Hamster Treats – Do’s and Don’ts

In 2007, 877 families out of 1,146 households had hamsters as pets. That’s how popular these cute rodents had been back then. Kids who are at least 8 years of age can get a hamster as long as they’re aware of the proper ground rules.

Taking care of pet hamsters is cheap, although owners need to be vigilant when looking after their nutrition and welfare. 

When planning their pets’ food intake, owners need to follow a diet to make sure they are healthy. Pet toys also need to be kept clean and physically intact as well.

hamster dancing
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Owners can use treats to help in training, but they need to be careful as hamsters are known to be very particular about their food. Let’s go ahead and narrow down the do’s and don’ts of hamster treats as they play a vital role in the pet’s health.

Do’s

Hamsters can enjoy hard treats once a week

Your pet hamster’s teeth always need trimming as they grow on a daily basis. When hamsters chew on wooden blocks placed in their cage, owners get assured that their teeth are filed down.

The treats also provide additional nutrition for your hamster and with its hardness; it will last for a week or more to serve the purpose of trimming your pet’s teeth.

Remove the ones that don’t look appealing to you or your hamster. Wait for an hour after you place the treat in the cage to see if your pet has not touched it. If so, remove it immediately to avoid unhealthy effects to the bedding when the treats go bad.

You can alternately switch from mineral treats to salt licks if your hamster does not touch the usual treats you place in its cage. Put small amounts into the cage and gradually increase the amount with each feeding session so your hamster becomes familiar with the taste as time goes by.

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Feed dog biscuits to your pet hamster

Dog biscuits are a bit hard and it will take a while for the hamster to whittle down the biscuits to nothing. Make sure to get the plain ones as the ingredients from flavored biscuits can pose certain dangers for your hamster’s health.

Dog treats help you maintain your pet’s teeth hygiene but make sure to check the ingredients against the ones that can affect your pet’s health when buying dog treats.

Some hamsters can tolerate milk dog treats, while there are ones that have a low tolerance to them. You can try to feed your pet a small amount and see if they like them. Try to monitor their actions when feeding them with dog treats and if eating these types causes adverse effects on the hamster.

If there’s no harmful effect or reaction, you could include them in your hamster’s list of treats.

cute little hamster

Give your hamster healthy treats and even the ones that are not (in moderation, of course)

Pet hamsters need proper nutrition and also a positive connection with their owners. They have short memories, so positive reinforcement is the key when giving hamsters the proper attention to establish pet and owner bonds. It might be the food you give them or how you handle and pamper them as pets.

Showing the hamster actions of caring on a regular basis also give them the impression that their owners mean them no harm and it will feel normal for them to associate comfort to good experiences with you as their owners.

However, anything in moderation is okay for pet hamsters. Owners need to be mindful and careful when giving treats to their pet hamsters from time to time.

DON’TS

Feed citrus fruits to your hamster

Citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C but are known to be acidic. They can affect the digestive system of hamsters and cause diarrhea. Citrus fruits may also lead to more serious illnesses for your pet hamsters.

You can feed non-citrus fruits to pet hamsters but the seeds need to be removed to prevent accidents. It’s best to go with a 1 square inch piece of fruit per day to see if your pet hamster can tolerate it. Gradually work the amount up to two times per day as long as the hamsters show no adverse reactions from eating it.

Let your hamster eat sweets

Anything with chocolate is harmful to your pet hamster. Theobromine, one of the active ingredients in chocolate, induces heart problems in hamsters. Cakes and cookies may cause harm to them as well, especially to their teeth. They may also contribute to your hamster’s obesity.

Owners can prepare the pet treats by themselves with proper guidance. After consulting with local veterinarians, they can get available recipes which they can use to prepare the pet treats personally.

Include peanuts or almonds as treats

Not only do peanuts and almonds add to the fat count of pet hamsters, but they also contain ingredients that could prove harmful to them.

Almonds contain cyanide and peanuts have aflatoxin, both of which prove fatal to hamsters if neglected to be checked. Avoid apple seeds and skins as they are poisonous. Grape seeds do not pose any toxic threat to your pet’s health, but the hamster might choke on them.

Give your hamster unwashed fruits or vegetables

No matter where you buy them, fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly. Dirt and pesticides are then washed off before feeding them to hamsters. Cleaning them with water eliminates any chemicals that may have been put on the fruit to preserve its fresh look. So it’s best for owners to make sure that the fruits are clean before feeding them to your pets.

Summary

Vigilance is the key when it comes to having hamsters as pets. They may be small but they need a lot of help when it comes to their nutrition. Just make sure to watch their diet, feeding times, and treats from time to time to keep them healthy. Let them have lots of playtimes but watch over them like you would your kids to avoid any accidents.

There available treats that are great for your hamsters, check what works for them so you’d have a handle on their nutrition.

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Author Bio

Carlye Yancey

Carlye Yancey

Between internships, volunteering, and paid jobs over the last 4 years, I have pretty much-gained experience with domesticated animals. Currently being in school for my veterinary technology degree, I spend my leisure time with 3 critters that I own.

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