Sunburst Hamster Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons, and More

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: August 25, 2022


This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species.

Key Points:
  • Higgins Sunburst hamster food is a perfect natural food to feed your hamster. It’s loaded with healthy vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and mixed fruits.
  • Higgins Sunburst also produces a delicious stick treat to make chowing down even more enjoyable for your pet hamster or gerbil. They are also suitable for rabbits, rats, and mice.
  • Loaded with healthy ingredients, Higgins Sunburst food supports your hamster’s bone health and protects its body from toxins with added DHA omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.

Higgins Sunburst hamster food is quite the delight for your little furballs. It’s loaded with all the natural, good stuff like pre-cooked legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and mixed fruits—plus, it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking at food labels to ensure you’re only feeding your pets the best of the best. With Higgins Sunburst, you can rest easy. There are no preservatives, chemical colors, or artificial flavors included in the recipe. When you find a brand that incorporates some of these unnecessary additives, they’re just trying to appeal to the customer. When you’re enjoying meals, it’s nice to have a variety of colors on your plate. You may even enjoy a drizzle design alongside your steak. But when it comes to hamsters, what does color matter? Nutrients are most important! We cover the benefits of this product and help you understand where it’s made, what the ingredients are, and even if there have been any recalls you should look out for.

Sunburst uses colors sourced from seeds, spices, and vegetables. The use of natural ingredients and their colors wins us over. Hamsters don’t need aesthetically pleasing meals. They just need meals that meet their nutritional requirements. The ingredients list is excellent and when you have well-balanced food for your hamster, it satiates your pet and makes you feel good about your choices. The intentional and simple approach to hamster food that Sunburst has is what appeals to responsible pet owners like you. This hamster food formula encapsulates several health benefits: improved digestive health, immune system support, and active, beneficial bacteria with the use of protected probiotics. You’ll learn more about the formula, safety, and price of this hamster food too!

Our Top Pick
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Gerbil & Hamster Food
  • Promotes growth and development with an adequate amount of protein
  • Contains vitamins to support growth
  • Contains no sunflower seeds for weight control
  • Supports active, beneficial bacteria with the use of protected probiotics
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Sunburst Hamster Food Benefits and Features

This hamster food is beneficial for hamsters (and gerbils!) because it accomplishes the following:

  • Optimally meets your hamster’s dietary needs and preferences for flavors
  • Fortified with vitamins to support growth, relieve the effects of stress, promote healing, and support healthy skin and coats
  • Supports bone health and protects the body from toxins with added DHA omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Stimulates beneficial gut bacteria with protected probiotics
  • Stimulates appetite with a variety of textures and flavors
  • Promotes growth and development with an adequate amount of protein

Sunburst Hamster Food Pros & Cons


  • High protein when compared with other brands and products
  • Limited pellets included in the recipe
  • No sunflower seeds (for hamsters on weight control eating plans)


  • May require supplementation with a lab block depending on your hamster’s protein needs
  • High amount of millet seed (for picky hamsters who avoid this ingredient)
  • Some hamsters will not eat the pellets included in this hamster food

Where is Sunburst Hamster Food Made?

Sunburst hamster food has a great origin story. They started as a small pet shop in 1972, when the founder, Ignacio Perea Sr., a Cuban immigrant landed in Miami, Florida. The small pet store specialized in companion birds initially—Ignacio would hand mix the ingredients with vitamins and feed the seed blend to his beloved birds. Others in the area quickly took notice and the business began to flourish. Today, this company is a multi-million dollar operation that continues to run out of Miami, Florida. The next family generation is committed to preserving the quality of Ignacio’s original pet shop.

Higgins Sunburst Hamster Food Ingredients

Higgins Sunburst contains several different ingredients that hamsters love. Your hamster will find white millet, oats, wheat, sun-cured alfalfa hay, soybean hulls, corn, and flakes peas in the mix. Fruit additions include coconut, raisins, apples, cashews, papaya, and pineapple. Some of the vitamins include A, D3, E, zinc sulfate, and niacin. For probiotic support, dried enterococcus faecium, dried lactobacillus acidophilus, and dried lactobacillus casei are included.

The guaranteed analysis breaks down crude protein at a minimum of 15%, crude fat at a minimum of 7%, crude fiber at a maximum of 9.5%, and moisture at a maximum of 11.5%. Vitamin A is included at a minimum of 8,000 IU/kg with omega-3 fatty acids coming in at a minimum of 0.40%. DHA is included at a minimum of 0.03% and the total lactic acid bacteria contain a minimum of 2 x 105 cfu/g.

Which Type of Hamster is Sunburst Hamster Food Best Suited For?

This type of hamster food is suitable for hamsters of all life stages! If you have a teddy bear hamster, for example, you know he can stuff his cheek pouches with plenty of food! Even dwarf hamsters love this mix. In our experience, when hamsters take to a certain food, they can happily munch away on it throughout their lives. Depending on your hamster’s nutritional needs, you may want to incorporate an additional protein source, like dried mealworms or a lab block. This just adds variety for your hamster and can ensure he’s receiving the right nutrients for his optimal health.

Sunburst Hamster Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration closely monitors recalls on pet products to ensure any damaging products are swiftly removed from the market. These recalls come through in a variety of ways, including from the company’s own initiative, by FDA request, or by FDA order under statutory authority. As of the date of this article, there have been zero recalls for Higgins Sunburst hamster food, which demonstrates the commitment to quality on behalf of this brand.

Where to Buy

You can purchase Higgins Sunburst hamster food online! Check out Amazon or Chewy for fast shipping and great deals:

Our Top Pick
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Gerbil & Hamster Food
  • Promotes growth and development with an adequate amount of protein
  • Contains vitamins to support growth
  • Contains no sunflower seeds for weight control
  • Supports active, beneficial bacteria with the use of protected probiotics
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Sunburst Hamster Food Specs

This gourmet blend includes all the natural ingredients your hamster loves to munch on along with vitamins and minerals to create well-rounded nutrition.


The formula includes protected probiotics, DHA omega-3, and assorted fruits and veggies to suit your hamster’s natural appetite. To entice even the pickiest hamsters, this hamster food is loaded with grain, seeds, legumes, and vegetables too. Instead of packing the formula with artificial flavors, preservatives, and chemical colors, Sunburst keeps it raw and simple. They use balanced ingredients that support your hamster’s immune system and digestive health.


By leaving out artificial colors, preservatives, and flavorings, Higgins Sunburst is already doing more than most hamster food brands. They actively seek out high-end ingredients to supply your pet with the food they love while also ensuring they are provided with optimal nutrition. The colors you see in the gourmet food mix are derived naturally from seeds, spices, and vegetables. They’re constantly looking toward finding healthier alternatives whenever possible to avoid using cheap fillers that don’t benefit your pet. Additionally, they focus on quadruple air-washing all the ingredients so that your pet doesn’t have to deal with all the dust that comes from regular brands. They also use premium, oxygen-barrier, resealable packaging to keep their products fresh for longer than their competitors.


For a 2.5 pound bag of this gourmet blend, you can expect to pay $7.99 and when you subscribe for regular deliveries, you can knock 5% off your total (and it’s one less thing to remember!). If you’re stocking up, you may want to consider the 25-pound bag, which has a list price of $67.00 and costs only $47.39 on the Chewy website (that’s a 30% discount!). You can also find this hamster food on Amazon—just check for the best deals when shopping!

Sunburst Hamster Food vs. Wild Harvest Nutrition Diet and Advanced Nutrition Diet

Sunburst and Wild Harvest both provide hamster food that includes wholesome vegetables and delicious seeds for your hamster. Although Wild Harvest also fortifies its hamster food with vitamins and minerals, it’s lacking a protected probiotic to support your hamster’s digestive health. Additionally, Wild Harvest hamster and gerbil food boasts flaxseed for optimal nutrition, an ingredient also incorporated into the Sunburst formula.

Best Alternative
Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Complete & Balanced Diet Hamster & Gerbil Food
  • Includes nutritious veggies and yummy seeds that your pet will love
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • It does not include a protected probiotic to support your pet's digestive health
  • Includes flaxseed for essential fatty acids
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Other Products

If you’re looking for a companion treat to pair with the Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Gerbil & Hamster Food, then Higgins also put’s out a yummy stick treat that your hamsters or gerbils will love! The Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Treat Stick is pumpkin flavored, thanks to the crushed pumpkin seeds that make up just one of the wholesome ingredients. Other ingredients include: cashews, carrots, a variety of seeds, grains and gluten-free Vita Garden fiber-biotic pellets. The sticks can be attached to your pet’s cage for hearty consumption, then discarded when finished.

Best Treat
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Treat Stick Nutty Pumpkin Flavor (3 Pack)
  • Treats include wholesome vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes 
  • Contains DHA, Omega fatty acids and digestive probiotics
  • Delicious pumpkin flavored stick-shaped treat can be attached to pet's cage
Check Amazon

Bottom Line

It’s easy to see why hamsters flock to Sunburst hamster food and why pet owners make it their go-to product. If you’re planning on switching your hamster over to this gourmet blend, gradually mix it in with your pet’s old diet. When you transition slowly over a seven to 10 day period, your hamster will be more likely to take to the new diet, without any digestive upset. Plus, the protected probiotics in this formula make it easier for your hamster to adjust. He’ll have plenty of different textures and flavors to explore, which will keep him on his toes and satiated with all the nutrients he needs.

Up Next…

About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

Sunburst Hamster Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Sunburst a good hamster food?

Absolutely! Higgins Sunburst has kept with their word and their mission: to never forget where it all began. They care about crafting foods with the utmost care so your pet can enjoy a long, healthy life. Taking the initiative to support your hamster, they enrich their formulas with protected probiotics—these beneficial microorganisms get to work right away to support your hamster’s immune health and digestive health. Aside from ensuring your pet gets the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and probiotics necessary to support overall health, the formula includes a variety of ingredients that appeal to your hamster. He’ll have plenty of seeds, vegetables, and fruits to devour!

What are the ingredients in Sunburst hamster food?

We love that Sunburst is transparent about all the ingredients used in this formula. The following is a complete list of all ingredients included in this gourmet blend:

White Millet, Oats, Sun-Cured Timothy Hay, Wheat, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Hay, Corn, Sunflower Seeds, Red Milo, Flaked Peas, Flaked Beans, Peanuts, Yellow Peas, Flaked Carrots, Flaked Corn, Soybean Hulls, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Pumpkin Seeds, Coconut, Raisins, Soybean Meal, Apples, Dicalcium Phosphate, Cashews, Papaya, Pineapple, Salt, Flaxseed, Vegetable Oil, Color Added (Algae Meal), Soybean Oil, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Potassium Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

What hamster food is best?

Ultimately, the best hamster food is the type your hamster enjoys eating. If your hamster doesn’t like the flavor of a particular formula or avoids some of the nutritious ingredients, you may need to supplement with other types of foods or switch it up altogether. On average, hamsters eat between 11 and 14 grams of food every day. When looking at hamster food options, look for the guaranteed analysis. Hamsters should have 15-16% protein in their diet with 4-5% of fat. Hamsters are notorious for selectively feeding, so offering a nutrient-dense and complete formula can help them enjoy a variety of textures and flavors to keep them engaged with all the nutrients offered.

Is Sunburst good for dwarf hamsters?

Yes! Though dwarf hamsters are smaller than their counterparts, they still require the nutrition offered by Sunburst, just in smaller amounts. These tiny pets grow only to four inches and to get there, they need the same types of nutrients as other, larger hamsters. The formula contains high-quality ingredients, beneficial vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and probiotics to ensure your dwarf hamster lives a healthy life. The variety of ingredients ensures your pet maintains an interest in eating — there’s always a new flavor or texture to explore!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.