Table of Contents

Beneficial Ingredients in Hamster Food Mixes and Other Supplements

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are different bacteria, yeasts, and enzymes that are beneficial for your hamster’s digestion and are usually added to the mix in forms such as fermentation products or yeast.

They have health benefits when consumed, and help treat or prevent various illnesses and diseases. Probiotics can help with your hamster’s digestion and immune system. Giving your hamster probiotics can help with managing symptoms of gastrointestinal abnormalities, obesity, dental disease, and liver disease.

Probiotics can also help with behavior disorders, anxiety, and overall mental health. They can also help with symptoms of stress when your hamster is put in a stressful situation (such as travel). In Syrian hamsters, certain probiotics have been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects on certain parts of the brain that help reduce stress-like behaviors.

Prebiotics on the other hand are non-digestible compounds that are found in certain foods. These promote the activity and growth of good bacteria that are found in the gastrointestinal tract. They serve as a type of “food” for beneficial bacteria.

Some hamster mixes may have probiotics in them, but the majority of mixes don’t. If your hamster has diarrhea, your vet may prescribe the use of probiotics to help with your hamster’s gut flora. One example of commercially available probiotics you can purchase for your hamster is Bene-bac. Bene-bac is available in gel form or powdered form, but we recommend getting the gel version. A rice-sized drop is enough for your hamster.

Vitamin Supplements

We highly recommend reading our article on to learn more about them.

In pet food, most of the genuine nutritional supplements are usually vitamin supplements. Your hamster should ideally already be eating a complete and balanced diet, where they get all the vitamins that they need. Unfortunately, most pet food only contains labels for protein, fat, and fiber. Many hamster keepers are usually unsure of the other nutrient amounts in food except that it meets a certain baseline standard.

There are risks with supplementing an already complete and balanced diet. You could be giving your hamster a lot more nutrients than they need. Some vitamins, when given in excess, can have serious consequences on your hamster’s health. For example, giving your hamster too much Vitamin B can cause them to develop diarrhea, cramps, and nausea.

If your hamster has kidney problems, we recommend avoiding fat-soluble vitamin supplements (Vitamin A, D, E, K) as they are likely to build up in the body. Older hamsters also tend to be affected by kidney problems as their bodies get older.

Unless for medical purposes, a hamster on a healthy and complete diet should not need any vitamin drops or added vitamins. However, in certain medical conditions, some supplements are beneficial. One example is Urinary Support Supplements for urinary tract infections. If your veterinarian prescribes additional vitamins, make sure you talk to them about your hamster’s diet first.

Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and sprays

Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and sprays are usually added as extra food or enrichment for hamsters. They usually become additional food for hamsters to pouch and eat. Sprays are usually dried stalks of seeds or grain that hamsters can enjoy picking from.

Besides, enrichment, the inclusion of various whole grains, nuts, seeds, and sprays can help add variety to your hamster’s diet. They also carry with them the health benefits associated with the particular food item.

Hamsters typically do not overeat, and they are serious hoarders. Providing them with extra food will likely only allow them to hoard more, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eating more. What’s important is that they have a diverse range of food that is good for their health. Giving them access to various sprays, nuts, seeds, and grains will not necessarily make them fat.

However, we highly advise you to weigh your hamster regularly and to make sure that they are not obese. If your hamster is obese, your veterinarian may advise you to cut down on supplementing them with additional food and to change their diet into one that can help with weight loss.

Fresh Vegetables and fruit

It’s usually recommended to give your hamster fresh food like fruit and vegetables. The supplementation of fresh fruit and vegetables has been seen to improve health and lifespan. Contrary to popular belief, fruit by itself does not cause hamsters to have diabetes and can be beneficial to diabetic hamsters.

Many veterinarians recommend regularly adding fresh, clean, vegetables and a small amount of fruit to their regular diet. The preferred types of vegetables are those with high nutritional values such as leafy green vegetables. Iceberg lettuce is usually considered low in nutritional value.

Some laboratories don’t recommend feeding hamsters additional supplements. However, this is mainly because for research purposes they need food to be as consistent as possible, and adding any variable could greatly affect the study. There are still many benefits to giving your hamster fresh food.


Herbs are usually added as additional forage for hamsters and many pet brands sell hamster-safe herbal blends. Some food mixes even come with herbs already mixed in. Besides aesthetic reasons, herbs are also beneficial to your hamster’s health. This is because they are plants with active therapeutic properties. They can either be fresh or dried and may present as flowers, stems, or even leaves.

Different herbs have different beneficial effects on your hamster’s health. For example, peppermint has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Lavender is considered to be an antioxidant.

If your hamster is sick, pregnant, or taking other medication, it might be best not to provide them with herbs until you’ve spoken to your veterinarian. Providing your sick hamster with the wrong herb can make their condition worse, especially in the wrong dosage.

Added Protein

Some mixes do not contain enough protein for your hamster’s daily protein requirement. For some websites, purchasing a mix with the add-on of protein may be an option (see the site of the mix you are looking for details or instructions on how to do this), but in general, most businesses do not do this. If this is the case, you will need to supplement your hamster with protein.

Hamsters are omnivores so they can consume either animal or vegetable protein. There are certain hamsters who will have a preferred type, with many leaning towards insects such as mealworms, crickets, or grasshoppers. Hamsters will eat both freeze-dried or live insects (has to be an appropriate prey species). If insects aren’t available, hamsters can also digest other types of plain animal protein such as freeze-dried chicken. Hamsters can also have plant protein such as freeze-dried tofu.

If these options aren’t available to you, hamster-appropriate lab blocks or pellets may be used to add protein to their diet.


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