Most hamster owners like to give their fuzzy friends an extra little treat once in a while, but many people don’t realize that some common treats could be hazardous to a hamster’s health. Check the following list to ensure that the treats you are feeding your pet are keeping them happy and healthy.
Fruits and Veggies for Hamsters to Avoid:
- Green part on a tomato – Any of the green leafy parts of a tomato can be poisonous to your pet and may lead to death.
- Lettuce, Beans, or Potatoes – These veggies tend to give hamsters a bad case of diarrhea, which can quickly lead to other health issues.
- Onions, Garlic, or Peppers – Veggies like these can cause stomach irritation for your pets.
- Any Citrus Fruits – Citrus is toxic to hamsters so these fruits (oranges, grapefruits, etc.) should be avoided at all costs.
Try Instead: Carrots, Cabbage, Broccoli, or Celery.
Proteins for Hamsters to Avoid
- Raw Eggs or Raw Fish – Hamsters are, in fact, omnivores, and they will eat meat. Protien is actually an important part of a hamster’s diet, particularly if it is pregnant or nursing. However, raw meat, especially fish, can lead to unhealthy bacteria and can cause diarrhea in your pet. Raw eggs will have the same effect.
- Fatty Meats – while they may not immediately cause problems, fatty or salty foods should be avoided because they can lead to obesity or diabetes in hamsters. Just as it would in humans, this will lower the life expectancy of your pet.
Try Instead: Cooked Fish, Cooked Unseasoned Chicken Breast, Boiled egg, Unsalted Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Soft Low-Fat Cheeses, and even Crickets, Grasshoppers, or meal worms from your local pet store.
Sweets for Hamsters to Avoid
- Any Type of Chocolate or Candy – It’s never a good idea to give your hamster large amounts of sugar. As mentioned earlier, this can cause complications from diabetes.
Try instead – Small amounts of dried fruit without added sugar. Try raisins, cherries, or other assorted berries. Even without added sugar, dried fruit has plenty on its own so don’t overdo it. Also remember, no citrus!
Other Foods for Hamsters to Avoid
- Hay or Other Potentially Sharp Foods – while a hamster may digest these foods just fine, owners should beware anything that could cut or otherwise cause damage to a hamster’s pouches. As many owners know, most hamsters will try to put anything you give them in those cheeks of theirs so it’s important not to give them access to anything they could hurt themselves with.
Try Instead – No Sugar Added Cereals or Dog Biscuits. Dog Biscuits offer the added benefit of acting as a chew toy, so if your hamster chews on the bars of its cage this might be a good option for you.