Honey is a natural substance made by bees that is dense and sweet. Many people use it as a natural sweetener in place of sugar. It can be much healthier for humans, allowing us to satisfy our sweet tooth without compromising our diets too much.
However, does that mean we can feed it to our pets? Can hamsters eat this natural sweetener? To keep it short and sweet, yes, hamsters can eat honey, but only in minimal amounts.
Can Your Hamster Eat Honey?
It is always best to think about what an animal would eat if they were in the wild, especially one that has been so recently domesticated like hamsters.
Hamsters do not eat many sugary things in the wild because they only get natural sugars from foraged fruits, and even these are few and far between. Honey isn’t a typical food for them, and hamsters are particularly sensitive to sugary substances.
If you decide to give honey to your hamster, make sure to observe them after giving them a tiny amount. Some hamster’s stomachs will be too sensitive for something so sweet. It will cause them to experience vomiting or diarrhea.
Honey does have positives, even in the tiny amounts fed to your hamster.
Honey’s Nutritional Value
Honey has a higher nutritional value than almost any other sweetener, both synthetic and natural options. Bees produce it by using nectar that they take from flowers. They bring this back to the hives, and worker bees help store and transform the substance throughout the season.
Honey is meant to be bee food, and they store it so they have plenty to eat throughout flowerless seasons like winter.
Since honey comes from so many different plants, it has quite an array of vitamins. Your hamster can benefit from the trace amounts of vitamins B2 and B3, as well as iron.
The Risks of Serving Honey to Your Hamster
Serving honey to your hamster does have health risks. A single tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar. Hamsters are quite sensitive to sugar and can suffer from obesity and heart problems if fed too much of it.
Beyond the small but helpful amounts of vitamins and iron, honey also contains calcium, sodium, and phosphorus. These are often helpful in human diets, but not for hamster ones. These are only present in trace amounts, though, so if you feed your hamster only tiny servings of honey, it won’t be enough to cause any problems.
The sugar in honey and any other sweet snack can damage their teeth over time
Also, honey is sticky enough that on its own, it can present a choking hazard for your hamster by getting stuck in their mouth or throat or getting stuck on seeds without the hamster knowing.
Honey is not a toxic substance for hamsters, but it can only be served in tiny portions spread out over a long time. It is better to give them certain fruits, like an apple, if you want to provide them with something sweet to eat.
Featured Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay