December 13, 2020

Best Hamster Treats

Top Vet-Approved Choices in 2021

Fact checked by Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM
Published by Emma Hughes

Vet Approved

Hamsters are hungry little critters who forage for food, stuff it in their cheeks and quickly scurry off to hide it. As omnivores, they love all kinds of food and treats especially.

On the one hand, hamsters absolutely love tasty morsels of varying foods. On the other hand, they are prone to food-related health problems like obesity and diabetes.

Fortunately, there are a number of commercial treats available to supplement your hamster’s diet. 
- Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM

To keep your hammy healthy and happy, you need to find nutritious treats you can offer your pet without feeling guilty or having to worry about their well-being.

It's not always an easy task, but we're here to help. Here are our top vet-approved choices for the best hamster treats. Pick your favorites and let your hammy have a taste!

Best Treats for Hamsters

Pro tip: Treats should be given only as an addition to a balanced and nutritionally sound diet. Treats should only make up about 5% of your hamster's food intake. Hamsters are prone to obesity and diabetes, so avoid those visits to the vet by choosing a healthy and safe product for your hamster to snack on.

* We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

1. Oxbow Simple Rewards Baked Treats Apple & Banana – The premium healthful treat!

What we like about this treat:

  • Made with timothy hay
  • High in fiber to promote digestive health
  • Low in calcium to prevent urinary stones
  • Low in protein to help maintain a normal weight
  • Contains real apple and banana
  • A healthy, high-quality choice
  • No artificial colors or added sugar

Oxbow Simple Rewards Baked Treats - Apple & Banana - 4oz (2 Pack)

These highly popular small pet treats from Oxbow are a healthy choice if you're looking for a snack you can feed without having to worry about your pet gaining weight. Provides a good, healthy way to bond with your pet and offer them enrichment and variety.

2. Kaytee Timothy Biscuits Baked with Apple – Excellent quality

What we like about this treat:

  • Made with all-natural timothy hay
  • Contains real apple
  • Healthy, low-sugar treat
  • High in fiber for good digestion
  • Pellets encourage chewing to promote dental health
  • A healthful way to offer enrichment

Kaytee Timothy Biscuits Baked Treat Apple 4 oz

Another well-liked and healthy treat for hamsters.

A high-fiber snack made with timothy hay to prevent weight gain and diabetes, which may result from unhealthy, sugary snacks. Also, the compressed pellets promote chewing activity to keep your hamster's teeth trim.

Best Chew Toys for Hamsters

3. Vitakraft Rabbit Sticks - Best Chew Stick for Hamsters

What we like about this chew treat:

  • Triple baked
  • Crunchy
  • Made with honey and whole grains
  • Fortified with vitamins
  • Comes with a clip holder
  • Offers stimulation

Vitakraft Rabbit Whole Grains & Honey Treat Sticks 2 Pack, 4 Ounce

The advantage of chew treat is that they offer your hamster something to chew on and keep their teeth trimmed. Also, chew toys and treats are a great way to offer simulation and to keep your hammy occupied.

However, many of these treats are glued together using honey, which makes the sticks high in sugar. There is no problem in treating your pet to chew sticks like these, as long as you practice moderation when it comes to sugary treats.

4. Kaytee Combo Chews, Apple Wood and Crispy Puzzle - Best Chew Toys for Hamsters

What we like about this chew treat:

  • Made with applewood and loofah
  • Encourage chewing
  • Promote dental health
  • Keep the teeth trimmed
  • Offer enrichment and stimulation

Kaytee Combo Chews, Apple Wood and Crispy Puzzle, 16 Pieces,Brown,4.5 Inches x 6.5 Inches x 1.25 Inches

Because hamsters have ever-growing teeth, it's important to give them something they can chew on to support their oral health and keep those incisors trimmed.

Chew toys also help prevent boredom and keep your pet busy. Applewood and loofah are both safe and healthy alternatives to sugary chew sticks.

Hamster Yogurt drops

5. eCOTRITION Yogies - Best Yogurt Drops for Hamsters

What we like about this yogurt treat:

  • Delicious cheese flavor
  • Made with real, easily digestible yogurt
  • Fun and tasty treat to offer variety
  • Excellent treat for taming and bonding

Ecotrition Yogies Hamster/Gerbil/Rat Treats, Cheese Flavor, 3.5-Ounce

Yogurt treats are not always recommended for hamsters, as many products contain a lot of sugar, but if you stick to moderation and only offer them sparingly, yogurt treats, too, can be a good choice for your hammy.

Because this treat is so delicious, it is a great way to help kids bond with their pets. Tasty treats encourage interaction and offer your hamster new exciting flavors.

Mealworms for Hamsters

6. Kaytee Mealworm - Best Dried Mealworms for Hamsters

What we like about this treat:

  • High in protein
  • Tasty and easy to feed
  • Offers variety to your hamster's diet

Kaytee Mealworms, 3.5 oz

As omnivores, hamsters enjoy animal protein as a part of their diet. Mealworms can, therefore, be an excellent treat that offers protein and diversity.

Live mealworms often make pet owners squeamish, but this dried variety may be easier for pet parents to handle.

Just remember that mealworms are quite high in fat and should be given sparingly to avoid weight gain. About two mealworms for Syrians and one mealworm for dwarf hamsters every other day is the recommendation.

Dog Treats for Hamsters

7. Whimzees Natural Grain Free Dental Dog Treats - Best Dog Chews for Hamsters

What we like about this treat:

  • Promote oral health
  • Encourage chewing
  • Keep your hamster busy
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Popular among experienced hamster owners

Whimzees Natural Grain Free Daily Dental Long Lasting Dog Treats, Brushzees, Small, Bag of 24, Vegetable, Small (24 Count)

Funnily enough, dog treats are one of the best options for hamster treats.

Often, dog treats contain less sugar than treats made for small pets. Therefore, if your hamster is a little chubby or you're worried about weight gain and diabetes, dog treats are a low-sugar alternative you should look into.

In addition to supporting weight control, dog biscuits will also take care of your hamster's teeth. Your hammy will love gnawing on these delicious treats, and they will keep him busy and improve dental health.

Baby Food for Hamsters

8. Gerber Puffs Cereal Snack - Best baby snack for hamsters

What we like about this treat:

  • Contain whole grains and real fruit
  • Small size suitable for hamsters
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Nutritious with several vitamins
  • Healthy and safe

Gerber Puffs Cereal Snack, Banana & Strawberry Apple, 8 Count

And not just dog treats but snacks for babies as well. If it's safe and healthy for a baby, it most likely is safe and healthy for your hammy too.

The advantage of baby treats is that they are very low in sugar while still being tasty. The size of baby puffs is perfect for small pets like hamsters, and your hammy will love the taste.

Using baby foods as hamster treats is actually quite popular, and many hamster owners say this is the healthiest option for their precious pets.

Good Hamster Treats – The Buying Guide

Hamsters are greedy little creatures always interested in tasty morsels of food. You can see them picking out their favorite pieces, stuffing the food in their cheeks, and scurrying off to hide it.

Some of the best treats you can offer your hamster are foods they would naturally eat in the wild. Fresh veggies and fruits are a good option, as are meats and eggs. Actually, you can treat your hammy to many tasty snacks right from your fridge.

To learn more about which veggies, fruits, and other foods are suitable hamster treats, read our Full Hamster Feeding Guide.

But here's the deal.

Although many common foods can be considered as good and healthy snacks for your hamster, many pet parents want to offer their hamster exciting and fun commercial treats. And why not? 

chew treat for hamster

Benefits of Commercial Hamster Treats

There is a variety of choices out there, and commercial treats have many benefits:

1. Fruits and veggies can make good treats but overfeeding fresh produce may cause wet tail disease and diarrhea. Healthy commercial hamster treats can help you ensure you have something to treat your hammy to if their daily portion of veggies has already been exceeded.

2. Shop-bought treats come in many shapes, sizes, flavors, and forms. They can be fun and offer your hamster mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

3. Convenience is what every pet owner wants. You're probably already going through great pains to keep your hamster's cage clean and to offer them a balanced diet. Instead of trying to find suitable foods you can use as treats, it's just more convenient to find something healthy at the pet store (or online, which is even easier).

Treats can be beneficial for taming purposes and can be offered directly by hand
- Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM

4. Treats are fantastic for taming and bonding with your hamster. Although you could use veggies and fruits too, they can make a mess and be difficult to feed. Small, wholesome commercial treats are better, especially when children are getting to know their pet.

5. In commercial treats, one serving is easily determined. This can be a huge plus if kids want to bond with their pet, but you don't want to risk health problems related to overfeeding. Restricting the daily treats to a number of a particular wholesome treat is easier for children to comprehend than talking about the serving size in tablespoons or inches.

6. It's easier to ensure a balanced diet when you know exactly what you're giving your pet, and you don't have to calculate the nutrients and calories in different foods.

7. Commercial treats often come in resealable bags that keep the treats fresh. You'll always have healthy treats at hand if you want to offer some to your pet.

However, not all shop-bought treats are good for your hamster. Actually, there are many products you definitely shouldn't feed to your hammy. Although many treats look fun and enticing, they may cause your hamster more harm than good.

Many commercially available hamster treats are packed with fats and sugars. These ingredients increase the risk of developing diabetes and unnecessary weight gain. Make sure you read the ingredients list carefully before choosing the best treat option.

hamster waiting for treats

Things to consider when buying hamster treats

When buying commercial hamster treats, note these key things to ensure what you buy is actually promoting your hamster's well-being.

It is vital to feed the right amount of treats – the treat calories count too.
- Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM

Hamsters have specific dietary needs, and although treats should only make up about 5% of your pets' diet, it is still vital that they are nutritionally sound and supporting your hamster's welfare instead of causing harm.

1. Choose wholesome treats

Hamsters are natural foragers that hoard their food. They often like to choose the tastiest tidbits, so if you want to offer your little foodie a delicious treat, make sure it is full of flavors.

Although bland snacks may not interest your hammy, you shouldn't go overboard either. An overall balanced diet is essential, so always choose wholesome treats to ensure proper nutrition.

2. Chew treats promote dental health

Chewy treats keep your hamster's ever-growing teeth trimmed and promote dental health. If the teeth are not worn down by fibrous food, you may need your vet to cut them if they grow too long.

Treats are a great way not just to offer a tasty snack, but to support dental health as well.

3. Check the sugar content

Many hamster treats are high in sugar. Your hammy may love the stuff but overfeeding sugary treats may lead to obesity and diabetes, both of which hamsters are prone to.

Nibble sticks may be glued together with honey, which makes them high in sugar

Fruit-based treats are actually packed full of sugar

Best Treats for Syrian Hamsters

Although all hamsters are somewhat similar in their dietary requirements, Syrians and dwarf hamsters have slightly different needs.

Because Syrians are bigger, they may eat more. Also, they are not as prone to diabetes, which means that sugar is less of a concern with Syrian hamsters than dwarf hamsters.

  • Sunflower seeds, for example, can be an excellent treat for Syrians, whereas they might be too big and contain too much fat for dwarf hamsters.

Best Treats for Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes, which is why limiting sugar is essential. Also, due to their small size, dwarf hamsters can eat only very small portions of treats.

  • Low-sugar but high-protein treats like mealworms are best for dwarf hamsters.
  • Just make sure to stick to moderation, as mealworms are high in fats and may cause weight gain if overfed.
  • Dwarf hamsters may also love other low-sugar treats like timothy hay pellets, baby snacks, and dog treats.

Good Treats for Hamsters – Veggies, fruits, nuts, and other food

Not all foods that are healthy for humans are good for hamsters. Actually, some veggies or fruits you would consider nutritious are toxic and harmful to hamsters. Here are some of the safe foods you can use as treats.

Fruits

Apples are a nutritious treat for hamsters. Packed with vitamins, they are a great source of nutrients for your hammy. However, apples do contain a lot of sugar, so they are better fed in moderation to prevent weight gain and diabetes.

Always remember to remove the seeds and peel. The peel is hard to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset. Plus, apples are heavily sprayed with pesticides that accumulate in the peel. The seeds are toxic and pose a choking hazard to hamsters.

Grapes are quite high in sugar and should be limited, but your hamster is sure to love them as an occasional treat. Just remember to remove the seeds because there is a small risk of your hamsters choking on them.

grapes

Bananas are another high-sugar fruit you hamster is sure to find appealing. Banana peels are an even healthier option because they are low in sugar but high in fiber, but make sure you buy organic bananas to avoid pesticides.

Other fruits you hammy may enjoy as treats are

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupes (remove seeds)
  • Cherries (remove the pit)
  • Cranberries
  • Mangos
  • Peaches (remove the pit)
  • Pears (remove seeds)
  • Plums (remove pits)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Always wash fruits carefully before serving as they way contain pesticides. Also, avoid citrus fruits, as they are not suitable for hamsters!

Veggies

Carrots are a good, healthy choice for treating your hamster to something tasty. The fibrous texture is good for keeping those ever-growing teeth short and keeps your hamster busy chewing.

Still, carrots contain quite a lot of sugar and are, therefore, better fed as a treat than as a part of your hamster's daily serving of veggies. Hamsters also enjoy eating carrot tops. These dark green veggies are tasty, healthy, and nutritious.

Many hamsters love cucumber, but it is something that should not be fed daily because it is high in water and may cause stomach upsets in hamsters.

Here are a few excellent veggies you can treat your hamster to:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicory
  • Cress
  • Dandelion greens
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Radicchios
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Sweet peppers
  • Zucchini

Just make sure to avoids onions, garlic, leeks, celery, and iceberg lettuce, as they are not suitable foods for hamsters.

  • Always wash vegetables and leafy greens thoroughly to remove pesticides and chemicals before feeding.
  • Also, remember to remove any uneaten foods after 24 hours to make sure your hamster doesn’t get sick from foods that have gone bad.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a part of hamster's natural diet, and if you're trying to ensure a balanced diet by feeding pelleted hamster food, they can be a good choice for treats. Both seeds and nuts are a good source of healthy fats and many vitamins. Their crunchy texture also supports dental health and keeps your hamster's teeth trimmed.

Hamsters love sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds but follow the feeding guidelines as they contain a lot of fat and may lead to an unhealthy weight when consumed in excess.

seeds and nuts for hamsters

Nuts are healthy but high in fats and may also lead to obesity if fed too often. Although your hamster will love high-fat snacks like peanuts and sunflower seeds, they should be limited to avoid health issues.

Don't feed the seeds of fruits like apples, grapes, and pears. Some seeds may contain a toxic called cyanide, while others pose a choking hazard.

Meat

As omnivores, hamsters also need animal protein in their diet. So why not offer them some meat as a tasty treat?

Eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, and fish are all excellent high protein treats you can offer your hamster when cooked plain. Although cooked meats are edible to hamsters, salt, butter, and seasoning are unhealthy or sometimes even toxic.

Avoid unhealthy human foods

Small pieces of corn- and yeast-free wholegrain bread, cooked brown rice, or cooked whole wheat pasta are foods hamsters can happily enjoy as treats.

However, any high-sugar or high-fat foods like chocolate, biscuits, junk food, ice cream, and other such human treats are not suitable for your pet. Treats containing caffeine are also prohibited for hamsters.

Never feed your hamster foods like these if you want to keep them thriving.

Also Read: Premium Hamster Food – Top products to keep your hamster healthy

How Often Can I Give My Hamster Treats?

How often you can give you hamster treats depends on the treat. If you're using veggies and low-sugar fruits as treats, you can give some every day. But if you're about to treat your hammy to a sugary chew stick with honey, then it's essentials to limit the serving size.

As a good rule of thumb, treats should only make up about 5% of your hamster's diet. Because hammies are prone to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes, their diet should be balanced and nutritious. Too much sugar or fats will lead to health problems.

All kinds of treats are acceptable as long as you don't exceed what's good for your hamster.

How Many Treats Should I Give My Hamster a Day?

It depends on the size and contents of the treat. For veggies and fruits, you can check out our hamster food guides.

With commercial treats, read the labels carefully and stick to the recommended serving size. Don’t forget to count the calories in treats to your hamster’s daily calorie intake.

Healthy Hamster Treats – Summing Up

Hamsters love food, and they certainly love treats, just like us humans. If given a choice, your hammy would probably choose the tastiest pieces with the most sugar and fat.

Therefore, your job as a responsible pet parent is to ensure you're feeding appropriate foods and limiting the treats to 5% of your pet's daily food intake.

Although veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains make excellent choices for hamster treats, there are many fun and exciting products in the pet stores too. Just ensure you've done your research, as not all snacks labeled as hamster treats are actually good for your pet.

Vet's Comment

Looking after your hamster is not just a matter of disease prevention. Taking proper care involves providing it with adequate food and shelter. These basics will ensure that it stays healthy and happy throughout its life.

Just like we enjoy snacking on a bag of chips, hamsters enjoy snacking on hamster-friendly treats. Fortunately, there are a number of commercial treats available to supplement your hamster’s diet. Treats can be beneficial for taming purposes and can be offered directly by hand.

However, it is vital to feed the right amount of treats – the treat calories count too.

- Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM

Ivana Crnec doctor of veterinary medicine

Vet-Approved by
Dr. Ivana Crnec

DVM

Ivana Crnec is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine specialized in domestic carnivores. She graduated from the University Sv. Kliment Ohridski, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. Ivana is a certified canine nutritionist and also certified in HAACP food safety system implementation. She currently works as a veterinarian while completing her postgraduate studies. Her research has been published in international journals.

NOTE: Advice provided within this article by FeedingMyPet.com is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your hamster's specific dietary needs (based on his breed, weight, age, and health status) with a veterinarian.

Scroll to Top