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Can Hamsters Eat Radishes? What You Need to Know!
If you’ve been keeping a backyard garden, you may have ended up with an overabundance of radishes. Radishes are tasty served raw or pickled on salads or sandwiches, adding a nice bit of crunch and a hint of spiciness. If you still have radishes left over from your bounty and aren’t sure what to do with the rest of them, you may have wondered if your hamster could share the crunchy root veggie with you. We’re here to clear up information about feeding radishes to your hammy!
Can Hamsters Eat Radishes?
The short answer to this question is yes, hamsters can eat radishes.
Like with other fresh foods, moderation is key to avoid making your hamster sick. Radishes are high in B vitamins, zinc, and calcium. They also contain fiber, sugar, a little bit of salt, and a hint of fat. Sugar and salt are necessary in small quantities, but if overfed can lead to problems.
Are Radishes Safe for Hamsters?
Well, that depends.
Syrian and Roborovski hamsters can safely have a little bit of radish. Dwarf hamsters might need to skip out on radishes, though. The diabetes-prone dwarf hamsters may get too much sugar from eating radishes, and they may even eat too much salt, which can lead to medical problems like high blood pressure.
Radish leaves and seeds contain a chemical called glucosinolate that can lead to toxicity. Toxicity occurs in very high doses, but it’s best to avoid the leaves and seeds and only feed the radish root itself.
How Much Radish Can I Feed My Hamster?
Syrian and Roborovski hamsters can have 1-3 small slices of radish no more than weekly. It’s best to avoid radishes for dwarf hamsters, but if you decide to feed your dwarf hamster some radish, one small slice or less is best, and only as an occasional treat.
What Else Should I Consider When Feeding My Hamster Radishes?
Monitor your hamster when you feed fresh foods like radishes. Hamsters have a habit of hiding food in their pouches and may hide a radish snack for later. This can lead to bacteria and fungus growth in the cage, as well as attracting bugs like ants and flies.
Do you feed your hamster fresh foods regularly, or are you just starting for the first time? Radishes may not be the best “starter” food for your hammy. The spiciness may upset your hamster’s stomach and if they are not used to digesting whole, fresh foods, then their gastrointestinal tract may struggle to comfortably digest radishes.
There are better treats for your hammy! Radishes can be a tasty occasional treat but aren’t nutrient-dense enough to be part of a normal diet. The sugar and salt content of this root vegetable means they may be too rich for your hamster.
Hamsters can have lots of fruits and veggies, though! You can try leafy greens, like spinach and romaine lettuce, asparagus, or even a little bit of potato to treat your hammy. If you start giving your hamster radishes, make sure to start with very small pieces to ensure your hamster does not have stomach upset or any type of reaction.
Featured image credit: stevepb, Pixabay
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.