Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Hamsters > Can Hamsters Eat Guinea Pig Food? Facts & FAQ

Can Hamsters Eat Guinea Pig Food? Facts & FAQ

Can Hamsters Eat Guinea Pig Food

Hamsters are popular household pets that tend to get lumped together with other rodent pets, like guinea pigs. While these critters do have similarities, there are also many differences between them. But what about the food that they eat? Can hamsters eat guinea pig food? Is it healthy for them? The short answer is no, hamsters should not eat guinea pig food.

One guinea pig meal will not make your hamster ill or harm them in any way. But pet hamsters should not be eating guinea pig food regularly. In this article, we break down the reasons and offer advice about what your hamster should be eating instead.


Why Can’t Hamsters Eat Guinea Pig Food?

Hamsters are omnivores, which means they eat grasses, fruit, veggies, grains, and meat. Guinea pigs are herbivores, so they need no meat in their diets to thrive. Hamsters need much more protein in their daily diets than guinea pigs. Therefore, commercial food made for guinea pigs is not formulated the same as hamster food.

If your hamster is regularly fed guinea pig food for an extended period, they could become nutrient deficient and their health could suffer. Signs of nutrient deficiencies include dry and frail fur, lethargy, dehydration, and disinterest in playing with toys or interacting with family members. A veterinarian visit should take place at the first sign of deficiencies. A vet can help you plan and execute a proper diet for your little furry family member and get them back on the road to health.


What Hamsters Should Be Eating

Hamsters do eat some of the same things as guinea pigs, but they require fewer plant foods and more protein, so their food should be formulated accordingly. Here is what your hamster should be eating.

Commercial Food

hamster holding food
Image by: Derek Sewell, Pixabay

Hamsters should receive quality commercial food as their main source of nutrients. Commercial foods contain the right ratios of protein and grains that are necessary for a strong immune system and a healthy body. Some foods even contain dehydrated fruits and veggies for added nutrition, flavor, and texture. Many of these foods are made for both hamsters and gerbils because they have the same basic dietary needs. However, there are foods on the market that are made specifically for hamsters.

Fruits and Vegetables

gray hamster is eating a cucumber from a girl's hand near his house
Image Credit: Irennikia, Shutterstock

Your hamster should also receive fresh fruits and vegetables every day as treats for nutrition and stimulation. Hamsters love eating small chunks of carrot, cucumber, celery, tomato, melon, bananas, oranges, and berries. But it is important to remember that a little goes a long way! Only feed your hamster a chunk or two of a fruit or veggie every day to minimize the risk of digestion problems.


Chicken breast cubes cooked in skillet
Image Credit: semirh, Pixabay

Although hamsters do not have to eat meat if they are getting enough protein from quality plant sources, they may enjoy doing so, and you can give them a small piece of chicken, ham, or steak as a special treat once or twice a week. Any meat that your hamster eats must be fully cooked, as they are prone to the same foodborne illnesses, such as E. coli, as we humans are. Make sure the meat is also completely cool before offering it to your hamster so they do not burn their feet or mouth.



Feeding a hamster is serious business. Without a proper diet, they cannot be expected to thrive and enjoy a high quality of life. This means they should not be fed the food of guinea pigs or any other animals. They deserve a diet that is tailored specifically to their biological needs. Fortunately, it is not hard to keep a hamster well-fed!

What kinds of foods does your hamster enjoy eating the most?

Featured Image Credit: Frenjamin Benklin, Unsplash

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets