Your Pocket Pet’s Diet

You’re preparing to add a pocket pet to your household , but you haven’t decided which little critter you’ll choose. You’d like to learn about each pocket pet variety’s care, especially their dietary requirements, before making your final decision. Your Beaverton veterinarian can be a valuable ally, as he regularly provides care for varied pocket pets.



Fortunately, you can buy food pellets tailored for hamsters. Supplement this diet with lettuce, spinach, apples, and carrots. Give your hamster fresh water daily, ideally in a drip-type container he can’t knock over. Remove leftover perishable food from your hamster’s dish, as you don’t want the food to spoil and smell. Don’t ever feed him apple seeds, parsley, sprouting potatoes, green tomato parts, or raw beans. These foods can be poisonous for the little guys.


Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs also merit their own pelleted food mixture, although they also require Vitamin C in their diets. Provide this essential nutrient by adding fruits and diced vegetables, such as cabbage and kale. Dice up zucchini, sweet potato, or carrots once a week. Avoid sugar-laden citrus fruits such as oranges. Perhaps your guinea pig would like to chase his meals with water, so provide clean water daily in a drip container. Remove perishable food scraps from your guinea pig’s food bowl after he stops chowing down. You don’t want to face leftovers that have morphed into another life form by the next morning.



Your gerbil will enjoy his own pelleted gerbil food in a heavy ceramic dish he can’t overturn. Fresh vegetables and fruits make good occasional diet additions. Carrots, broccoli, and dark greens are ideal choices; but banish iceberg lettuce. Your busy little rodent will work up a thirst, so provide fresh water daily from a drip container. Again, don’t keep leftovers in your gerbil’s dish, as they’ll become unappetizing pretty quickly.



Your local pet store will likely stock pelleted rat chow. If not, ask your vet if it’s okay to substitute a low-fat, top-quality dry dog food, mixed with small portions of a seed/grain blend. Give your rat unlimited fresh water using a sturdy bottle. This prevents him from tipping over his water bowl or depositing feces or bedding in his clean water.


Regardless of the pocket pet you choose, your Beaverton vet will enjoy meeting a well-fed little rodent when your pet arrives for his physical exam.


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