Table of Contents
- So, Can Hamsters Eat Almonds?
- How To Feed Your Hamster Almonds?
- Are Almonds Healthy For Hamsters?
- How Many Almonds Can You Feed Your Hamster?
- Risks To Consider When Feeding Almonds To Hamsters
- Other Nuts Hamsters Can Eat
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
We think it is better to introduce you to the pet world before jumping into the question: can hamsters eat almonds?
Talking about pets, usually, what comes to our mind is a cat or a dog. However, some other animals are also exciting and adorable as pets that can accompany you daily. One of them is hamsters.
Hamsters are rodents that have 19 species in 7 genera. Considering they are in the same family as rats, their physical appearance is similar to that of rats, only with white hair with brown, gray, or black patterns. The body is shorter and fuller.
Unlike most rodents, hamsters tend to eat seeds, such as sunflower seeds that we often see in commercial advertisements. However, some owners try to give other options, like almonds. Now, the question is, can hamsters eat almonds? You will find out all the details below. Hence, bear with us and kindly read this article to the end. Check it out!
So, Can Hamsters Eat Almonds?
After getting to know hamsters as pets, we will further discuss ‘can hamsters eat almonds?’ since one of the favorite foods of this rodent is nuts.
Generally, hamsters can eat almonds since they are safe to eat. Almonds are, in fact, a nutritious snack for hamsters as they provide beneficial nutrients, such as fat, protein, calcium, essential minerals, and vitamins for your beloved animal.
However, it would be best if you also considered their portion as too many almonds are unsuitable for their health. As almonds contain healthy fat, some owners think they are healthier to eat.
Serving too many almonds can lead your hamsters to obesity. It is absolutely not good for them because obesity in hamsters will cause various other health issues, such as diabetes, heart diseases, and liver problems. You wouldn’t want this to happen to your hamster, would you?
Therefore, be a wise owner by giving adequate portions according to the hamster species you have. After this, we will discuss how to feed your hamster with almonds and the appropriate quantity. Curious? Let’s see!
How To Feed Your Hamster Almonds?
If it’s your first time introducing almonds to your hamster’s diet, holding the half of almonds with your thumb and index finger while gently thrusting them toward his nose is better. Let them sniff the almonds since they are still unfamiliar with the smell and the shape.
After that, try to see the reaction. If your hamster seems interested and is getting closer to the almond you are holding, slowly bring the nuts to their mouth. This movement can encourage them to eat it little by little.
On the other hand, suppose they seem not interested in the almond. In that case, please do not force the nuts into them; throw them away. Or, you can try sweet almonds to attract their interest. But don’t forget, they must be roasted almonds for the sake of their safety and well-being.
Besides being an easy method of introducing your hamster to almonds, feeding them can be a way to strengthen the bond between owner and pet.
Are Almonds Healthy For Hamsters?
Since you already know the answer to “Can hamsters eat almonds?“, it is time to discover more about this healthy nut.
Almonds are generally great to include in your hamster food because they are loaded with essential nutrients like fat, protein, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Hence, we would like to tell you about some health benefits almonds offer to your hamsters if you provide the nuts in their diet. Let’s take a look!
1. Helps In Digestion
Almonds contain 4 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, which are beneficial for our digestive system. It also applies to your hamster’s digestion. Fiber can help their gastrointestinal tract keep moving smoothly, preventing constipation.
If you do not have almonds, you can give them fiber intake from almonds through almond milk. This plant-based milk is also good for them as it offers additional nutrients, such as vitamin E that will lower the risk of heart disease and cancer in your hamsters.
2. Helps In Controlling Blood Sugar
Other than helping your hamster deal with heart issues, vitamin E can also control their blood sugar. Studies prove that this vitamin reduces blood sugar by decreasing cellular oxidant stress and inflammatory activity, thus improving insulin action.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body, which is produced by the pancreas. When insulin function is disturbed, the blood sugar level in the body will also be disturbed, leading to diabetes.
3. Lower Cholesterol Levels
As in humans, eating almonds can lower cholesterol levels in your hamsters by reducing LDL cholesterol and serum triglycerides.
Moreover, LDL cholesterol is cholesterol that is generally manifested in the blood vessel, resulting in LDL cholesterol-related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, adding an appropriate almond portion to your hamster’s food provides a healthy meal that supports their health.
4. Helps In Weight Loss
Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the good ones! Instead of giving your hamster bad health effects, these fats help reduce cholesterol.
In addition to fats, almonds’ high protein and fiber content also make hamsters feel full longer. With that being said, your hamster will eat less, lowering their calorie intake and eventually helping them lose some weight!
How Many Almonds Can You Feed Your Hamster?
Besides talking about “can hamsters eat almonds?”, you also have to consider the portion you will give your pet. The amount can also be a reference for whether they are safe or not to eat.
The whole serving per day for dwarf hamsters is half an almond.
Meanwhile, the large varieties, like Syrian hamsters, can eat up to one almond per day. More than that quantity, you will make your hamsters overweight. Or worse, get obese.
Risks To Consider When Feeding Almonds To Hamsters
Well, now we can answer the question ‘can hamsters eat almonds?’. The answer is YES! But with some things to consider.
In addition, the type of almonds must also be considered considering that bitter almonds and unroasted almonds are not recommended due to cyanide compounds that are harmful to your hammy. Sweet almonds also still have amygdalin but low concentrations, so it does not threaten health.
Moreover, we also do not advise you to give your hamsters the shelled almonds. Although it looks safe, almond skin contains cyanide compounds. In fact, the highest cyanide content is in the skin. In addition, there is a choking hazard lurking in your hamster when it tries to eat shelled almonds.
Fortunately, we know how to remove cyanide from the almond and remove the skin too. Please soak almonds in hot water for 15 minutes. Then, you can remove the skin once they are cool off. Easy right?
Other Nuts Hamsters Can Eat
While learning about ‘can hamster eat almonds?’, we discover that they can eat some other nuts, even seeds! But, of course, not all nuts are safe for them. Here we give you the list of nuts hamsters can eat:
- Peanuts (unsalted, once a week)
- Pecans (1-2 pecans per week for Syrian and Robo hamsters)
- Hazelnuts (unsalted, once a week for Syrian hamsters)
- Walnuts (1-2 per week)
- Pine Nuts (once a week)
- Cashews (once a week per two weeks)
- Pistachios (1-2 per two weeks)
- Pumpkin Seeds (1-2 seeds for smaller hamsters, 2-3 seeds for larger hamsters per day)
- Sunflower Seeds (one seed for dwarf hamsters, 4 seeds for Syrian hamsters per day)
These nuts and seeds are the best hamster snack since they are dense in nutrients. But, bear in mind you cannot frequently offer them more than what is advisable since they are mostly high in fat which will make your tiny pet get obese.
You don’t want to make your precious little one get into health troubles, right?
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can hamsters eat salted almonds?
Even though hamsters can eat almonds, it is not recommended to give your hamster salted almonds. Why? Because too much salt can upset their stomach. The salt can trigger diarrhea and dehydration in your lovely hamster. Thus, plain almonds are way better!
Can hamsters drink almond milk?
While cow’s milk has a high-fat content that can make your hamsters get fat, almond milk is better for them to drink.
Besides being low in calories, almond milk offers calcium, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for their health. You can also provide your hamsters with other plant-based milk, like oat milk.
Can hamsters eat shelled almonds?
For Syrian hamsters, eating shelled almonds is okay to eat since they provide a kind of exercise for them before consuming the nuts. However, we do not recommend other hamsters to eat shelled almonds due to the high risk of choking.
Can hamsters eat bitter almonds?
If you ask “can hamster eat almonds?”, The answer is yes, they are safe. But, for the bitter almonds, you highly advise you not to give them to your hammies.
Unlike sweet almonds that are safe for your hamster’s diet, bitter almonds possess a dangerous threat. They contain cyanide compounds that can kill your hamsters.
How often can hamsters have almonds?
You can only give not more than half an almond per day if you have dwarf hamsters. In the case of bigger species, one almond per day is the maximum.