Keeping Your Furry Healthy and Happy
Although small, hamsters, gerbils and mice require a suitable space and a proper diet to keep them healthy. Diet is key. For all living things, really. And healthy? Well, most of the time, healthy = happy.
The Secret To Health Is In Their Food
Yep. It’s true. No secret here. Every living thing needs food to survive. And higher quality food (with the proper nutrients and minerals) = healthier, happier small pet.
A Balanced Pelleted Food Diet Can Go A Long Way
Seed mixes are okay, but unfortunately, they allow hamsters, mice and gerbils to pick and choose what to eat, which can contribute to a nutritional imbalance. Giving a high-quality timothy-based pellet diet doesn’t allow your small animal to be picky. And we know these little guys and be picky with a capital P. Pellets, rather than seed mixes, although basic, are the way to go. With some supplementation of other foods, they’re getting the diet they need.
…But How Much Pelleted Food Should You Give?
Pelleted hamster food? About 1 1/2 tablespoons per day. Did you know that Syrian and Dwarf hamsters will need about the same amount even though there’s a big difference in size? Dwarf hamster metabolism is a lot faster, so they need more calories, even though their bodies are a lot smaller.
Pelleted Gerbil Food? About 1 tablespoon per day.
Pelleted Mouse Food? About 1/2 tablespoon per day, depending on size.
How to Choose Pelleted Food For Your Hamster, Gerbil or Mouse
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: stay away from hamster food, gerbil food and mouse food that’s full of additives and unnecessary sugar. It’s yucky. Always buy pellets that look natural. Stay away from the colored stuff. (We know it’s pretty, but stand your ground and go for the plain lookin’ pellets. Timothy-based pellets provide fiber, promote healthy teeth and result in less waste. And that deserves a hashtag: #winning.
Fitting Pelleted Food Into Their Daily Diet
How many times have you heard “it’s all about balance?” Well, it kind of really is. Hamsters, gerbils and mice should eat a balanced diet containing all essential nutrients and minerals: A pelleted hamster food, gerbil food or mouse food and small quantities of greens/fresh veggies/fruit can supplement the pelleted food.
Don’t Forget the Hay!
You usually think rabbit or guinea pig when you think hay. Although hay isn’t nutritionally necessary for hamsters, gerbils and mice, it’s a safe and healthy supplement that can be offered a few times per week, and should be part of their overall balanced diet. Plus, a good timothy hay is great to keep their teeth in tip-top shape.
Fresh Veggies Are Good, Too.
…But don’t go overboard. Hamsters, gerbils and mice are small animals, and too many veggies in their diet can cause diarrhea. Small amounts of carrots (high in sugar though, so be careful) and cucumbers are enough. Really. Or try cauliflower or broccoli. You know, to mix it up a little.
Oh, And Water.
Fresh water. Always. We know it’s obvious, but we’re gonna say it anyway. Tip: Try a valveless sipper tube. Because small rodents aren’t able to apply strong suction, they may have difficulty with the resistance from water flow in a ball-valve sipper tube. Gotta keep ‘em hydrated!