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Can Hamsters Eat Crackers? What You Need to Know!
Hamsters are fun little creatures that love to play and interact with their human family members. If handled from a young age, they will happily sit in your pocket or hang out on your shoulder while you are lounging around the house. They also love to eat whatever they can get their little hands on, which could be anything from the food that you offer them to the cracker crumb that they find in the couch cushions.
However, just because your hamster will eat anything that they happen to find does not mean that they should. Can hamsters safely eat crackers? The short answer to this question is yes, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind. We have laid out all the information that you need to know about feeding crackers to your hamster right here.
Yes, Hamsters Can Eat Crackers
Hamsters are omnivores just like humans. They can eat fruits, vegetables, grains, grasses, and even meat. They can also enjoy a piece of cracker at snack time! Crackers are made of wheat, which is something that hamsters can readily digest. They can benefit from the protein, fiber, and minerals that can be found in crackers. Crackers should not be the main source of food for any hamster, but they can be offered once or twice a week.
While it won’t hurt to feed your hamster crackers as a snack sometimes, a few guidelines should be followed to ensure that their snacking does not result in health problems like obesity and diabetes. First and foremost, hamsters should get no more than about a stamp-sized piece of cracker at any one time. Most store-bought crackers are full of sodium and ingredients that hamsters would not typically eat, like artificial flavors and colors.
They should not be fed crackers more than a couple of times a week, to leave room for the truly healthy stuff, like fruits and vegetables. It is also important that hamsters are fed only whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers, not soda crackers filled with simple carbohydrates. Whole-grain crackers offer some nutrition and are full of fiber, which will help keep a hamster’s digestion healthy and blood sugar levels normal. Also, plenty of fresh water should be available while crackers are being served, to promote proper hydration.
Make Homemade Hamster Crackers
Instead of feeding your hamster crackers from the store, consider making a special batch just for them right in your own kitchen. All you have to do is use a blender or food processor to blend the following ingredients:
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup mango or banana chunks
Once everything is well combined and smooth, spread the mixture out on a greased baking sheet so it is about an inch thick. Then, bake the mixture in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the mixture starts to get crispy. Let the mixture cool, then break it apart into small pieces and store the pieces in a sealable container. You can pull a piece of cracker out for a guilt-free snack that your hamster can enjoy regularly. These crackers are free of additives and full of nutrition, so they can be offered to hamsters more often than store-bought crackers.
Hamsters enjoy crackers as much as we humans do. However, they can’t handle as much salt as we can. They are better off eating a whole-food diet with crackers being an occasional treat at most. Have you shared crackers with your hamster before? If so, which kind seems to be their favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment.
Featured Image Credit: Alexey Khromushin, Shutterstock
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.