Feeding Your Hamster or Gerbil

Your hamster or gerbil is an omnivore which means he eats both plant and animal material. Your hamster or gerbil requires a simple diet composed of a complete fortified food, fresh water served in both a sipper bottle and tip-proof dish (although gerbils drink very little water), and veggies and fruits in appropriate daily amounts. 


Supply grass hay to stimulate natural foraging and nesting, which helps in the prevention of obesity. Hamsters and gerbils especially enjoy oat hay, which often contains tasty immature seed heads. 

Hay Selection

Use our Taste & Texture Guide located on every hay package to determine your pet’s taste and texture preferences.

Oxbow Farm-Fresh Hays and Compressed Hays:

Fortified Food

A daily recommended amount of a high-fiber, fortified food should make up approximately 75% of your pet’s daily diet. A complete fortified food such as Oxbow’s Essentials Hamster and Gerbil Food contains all-natural grass and whole grain ingredients, which is the best option for your hamster or gerbil. All Oxbow foods are uniform, offering complete nutrition in every bite.  


Mixes with nuts, corn, seeds, and fruit because hamsters and gerbils have a tendency to select those tempting morsels over the healthy food pieces.

Veggies and Fruits

Veggies and fruits are an important part of your hamster or gerbil’s daily diet. These items offer important vitamins and nutrients, contribute to hydration, and provide enrichment to your pet’s daily routine. Check with your qualified exotics veterinarian for a full list of appropriate veggie and fruit choices.


Treats are great for encouraging interaction between you and your pet, but they should only be given after basic daily foods have been eaten. Offering too many treats can cause your hamster or gerbil to refuse his healthy, essential foods. It’s important to remember that not all treats are created equal! All Oxbow treat varieties are designed to be as wholesome as they are delicious.