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Home > Hamsters > Can Hamsters Eat Pancakes? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & Diet Tips

Can Hamsters Eat Pancakes? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & Diet Tips

A Stack of Pancakes

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

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

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Pancakes are a delicious and versatile food. They can be eaten plain, or served with fruit, ice cream, or syrups and are a staple dish enjoyed across America and many other countries. Hamsters are also an extremely popular family pet. It makes sense, as you devour your pancakes in the morning, that you might start to think: can my hamster eat pancakes too? Can I give my furry pocket friend a portion of my pancake to them as a treat?

Yes, hamsters can technically eat a tiny bit of a plain pancake, but they’re really not recommended. And if they contain chocolate chips or are covered in sugar or syrup, then it is a firm no. Let’s discover more about feeding pancakes to your hamster and their diet in general.

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What Is a Pancake?

A pancake is a thin, flat cake of batter fried on both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan. They are made from flour, milk, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Are Pancakes Good for My Hamster?

Technically, hamsters do not need pancakes or any other form of treats. All they require is their normal hamster-specific daily diet. Offering a snack here and there, though, is a nice and fun thing to participate in, both for them and for you! It increases the bond between you both and helps maintain or increase their well-being, as hamsters do love a good munch on a tasty treat probably just as much as you do. And who doesn’t want to give or receive a little bit of extra happiness in their lives occasionally? However, they don’t really offer any significant benefits for hamsters, and really are best avoided.

Pancakes on Plate
Image Credit: Monserrat Soldú, Pexels

What Makes Pancakes Bad for Hamsters?

1. Fat

While hamsters need a little fat in their diet, too much of this can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can result in subsequent health problems.


2. Sugar

Pancakes are designed for human consumption, so the sugar content is much too high to be healthy for hamsters.


3. Allergies and Intolerances

If they are allergic to any of the ingredients, then these will generally affect their skin and/or digestive systems. Subsequent signs and issues will be experienced by your hamster (and noticed by you) and will require a visit to your veterinarian. Fortunately, these are rare in hamsters.


4. Overfeeding

Overdoing it on the pancakes can potentially lead to all the previously mentioned problems, especially tummy troubles, thus leading to diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort as a consequence. Advice from your veterinarian should be sought if you notice any of these signs.

fluffy Syrian hamster in the hands of a vet
Image Credit: TShaKopy, Shutterstock

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What Do Hamsters Eat Daily?

The best and most balanced diet for domesticated hamsters includes a daily mixture of about:
  • 75% of a pellet compound formulation and seed mixes
  • 20% fresh produce
  • 5% treats

Pellets are a commercial diet offering complete nutrition for your hamster. They are readily available from pet stores, supermarkets, or other online stores. These complete pellet diets contain all the correct nutrients that a hamster needs. Be sure to purchase a complete and balanced diet specifically for hamsters, as diets for other rodents are not the same and cannot be fed instead.

Seed mixes are also a nice option to offer, as they enjoy nibbling on these, but they have a habit of selective eating, meaning they only pick out the ones they love. A few seeds added to their pellets each day is acceptable, but they should not form a large part of their daily diet.

Leafy greens, fresh vegetables and fruit are safe options to offer your hamster on a daily basis, but be careful as most fruit is quite high in sugar. Being omnivores, hamsters will also enjoy, and benefit from, some animal protein, such as mealworms, crickets, boiled egg, or a little bit of cooked chicken.

Djungarian hamster eating food in the cage
Image Credit: atewi, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

A tiny piece of pancake every now and then is okay, but certainly not something your hamster should be having often! Although not toxic, these delightful items do not provide your pet with any nutritional value, and there are healthier options to choose from. If you do want to offer your hammy a tiny piece of your pancake, make sure it’s no more than 1cm in diameter, and only offer plain pancakes, not those served with all the extra toppings.


Featured Image Credit: Monstera Production, Pexels

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