Are homemade hamster treats safe? This is a question many people ask when bringing a hamster into their home. There's a lot of misconception out there on what these chubby munchkins can and cannot eat. You may assume that they live primarily on hay (and you're not completely wrong). You may have heard rumors from a friend of a friend's aunt's sister-in-law about easy hamster treat recipes that their ham loves. You may have been looking at TikTok or YouTube videos that feature cute treats made from potentially unhealthy ingredients. Rather than taking a risk, it is much better to learn what sort of treats you can make at home using safe, healthy ingredients.
The first thing to know about hamster treats, in general, is that treats should always be given in moderation. These are the things you give your hammy as a reward or something to be enjoyed now and then, just like human treats. The next thing to know is that these cute critters can't eat the same sort of things that other pets eat. With that in mind, you'll need to be very careful about what it's in those treats you're making.
In this guide, we share some tips on what hamsters see as yummy treats. We'll also give you some ideas on making homemade treats for hamsters that are safe, healthy, and delicious.
Every little ham loves a treat now and then… and they definitely deserve them. Our little friends bring us so much happiness, so it’s no wonder we want to do something special for them, too. But while hamster food and treats can be a great way to mix up their diet, it’s important to only feed them the healthiest, most delicious treats.
Before we dive into whether or not homemade hamster treats are safe, let’s look at a healthy hamster diet and talk about both safe and potentially dangerous treat choices. Then, we’ll share some of our favorite DIY hamster treats that you can try at home. These delicious concoctions will have you both smiling ear to ear.
A Healthy Hamster Diet
Although hamsters are rodents (and rodents are often known for eating everything in sight), they actually have very special diets and responsible hoomans should know what a healthy hamster diet consists of. Usually, a hamster’s food options should include high-quality pellets, delicious hay, and the occasional fruit and veggies here and there.
Let’s start with the pellets. Not all pellets are made equally, so avoid any big box store food that’s packed with artificial colors, added sugar, fillers, and other funky junk. Stick with the good stuff and feed your hamster pellets made from all-natural ingredients like Timothy hay, whole grains, wheat, and seeds. Remember: when buying hamster food, the prettier the color, the further away you should stay. For real.
To add even more nutrients to your ham’s diet, include high-quality hay like Timothy hay, orchard hay, or oat hay. Our hamster hay is super soft, super delicious, and full of natural fiber, protein, and fat.
Lastly, you can also feed your hamster fresh fruits and veggies. Make them a little miniature salad with:
- Bell peppers
With all those delicious treats, you might even have to make yourself a salad, too! Might be fun to dine together.
Safe Treats for Your Hamster
It’s also worthwhile to mix it up with fun treats to keep things interesting. Treats are a great way to bond with your little guy or girl, stimulate their foraging tendencies, or just reward them for being so darn cute. The best treats are made with all-natural ingredients and won’t have added sugar, colors, or flavoring. For example, our hamster and gerbil treats include dried fruit, garden sticks made from hay and wheat that are wonderful to munch on.
These are just a few examples of healthy hamster treats. Now, let’s look at what NOT to feed your ham.
Hamster Food and Treats to Avoid
Unfortunately, many pet stores stock hamster food that isn’t actually the best for your friend. One of the most common hamster treats to avoid are yogurt drops. While they may look pretty with lots of fancy colors and flavors, these treats are full of sugar, which can upset your hammy’s tum and cause diabetes. Just like in hoomans, lots of added sugar can be dangerous. Dwarf hamsters are even more prone to diabetes than Syrian hamsters.
Other hamster food and treats to avoid include:
- Any citrus fruits
- Junk food
- Iceberg lettuce
- Sugary hamster treats
All-natural is the way to go when feeding your hammy treats. So what are some easy DIY hamster treat recipes that are safe and healthy for your furry little friend?
DIY Healthy Hamster Treat Recipes
It’s possible, and even easy, to make healthy hamster treats right in your own home. Here are a few of our go-to recipes:
Who doesn’t love a good cookie? We do… for sure. And hamsters do, too. Although these little guys can’t have chocolate or added sugar, you can still make some delicious hamster cookies. You will need:
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons and one teaspoon whole wheat flour
Add all of the ingredients together, saving the oatmeal and peanut butter for last, and create a cookie dough consistency and make them into little tiny hamster-sized cookie balls. Adorable, yes!? Bake the cookies at 300 degrees for approximately 18 minutes. Let cool. And enjoy!
Okay, these donuts are just too cute to pass up. The recipe comes from this video by ErinsAnimals. Erin uses dog biscuits, and although they contain traces of meat, are safe for hamsters (but NOT rabbits, guinea pigs, or chinchillas). If you’d prefer not to use dog biscuits, you can substitute a little bit of creamy peanut butter. Paint the donuts with a vegetable-based food coloring and use little seeds for sprinkles. Total heart bubbles.
Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies
This hamster treat is similar to the cookies above, but includes banana for a little extra yum. You will need:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ banana, mashed
- ½ cup oats
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 egg
To make these hamster treats:
- Mix the wet ingredients (banana, peanut butter, and egg)
- Slowly add in the flour to create a consistent batter
- Mix in the oats last
- Shape the cookies into little balls
- Bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown
There are seriously few things cuter than watching your little ham happily enjoying his or her healthy hamster treat in their favorite cozy spot. Munch on.
There are countless homemade hamster treat recipes out there and you can even think up your own recipe using healthy ingredients like hay, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Avoid hamster food and treats that are full of sugar or artificial additives and your ham will thank you. Or, if you don’t have time to make your own homemade treats, there are plenty of healthy pre-made snacks you and your ham will both love. Enjoy a treat together and share that special moment with your little friend. What could be better?