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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Syrian Hamster Nutrition and Maintenance

Syrian Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus)

Experience Level: Beginner

Syrian hamster in habitat

Nutrition & Maintenance

Nutrition and Maintenance
• Hamsters are herbivores and the largest portion of the diet should be rodent block or pellets.

• Seeds like millet and sunflower can be added to pellets but seeds are higher in fat than pellets. For optimum nutrition, seeds should be an additive or treat, not the primary food.

• Food should always be placed in a bowl and not directly on the bedding to avoid accidental ingestion of the bedding.

• Fresh fruits and vegetables should be removed after four hours to prevent spoilage.

• Mineral wheels should be provided in the habitat.

• Water must be available in the cage at all times.

• Food and water bowls/bottles should be cleaned once daily.


Dietary Options
  Examples Feeding Frequency
Prepared Diets* Pelleted diets Refresh food daily keeping the bowl approximately 3/4 full.
Vegetables Dark, leafy greens (kale, collard, mustard, dandelion, escarole) and vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, squash, shredded carrots)

Every other day; should constitute 20% of diet.

Offer only enough to be consumed in four hours.

Fruits Papaya, banana, melon

Once weekly; should only constitute 5% of diet. 

Offer only enough to be consumed in four hours. 

*Pelleted prepared diets are fortified with optimal levels of vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D3 for the health of your pet. Pelleted diets may also have additives to support digestive health. 


Safety and Cleanliness
Use caution when handling pets and remember that all pets may bite or scratch especially when stressed. Handle your hamster gently; scoop your pet up in both hands and hold against your body with cupped hands. Remember to never grab your hamster’s fur or tail, the hair will pull out. Supervise children around pets.

Pets may transmit disease to humans; be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning their home.