Not all kinds of food are safe for consumption by Hamsters. There are several kinds of food that considered harmful and toxic for them. Therefore, we must be very careful regarding the type of food we feed our Hamsters.
Hamsters have a weak digestive system. Therefore, they cannot handle complex carbohydrates and sugar very well. Certain food items such as avocados, raw eggs, chocolates, allium vegetables, and iceberg lettuce are terrible for Hamsters. Besides these, avoid serving them with any kind of processed food.
A well-balanced diet of a Hamster includes commercially made pellets, fruits, vegetables, and other treats. You must do proper research about the food you are feeding your Hamster if you are unsure about it.
Also, anything in excess is bad for our Hamster’s health. Therefore, you must be careful about the same.
In this article, let us discuss about the types of food that we should never feed our Hamsters. So, let’s get right into it!
What Foods Are Harmful To Hamsters?
Certain food items are considered toxic for our Hamsters. Consumption of such food might lead to certain health problems in our Hamsters. Besides this, excessive eating of this food might even cause the immediate death of your pet Hamster.
Listed below are some of the food that you should avoid feeding your Hamsters at all cost:
- Raw Eggs, Raw Meat, Raw Fish
- Allium Vegetables (Onions, Garlic, Shallots & More)
- Processed Snacks Or Junk Food (Such As Fries, Chips & More)
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Cat Or Dog Food
- Sugary/Salty Food Or Drinks
Hamsters cannot eat avocados at all. Avocados contain certain chemicals that are not suitable for consumption by our Hamsters. They are rich in fatty acids and person (a chemical) that can cause digestive problems in our Hamsters.
Although avocados have a lot of health benefits for us, they are a terrible choice for our Hamsters. Consumption of avocados might even lead to food toxicity in Hamsters. This is because Hamsters do not have the capability to vomit or throw up.
Besides this, Hamsters cannot digest avocado seeds. Avocado pits are huge and hard for our Hamsters to digest. It can easily lead to choking hazards in them.
If your Hamster has consumed a tiny amount of avocado, they might not show any negative reactions. However, it would be best to consult a vet.
Raw Eggs, Raw Meat, Raw Fish
We should not never serve our Hamsters with raw eggs, meat, or fish. It is not at all safe for consumption by our Hamsters.
These raw foods contain certain kinds of bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, that can lead to deadly infections in our Hamsters. These infections are extremely tough to treat.
Also, consumption of raw eggs might lead to biotin (a B-vitamin) deficiencies in our Hamsters. Therefore, it is best to avoid serving our Hamsters with raw eggs, meat, or fish.
Allium Vegetables (Onions, Garlic, Shallots & More)
Serving allium vegetables to the Hamsters is a terrible idea. Some of the common allium vegetables include onion, garlic, and shallots. These vegetables, in any form, are not suitable for consumption by the Hamsters.
Due to the presence of high amounts of antioxidants and Vitamin C, allium vegetables are excellent for humans. However, we should never seed them to our Hamsters.
The presence of disulfides in these vegetables can cause anemia in Hamsters. Besides this, these vegetables are packed with sugar, which can lead to severe health problems such as diabetes and diarrhea in Hamsters.
Also, consumption of these vegetables can lead to bleeding disorders and gastrointestinal irritation in the Hamsters.
Processed Snacks Or Junk Food (Such As Fries, Chips & More)
Processed snacks or junk food of any kind is extremely toxic for our Hamsters. Hamsters have a sensitive digestive system, therefore, they cannot digest fried and cooked food well.
Consumption of any of this food is terrible for their health. It can lead to several health problems in them such as:
- Urinary Complications: Processed foods are high in calcium and phosphorus. Excess of these two might lead to severe kidney-related problem.
- Digestive Problems: Hamsters do not handle spices well. Besides this, most processed foods are packed with excessive salt, carbs, and calories, which are extremely harmful to our Hamsters. It will also make our Hamsters obese in no time.
We should never feed our Hamsters with chocolates. Chocolates are rich in theobromine (a chemical) and caffeine, which should be kept away from our Hamsters at all costs. Although Hamsters can enjoy some of the human foods, chocolates are not one of them.
Besides this, chocolates contain a high amount of sugar, which might lead to serious digestive complications in our Hamsters. It could make them obese. It might also lead to health problems such as diarrhea and diabetes.
If your Hamster has consumed even the smallest piece of chocolate, you must monitor them closely. If they show any negative reactions, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Rhubarb is not at all safe for our Hamsters to eat. Rhubarb is rich in oxalic acid, which is terrible for our Hamster’s health. It might lead to several health problems such as gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, and bloating in Hamsters.
Also, rhubarb is packed with a decent amount of sugar, calcium, and phosphorus. Overconsumption of any of these might lead to several health problems such as diabetes, digestive problems, and kidney problems.
Iceberg Lettuce is not an ideal choice for our Hamsters. It contains an excessive amount of lactucarium, which might prove to be extremely harmful to our Hamsters. The presence of excess lactucarium and fiber in this lettuce makes it very for our Hamsters to digest.
Besides this, iceberg lettuce does not add much nutritional value to our little one’s diet. Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding iceberg lettuce to our Hamsters.
Cat Or Dog Food
If you have more than one pet in your house, you must have complete knowledge about the food they can share and the food they cannot share.
If you have a dog or a cat, you might be wondering if your Hamster can share food with them. The truth is, although dog and cat food is not toxic for our Hamsters, it is best to avoid feeding them with it.
Dog and cat food contains high amounts of calories that can prove to be terrible for our Hamster’s health. Also, these food are packed with certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which might be pretty crucial for your other pets but can be harmful to our Hamsters.
Besides this, dog and cat food are high in calcium, which can be a problem for our Hamsters. Consumption of an excessive amount of calcium might lead to health problems such as urinary complications and bladder stones. Therefore, it would be best to avoid serving your Hamsters with such food.
Sugary/Salty Food Or Drinks
Hamsters cannot handle excessive sweet or salty food. Overconsumption of salt or sugar leads to several health problems in our Hamsters.
Excessive salty is known to make our Hamsters seriously thirty. This means, they might end up over-drinking water, which can lead to poisoning in them. Some of the common symptoms of poisoning in Hamsters are diarrhea, high temperature, and seizures.
Also, excessive sugar can easily make our Hamsters obese and diabetic. Therefore, such food should be avoided altogether.
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What If My Hamster Ate Something Poisonous?
Every owner wants to keep their Hamster safe and happy. It can be a nightmare for us if your little one ingests something toxic or poisonous.
It is important to keep our Hamsters away from toxic substances such as household cleaning products (detergent and soap), your food, poisonous plants, etc.
Food poisoning is a serious health problem in Hamsters. It becomes even worse because Hamsters do not have the capability to vomit if they ingest something harmful. This might cause severe health problems in them.
If you feel that your Hamster has consumed something toxic, even by mistake, then these certain signs will help you identify the truth:
- Your Hamster is facing difficulty in breathing
- Your Hamster has a sore mouth
- Your Hamster ignores his food
- Your Hamster has a low body temperature
- Your Hamster is lethargic
- Your Hamster looks weak
If your Hamster shows any of the above symptoms, then you need to take certain steps to make sure that they are fine. The best option would be to take your little one to a vet.
The veterinarian will suggest some medical tests for your Hamsters. They might even do a stool test and blood test to check the status of food poisoning in them. After that, the vet will also suggest you the necessary medication.
What Food Can Hamsters Eat?
It is important to serve our Hamsters a well-balanced diet. As Hamsters are omnivores, they eat both plants as well as meat-based food. A well-balanced diet for a Hamster must include:
- Commercially made pellets
- Timothy Hay
- Occasional Treats
Commercial Made Pellets
Hamster food mix available in the marked is packed with essential nutrients that our Hamsters need to live a healthy life. Therefore, it is crucial to provide our Hamsters with the pellets before any other kind of food to make sure they get their daily dose of nutrients.
This will ensure us that our Hamsters are consuming all the vital nutrients.
Fruits are an essential part of our Hamster’s diet. Besides providing them with a lot of nutrition, fruits are a refreshing treat for them.
Fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, that makes them an excellent choice for our Hamsters. However, it is important to serve in moderation. Overeating of any kind of fruit might lead to health problems in Hamsters.
Also, not all kinds of fruits are suitable for our Hamsters. Therefore, you must be very careful about the fruit that you feed your Hamster. Listed below are some of the fruits that are my Hamster’s personal favorite:
Vegetables are an important part of our Hamster’s diet. It provides them with essential nutrients that help them to stay fit and healthy.
However, it is important to serve the right amount of any vegetable to avoid any kinds of health complications. Also, there are a few things that you must keep in mind before serving your Hamsters with vegetables:
- Serve your Hamsters with fresh and organic vegetables only. Fruits and vegetables available in the local market are mostly sprayed with chemicals.
- Do not forget to wash the vegetables thoroughly before serving them to the Hamsters. This helps to remove all the excess dirt.
- Cut the vegetables into small pieces before serving them to our Hamsters. This will make sure that our little ones do not face any choking hazards.
- Serve the vegetable in the correct portion. Overconsumption of any kind of vegetables will lead to health issues.
Now, you must understand that not all kinds of vegetables are safe for consumption by our Hamsters. Therefore, you need to do thorough research before feeding a vegetable to your Hamster.
Listed below are some of the healthy vegetables for the Hamsters:
Not all types of hay available in the market are suitable for our Hamsters. Timothy hay is best-suited for the Hamsters and is the most preferred among all Hamster owners.
Timothy hay is readily available all around the globe and has a pleasing aroma. Also, most Hamsters love to munch on timothy hay. Chewing chay helps them to maintain their dental hygiene and short teeth.
However, you must be very cautious while choosing the right timothy hay for your Hamster. Fresh, green, and sweet-smelling timothy hay is perfect for them. Avoid thick straw-like hay as Hamsters will have a hard time digesting it.
It is important to provide our Hamsters a well-maintained diet to keep them healthy and fit. However, the regular food becomes quite monotonous for our Hamsters. Therefore, serve them a little something other than their regular meals should not be problematic at all.
You must make sure that treats should not make more than 10% of our Hamster’s diet. A small treat once in a while is perfect for our Hamsters. However, do not make it a part of their daily diet. This could prove to be terrible for them.
Some of the common Hamster treats include mealworms, different types of seeds, plain scrambled or boiled eggs, crickets, hard-boiled chicken, pain and unslated air-popped popcorn, etc.
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Food Safety Tips For Hamster Owners!
Hamsters have a sensitive and weak digestive system. All Hamster owners need to be very careful while feeding their little ones. Hamsters need proper care and observation when it comes to their eating habits. Consumption of any kind of inappropriate food might lead to several health problems in them.
Now, let us discuss some of the safety tips that you must keep in mind before feeding your Hamsters:
- Hamsters love to munch on fresh fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for consumption by Hamsters. If served, it might cause severe health complications in them. In the first part of the article, we have already discussed the fruits and vegetables that might prove to be toxic for our Hamsters.
- Also, try to serve your Hamsters with organic fruits and vegetables only. Fruits and vegetables brought from the regular market are sprayed with chemicals, that are not safe for our Hamsters.
- Do not feed your Hamsters with food that is high in sugar and calcium. Excessive calcium might lead to cause urinary problems and bladder stones in our Hamsters. Likewise, the consumption of extra sugar can make our Hamster obese and lead to diarrhea and diabetes.
- If you are introducing any food to your Hamster’s diet for the first time, you have been very cautious about the same. Start by serving in small quantities. Find out if your Hamster is facing any discomfort. If not, you are good to go.
- Avoid serving your Hamsters with cooked or frozen food. Consumption of cooked food can cause severe digestive problems in our Hamsters. Also, frozen food is quite difficult to chew and hard to digest.
- Never forget to remove all the uneaten parts of the fruits and vegetables once your Hamster has finished eating. Decayed food releases a foul smell that might attract flies and rats to your Hamster’s cage.
These are some of the important points that you must keep in mind before feeding your Hamsters to keep them fit and happy.