As a pet owner, you try your best to keep them happy and healthy. One way of keeping them healthy is by following a diet. Yes, pets have their diet, and depending on the pet you own, you should know what they can or cannot eat, as well as what they enjoy eating. Have you ever wondered what your tiny fur baby likes to eat? Peanut butter is one of their favorite treats! But keep reading to find out how to feed it to your hamster.
Hamsters can eat peanut butter, and in fact, they love it; however, it must be fed to them occasionally and in the right amounts. The best way to provide your hamster with this yummy treat is in a portion smaller than ¼ of a teaspoon of plain, organic peanut butter.
Hamsters are low maintenance and easy to maintain, but we have to be very careful with what we give them and the quantity when it comes to their diet. Just like us humans, we might like some foods, but that doesn’t mean we can eat them all the time. Please keep reading this article to find out more about how this delicious treat affects your hamster.
What Peanut Butter Is Safe For Hamsters?
Processed peanut butter is high in fat and sugar. You should only be giving it to your pet occasionally, as a treat and not as part of their meal. Peanut butter is sticky and can get attached to a hamster’s cheek pouches if they overeat it. This can cause a significant problem.
You can treat your hamster with safe, plain, and smooth peanut butter. It is also important to note that it should be unsalted with no sugar. Soft or creamy peanut butter is a safer choice than crunchy varieties. Crunchy peanut butter can be dangerous for hamsters because they’re at risk of choking. Even soft peanut butter should be given in tiny portions to occasionally add some protein to their diet. Pure peanut butter, only made with peanuts with no sugar or any other ingredients added, is the recommended choice. As long as moderation is practiced, there shouldn’t be an issue.
Can Peanut Butter Kill A Hamster?
Dr. Alicia McLaughlin, DVM, states that aflatoxins can be present in tiny amounts in any peanut product. She advises that these small amounts are enough to kill a hamster. Dr. Alicia also comments that feeding peanuts to small animals is like playing Russian roulette, where most of the time, it will be okay if your hamster eats it, but there is always a chance that it could be fatal. Peanuts can sometimes contain Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus, which are responsible for making aflatoxins. These fungi prefer wet and warm environments to grow, so peanut butter has the potential to be a great environment for them to thrive.
Food That Can Be Harmful And Deadly For Hamsters
As a pet owner, even more so for a small creature like a hamster, you should keep in mind what foods are dangerous for your pet and avoid feeding it to them. Occasional treats are great for establishing a bond with your pet or even reinforcing good behavior, but some treats can harm them. We created a list of harmful foods for hamsters to help you know what not to include in your hamster’s diet.
- Bitter almonds: they can be deadly for hamsters because they contain high amounts of cyanide. Cyanide is poisonous for hamsters.
- Unwashed Vegetables: just like humans shouldn’t eat unwashed vegetables because they contain pesticides and bacterial strains, you shouldn’t feed them to your hamster either.
- Peppers, Garlic, Onions, Spicy and seasoned foods: have a substance that can affect hamster’s red blood cells. They also irritate their digestive system.
- Tomatoes: they are very acidic and will affect their digestive system.
- Potatoes: are toxic for hamsters and will cause them diarrhea that will lead to dehydration.
- Chocolate: it contains theobromine, which can lead to circulatory issues.
- Meat: because hamsters are omnivores, they don’t have the appropriate enzymes in their digestive systems to break the meat down.
Healthy Foods To Incorporate In Your Hamster’s Diet
Hamsters are omnivores, so their diet should consist primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here is a list to help you keep a balanced diet for your hamster:
- Romaine lettuce
- Whole grain bread or toast
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Peanuts (unsalted and in tiny portions)
- Commercial food (not a muesli-style mix)
How To Feed Peanut Butter To Your Hamster?
Hamsters can eat peanut butter as a snack only if served in a tiny portion; a piece smaller than ¼ of a teaspoon maybe once a week should be enough. It shouldn’t be the central part of their diet because peanut butter is high in protein and can cause health complications if they overeat. You should always talk to a professional such as a vet before feeding your hamster any particular treat; they will provide you with accurate information about your hamster’s type and weight.
You can feed it to them in their dish or on top of their meal with the correct amount. Never use your finger as they can later mistake your finger for food and can bite you often. Use a spoon, or place it on a carrot if it’s the first time you’ll treat them with it to see if they like it first.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Feeding Peanut Butter To A Hamster?
Peanut butter is rich in nutrients, high in fiber content that helps prevent constipation, and protein that complements your hamster’s energy. Vitamin B6 in peanut butter can increase your hamster’s immune system, and the potassium helps build up their muscles. It also contains vitamin E that provides antioxidants, manganese that improves body function, and magnesium that helps the hamster maintain blood pressure. Despite the benefits of peanut butter, peanut itself shouldn’t be given to hamsters because they can choke on it, or the piece can get stuck in their teeth, causing them lots of pain and infection.
Disadvantages Of Feeding Peanut Butter To A Hamster
We already mentioned that feeding your hamster with a large amount of peanut butter regularly can cause deadly consequences. Still, there are other disadvantages to providing this treat to your pet. Like some humans can be allergic to peanuts, hamsters can also get an allergic reaction to the allergens agent found in peanuts. Your hamster can also develop health complications: digestive problems, malnutrition, obesity, and diabetes. Please take your hamster to the vet to get the proper treatment before it is too late if you feel your hamster has any of the complications mentioned before.
Your hamster’s health is very important. A healthy hamster is a happy hamster, so keeping a good diet for them and avoiding toxic food will improve their quality of life. Hamsters can eat peanut butter occasionally in tiny portions as a treat. Because they are so small, their digestive system is very delicate, and some foods can irritate their stomach, causing significant problems if given to them in large amounts.
If you plan to give peanut butter to your hamster, never use your finger to prevent the hamster from confusing your finger as food. You can provide ¼ of a teaspoon of plain, organic peanut butter by putting it in their dish or on top of a meal like a carrot or piece of fruit. Giving treats to your pet will build up your bond with it, keep them happy and with positive behavior.
More like this: Can Hamsters Eat Broccoli? How Much Is OK For Them To Eat?
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.