Hamsters are small rodents that are fed with plant-based food and carefully designed pellets. Adding some seeds and nuts would enrich their everyday food and contribute their diet being more balanced and healthier.
You can serve almost all kinds of nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanut, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachio) to your hamster, even with shells on. The situation is similar to seeds. Hamsters like sunflower and pumpkin seeds among others.
But this topic is more complex and I am sure you have many other questions related to this matter. I have done a research and happy to share with you all of my findings.
Keep reading our article and discover if your hammy can enjoy popcorns or peanut butter, are there any seeds you should avoid to give your pet, can you share your Cheerios with your furry ball, and much more.
Pumpkin seeds are a great choice for your hamster. They can be given as a delicious treat or added to a regular pellets-based meal. These seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc and fatty acids.
You can take well-rinsed seeds and put them in the oven (250c ) and roast them until they become golden brown. Let them cool and give your pet one or two seeds from time to time.
Shell and kernel are considerably large so better to serve them to larger hamsters such as Syrian rather than Dwarf for example.
Nevertheless smaller hamsters would struggle with big size treat, these hamsters are prone to diabetes and overweight so if you give pumpkin seeds to your Dwarf, do it with moderation.
Another very popular and delicious treat for hamsters. Full of healthy fats and vitamins, a great addition to a healthy diet when given in reasonable quantities.
If not, too much of it can lead to overweight and in some cases diarrhea. Also be careful, I have read that sunflower seeds are like candies for hamsters so it might happen that your hammy eats sunflower seeds only and nothing else.
If that happens do not give him/her this delicacy for some time so he /she can start eating other things too.
Besides nutrients that sunflower seeds have, the great advantage of eating them, is that they help keeping hamster’s teeth short and healthy.
Can Hamster Eat a Popcorn
Yes, popcorn is pretty safe for hamsters. You can give it as a treat to your hammy but make sure it is plain and unsalted. The size of your hamster is very important in order to decide how much popcorn he/she will get. The moderation is essential.
To the biggest one – Syrian hamster you can give 5 pieces of popcorn per week ( one piece at the time). Cambell’s Dwarf which is a little bit smaller than Syrian, you can give 3 pieces per week and little Roborovski hamster will get only 1 piece.
It is advisable to crunch it in smaller pieces as this tiny type of hamster has a very small mouth and will struggle with a large popcorn. To Chinese hamster you can give 2 popcorn weekly.
Most probably any hamster will eat a small piece or half of the popcorn and the rest of it will hide for later.
Popcorns are rich in fibers, good for the digestive tract and bones. A great choice for hamster babies and hamsters that are in the breeding process.
Other Seeds Hamster Can Eat
Different seed mixtures available in pet stores are also a good choice for your healthy hamster’s diet.
Usually these mixtures contain different seeds- both larger and smaller (sunflower, pumpkin sesame, flax, wheat…) but also grains, pellets and are specially designed to fulfill the nutritional needs of your hammy. In general, all seeds which are high in protein and low in starch are a good choice.
For example, you can also treat your hammy with chia and quinoa seeds ( quinoa should be cooked first before given to your hamster ), barley, oat groats, spelt, millet on a daily basis.
What Seeds Are not Good for Hamsters
Although hamsters like to eat seeds and most of them are good for their health, you should be aware that there are seeds that you should avoid when come to your hamster’s diet.
Almost all seeds we have mentioned here should be given raw ( except pumpkin seeds which you can roast on your own or quinoa that should be cooked first ). If you serve already processed seeds ( ready to use for humans) you risk jeopardizing your pet’s health.
Those processed seeds usually contain different additives, sugar and salt which consumption may lead to diabetes, obesity and similar health problems.
Besides this, there are some seeds that are not safe at all. For example apple and pear seeds contain cyanogenic acids and if you hamster eat them, the result may be fatal. A similar situation we have with cherries and apricots pits. Grape seeds contain some oils in which consumption could harm your little pet’s health.
Avoid beans and dried beans ( especially dried lima beans which are literally poisonous) as high in starch. Soya beans contain a lot of hormones so not recommended.
Can Hamster Eat Peanuts?
Yes, peanuts are quite safe for hamsters. Just be careful not to give your hammy the same peanut you eat. The peanut safe for a hamster is unsalted, without any additional oils, could be roasted ( make sure it is not honey roasted) or raw.
If you give it with a shell on, it will be even more interesting and useful for its teeth but peanut shells ( same as pecan shells ) sometimes can contain fungus.
Do not exaggerate with peanuts though. They are rich in fats so excessive consumption may lead to overweight and further to many other health issues.
Two times a week is maximum ( just one peanut each time). Use peanuts as a rare treat.
Can Hamster Eat Peanut Butter?
Generally yes, hamsters can eat peanut butter but you have to remember a few things.
First peanut butter should be unsweetened, unsalted, without any additives, only plain peanut puree. Sometimes extra oil is added to make it more creamy which is why you have to give peanut butter in smaller quantities than peanut itself.
Also peanut butter is really sticky substance and your hammy can make big mess eating it. Another reason to give him /her a very little of it.
Can Hamster Eat Almonds?
Basically yes. Like other nuts and seeds, almonds need to be served plain, without any additives, salt, sugar-coating...
It is better to feed your hammy with almond that has no shell on, as the shell is pretty strong, hard to crack.
Moderation is also a magic word, as almonds are rich in fat, so you should give it to your pet every now and then. If your hammy is eating almonds with moderation, he/she can benefit from it.
Almonds are high in fibers, helping the digestive tract to stay healthy and clean. Also rich in vitamin E which helps in controlling the blood sugar. Almonds are also useful when it comes to cholesterol levels as they can reduce it remarkably.
It is advisable to buy only organic almonds, as a non-organic alternative can contain some chemicals like pesticides. Even a small amount of it can seriously harm your hammy or even kill him.
There are two types of almonds – sweet and bitter. Only sweet almonds are safe for hamsters. Bitter almonds contain a percentage of prussic acid ( Hydrogen Cyanide ) which can be fatal for your hamster. US Department of Agriculture allows that sweet almonds packages have 1% of bitter almonds, which means that a couple of almonds in the pack will be bitter.
Bitter almonds come usually different shape, they are shorter and wider so make sure you give your hammy only the largest almonds.
It is advisable to soak almonds in the hot water for let’s say 15-20 minutes in order to soften the skin. After they cool down you should remove the skin easily. It is better to serve almonds without the skin, as it can irritate your pet’s stomach.
Can Hamster Eat Pistachios?
Yes, as long as they are unsalted. The shell of pistachio will be keeping your hammy busy for a couple of minutes so you can serve it with shells on, as a treat a few times a month.
If you have Syrian hamster you can give him 1-2 pistachios per week but if you have smaller types of hamsters such as Dwarf you can feed him with one pistachio every 7-10 days.
What are Other Nuts Hamster Can Eat?
Hamsters can also eat :
- Brazil nuts
Whatever nut you give to your hamster always remember that he should eat it only couple of times per month. And always provide unsalted, unsweetened, plain option.
Can Hamster Eat Cheerios?
You might enjoy eating Cheerios cereals often in the morning and you are asking yourself if you can share your favorite breakfast with your furry ball. Well, the answer depends on the type of Cheerios you have.
If you have a plain, oat-based option then that why not. But if you have some sweetened, sugar or honey-coated cereals then better skip it. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes and other health issues.
You have to be extremely cautious with chocolate as it is poisonous for hamsters. So if your favorite cereals contain chocolate keep them far from your hammy.
Even if you have a completely safe option of Cheerios, nutritional benefits are not as significant as for humans. If you still insist, treat your hammy with Cheerios every now and then, not regularly.
I hope this text gave you answers to the majority of your questions. It is important not to give seeds nor nuts in large quantities as besides beneficial elements they certainly have if served too often and too much can rather be harmful then useful for your pet’s health.
Also, remember that Syrian hamsters are larger than others and can eat larger pieces of food than Dwarf hamsters. Bear that in mind when you serve large nuts or seeds. Sometimes it is better to break it in smaller pieces and avoid the risk of choking, especially in smaller types of hamsters.