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If you’re anything like me, you’ll make sure that you always stock up your hamster’s food supply so that you are never left short. You might also want to feed your pet a variety of foods and have perhaps heard about some of the benefits of freezing the food before giving it to your hamster. But can you freeze hamster food?
A lot of pet owners freeze their hamster’s food, and this is a good idea since it can kill bacteria and insect eggs. It is also a viable way to store the food and keep it fresh but you must make sure that you freeze it correctly.
But there are some ins and outs to the subject that you should be aware of before heading to the freezer. So, let’s take a look at these and help you make the most out of freezing your hamster food.
Can You Freeze Hamster Food?
When you purchase dried hamster food from a pet store, it is usually not frozen. But many people have become aware that there could be some nasties lurking in the food that you wouldn’t want your hamster getting their mitts on.
For this reason, some pet owners choose to freeze their hamster’s food, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, a lot of people would agree that this is a very beneficial thing to do.
Inside the hamster food or any treats that you might offer to him, there could be mites or other small insects like weevils or moths.
While finding full-sized creepy-crawlies in your pet’s food is unlikely, there is a good chance that these mini creatures may have laid eggs in the food.
This is an attractive place for them to do this, and freezing is an excellent method for killing the eggs and making the food safer for your hamster.
However, you cannot simply throw the food into the freezer and get on with your day. There is a specific technique that should be used to get the best results.
First of all, you must make sure that you put the dried hamster food into a plastic container whose lid will seal shut. This is to prevent any moisture from penetrating the food either while it is in the freezer or during the defrosting period.
It is best to leave the food in the freezer for at least 24 hours before you give it to your hamster.
That being said, there are some owners who would suggest, and I agree that a week is preferable. This is to ensure that every trace of bacteria or mite eggs has been dealt with. If you buy your food in bulk, it should not be a problem storing it for this long.
When it is time to give the food to the hamster, you must make sure that it is properly defrosted. Doing this doesn’t take long; in fact, you can defrost a portion at room temperature in as little as two to three hours.
Once the entire bag has defrosted, you can then keep it out of the freezer until it is used up. After it has been frozen, it is unlikely that any mites, moths, or other bugs will be attracted to it.
Freezing Other Types Of Food For Hamsters
As we know, hamsters thrive on a varied diet and merely offering them dried food might be a little bland for them.
They’ll certainly get a decent amount of nutrition from store-bought foods designed for small pets but giving them some extras can go a long way in mimicking their natural diet.
But it can be tricky to know what can be frozen and what cannot. This is particularly true if you feed your hamster leftover fruits and veggies.
Hamsters can have things like broccoli, carrots, squash, apple, and banana. But not all fruits can be frozen.
Things that contain a lot of water may defrost into a mushy mess that your hamster won’t be interested in. Conversely, if you want to freeze small portions of hard fruits and vegetables to treat your hamster at a later date, there is no reason why you shouldn’t.
Some hamsters enjoy a meaty insect treat from time to time, and in the main, owners will often buy a tub of crickets from the pet store. These can be purchased live, but this involves keeping them alive and fed until you are ready to give them to your hamster.
Freezing dead crickets, mealworms, and other insects is perfectly acceptable and a great way to keep them fresh for your pet.
Freezing Other Hamster Items
Another thing that you could freeze is your hamster’s toys and bedding. The bedding, in particular, could be susceptible to a similar problem as the food; mites and other tiny insects could use it for laying eggs. This is the last thing that you will want to put into your pet’s cage so you can follow a similar freezing routine to the food and ensure that the bedding is fresh, clean, and uninhabited.
Similarly, there are many cork and wooden toys in pet stores, as well as things like dried leaves and other burrowing materials. These natural materials are excellent for your pet but do require freezing before use.
If you stick to getting all of your hamster’s supplies from a reputable pet store in sealed bags and containers, it is unlikely that there will be a problem, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Furthermore, if you ever consider gathering materials from outside, you must be aware of the risk of bacteria and insect eggs.
Can hamster food go bad?
Yes, much like anything else, hamster food, such as the mixes you would buy at the pet store, can go bad. However, they tend to last much longer if they are stored correctly, so always make sure to check the storage instructions. Of course, you can always freeze the food to prolong its life.
Can salt kill hamsters?
Salt is an important compound for most living things, but too much of it can cause serious health problems and dehydration which can lead to death. For this reason, you should make sure that you do not give your hamster too much salt.