Mealtime should never be skipped for hamsters. Once a day, either in the morning or at night, hamsters should eat foods with 12-15% protein and 3-26% fat.
To meet all the nutritional needs, owners should give them a balanced diet by choosing the right kind of foods. Known to be adorable animals, hamsters can actually store foods in their cheeks.
These rodents are omnivores as hamsters in the wild eat insects and those which are kept as pets eat seeds and grains. But are they allowed to be fed with carrots?
Raw Carrots For Hamsters
Carrots are obviously very healthy and hamsters love them. But should they really be eating carrots?
Yes, hamsters can eat carrots!
Some owners prefer carrots for hamsters because these vegetables have low-water content which can help avoid diarrhea. That’s aside from the rich nutrients that they provide.
Dwarf hamsters can have carrots but make sure to control the amount you give because carrots are prone to developing diabetes.
Weakened skeletal system and damaged liver are the effects of too much carrots for old hamsters. They can also be very harmful to pregnant hamsters due to high Vitamin A content. To be safe, give only a small amount to avoid such health issues without having to deprive the hamsters the nutrition that carrots can give altogether.
Benefits of Carrots
Despite the precaution, if you want a healthy snack for your hamster, carrots are a good option. They are also great to use as rewards when teaching your pet to learn different tricks.
Carrots have different nutritional contents like vitamin A, proteins, and antioxidants that can give many advantages to your pet including the following:
1. Better Eyesight
Since hamsters have poor eyesight and are almost blind in daylight, carrots can be very helpful for them. Because of their poor vision, hamsters may feel threatened even with slight movements around them which might cause them to bite. Cataracts are mostly seen in hamsters too.
Carrots are rich in carotenoid pigment called beta-carotene which is a type of vitamin A. This helps protect the surface of the eyes and improves the vision. Hamsters are nocturnal – meaning they are more active at night, so improvement of vision can be very good for them.
2. Shaper Teeth and Healthier Gums
Carrots also help hamsters sharpen their teeth and clean their gums. Because raw carrots are hard, plaques and food remains are removed as hamsters bite them and the gums are stimulated. Their incisors grow continuously so, to keep their teeth from continuously growing, carrots would be perfect for them to chew.
3. Less Chance of Having Infections and Cancer
Having wounds are sometimes unavoidable even for hamsters as they can get cuts from sharp edges. Since carrots are rich in Vitamin A, consuming carrots lowers the risk of getting their wounds infected.
According to some studies, antioxidants can slow down or prevent the damage of free radicals that can lead to cancer.
How Much Carrot Does a Hamster Need?
Give only about half a teaspoon every other day; or else your pet could become overweight.
Make sure to slowly introduce new type of food to hamsters by giving them a small amount to monitor whether there are negative effects after a few days or not. If they don’t show any signs of health problems like diarrhea and vomiting, then you can add more carrots in their meals.
Proper Way to Feeding Carrots to Hamsters
The first thing you have to do is to make sure that the carrots you bought are fresh. Wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water for about 20 seconds. Rub the carrots with your hands to remove all the sprayed pesticides.
After washing, dry the carrots using a clean cloth then cut it into small pieces. Finally, let the hamster have a small amount.
After 2-3 days, observe if there are any signs of allergy. Make sure to clean all the leftovers as they can rot and contaminate the cage. Don’t forget to check if there are carrots left in your hamster’s cheeks because if not, those might rot and cause digestive problems.
Hamsters are actually allowed to eat a wide variety of vegetables especially the hard ones. Carrot as a vegetable can do great for hamsters when eaten in moderation. It might have lots of benefits but still, overfeeding of carrots can result in throwing up or obesity.
Once you notice refusal or discomfort in your hamster, stop trying to feed it to avoid having complications.