a friend of mine who walks dogs for a living. [back to normal speed] Now, a lot of people think that hamsters only eat seeds and nuts because that’s typically what you find when you go and buy a seed mix from the stores. Hamsters are actually omnivores. They can eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and even some meat. Typically when you go to the pet store, you tend to find something that looks like this: Basically a bag of food with a seed and mixed grain. But what a lot of pet shops fail to tell you is that hamsters are actually omnivorous. They eat a whole plethora of foods: everything from fruit, vegetables, to the usual seed, and yes, even a little bit of meat, too. So I’m here today to talk to you a little bit about hamster nutrition. It is quite important to switch up the diet a little bit, because if you’re just feeding seeds and nuts and cereals, it can get a little bit boring. And they’re gonna have optimum nutrition if you give a little bit of variation. Put it this way: it’s kind of like living off of cereal for the whole of your life, even though that you’re an omnivore. Would you do that? No, so please don’t do it to your hamster. This is for Syrian hamsters, and also for Syrian hamsters who don’t have diabetes. if your Syrian hamster has diabetes, please consult your vet. or if you think that your Syrian hamster might have diabetes or any other hamster you keep, please consult your vet. So, grains and nuts. A couple of things that I keep in the house that I like to feed to Wookie Latte – in small portions, mind you – are his usual seed, which I scatter feed, which means I don’t just put it in a bowl. I kind of scatter it because it means he has to go and look for it, and that gives him a bit of enrichment. Kind of gives him a bit more excitement when it comes to his regular day-to-day activities and always having something on a plate. He has to actually go and find his seeds. I give him a mixture of sunflower seeds, he sometimes has flax seed. You can also feed a little bit of pistachio, you can feed a little bit of walnut. Remember, walnut is very, very fattening, so only feed a little bit of walnut at a time. Everything in moderation. Moderation is the key. Some other grain-type foods, carbohydrates, that you can feed to your hamster, which you might have around the house: little bits of cooked pasta or spaghetti. Now, I know that sounds weird, but honestly, they love it as a treat. As a treat! It shouldn’t be every day. I give Wookie Latte, who is running on his wheel, I give Wookie Latte one piece of penne pasta every three or four days. You can also do the same for brown rice. You can use white rice, but it’s not as good and nutritious for them as brown rice. So you can get them a little bit of brown rice, or the edge of a piece of toast as well. Vegetation! This is where I’m going to have to run a whole load of things off pretty quick. Vegetables! A couple of vegetables that you find around the house quite commonly: sweet potato. They love sweet potato, but make sure that you cook it first. Don’t feed your potato raw. Give them a little bit of cooked sweet potato, and they will thank you forever and ever and ever. Corn on the cob! They love a bit of corn on the cob. Take it off the corn, I just feed a little bit of sweet corn, so I get two or three pieces of sweet corn a couple of times a week, And I scatter them, and Wookie Latte absolutely adores them. He loves them so much that I have replaced his store-bought treats, which were like a yogurt-drop-type thing, I don’t know, and I’ve replaced that with corn, and he loves corn. If he’s going to calm down in my hands, it’s because he’s eating a piece of sweet corn. [imitating hamster eating sounds] Who doesn’t like sweet corn? Sweet corn is the best! It’s so much fun going in, and it’s fun on the other end too… [giggles] Celery! Your hamster can eat celery. Give a little bit, make sure that it is washed. If you can go organic for any of these foods, that is far better to do because then you know there’s no harmful pesticides on there. In fact, coming to pesticides, another food which is fantastic and a really great treat which you might see in a dry form in your pet store is dandelion. They can eat the stalk, they can eat the leaves, and they can eat the head as well. But make sure if you are gonna feed dandelion, if you go out and collect it yourself, please, please, make sure that the area you are collecting from is not treated for pesticide. If you can grow your own dandelions, that is great. Make sure you wash any dandelions from outside because you don’t know if you have dogs peeing on them or pesticides, just make sure you wash, wash, wash, and please try and get them as natural as possible. Cucumber! Now, here’s a very interesting thing about cucumber, is it’s very high in water. And what happens when the hamster eats lots of things with water, things like lettuce and cucumber? [pooing noises] Diarrhea everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Which you don’t want. Because if your hamster honestly gets diarrhea, it can get dehydrated very, very quickly. If you suspect that your hamster has diarrhea, take it straight to the vet. Don’t be giving it any Imodium or any over-the-counter medicines, go straight to your vet. And for that reason, if you’re going to feed any cucumber, minuscule amounts. Tiny. Tiny. Tiny! Amounts. And they love a bit of good cooked parsnip. I like parsnips, too. I like them glazed. Don’t give them glazed parsnips. Just bog-standard, roasted parsnip. With nothing on. Nothing at all. Also watercress. Now, watercress is a fantastic food for that. You can give them little handfuls of it, and you can watch them. It’s really sweet. They just stuff it in their mouth, so they seem to really love watercress, so watercress is fantastic, too. Peas! Any peas you can really cheaply buy, shop-bought peas. You can get them like peas in water, let me see if I can insert something for you. Where is it gonna come up? [tongue click] Over here. Shtop – shop – port… shop-bought peas! I buy them in water, that’s just a lot cheaper. There’s no nastiness in there. Not mushy peas, garden peas. So you can get your peas in water. You just pick out one or two at a time. You can feed maybe two or three of those in a day, so two or three little peas you can feed. The rest, eat yourself! They’re good for you. Don’t forget to eat your greens. Now fruit! Fruit you want to be sparing with, but fruit, they can actually eat things like banana, little nub of banana, they will love that. In fact, what I do with Wookie Latte is I get a little bit of banana, and I smear it in a line across some of these willow sticks. Like little willow sticks I have, and he has to go along and eat it up like that whilst balancing. Again, it’s a little bit of enrichment for him. So you can feed a little bit of banana, but sparingly because it’s very high in sugar. And remember what sugar does. You have too much sugar, what you gonna get? Fat. And diabetes possibly. So you want to look out for any signs of obesity or fattiness or diabetes as well in your hamster, so just a little bit. Grapes! You can feed grapes. What I do, I like to half the grapes, because again they’re quite watery, so I half the grapes. I take out the seeds – not that they’ll do too much damage, I mean that is debatable, but I just to be on the safe side, I take out the seeds. Tomato. Hey! It’s a fruit. Did you know that? Yes, tomato is a fruit. Tomato, you can feed a little bit. Again, don’t feed any seeds. Organic is better. Don’t feed tomato vine! Ever! Just don’t do it. Just feed them the actual tomato itself, and a very very little bit. I’m talking an amount that can balance on the tip of my finger over there. A tiny little niblet of food. Ah! Peaches! Peaches they like without the stone, don’t put the stone. A lot of stones for a lot of fruits can be poisonous. What else am I missing? There’s something I’m missing. Citrus. No citrus. And by citrus, I mean things like lemon and grapefruit. Anything like that, don’t feed it. The only kind of exception here is kiwi. You can feed a little bit of kiwi, and they really do enjoy it. Apple you can feed as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s green apple or brown… apple…? Don’t feed brown apple. Do you get brown apples? Red apples or green apples are absolutely fine to feed. Your hamster will really enjoy those. Again, I use them as a very seldom treat for Wookie Latte. Now, here’s where it gets interesting! Meat and protein. Your hamster can eat meat. Now, there are lots of care sheets online that you can look up which swear by feeding a little bit of cooked chicken or a little bit of cooked beef, but I’m thinking to myself, hang on a second. I mean in the wild, is the hamster likely to come across cooked beef? No. Is the hamster gonna come across cooked chicken? No. But what your hamster might come across in the wild is carrion. Carrion are dead, deceased animal. So I do feed Wookie Latte – in small portions, mind you – is chopped up chick. Which I buy online, and I will insert a video around here, so that you can see. I hope that didn’t gross you out too much. It’s just one of those things in life. Animals need to eat meat. So I have that for my snakes, for some of my lizards, for my ferret, and also a little bit as well for Wookie Latte. And he enjoys a little bit of chopped up chick. If that’s not for you, that’s fine. There are alternatives, which will come to you right now. Crickets! Brown crickets are very, very common to come past. Most pet shops will have brown crickets because people who keep reptiles and other exotics really rely on brown crickets. They can be annoying because they sing quite a lot. I personally like it, makes me feel like I’m somewhere tropical at night, but if you chuck these into your enclosure, Sometimes some hamsters will chase after them. Wookie will do it. He will quite ferociously hunt for brown crickets. He really, really likes them, gives him his exercise. He’s not just on his treadmill, He’s actually hunting for his food. Now a great treat and a fantastic source of protein and a little bit of fat too, is mealworms. Mealworms are phenomenal and your hamster will love mealworms, like just guaranteed. Go out there, get some mealworms. If you’re not going to use up the whole batch, you can feed your birds outside as well. Trust me, a little handful of these just chucked outside, and you’re gonna have every bird in the vicinity coming down and thanking you like you are their god or goddess. Thank you! Some people like [to] feed the dried mealworms, and there’s not that much in them, that’s kind of like eating potato chips. Depending where you are, probably not in North America because I think it’s illegal, but locusts. Or you can go out and find them yourself. Or breed them yourself, even better! Locusts are fantastic too because they are slower moving than brown crickets, and it gives your hamster to sort of scurry on after them and learn how to hunt. Foods to avoid! This is very, very important. We are not going to be feeding any of the following because take my word for it, you will likely kill your hamster. Onion, no. Froot Loops, no. Avocado, no. Garlic, no. Spring onion or scallion, no. Candies, like candy canes, no! Pizza! Cheese! Just please, use your head. And if you’re not sure, consult someone on the internet, or in a forum, call your veterinarian, look up a care sheet. Please just use your head, don’t be throwing any rubbish in at your hamster. If you have any other recommendations of your own, then please do share them down below! Let that knowledge train go round and round and round so that we can help everybody become a better pet owner. And at the end of the day, this channel is all about that, is looking after your animals properly, promoting animals, promoting healthy keeping of them, and healthy mindfulness in all sorts of animal [snap] ways. If you enjoyed this video, then pop your comment down below, let me know. Give it a little thumbs up if you did like it, and if you didn’t then you can feel free to hit that thumbs down button. I don’t care. Go ahead, do it. [pfft; false begging] Please don’t do it, please! You can also check out my Facebook, my Twitter, my Instagram. My Snapchat… I don’t Snapchat half as much as I should, but I will for you. Just for you. [ding] If you haven’t already, please do subscribe to my channel. It always gives me a little ego boost whenever I see somebody has liked my videos enough. And these videos take a lot of time, you know? They do take time. They take time for editing and filming and getting more pretty and dolled up as much as I can— [cell phone rings] What was that? 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