Last Updated: February 24, 2021
We were all taught as kids to eat our greens and we’ll grow big and strong. But when it comes to green beans, is this veggie an appropriate snack for our hamsters, too? After all, there are things humans can eat that we can’t share with our beloved pets.
If you’re wondering — can hamsters eat green beans? The answer is yes, occasionally. A green bean here and there will only give your hamster a few extra vitamins, minerals, and moisture in their diet. But too many green beans too often can be a bit of a problem. Find out why!
Hamsters Can Eat Green Beans — Sometimes!
As with any other fruits or veggies that you might offer your hamster, green beans are a terrific addition to their normal diet. But you should never substitute their pellet food for green beans.
Green beans don’t cover the wide list of nutritional requirements your hamster needs in their diet. If you feed too many green beans to your little ball of fluff, it can make them very ill or have malnutrition.
Complications of Too Many Green Beans
As with anything, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. So, you have to be careful when you’re thinking of portions. While one green bean may seem like a tiny snack, for a small hamster stomach, it will be very filling. A single inch of green bean is comparable to you eating a sub sandwich — to put it in perspective.
Green beans are very low in sugar, which makes them a healthy choice. But, they also have a lot of calcium. While that’s beneficial, too much calcium can cause bladder and kidney stones — which can be quite troubling for your little guy.
Baby hamsters shouldn’t have any until they reach adulthood, since they need a very particular diet. But adult hamsters can have one that is about the length of their head — cut into small pieces. Especially raw green beans can be a little tough to chew and you won’t want them to choke.
Green Beans and Hamster Nutrition
Your hamster can snack on canned, fresh, and even frozen green beans (thawed, of course.) Fresh is best, as they’re the most nutritionally valuable.
If you feed them canned green beans, choose the type with no added salt. While small amounts of sodium in their diet will benefit them, excessive salt can have a very negative impact on their overall health.
Always serve green beans plain with no added seasonings. Many flavors you might add to recipes aren’t agreeable — and can even be deadly to your hamster.
Introduce Green Beans Slowly
As with anything, you need to slowly add green beans into their diet—especially if they’ve never had it before. If you give them too much at once, it can cause negative side effects like diarrhea and upset stomach.
Add in a few tidbits here and there until their body adjusts to the new food. In most cases, your hamster shouldn’t have a problem digesting green beans. Look for any signs of discomfort. If your little one is sensitive, you can stop offering any into their food regimen.
Hamsters and Green Beans: Final Thoughts
Green beans can be a solid addition to any hamster diet. But be sure to offer a variety of fresh fruits and veggies so they can reap all the benefits of plant-based nutrition. Remember, even though green beans are safe, they are full of calcium and lack many necessary vitamins and minerals — never use them as a food substitute.
Now that you know hamsters can safely eat green beans, slowly introduce the food in tiny amounts. At most, they need a bean roughly an inch long (or the size of their head). Let your little guy indulge in the green goodness.
Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.