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Can Hamsters Eat Avocado? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

May 24, 2021

Hamsters are generally easy pets to care for, making them a popular pet for children and adults alike. Their dietary needs are fairly simple, and timothy hay and a specially made hamster food are all 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, while the flesh of avocados is non-toxic to hamsters, they should not eat avocado on a regular basis. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about feeding this delicious fruit to your pet hamster. Let’s get started!

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Avocado 101

hamster green
Image Credit: Daniel Mott, Flickr

Avocados are green fruits that are favorites in salads, smoothies, and on their own. 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 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 to safely feed to your hamster.

Potential hazards of feeding avocado to your hamster

While avocados are non-toxic to your hamster and may even offer benefits in tiny amounts, we highly recommend leaving them off the menu entirely.

There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Choking hazards. 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. While it may be fine to feed them tiny amounts on rare occasions, it is still risky to feed such fatty food to your hamster, and we recommend leaving it out entirely.
  • Dental problems. 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.
  • Food pouches. 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. In captivity, hamsters will get all their required nutrition from timothy hay and specially made hamster food, with only occasional fruits and vegetables.

Sliced Avocado
Image Credit By: endriqstudio, pixabay

Healthy avocado alternatives

Since avocado is off the menu, you may be wondering what healthy treats you can give your hamster. Bear in mind that while the following treats are safe for hamsters, they are not necessary for your hamster’s health and should only be given sparingly and occasionally. Healthy treats include:

  • Corn
  • Beets
  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower

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Final thoughts

While a small amount of avocado is not likely to send your hamster to the vet and feeding avocado to hamsters is technically fine because it is non-toxic to them, it’s a far better idea to avoid it altogether. Avocados are calorie dense and high in fat and can swiftly cause obesity in your pet hamster. Avocados can also potentially cause serious digestion issues 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!


Featured Image Credit By: Asiya Kiev, unsplash

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.