Dwarf Hamster Food List

dwarf hamster food - seedless grapeNot all dwarf hamster food is equal

Dwarf hamster food usually comes in the form of hamster mixes but the occasional fresh food is also fine. However, not all fresh food can be fed to dwarf hamsters as they may be toxic. Different species of dwarf hamsters also have different food requirements. For example, Russian dwarf hamsters such as Winter Whites and Campbells are not able to eat many fresh fruit because fruit are mostly high sugar and these hamsters get diabetes easily. Some people prefer not to feed their Russian dwarves fruit because they think it may cause diabetes. Roborovskis, on the other hand, can enjoy a seedless grape now and then (like my hamster in the photo ^_^)

Some food is toxic for hamsters and pets

And then there are the foods that are toxic or unhealthy for all types of hamsters. The obvious ones are human junk food like potato chips, chocolate, and candy. But there are also food that are seemingly harmless but are still very bad for your hamster. For example, Avocadoes contain a substance that can cause heart failure in pets when eaten in large quantities. Bitter almonds contain cyanide which can be highly toxic to small pets.

Dwarf hamster safe food list

To help you pick the right dwarf hamster food, here’s a list of food for dwarf hamsters that are safe. Unlike other lists on the internet, I have 1) checked that they are safe from various sources12 2) given these food to my hamsters and can confirm that they are safe. I will update the list as I find more food. If a food is not on the list and you would like me to check, please leave a comment below!

Important: Please feed these food in moderation. They should never be used to replace a hamster food mix or pellet

Grains, seeds and nuts:

  • Barley
  • Cashew
  • Flaxseed
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Peanut
  • Pumpkin seed
  • Quinoa
  • Sesame seed
  • Sunflower seed
  • Walnut

Vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Choy sum
  • Cooked potato
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Green bean
  • Kale
  • Okra (a.k.a ladies’ fingers)
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass

Others:

  • Brown rice pasta
  • Boiled egg
  • Mealworm (yikes, but they love it)
  • Grasshopper
  • Crickets
  • Cooked plain salmon
  • Cooked plain chicken
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt

Fruits

You may notice that I didn’t include any fruit. That’s because most fruit is high in sugar and bad for Russian dwarves which get diabetes easily. This is why I think some fruits are okay for diabetic or diabetes-prone hamsters. Don’t give these to your winter white, campbell’s, hybrid, or Chinese hamsters if you’re worried.

  • Apple (without seeds)
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Coconut
  • Cherry
  • Grape (without seeds)
  • Honeydew
  • Lychee
  • Papaya
  • Peach (without pit)
  • Pear
  • Plum (without pit)
  • Starfruit
  • Strawberry

 

Once again, if there is anything that’s not on the list but you would like me to check, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!

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References and further reading:
  1. Safe and Unsafe Foods for Hamsters []
  2. Food for your hamster []
  • Lily

    Can dwarf hamsters eat carrots?

    • Sarah Yee

      Hi! It depends on which species of dwarf hamster. If it’s a Roborovski dwarf hamster, then carrots are fine in small amounts.

      For Winter Whites, Campbell’s and Chinese dwarf hamsters, most experienced owners recommend not to give them carrots because these hamsters are more prone to diabetes and carrot is one of the foods that are higher in sugar.

  • casey

    can they have lattace? (sorry about spelling)

    • Sarah Yee

      Hi Casey

      Yes, they can have lettuce but make sure it’s not Iceberg Lettuce because that contains lots of water and very little nutrients. You want to give them something that has plenty of nutrients, like spinach!

  • Juni

    Can Dwarf hamsters eat corn?

  • FF

    Hi. I really enjoy your blog. Keep it up :)
    Umm one question though. When travelling with pets for long distances, usually we have to put in fruits as a source of hydration for them. What fruit do you recommend for winter whites, given that they’re more prone to diabetes?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah Yee

      Hi and thank you!

      Cucumbers or lettuce would be good as a source of hydration. And in this case since it’s used mainly for hydration (I’m assuming you’ll have no other source of water/water bottle during travel), Iceberg lettuce would be fine.

      If it has to be a piece of fruit, a piece of apple would also do the job. I’ve seen recommendations not to give diabetes-prone hamsters apples and I used to adhere to this too, but have been reading up a little more and it seems apples and some other fruits might not be so bad after all. I’ll be doing a post on this soon and updating the above list with suitable fruits!

      • FF

        Yeah because when using water bottles during travel, the cage tends to get all wet.
        Looking forward to your new posts. Thank you :)

  • Hayley

    Hi, I feed my chinese dwarf hamsters their basic hamster food from the shop but sometimes i jus feed them apple, is this bad? Because the shop that I got them from said I can feed them apple but a lot of websites say I shouldn’t because of the acid? What else should I feed them as I want to spice up their diet!

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah Yee

      Hi, apples are actually fine in small amounts. However, you’ll want to give them their basic hamster food as the bulk of their diet and only give the apple once a week and only a dime-sized piece each time. This is because the apple doesn’t contain all the nutrients that they need.

      The food listed in the post above can all be given to your Chinese dwarf hamsters but remember that whatever you give them should be in small amount and on top of their hamster mix, not as a replacement for it.

      I personally like giving my hamsters a bit of flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and broccoli.

      Hope this helps!

  • Shirli White

    Hi.I feed my campbells dwarf hamster carrots every once in a while.Is that ok?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Sorry for the late reply, I would have said no a while back but after some more reading, I think it’s alright now especially if you feed it only once in a while. Please see this for details http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/diabetic-hamsters-fruit/

  • Lisa

    Hi what about rice cakes

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi! What are the ingredients used in the rice cake? If there’s salt and other ingredients added to it, it might not be suitable. Plain rice (in very small amounts, used as a treat) would be better IMO.

  • Denise

    Would it be ok to give them a small piece of a tomato?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      I’ve read that tomato leaves and stalks are poisonous for hamsters but I think the tomato itself should be okay (in small amounts) Some people claim they are too acidic but others have fed them to their hamsters with no problems. Check out this thread on hamster central for more info on feeding tomatoes: http://www.hamstercentral.com/community/feeding-nutrition/43087-tomatoes.html

  • Kay

    Hi shoulld i feed my robo dwarf hamsters seed?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi! It depends on what kind of seed you’re talking about. Seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, etc are healthy when fed in moderation. Give only a few seeds everyday as treats/rewards because otherwise they’ll hoard it and eat only that!

  • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

    Sorry, I missed your comment! Yes, they can have a small piece of apple now and then :)

  • Lynne’

    r they allowed raw brocoli or only cooked ??

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Both are fine in small amounts. As for carrots, some people do not feed it to their Russian dwarf hamsters because Russian dwarves are prone to diabetes. I used to think that but after reading up a little more, I think carrots are actually okay in small amounts too.

  • KatieeMichelle2013

    How do you prepare the ToFu for the little guys?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      I just scoop some from the package and give it to them straight. Usually outside their cage because I don’t want to mess up their bedding/cages

  • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

    If it’s just plain dry pasta (read the ingredients to be sure), it should be okay as an occasional treat and in small amounts :)

  • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

    They can, there’s nothing wrong with Spinach :)

  • Emily17

    My hamster is sick! I think its because I fed him too many fruits and veggies! I have 2 hamsters. One of them is absolutely fine but the other is sick! really sick! Its really cold in here-(my country) so in the afternoons we put our hamsters in the balcony in the sun. But today I saw that my hamster’s fur was wet and it was still for a long time. I thought it was gone…but AMEN…God saved him. He is still alive now. It hasn’t ate anything since the whole day. No fruits, no veggies, no bread, no nuts! :(
    What do I do? It also couldn’t walk when it was sick. Its winter now and we have a blanket for the ham-ham. Does that help? Tell me what I can feed it and what kind of weather is good for my ham. PLEASE…

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Do you have a hamster mix? You should give it a hamster food mix or pellet instead of just fruits, veggies, or nuts which are meant to be used as treats (no bread please, there might be added salt and/or sugar in it). You can find food mixes and pellets for hamsters in any good pet store or online.

      Hamsters do well in about 65 – 75 degrees F (18 to 23 degrees C) but a little higher or lower would be fine if they have a hideout and nesting material that they can use to keep themselves cool/warm. The blanket probably helps! You can also shred some tissue and let the hamsters use them as nesting material.

      Please don’t put your hamsters in the balcony anymore. They should not be put in direct sunlight or exposed to drafts and should generally be kept indoors.

    • critterlove

      dwarf hamsters can die from exposure to sunlight, and get sunstroke too..and die. Why do you have a pet you haven’t properly researched, i knoew this the day before getting one, and so should anyone thinking of getting any animal, read everything you can on the type of animal, please people! take some responsibility if you’re gonna look after a life!!

  • hamsterlover339

    can they eat carrots??????

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      yes

  • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

    Hi! Yup

  • ava

    can you feed them lettuce
    ?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Yes, except for iceberg lettuce because it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value

  • Tori

    where do you get tofu??

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Most supermarkets should have them. Or try an asian grocery store ^^

  • babs

    Help I gave mine a bit of an almond will he die

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      I don’t think so. There are actually sweet almonds which are okay for them, but because people usually can’t tell the difference between the two, it’s better not to feed them almonds at all. But if your hamster just had a bit of an almond, it probably wouldn’t kill him.

  • NL1412

    I don’t have a hamster yet, but I’m planning to get a WWR hamster. Should the sunflower seeds be cooked (the ones we eat) or should it be raw? Thanks.

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi! The sunflower seeds should be raw. The ones that we eat usually contain added salt so it’s not a good idea to give it to a hamster ^_^ Also, the food in the list above are all raw (even the pasta!)

      • Jenni

        Oh cool, I was wondering about the pasta (and grains) – good to know! We grow giant sunflowers in the summer – I guess we can share the harvest with our little robo Sonya now! :)

  • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

    Yes in small amounts. There is a lot of water in cucumber and too much could give them diarrhea. It’s actually in the above list! :)

  • Ally

    Hello! I love your blog, and it’s always my go-to spot when I have questions. Can dwarf hamsters eat popcorn if it’s plain and unsalted? Thanks so much!

  • Kenny

    Can I feed my hamsters things like carrots or potato?

    • iudqk

      yep :)

  • Hamster

    Is this safe? It has apples but… I’m not sure Its called
    The Missing Link Ultimate Health & Beauty Small Animal Formula

  • Emily G.

    HI im getting a hammy soon and my friend who has a hammy gives her Syrian hamster peanut butter but since im getting a Russian dwarf hamster I don’t know if that’s good for them

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi, it’s not really good for them. Most peanut butters contain additional salt and sugar so I would not give too much to a hamster (if at all).

    • Rachel

      never feed your hamster peanut butter, it can get stuck in their pouches

      • Emily G.

        I have been feeding my dwarf hammy peanut butter not a lot and they are perfectly fine and healthy

  • Emily G.

    can I feed my little Russian dwarf hamster cheese we think she is prego and we should feed her protein

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi, I would recommend boiled egg instead of cheese. Boiled egg is much healthier and is also high protein :)

  • Emily G.

    yea well hammy not prego any more she just gave birth like a couple of hours ago

  • maggie

    Can they eat cooked or raw peas?

  • gustav

    yeah probably

  • Emily G.

    on a different site that I looked at it said they could have cooked chicken what do you think would that be a good thing for my sis hammy who is currently nursing 4-5 baby hamsters to eat?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Yup, some people give their hamsters cooked chicken occasionally and it’s fine if the chicken is boiled in plain water with no seasoning is added to it.

  • Frankie

    can my russian dwarf rovoroski hamster eat carrots

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi, Russian dwarves and Roborovski hamsters are different but yes, they can both have carrots as a treat :)

  • Cameron

    Petco employees said I can use cabbage to deliver the probiotics that help prevent wet tail…?

    • Delaney

      I heard that too and used. It works great!

  • hamster lover

    hi i need to know if my robo hamster can have green bean, corn, peas and carrots when ther forzen

  • B;ah!!

    What about lettuce? Please let me know at keller.kaylynne@gmail.com

  • Valencemonkey

    Wow, just gave Boo a bit of asparagus and it was more than an instant hit. She went nuts for it!

  • Treat Q

    Hi. I’m thinking of getting a Robo hamster and saw these treats online:

    [Raw materials]
    Flour, eggs, sugar, skim milk powder, vegetable oil, beer yeast, casein, vitamins, vitamins minerals
    [Contents] 110 g

    Are they unhealthy because of there being sugar, casein, and added vitamins?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      I’m not sure the caesin and added vitamins are unhealthy although I would avoid anything with sugar in it. Treats like these are kind of like junk food for hamsters — use very sparingly if at all ^^

  • AnastasiyaKnight

    I have a robo hamster and I have to go on a vacation soon and of course, I’m going to take Omnom with me. It’s about four to six hours away. Any suggestions on what to give him on the way up there to keep him happy and healthy until we can get him back to his cage?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi! I would suggest a piece of cabbage or any vegetable that is high in water to keep him hydrated throughout the journey (I’m assuming you’re going by car and a water bottle would just leak everywhere)

  • sasha

    Hi

    • Tiffany T

      The average dwarf hamster lives approximately 2-3 years in captivity. I’ve given my roborovski dwarf hamster both banana and lettuce and she really enjoyed them. Also, small quantities of carrots, blueberry’s, and raspberry’s are ok too. Remember to only give your new hamster fruits and veggies sparingly, because hamsters tend to hoard food in their checks and wet foods like the ones I mentioned above have the possibility of becoming spoiled while in their mouths. Also remember to remove these foods from it’s cage no later then 1 day after putting them in to reduce the risk of bugs going into the cage and of the foods becoming moldy. Happy birthday!

    • claude

      hi , dwarf hamsters can eat lettuse and banannas and live for 2-3 years

  • Tiffany T

    Yes. I’ve given my robo hamster strawberries and she was just fine.

  • Pepper the hamster

    Hi! I got a hamster from a friend who didn’t take good care of her and I want to give her the best possible life. She came with Wild Harvest Nutrition Diet for hamsters and gerbils and I was wondering if this is a good brand to feed her.Thank you in advance:)

  • Lily

    Hi! I got a Robo Dwarf hamster 4 months ago and I’ve seen some videos where people are feeding their hamsters banana chips… I want to feed it to my hamster,but,I don’t know if it’s safe.

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      If the banana chips are plain (not fried or has salt or sugar or anything else added to it), they should be okay for robos as an occasional treat :)

      • claude

        hi , how are u my name is claude and i am 10 years and have three dwarf hamsters and one was born last week and want her to be healthy what shoude i feed her

      • claude

        hi

    • claude

      sadly not the hamster will get very sick

  • gabs

    Can dwarf hamsters eat strawberries? I have a russian campbell.

    • claude

      no they will get dibeties .

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Yes they can, please see my update on the article above for more information :)

  • LovelyLittleHammy

    Can Russian Dwarf Hamsters eat peas or pea pods?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Hi, yes they can! :) It’s an ingredient in many food mixes too

    • claude

      yes,peas and pea pods

  • jazmin jaramillo

    Can dwarf russian hamsters eat any kind of bugs?

    • claude

      no.

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Sarah

      Not any kind of bugs, but there are some they can eat. It’s best if you got the bugs from the pet store so you know that they are safe.

  • claude

    if two hamsters are bigger than a other will they hurt her

  • Mara

    What is the best brand of food for a little Russian hammie? Mine love vita kraft but wanting to try something new.

  • Matthew

    Is there dried food/gibbles etc. that my Robo Dwarf Hamster can eat?

  • Faith

    Can they eat kiwi?

  • madison kohut

    I have a robo hamster named turbo. He’s my best friend and I wouldn’t feed them those. If the number one ingredient is suger I wouldn’t but if its once in awhile maybe. I love hamsters and it would be hard not to give him one because their so cute! But over all I wouldn’t.

  • liny201

    Seedless watermelon and carrots?

  • Austn02

    Carrots?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Dwarf Hamster Blog

      Yes

  • Jennifer Rethman

    banana chips? (dried bananas) I ask this because my rabbit absolutely loves dried bananas. So we buy a lot. And it would be nice if we had two reasons to buy it. :)

  • Krystle Sunbury Cranmer

    How often should I give my Campbell’s dwarf fresh veggies?

  • kai595

    What about the inside of a raw pumpkin?

  • kai595

    What about the inside is a raw pumpkin for my Russian Dwarf Hamster?

  • forestgirl24

    tomatoes?

  • Sz3_Y1

    Carrot? ?? Is it okay? How long give them a small treat ?? If they just give birth & the baby died. What I can do for them?? What supplement do the female hamster need ?

    • http://dwarfhamsterblog.com/ Dwarf Hamster Blog

      Yes, a small piece is okay. You can give them a treat every few days. Give your female hamster protein-rich food like mealworm, plain eggwhite, boiled chicken, etc

  • whiteflower17

    Hi there. I have a winter white female hamster and a dwarf hamster which im not sure of the its breed. It has red eyes. What are the best veges and fruits that I can feed these breeds with?

  • dane

    Can a dwarf hamster have water melon?

  • Andra

    Hi, i just got my two robo dwarf hamsters yesterday, they have been so great and playful I love them! I have a small bowl that i keep their food in, but they always hop in it and kick all the food out into the bedding. Is there a way to avoid this or should i not worry about it? other than that they have been great little friends! even though they won’t take any fresh veggies or food yet!

    • Andra

      I also just noticed that I accidentally got them a chunky gourmet diet food that is for guinea pigs… did not even pay attention. it has only been a day. but what should i do?