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Home > Hamsters > Can Hamsters Eat Avocado? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Hamsters Eat Avocado? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Hamsters Eat Avocado

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hamsters are generally easy pets to care for, making them popular among children and adults alike. Their dietary needs are fairly simple, as complete and balanced hamster chow is available at most pet stores. By supplementing this with timothy hay, vegetables, and a small amount of fruit, you can give your hamster everything that they need to live a long and healthy life.

That said, we are often tempted to add variation to our pet’s diet and spoil them with treats now and again. This usually comes in the form of fruit, and avocados are popular fruits that owners are often tempted to treat their pets with. But can hamsters eat avocados? Are avocados safe for hamsters?

Put simply, the flesh of avocados might contain varying amounts of the toxic compound persin, so no, hamsters should not eat avocados. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about avocados and hamsters. Let’s get started!

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Avocado 101

Avocados are green fruits that are favorites in salads, smoothies, and on their own. For us humans, they are highly nutritious and versatile, packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Avocados are high in monosaturated fat, which is considered a “good” fat in moderation, and they are also packed with fiber and are high in calories and low in sugar. All these benefits make them a great addition to a healthy diet for humans, but besides the risk of toxicity, the large number of calories and fat make them a less-than-ideal choice for your hamster.

Avocados contain the most amount of fat of any fruit on the planet and have 160 calories per 100-gram serving, with 132 of those calories coming from fat. This is great for humans, but this amount of fat is far too high for a hamster.

Sliced Avocado
Image Credit By: endriqstudio, pixabay

Potential Hazards of Feeding Avocado to Your Hamster

Avocados are potentially toxic to hamsters, so we highly recommend leaving them off your pet’s menu entirely.

There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Both the skin and large stone of an avocado can easily splinter and present a potential choking hazard for your hamster.
  • Avocados are extremely high in calories and fat and even in small amounts, can cause your hamster to gain excessive weight. Besides the toxicity risk, it is harmful to feed such a fatty food to your hamster, and we recommend leaving it out entirely.
  • Avocado can be harmful to your hamster’s teeth, even though it is not particularly hard. The soft and sticky texture of the avocado flesh can easily get stuck in your hamster’s teeth and cause rapid tooth decay.
  • Hamsters have small food pouches in their cheeks, and the soft flesh of an avocado can easily get lodged there. It can then become impacted and potentially cause a painful abscess that can become a serious health issue for your hamster.
  • Avocados are fairly acidic, which can cause digestive and dental issues for hamsters, even in small amounts.

Contrary to popular belief, hamsters in the wild are not herbivores and are known to feed on insects like crickets and beetles when given the chance. As pets, hamsters should get all their required nutrition from complete and balanced hamster chow, supplemented with timothy hay, vegetables, and a small amount of occasional fruits.

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Healthy Avocado Alternatives

Since avocado is off the menu, you may be wondering what treats you can give your hamster instead. Healthy treats include:

  • Corn
  • Beets
  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
hamster
Image Credit: Piqsels

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Final Thoughts

An avocado contains different amounts of the toxic compound persin in its skin, leaves, pit, and pulp. The amount of persin in the pulp varies with the plant species and seems to be reduced as the fruit ripens. Still, to err on the side of caution, it’s better to avoid giving it to your hamster altogether. Avocados are calorie dense and high in fat and can swiftly cause obesity in your pet. They can also cause serious digestion and dental issues, even in small amounts.

While avocados are technically non-toxic to hamsters, there are plenty of other treats that are far better to occasionally spoil your pet hamster with!

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