The 13 Best Hamster Foods to Buy in 2021

The 13 Best Hamster Foods to Buy in 2021

Hamsters are known for stuffing their faces with all their favorite foods. This is incredibly cute, but if you own a hamster, you want to make sure that they are stuffing their faces with the right kind of food. The fact that they are able to fit so much food into a tiny package is amazing, but there are things you need to know when it comes to feeding your little one.

For instance, did you know that you aren’t supposed to feed hamsters sticky foods? Or that you aren’t supposed to feed hamsters whole oats? This is because hamsters use their cheek pouches to store food to take back to their burrow, and certain foods can damage their cheek pouches.

When it comes to feeding your hamster, you’re going to need to know what you are looking for. This can be a bit tricky because of how much is on the market, but once you figure what your hamster likes and what is healthy for them, you’ll find that feeding a hamster is an easy and inexpensive thing to do. Because they are so small, bags of hamster food can last for months. Finding a mixture with the right dietary ingredients could have you set for the life of the hamster. So, what kind of foods are there?

Different Types of Hamster Food

A balanced diet for hamsters includes the following three different types of food.

Timothy Hay

Hamsters love chewing on stuff and are going to want something to chew on throughout the day. Hay is perfect for this. Not only does it satiate their need to chew, but it offers nutritional value as well. Timothy hay is a variety of hay grown specifically for feeding small animals.

A common misconception about hamsters is that they are herbivores, and therefore can live on hay alone. This is not true. They’re still going to need to get their protein somewhere.

Fruit, Seeds, Nuts, Veggies (Supplemental Mixtures)

All of the other nutrition your hamster needs can be found in mixtures. There is a wide range of these, so you’ll want to look more carefully into the ingredients and nutritional value. You also might want to take into account whether or not there is added sugar or preservatives.

Some of these mixtures you can give your hamster on a daily basis, while others might be more of a treat, which brings us to the third food type.

Treats

Yes, even hamsters like treats! Of course, they do! A lot of the time, these treats are more than just a tasty snack. They also help hamsters maintain good dental health. These snacks are normally pretty hard, which allows the hamster to chew on them for hours on end. You can use these to bond with your hamster or leave them knowing that you’ve given them hours of entertainment.

Those looking for more in-depth information about what a hamster can and can’t eat should click here.

Top 13 Best Hamster Foods 2021

1. Best Overall Pick: Oxbow Fortified Nutrition

Oxbow Fortified Nutrition


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Why we like it: This is a great all-natural base for your hamster’s diet. You can even have fun adding extra grass or kibbles to see what kind of food your hamster really loves! This food, made from Timothy hay provides complete nutrition.

Why the Hamsters Like It

The people of Oxbow Farms are experts when it comes to small animals and their dietary needs. They know how to grow and produce food that will be good for your animal, whether it be a hamster, gerbil, or bunny, for their whole lives. Hamsters like this hay for several reasons, but there are reasons why you should like it too.

The hay itself acts as a cleaning agent. It helps clear out your hamster’s digestive system and also helps to keep their teeth clean.

This food is 100% all-natural. There are no additives or preservatives. It’s food that doesn’t need additives or preservatives because it was grown with the exact dietary needs of small animals in mind. This won’t be the only food you’ll need to feed your hamster, but when it comes to their fiber needs, you’ll be totally covered. You will, however, have to find a source of protein for your little guy.

Price

This is one of the pricier hamster foods. It can be found for around $0.25 an ounce.

Pros

  • All-natural
  • Specifically grown for small animals

Cons

  • Will need to be supplemented with other foods
  • High in fiber, but lacks other nutritional value

2. Best Timothy Hay: Kaytee Timothy Hay

Kaytee Timothy Hay


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Why we like it: Timothy hay is perfect for hamsters for their daily diet. Use this in conjunction with a fruit and nut mix, and you have a wonderful complete diet for your cheek stuffing buddy!

Why the Hamsters Like It

Of all the hamster foods out there, Kaytee is arguably the number one brand on the market. They have so many options when it comes to hamster food to choose from, and this is a great place to start when it comes to building a diet for your furry friend.

Made from the 1st and 2nd cut of western Timothy hay, this blend is low in protein and calcium, but very high in fiber. This will help keep your hamster’s urinary tract healthy while giving them the strength to stuff and chew the day away. The fiber is great for your hamster’s digestive tract.

While Kaytee touts the quality of their hay, it can be a bit inconsistent at times. Sometimes you might wind up with a bag that is seemingly more dust than hay, which can lead to a very messy cage. This also shouldn’t be the entirety of your hamster’s diet. You will want to throw in some other supplemental mix of fruits or nuts or seeds to make sure your hamster has a well-rounded diet.

Price

Kaytee is known for its low prices. You can find this food for less than $0.20 an ounce.

Pros

  • 1st and 2nd cut Western Timothy hay
  • Made by a reputable hamster food company
  • Great base layer for a diet

Cons

  • Does not stand alone for dietary needs
  • Can be a very dusty mixture, which leads to a messy cage

3. Best Premium Pick: F.M. Brown’s Tropical Carnival

F.M. Brown’s Tropical Carnival


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Why we like it: F.M. Brown’s calls these treats, but they could just as easily be mixed with hay to add a little oomph to your hamster’s diet. With a wide assortment of fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies, your hamster certainly won't be complaining!

Why the Hamsters Like It

Six generations ago, F.M. Brown’s was started with the goal of having a family business that became a leading expert in nutrition. Fast forward to today, and you can certainly see the knowledge that goes into the food that they produce.

Hamsters like F.M. Brown’s because while nutrition is important to the company, so is having a delicious meal. That’s why they have packed this hamster food with all sorts of exotic flavors such as pineapple, mango, and papaya. It’s no surprise that folks with hamsters can see noticeable excitement when it’s an F.M Brown’s day.

With that being said, not every day should be an F.M. Brown’s day. Rewarding your hamster for being super cute a couple of times a week with this tropical mixture is a good way to make sure that they are eating a delicious meal while staying healthy.

Price

As far as hamster food goes, this is a premium product. Expect to spend up to $0.70 an ounce for a bag.

Pros

  • A delicious mixture of fruit, nuts, seeds, and veggies
  • Hamsters absolutely love it

Cons

  • Not meant to be used every day

4. Best Budget Pick: Wild Harvest

Wild Harvest


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Why we like it: Your hamster will also be thrilled to chow down on mixed vegetables, nuts, flaxseed, and oatmeal. You will be thrilled to know that this is all fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Why the Hamsters Like It

This is a seed-based food with tons of goodies. Each serving will find an assortment of fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, and bananas, especially in some cute little cheeks! Wild Harvest has a product that is made for hamsters, gerbils, and other small animals. The variety of the pellets inside each bag will have your hamster saying “yum!” every meal. Well, if hamsters could talk, that is.

The variety of pellets is good for both large and small hamsters. You may even find if you have a smaller hamster that they will leave some of the pellets to the side.

The larger pieces resembling Cheerios can be a favorite of hamsters, but they are rather difficult to eat and might get stuck on your furry friend’s tooth. If this happens, you’ll just need to soak it a bit with water and gently remove it. You will want to make sure to limit their portions because hamsters tend to like this blend so much they are prone to overeating.

Price

For less than $10, it is fair to say that a four-pound bag of Wild Harvest won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • Packed with fruits, veggies, and nuts
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Some pieces are really big
  • Can get stuck on your hamster’s tooth

5. Best Treats: Ecotrition Yogies

Ecotrition Yogies


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Why we like it: Ecotrition Yogies is meant to be a snack, not a meal. With that being said. Your hamsters will find these to be absolutely delightful! Think of “cheese puffs,” but for hamsters.

Why the Hamsters Like It

We all need to treat ourselves sometimes, including hamsters. They’ll be thrilled when you buy them these little cheesy treats! Made with real yogurt, these are packed with flavor, which is both delicious and fun for hamsters and other small animals alike. These look exactly like yellow chocolate chips. It will add oodles of extra cuteness when you give this to your hamster. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your hamster’s favorite snack. You should limit the amount you feed to your hamster to 1 to 2 chips per day. You might not want to order these during really hot times as they melt very easily.

Price

You should be able to find this delicious hamster snack for under $0.50 per ounce.

Pros

  • An inexpensive snack that hamsters love
  • Made with real yogurt/good for digestion

Cons

  • Not to be used as a meal
  • Easily melts

6. Best for Health: Kaytee Forti Pro-Health

Kaytee Forti Pro-Health


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Why we like it: Probiotics, Omega-3, and DHA. All fortified. Heck yes. If you (or your hamster) are looking for an all-around good food for dietary needs, Kaytee Forti is a good choice.

Why the Hamsters Like It

When you have a company that cares about the relationship between pet and owner, you wind up with food that is nutritionally sound but also promotes health in other ways. That’s exactly what you get with Kaytee Forti.

This hamster food is loaded with Omega-3 and DHA, which promotes cognitive, vascular, and optic health for your hamster. Some pieces may seem large, but they were designed that way on purpose. They help with the dental health of your precious little furry friend.

This food is also equipped with antioxidants, which help promote a strong immune system and plenty of fiber to make sure your hamster’s digestive tract is in prime condition. We all know that the cutest hamster is a healthy hamster, and with Kaytee Forti, your hamster will live a long life of being cheek stuffingly cute.

The only downside to this food is the abundance of sunflower seeds. This is a very tasty treat for hamsters, but if they are not active enough, it could cause them to gain some weight as sunflower seeds are a bit fatty.

Price

This bag can be found for around $0.10 an ounce.

Pros

  • Full of Omega-3 and DHA
  • Plenty of fiber
  • Delicious (at least to hamsters)

Cons

  • A bit fatty might need to switch up the diet every now and then

7. Best Probiotics: Higgins Sunburst

Higgins Sunburst


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Why we like it: This assortment of fruits, seeds, and veggies makes a good addition to your pets’ diet. Infused with DHA and probiotics, it is both tasty and good for your hamster.

Why the Hamsters Like It

This is an all-natural fruit, seed, and veggie mixture. With some other hamster foods, you have to worry about how often you can add them to the diet, but with Higgins Sunburst, you don’t have to worry about switching things up.

The added DHA is good for brain function, while the probiotics will keep your hamster’s digestive tract healthy. This is a product that is low in protein. Choosing a treat or a supplemental mix to add to your hamster’s food once a week that is high in protein would be a good idea if you decide to use Higgins Burst as the main meal for your pet.

Price

This is a gourmet, high-end hamster food. You could wind up paying as much as $0.70 per ounce, though there are deals to be found out there.

Pros

  • DHA and probiotics promote good health
  • Can be used daily

Cons

  • Low in protein

8. Best for Foraging: Tiny Friends Farm

Tiny Friends Farm


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Why we like it: A tasty mix that encourages their natural inclination to forage. This is a healthy meal that is nutritionally balanced with no added sugar. Tiny Friends Farm says this is a great food for all hamsters.

Why the Hamsters Like It

This mix of fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies will keep your hamster’s belly happy and also give them something to do. The peanuts and the pumpkin seeds will speak to your little one’s natural inclination to forage all while giving them a balanced meal.

There is no sugar added in this mix, but there are plenty of vitamins and protein to keep your hamster at the top of their burrowing powers. This is also good food for pickier hamsters because there is so much to pick from! Just don’t be surprised if there are leftovers. Discerning hamster owners can even figure out what parts of this food their hamster really loves, and then pick them out to use them as a treat!

If you or your hamster are excited about the peanuts, you might want to buy some extras to add on your own because there is a noticeable absence from bag to bag.

To learn more about a hamsters’ natural inclination to forage, click here.

Price

You can find a bag of Tiny Friends for around $0.25 per ounce

Pros

  • Lots of variety
  • A healthy, well-rounded meal

Cons

  • Not many peanuts!

9. Best Flavors: Kaytee Fiesta

Kaytee Fiesta


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Why we like it: Kaytee’s Fiesta mixture is a great addition to your hamster’s dining schedule. Made with a mixture of fruits and veggies, this assortment is good for the overall health of your little friend.

Why the Hamsters Like It

This is the type of food that will leave you hamster entertained meal after meal. Not only are there a bunch of different flavors going on, but there are so many differently shaped pieces to chew on that your hamster is hard-pressed to get bored.

Speaking of chewing, this blend was made with dental health in mind. While your hamster is satiating its need to eat and to chew, they will also be doing a service to their dental health. Not only is it good for dental health, but prebiotics and probiotics make it good for digestive health, while the natural antioxidants are good for your pet’s immune system.

You won’t have to worry about changing diets for a while either, as a bag of Kaytee Fiesta will most likely last for months.

This is a wonderful supplement to add with some Timothy hay, but it should be warned that this all-natural food might feel a bit too natural for some. Every now and then you might find some, um, bugs in your bag of food!

Price

Kaytee stays true to remaining affordable. You can find Kaytee Fiesta for under $0.20 an ounce.

Pros

  • Great variety of flavors
  • Prebiotics and probiotics are great for digestive health
  • Good for dental health
  • Lasts for a while

Cons

  • Very natural; you might find bugs!

10. Best All-Natural Snack: Vitakraft Slims

Vitakraft Slims


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Why we like it: This is a great healthy snack that you can give your hamster on a daily basis. Loaded with Vitamin A, these fun-sized snacks are great for keeping hamsters busy when their natural inclination to chew on something pops up.

Why the Hamsters Like It

This is a really simple treat made out of all-natural grains and carrots. Hamsters and other small animals will love the taste and also love that it gives them something to chew on. The best part about these snacks just might be how long they last.

Depending on how hungry your hamster is, these can last up to 5 days. This is also a very clean snack, and not just in the ingredients. You won’t have to worry about little shreds of carrot snack dirtying up your hamster cage, and even if there were some leftover bits, we have a feeling that the hamster would take care of it.

With no sugar added, you can be confident that you are giving your pet a healthy treat. Vitakraft Slims are also good for hamsters with sensitive tummies. These treats are gluten-free and easy to digest for even the most sensitive stomachs.

Price

You should be able to find this nutritious snack for under $3 a bag.

Pros

  • Lasts for up to 5 days
  • Nutritious
  • Great for when your pet wants to chew something
  • Can be used daily

Cons

  • Some pickier hamsters don't like the taste

11. Best Biscuits: Kaytee Timothy Biscuits

Kaytee Timothy Biscuits


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Why we like it: Hamsters have their vices just like all of us, and Kaytee Timothy Biscuits are perfect for a hamster who just needs to chew on something. Not only do these give your fluffy little one something to do when they are bored, but they also hold nutritional value and are great for dental health.

Why the Hamsters Like It

An activity that hamsters can’t seem to get enough of is chewing. This is great for us because they are so precious when nibbling on a snack, and also great for them to help maintain their long teeth. Kaytee Timothy Biscuits were made with this in mind.

These snacks are made with Timothy hay and apples, so they are packed with hearty, healthy hamster ingredients. You can lay these in your hamster’s cage and watch them forage for them, or you can hand feed them to your pet. This makes Kaytee Timothy Biscuits ideal for bonding with your hamster. Every time they smell one of these snacks in your hand, they will come to you lovingly, excited to chow down.

High in fiber, this snack will do more than endear your hamster to you, they are also great snacks for overall health. In fact, you can use this snack for up to 20% of your pet’s diet. The only downside to this snack is that pickier eaters sometimes don’t like them. If they become soiled, you will need to discard them.

Price

These tiny snacks have a tiny price tag. You should be able to find them for less than $5 a bag.

Pros

  • Great for overall health
  • Does not have to be used as sparingly as other snacks
  • Can be a great bonding tool

Cons

  • Picky eaters might not like them
  • Must be discarded if soiled

12. Best for Bored Hamsters: Ware Critter Pops

Ware Critter Pops


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Why we like it: These fun multi-colored treats are great for when your hamster is craving a snack or just something to do! Made from rice and corn, Ware has made special treats for your small animal that will satiate their snacking needs and also promotes healthy teeth.

Why the Hamsters Like It

Snacks are a great thing for your hamster for several reasons. These snacks by Ware, specifically, will help your hamster’s teeth stay healthy. That is because they are made to be chewed over a decent period of time instead of wolfed down in one sitting.

Not only does this keep the teeth of your pet healthy, but it will help them overcome cage boredom, which can be a real issue when it comes to hamsters and other small animals. With that said, these treats may not last as long as some of the other treats on our list.

You can use these treats for different things as well. Feel free to leave them in the cage for your hamster to chew whenever they want, or you could feed this to your hamster from your hand, making for an awesome bonding experience.

There are other things that might hold someone back from getting these as opposed to other snacks. While these treats are colorful and fun, that does mean that they were dyed using food coloring.

Some pet owners will want to avoid this. As for the ingredient list, these little rice puffs are mostly healthy, but there is some added sugar and corn. If you decide to use these as a treat, you would be advised not to give one to your furry friend every day. However, these treats are wheat-free, making them easy to digest even for hamsters with sensitive stomachs.

Price

You can find this product for under $5 a bag.

Pros

  • Great for solving cage boredom
  • Can be used for bonding
  • Good for healthy teeth

Cons

  • Added sugars and dyes
  • Not meant for daily use

13. Best Sweet Treat: Vitakraft Bursts

Vitakraft Bursts


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Why we like it: After digging through a top layer of Timothy hay, your hamster will quite literally find out what is inside of this snack; berries! Imagine a Fig Newton, but for hamsters, and that is what you’re getting with the VitaKraft Bursts.

Why the Hamsters Like It

By now, we know how much hamsters love to chew, and with the Vitakraft Bursts, your pet will be rewarded for their efforts. After taking the time to get through the very crispy outer shell made of Timothy hay, your hamster will find a center that tastes deliciously of wild berries. Not only is it rewarding, but it is healthy as well.

The work your hamster will have to do on the outer shell is great for their overall dental health, while the berries inside offer tons of vitamins.

While this is a healthy snack, it isn’t necessarily the most healthy snack, and we wouldn’t advise giving these to your pet every day. Basically, this is candy for hamsters. Corn syrup is one of the main ingredients, and the amount of wheat in these treats could lead to bloating. Hamsters with sensitive stomachs might find these hard to digest.

Price

You can find this yummy hamster candy for less than $5 a bag.

Pros

  • Hard Timothy hay shell good for dental health
  • Yummy reward on the inside
  • Full of vitamins

Cons

  • Hard to digest for hamsters with sensitive stomachs
  • Not to be used every day

There’s Plenty to Know About Hamsters, But First, What Kinds Are There?

A lot of people might think that hamsters are just hamsters. Just like there are different breeds of dogs and cats, there are different breeds of hamsters! Some make for better pets, while there are other breeds of hamster you’ll probably never see because they live out in the wild.

Types of Hamsters

Syrian Hamster

This is the most common breed of hamster and the breed of hamster you will find in most homes. The Syrian hamster is the first breed of a hamster ever to be found, and is named after its homeland, Syria. Syrian hamsters are very individualistic and do not like living with other hamsters. They prefer dry and warm climates, as evidenced by their Syrian descent. Syrian hamsters have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.

Chinese Hamster

The Chinese hamster is most well-known for its predominant racing stripe that runs down its back. This is a smaller hamster and is often confused with the Dwarf hamster. Chinese hamsters are known as “striped hamsters” because of the aforementioned stripe, and “rat-tail hamsters” because their tails are long and rat-like. This breed of hamster is more friendly than a Syrian hamster but still does not mind living alone. The lifespan for a Chinese hamster is 2.5 to 3 years.

Dwarf Hamster

Dwarf hamsters might be the most sociable of the hamsters. This means that they are able to live with other hamsters as long as the other hamster is also a Dwarf hamster and the same sex. These hamsters are also totally fine with living alone. The Dwarf hamster, as the name implies, is a smaller animal and could give a pet owner troubles when handling the fluffy cutie. Pet owners can expect these white-bellied friends to live for 1.5 to 2 years

Roborovski Hamster

The Roborovski hamster is the smallest type of hamster that there is, growing up to only 2 inches in length. This is another social hamster that doesn’t mind living with others but also doesn’t mind living by itself. Some might say that this is the most “chill” of the hamster breeds. Though diminutive in size, this hamster has the longest lifespan of any hamster at 3.5 to 5 years.

European Hamster

The European hamster is worth mentioning because this is a hamster you are likely to only find in the wild. This breed is also on the critically endangered list, making it even more unlikely to see out in the wild. This is an intensely aggressive hamster, but even though it has a fighting nature, that hasn’t been enough to protect it from a changing climate and agriculture. Their population has diminished by 94% in Europe and 75% in Asia.

Get to Know Your Hamster Better

There are a lot of reasons that hamsters make for great pets. They are adorable, great for kids, can look after themselves, and aren’t wildly expensive. With that said, you do still have to look after them. Here are some tidbits and tips that should make life as a hamster owner a little bit easier.

A Tidy Home

Some people don’t like the idea of having pets because they’ll have to pick up after them after they… you know. Hamsters are unusually easy in this regard. Once they get comfortable in their cage, they’ll find a nice tiny corner to do their business. All you will have to do is scoop it out and add a little bit more of whatever it is you use as a lining. This has two distinct advantages. The first is that with hamsters, you’ll hardly have noticeable odors in your home. The second is that they will typically leave the rest of their cage nice and tidy, meaning you will hardly ever have to clean it!

Flying Solo

There are plenty of pet owners who like to get companions for their furry friends. This doubles the cost of having a pet and may steer some hopeful pet owners away. Hamsters, on the other hand, are very individualistic. In fact, most of them flat out don’t like each other. When you have a hamster, it is best to have just one. This will keep down costs and also keep down the daily maintenance of your animal.

So Cute!

It’s no secret that hamsters are great pets for kids. They are friendly and tiny, making them easy to handle. But, even when domesticated, hamsters like to build a stash of food. Let your kids place a pile of food in their cage and watch as they stuff it into their cheeks.

Once they have fit all they can, they’ll choose their favorite piece of food and carry it back to their cache in their mouths. Kids love to watch it. Who are we kidding? Everyone loves to watch it!

Escape Artists

While hamsters are super easy to handle, they can be a bit tricky because they are so good at getting out of, well, anything. This is a survival mechanism for the hamster, which could cause you a pretty big headache when you realize that your hamster isn’t in its cage anymore. They are able to do this because of their nearly elastic spines. So, make sure you cover your cage thoroughly or expect a frustrating search.

Is the Doc In?

Before getting a hamster, you will want to have your vet lined up. That is because hamsters are considered “exotic animals” so they can only be seen by specialized veterinarians.

A Good Pair

If you really want your hamster to have a buddy, make sure you know what kind of species it is. Some hamsters, such as Syrian hamsters, absolutely should not live with other hamsters, while other hamsters, like Siberian hamsters, are able to live with others as long as they are the same sex.

Back to the Burrow

Little hamster

With a little knowledge of nutrition and basic hamster facts, you can have a great time with a hamster. They are very easy to take care of and can be wonderful and loving pets. They are especially good for children. Just make sure to remember to have a vet in place before deciding to get a hamster. This will also give you a wonderful source to help fine-tune your hamster’s diet. Once you have everything in place you can enjoy watching them stuff their cheeks while stuffing your heart with cuteness!

Need food for your other furry friends? Make sure to check out our guides of the best grain-free dog foods and the best high fiber cat foods.

Team PetMag

We’re a diverse team of animal lovers with a penchant for pups and a fascination with felines. As pet owners, we know that all pets are part of the family. Whether you live with pooches, pussy cats, rodents, or reptiles, we want to support them in living happy, healthy lives. Nothing tops our unwavering love for animals, but sharing all of our tips and tricks here at Pet Mag is a close second. We’re here to guide you through all of your pet care needs, like fighting fleas, picking grooming gloves, or simply hunting down the tastiest treats available.