Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters also known as Robo Hamsters are omnivorous and can eat both plant and animal matter.
Robo hamsters can eat whatever is available seasonally, such as wheat, soy, barley, and peas, root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, as well as plants, leaves, and flowers. They will also catch insects and other invertebrates, such as spiders, mealworms, moths, and crickets.
Robo Hamster Diet
You may be a little apprehensive and not want to give your Robo hamster any insects, although if you wish, mealworms are a good option because they are rich in protein.
Just keep in mind that if you have the type of enclosure with open-wire bars, you may not want to place live insects, as these can easily escape.
Most of the Robo hamster’s diet should be made up of a hamster mix, as these must cover all of its basic nutritional needs. These mixes vary in the type of ingredients used, so I would always recommend spending a little more money and buying a more expensive one since it is more likely to be better quality and therefore healthier for your hamster.
As Roborovski hamsters are so small that they only need a teaspoon of this mixes a day, so it will last a long time.
Typically, these hamster mixes will include corn, grains, alfalfa, seeds, beans, dried fruits, and dried vegetables such as carrots or dried peas, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
As the last two ingredients have high-fat content, they should only be administered in small amounts, therefore, try to choose a mix that is low in these ingredients; Otherwise, your hamster will face the risk of becoming obese.
Some mixes are made only for hamsters in general, so be careful when buying and be sure to buy only one that is suitable for Roborovski hamsters because they will contain smaller seeds. If you buy a generic one and destined for the Syrian hamster, the seeds may be too big for your little pet.
Seed mixes offer good flavors and a variety and also give the hamster the opportunity to search and select their food in a similar way as they would in the wild. However, a problem that often arises is that hamsters will probably choose the seeds they prefer and ignore those that it is not so keen on.
In general, the less healthy sunflower seeds and peanuts are the ones that are chosen, while the rest are hidden, so you may think that your hamster is receiving a well-balanced diet when in fact it does not, therefore, It is important to monitor your hamster’s weight and appetite levels.
You can prevent your hamster from only eating its favorite foods by controlling what it selects and then not feeding them for a few days. For example, if you notice that it is only like nuts, pick these before feeding them; This way they will have no choice but to eat the rest of the ingredients.
Seed mixes are colorful and, although they look more attractive, you can buy food pellets or food blocks that often have the same combination of grains, fruits, and vegetables as a seed mix, but they are ground up, compressed, and cut into cubes or in the form of small pellets. While these are not as fun for your hamster, they do include all the nutrients they need, so you can consider using them if you are concerned that your hamster chooses its favorite food all the time.
Even if you use a mix most of the time, I would recommend that you add food cube from time to time because they encourage gnawing and, therefore, is a good way to ensure that your hamster’s teeth are worn correctly.
Whilst you can make your own hamster mix using seeds, grains, and nuts found in health food stores, it is usually easier and cheaper to buy a commercial hamster food mix and in this way, you can be sure that your pet is receiving the right balance of nutrients.
Fruits And Vegetables
Your Roborovski hamster needs a varied diet and, although commercially purchased seed mixtures are a good start and should comprise most of your diet, you should also supplement them with fruits and vegetables. Hamsters enjoy new flavors, so new food is another way to relieve boredom.
Cut fruits and vegetables into small, manageable pieces, but don’t mix them as chewing is good for your hamster. Do not put the full amount of fruit or vegetables, for example, do not give your hamster a full apple or a whole cut carrot (or even a whole slice), but only two or three small pieces (about the size of the nail) They can comfortably hold between their legs. Remember that a small amount for you is a big feast for them.
Always be sure to rinse fruits and vegetables in water and allow them to dry at room temperature before giving them to your pet. Fruits and vegetables should be free of pesticides, so if you are not sure, do not use any that are wild.
The following are acceptable fruits and vegetables to feed your Roborovski hamster. There may be many others that are not included here, so if you want to give your hamster something that is not on this list, do not hesitate to do a quick Google search to see If it is adequate. Good fruit options include seedless apples, grapes, bananas, peaches, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, plums, dates, figs, cherries, and melon. If you want to be a little more exotic than lychee, kiwi, melon, Loganberries, and mango are good.
Raspberries and raspberry leaves are also suitable, the latter being useful if your Roborovski hamster has diarrhea.
Remember that the fruit should not have seeds and be free of stones and pits. Never give an apple heart or apple seeds to your hamster since they are poisonous to them.
Some people claim that the leaves and green parts of the strawberry are toxic to hamsters, so I always make sure to remove them.
Suitable vegetable options include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage (but in limited quantities) carrot, sweetcorn, cucumber (good to avoid dehydration, especially when your hamster is out of its cage) green beans, peas, parsnips, celery, spinach, sweet peppers, asparagus, courgettes (or zucchini if you are in the United States) lettuce, bean sprouts, cauliflower (leaves and stalks) kale, squash and sweet potatoes, turnip, and watercress. Both water chestnuts and chestnuts are fine for your hamster
Other suitable foods include dandelion, clover, coriander, escarole, fenugreek, basil, chicory, and Chinese leaves.
There is a dispute over celery with people who say it drown hamsters to death. I feel that if you cut small, this prevents them from becoming too fibrous and should be fine, but I would always say that your common sense prevails if you are not sure of any type of food, simply do not feed it.
Lettuce is another on which people disagree because it does not contain a high nutritional value for their hamster and can be watery, but occasionally it should be fine.
Many people will say do not feed fruits and vegetables to your Roborovski hamster because they contain too much sugar that causes diabetes. While this is true, Roborovski hamsters are not as prone to diabetes as some of the other dwarf species such as Campbell’s or Winter Whites, so some fruit will not be harmful and will add variety to your diet, but always feed in moderation.
Other people will say that fruits are too watery, especially cucumber, and this can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Again, I am not discussing this, but in moderation, for example, a slice of cucumber twice a week should not make your hamster sick.
Roborovski hamsters can also eat meat, such as cooked ground meat that has been thoroughly rinsed in hot water to remove grease and steamed or baked turkey or chicken. They can also eat cooked codfish without bones or skin.
As mentioned earlier, in the wild they will eat insects that you can pick up at the pet store, such as grasshoppers, mealworms, and crickets. Do not feed insects caught in the wild, as these may contain pesticides that could make your hamster sick.
Well-cooked eggs either boiled or scrambled, simple tofu, and plain low-fat yogurt are also good for your Roborovski hamster.
Adult Roborovski hamsters can be given an occasional treat, like cheese. However, you must ensure that you are feeding one that is safe for your hamster since many kinds of cheese are rich in saturated fats and contain plenty of salt and additional flavorings. Ideally, as an occasional gift, a teaspoon of low-fat cottage cheese is the best.
Whole or brown bread, flaxseed, rye bread, or organic bread with seeds embedded in the crust are excellent for your hamster. The crust that most of us throw away is the best part of your hamster. Bread soaked in milk is also perfect food for pregnant or lactating females, babies, and elderly hamsters with weak teeth.
Roborovski Hamsters love nuts and, in addition to being an excellent source of protein, they contain no cholesterol and very few amounts of saturated fat, which makes them a fantastic snack.
Walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and peanuts are excellent options, but make sure they have no taste or salt. Giving your hamster nuts while they are still in their shell will provide your hamster with a gift and a puzzle to solve, which can help prevent boredom. Depending on how strong your hamster is and how tough the nut is, they may have difficulty opening the shell, in which case it may partly open it for them.
Peanuts are controversial because they contain aflatoxins that can be harmful, but only if they are administered in large quantities.
Peanut butter can be given as a gift, but only in very small amounts since it makes you fat and sticky. The best option would be organic peanut butter that has no salt, sugar, or added flavorings and is usually found in health food stores or online.
Dried fruits are another good treat, but remember that they have high sugar content, so they should be fed in moderation. Raisins, as well as bananas, strawberries, papaya, honeydew, figs, raspberries, cantaloupe, cherries, and blackberries, can be purchased dried in both pet stores and online.
A piece of simple popcorn, without flavor, without salt, and without sugar is a great pleasure. Popcorn still has all the health and nutrient benefits like common corn, but don’t give it freshly cooked popcorn and as hot as it could burn their mouths.
Hamsters are natural seed-eaters since this is something they will eat in the wild and contain many nutrients. Sunflower seeds, wheat seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds will be enjoyed, however, a warning about pumpkin seeds, since they can have hard shells and large kernels with which your Little Roborovski hamster could have difficulties.
Foods To Avoid
Tomatoes are very acidic, so it is not recommended to feed them. Watermelon contains too much water, so, again, it should be avoided as it can cause diarrhea and upset stomach. Don’t even feed the skin, rind, or pips.
White bread should not be given because it is believed that the flour is highly processed and refined, which may mean that your Roborovski hamster can turn it into sugar and cause health problems. White bread has very little nutritional value and the other types of bread mentioned above are much better alternatives.
Almonds are another one to avoid, as they may contain a cyanide substance that is poisonous to hamsters. Some people will say that sweet almonds are fine, but once again, I would play safely and not feed them because there are many other nuts available.
Processed and flavored cheese such as Stilton and Blue Cheese should be avoided, as they can be toxic to hamsters.
Roborovski Hamsters should not be given any citrus fruits such as oranges, as they are highly acidic. Mandarin and pineapple should also be avoided for the same reason.
Chocolate should not be given to your hamster, in addition to being full of saturated fats and sugar, it also contains a chemical called ‘Theobromine‘ that can be toxic and deadly to hamsters and other animals, since they cannot metabolize it, so it remains in their system for twenty-four hours, effectively poisoning the hamster.
Other foods that should be avoided include fruit stones such as apricots and cherries, seeds such as apple and grape seeds, peach leaves, canned foods, candy, french fries, crisps, etc.
Beans, common potatoes, and rhubarb are others that seem to be controversial, as some owners say they don’t feed at all and others say they’re fine if they cook. One thing that was agreed is that you should never feed them without processing.
Avocados are another that some people will say is fine in small amounts whenever they are peeled, however, they have a substance that has been linked to heart attacks in small creatures such as hamsters, if fed in large amounts.
How To Feed Your Roborovski Hamsters
You can put food directly in a bowl for your Roborovski hamster to eat or you can spread it through the cage. Some owners will say that this makes no sense, as hamsters will enjoy spreading the food around them, however, what hamsters really do is hoard the food and find places to hide it where they can return to it later, such as squirrels with their nuts.
I feel that spreading food around the cage encourages their search instinct and can provide a fun and enjoyable activity that relieves boredom. I will not recommend one over the other as your personal preference, but I think a combination of both works well.
You may prefer to hide and spread dry foods like carrots, seeds, and nuts and keep softer and moist foods like cucumber and fruits in the bowl to keep the cage a little cleaner.
Any food not consumed should be removed within a few hours, otherwise, it runs the risk of becoming bad or moldy, which can be harmful to your pet. Make sure you search the cage thoroughly to find any that your hamster has stored. Constantly changing the diet of your Roborovski hamster is harmful and can cause stomach problems and diarrhea.
If possible, try to keep the same dry food and introduce new foods slowly. It is always a good idea to introduce a food one day and then have a day or two with just the hamster mix before introducing another food.
You will have to watch how much your hamster eats and drinks, again another problem with hoarding, as it can trick you into thinking that they are eating more than than they are.
If you notice that there is more food in their bowl than usual or that they don’t drink much, seem to lose weight or their stools are moist or the hindquarters are soiled, then take your hamster to the vet immediately. A good way to control the amount they drink is to put marks on the side of the water bottle.
Wet and powdered foods should not be given to your hamster unless directed by the veterinarian, for example, if your pet has a dental problem, then this type of food may be recommended. If your hamster is sick and needs wet food then you should make sure that the food dish is thoroughly cleaned and that fresh food is administered at least twice a day, as this type of food can get mouldy quickly.
One last observation I will make is that any item on the list of safe foods should be administered in moderation. In large quantities, any of these foods can be harmful due to toxins, high sugar, salt, fat, etc.
Hamsters need a variety of foods in their diet, but as with humans, too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect, so always use common sense.