If you’ve recently adopted a hamster, one of the first things you’ll notice is that they like to eat. And in light of that, one of the first pieces of information you may want to find out are what sort of human treats you can feed them. That list is very long. But there is another list – food your hamster should never, ever eat.
The hamster forbidden snack list includes the following:
- Bitter almonds
- Oranges (and other citrus fruits)
- Unwashed vegetables
- Processed foods
Let’s take a look at each of these to see exactly why it is that they pose a hazard to your hamster.
So, here’s the thing about almonds and hamsters. Hamsters are able to safely eat sweet almonds. Bitter almonds, on the other hand, are a definite no go. Bitter almonds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is extraordinarily toxic to hamsters. Eating one bitter almond can provide a lethal dose of cyanide. If you really want to feed your hamster almonds, always make very sure that you’re giving them sweet almonds.
But really, the risk outweighs the reward with this particular food. It may be best to avoid almonds altogether.
Chocolate is another dangerous mix that should definitely be avoided by hamsters and the owners who love them. This is due to the mix of caffeine and theobromine that is present in chocolate. Caffeine can wreak havoc on hamster digestive systems, leading to diarrhea and dehydration, but the theobromine in chocolate can be overall toxic. If you find that your hamster has gotten into some chocolate, seek assistance from your veterinarian immediately.
Oranges (And Other Citrus Fruits)
The problem with oranges is similar to the problem with chocolate when it comes to the risk of diarrhea for your hamster. They have a large amount of acidity that can upset your hamster’s digestive system and can lead to dehydration. So, these foods are also best avoided. Foods like oranges and mangos in particular should be avoided.
Just as you wouldn’t eat unwashed vegetables, don’t let your hamster eat them either. The rinds and skins of unwashed fruits and veggies may have pesticides on them, and these chemicals can be harmful to your hamster in even the smallest of doses. So if you want to give your hamster vegetables, make sure you wash them first.
Processed foods often contain sharp edges that can hurt your hamster as they’re being eaten and digested, but processed foods are often high in salt, sugar, oils, or other sorts of seasonings that would lead to an upset stomach, again putting your hamster at risk for diarrhea and dehydration.
Final Thoughts on Bad Foods For Hamsters
The biggest risk of hamster forbidden food is the risk of bodily harm by dehydration, but sometimes there is a risk of straight up poisoning. There are additional foods that you should be aware of. So, if you find yourself wondering if you should give your hamster certain food, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian to ensure that the treats are ones that will make your hamster both happy and healthy.