When I got my hamster, Chubs, the first thing I wanted to know was about his diet and daily care. Hamsters make wonderful pets. No, they won’t cuddle or snuggle. But, their antics alone are enough entertainment for most hammy owners.
You see, hamsters are tiny creatures with delicate constitutions. In the wild, hamsters forage for seeds, grains, and grasses. Yet, these fluff balls aren’t herbivores. If your hamster comes across a meaty morsel, it won’t resist the urge to munch it, as hamsters do enjoy an occasional insect or two in the wild.
Can hamsters eat bacon? No, hamsters cannot eat bacon, as it is cured, heavily salted meat. Hamsters have a hard time digesting red meat and too much salt can dehydrate them and raise their cholesterol levels. Feeding your hamster bacon can result in diabetes, obesity, heart disease, trichinosis, and even cancer.
Now, hamsters don’t hunt for meat; that’s too much work for your fur baby! But if you’re wondering whether you can feed them a bite of bacon from your breakfast, then you need to think again.
Why Can’t You Feed Your Hamster Bacon?
As mentioned above, bacon cannot be a part of your hammy’s diet. Bacon happens to have a very high fat content. And it isn’t just high in fat, it’s high in saturated fat. You can take a look at the nutritional facts related to bacon below.
100g of bacon contains:
- Total Fat – 40g
- Saturated Fat – 13g
- Polyunsaturated Fat – 6g
- Monounsaturated Fat – 17g
- Trans Fat Regulation – 0.1g
- Cholesterol – 66mg
- Sodium – 662mg
- Potassium – 198mg
- Total Carbohydrates – 1.3g
- Dietary Fiber – 0g
- Protein – 13g
- Sugar – 0g
Now, bacon makes a delicious meal for humans, but even for us, bacon can cause health problems if it is a part of your everyday diet.
Many studies show that bacon consumption leads to heart or coronary conditions such as heightened cholesterol. Too much bacon can very well cause a heart attack or stroke, as it clogs up your arteries. Now, when you consider the size of your minute pet, you’ll be able to put two and two together.
Not to mention, bacon is also salted. Hamsters certainly get enough salt from their regular diet. Even salt licks are completely unnecessary and may do more harm than good. When you feed your hammy salted options, your hamster will happily eat it all. By providing it salted meats, you can cause dehydration in your fur baby.
Apart from all this, bacon doesn’t hold much nutritional value for your pet, as it contains little or none of the healthy proteins, fiber, or fat. So, if you want a wholesome diet for your fluff ball, it’s best to steer clear of unhealthy or processed foods.
Can A Hamster Eat Pork?
Unfortunately, hammies don’t do great with any red meat. Now, pork, beef, deer, and lamb all come under red meats. The reason behind staying away from red meat when feeding your hamster is that red meat is linked with heart problems, diabetes, and cancer in hamsters.
Hamsters are particularly susceptible to diabetes, and diabetes shortens their lifespan. So, it’s safe to say that if you want your fluff ball to live a long and healthy life, you’ll want it to eat a wholesome diet that’ll prolong its life.
Moreover, pork is too fatty. Hamsters love to eat. And, you’ll witness that if you feed your hamster more, it’ll store quite a bit of it in its mouth to nibble for later. Most vets recommend keeping a check on your hamster’s diet, as they tend to become obese.
Also, pork is much like bacon, in the sense that it is very salty. Hamsters don’t process salt too well. And, they can’t handle as much salt as humans can.
Considering that there is no pork available in the market, specially made for hamsters, you’ll be feeding some of it from your pantry. This isn’t a good idea, as it can cause a spike in their blood pressure.
Most importantly, pork can cause trichinosis if cooked incorrectly. In humans, trichinosis causes only mild symptoms. But, if you feed your fluff ball pork that’s not done right, it’ll show far more severe symptoms, such as diarrhea, fever, intense pain in the abdomen, and chills.
For an animal as small and delicate as a hamster, these issues can prove to be deadly.
What Meat Can Hamsters Eat?
There’s no denying the fact that hamsters eat non-plant-based protein in the wild. But that’s the random mealworm or cricket that a hamster may find. Hamsters are omnivores. but they don’t hunt for prey. They are prey. So, they take extra care for their well-being and only forage seeds and grains closer to home.
You can feed your hamsters insects. Most vets recommend store-bought mealworms. Yet, it shouldn’t be a massive part of the hammy’s diet either, more like a little treat here and there. But, if you aren’t happy to handle bugs or creepy-crawlies, then you can go ahead and feed your hamster some white meat.
Everything from chicken, to fish, to shrimp is healthy for your hammy baby. Remember that whatever you feed your hamster should not be salted or frozen. It’s best to go with baked or boiled white meat. And, it’s safest to feed your hamster soon after preparation to be on the side of caution.
Also, only feed your hamster smaller quantities of meat. Overfeeding your hamster will make your hamster obese.
Are There Other Food Options That Are Unsafe For Hamsters?
Yes, there are plenty of foods that should never be a part of your hamster’s diet. Olives are very nutritious for humans, but olives aren’t good for hammies either. Similarly, it would help if you didn’t attempt feeding your hamster citrus fruits.
Citrus fruits can include:
- Sweet oranges
- Other Kinds: Citron, Yuzu, Pomelos
Moreover, fruits like pineapples, apricots, raspberries, or peaches should be avoided too.
Raw beans don’t serve hamsters well either. You see, anything that requires your hammy’s digestive system to go into overdrive is unfit for it. And, keep away all sugary things from your hamster too. Chocolates, candies, or even bread aren’t healthful choices for hamsters.
Potatoes and onions are the wrong diet choice for hammies. Garlic and tomato leaves are also toxic. And, last but not least, peanuts do not make healthy snacks for hamsters either.
There isn’t a doubt that hamsters make delightful pets. They are just too cute! But something so small requires a lot of care and attention on your part as a hammy parent.
Before you go ahead and adopt one, it’s wise to evaluate if you are up for the task. You see, hamsters don’t fall ill too easily. But, if and when they do, things go south fairly quickly.
There are a couple of things that you need to determine before you become a hammy parent. Be sure you have the time on your hands to give it the love and care it needs. Make it a point to have an animal vet around when you do need advice or assistance.
Yet, it isn’t all hard work and sweat. Once you become attuned to your pet’s needs, you’ll find that having a hamster around is tons of fun! That’s why we want them to stay safe and healthy for a long time!
Now, you know what not to feed your little fur babies. But, there are plenty of questions that new hammy parents want to know when it comes to their fluff balls’ diet. Let’s go through some of them.
What Should Hamsters Eat on an Everyday basis?
Renowned vets across the world recommend pre-made pellets for hamsters. It would help if you were sure that you only buy pellets that are made explicitly for hammies. You see, their diet must consist of a high amount of fiber for digestive mobility.
An occasional snack of some fresh and adequately washed veggies like carrots or broccoli is an excellent choice. Moreover, apples, pears, and melons make a tasty and wholesome snack too.
Do Hamsters Lose Fur Due to Improper Diet?
Yes, improper diet is the root cause of many health problems in hamsters. Your hamster is prone to obesity, diabetes, diarrhea, and other conditions. If you aren’t careful about what you include into your pet’s daily meal, you’ll likely cause more damage than do good to your pet.
However, fur loss can occur due to old age, mites, allergies to certain foods, and dirty bedding.
What Can Cause Digestive Issues in Hamsters?
Hamsters have very sensitive stomachs. In short, if you introduce something entirely new for your hamster and let it have its fill, it’ll probably get diarrhea. It isn’t necessarily that you may have fed it something toxic.
The introduction of something healthy yet new requires time. And, it must be done very slowly. So, if you want your fur baby to try out apples, you must start with just one or two tiny pieces per week. Once your pet seems to appreciate the taste and shows no ill effects, you can gradually increase fruit quantity.
But, diarrhea can be the result of an infection or diseases such as influenza or salmonella too. If you feel that your pet is not eating or drinking right and passing too much stool, it’s best not to wait and head to the vet.
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