Part of being a responsible hamster owner is knowing what you should and shouldn’t feed your hamster. If you’ve made it this far, I’m glad to see that you’re comfortable doing some research of your own! I’m no medical professional, but over many years of owning hamsters and speaking to veterinarians, I’ve learned a thing or two about hamster nutrition. Owners need to be careful when it comes to feeding hamsters fruit and vegetables, but can hamsters eat carrots?
Can hamsters eat carrots?
I asked veterinarian Dr. Joanna Woodnutt for her opinion on feeding your hamster carrots, here’s what she had to say:
“The great news is that all domesticated breeds of hamster can eat carrot. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that hamsters are tiny, and carrots are full of natural sugars. Only feed a very tiny amount to your hamster – no more than half an inch cubed a week – to prevent obesity and diabetes.”
Risks of overfeeding carrots to your hamster
Some hamster owners that I’ve met over the years have been a little too generous with their snacks, and haven’t given much thought to the nutritional makeup of the snacks they’re giving their hamster. Naturally, your hammie will thoroughly enjoy a change of scenery when it comes to hamster food. However much your hamster seems to be enjoying its carrot snacks, you should remember that giving your hamster too much is crueler than it is kind.
As Dr. Woodnutt alluded to above, vegetables (as well as fruit) such as carrots contain high amounts of natural sugars. Just like us humans, it’s important that hamsters don’t receive excessive sugar intake. This is because health complications such as becoming overweight or diabetic are very real possibilities for hamsters that are given too much sugar. Less is more when it comes to feeding carrots.
My experience feeding a hamster carrots
Hamsters are notorious for hoarding their food, you should be very diligent in feeding your hamster carrots and do so in strict moderation. I found that when I fed my hamster carrots, it was hoarding bits and pieces. Luckily I fed very small amounts of carrot, but for owners who feed more than they should, I could quite easily see how a hamster would build up a large collection of sugary snacks.
If your hamster hoards carrots in large amounts it’s very possible they could overindulge later on, and risk suffering from health issues as a result. It’s also possible that if your hamster has excess carrots they could go bad.
Gradually introduce carrots to your hamster’s diet
It’s always wise to introduce new foods to your hamster’s diet very gradually. By starting with small amounts, you will be able to monitor any changes your hamster presents. For more information on introducing carrots to your hamster’s diet, I advise reading this article.
So there you have it, we’ve been able to tap into the experience of Dr. Joanna Woodnutt and help you understand that hamsters can eat carrots. I hope that after reading this article you’re feeling a little bit more comfortable when it comes to feeding your hamster carrots, and remember that as much as hamsters enjoy carrots they need to be fed sparingly.