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Can Hamsters Eat Rice? What You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Although it is not considered beneficial or especially nutritional, rice is considered safe to feed your hamster. You can feed rice raw or cooked. Your hammy will likely prefer the grain uncooked and this will be easier for the rodent to store in his cheek pouches.

White rice is safe, but brown or wholegrain rice, which typically contain more vitamin B, are more nutritionally beneficial. Rice should be considered a treat and should not make up the bulk of your hamster’s diet. The majority of their intake should consist of high-quality hamster pellets, and the remainder should be fruit, vegetables, and other fresh foods.

As well as white, brown, cooked, and uncooked rice, you can also feed your hamster pasta and small pieces of cooked potato.

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Is Rice Safe for Hamsters?

Rice is a cereal grain. It is usually cooked by boiling but it may also be fried, or it may be ground into flour. Humans usually eat it in combination with other foods, and it may even be made into a dessert of rice pudding. It is considered an excellent source of carbohydrates, which are the body’s main fuel source, and brown rice is considered especially nutritional for human consumption. Therefore, it is not only safe for humans, but is considered extremely healthy and beneficial, but what about for hamsters?

Rice is not considered toxic for hamsters. It can be fed raw or cooked, safely, but you should take some precautions to ensure that it doesn’t make your hammy ill.

If you are boiling or cooking the rice before feeding, you will want to ensure that it is properly cooked but that it isn’t too moist or sticky. If the grains are too moist, they will be more likely to get lodged in your hamster’s cheeks and pouches.

In most cases, it is better to simply feed the rice uncooked.

Hamster eating rice
Image Credit: Peakpx

Health Benefits Of Rice

Rice does offer some health benefits to hamsters, but because you should only feed one or two grains at a time, they will not eat enough of the food to really enjoy these benefits. As such, it should be viewed simply as a treat, and not as a nutritional addition to their diet. If your hammy likes the flavor, give them the occasional grain of rice.

With that said, brown and whole grain rice are considered to have greater nutritional value. They still have their husks, and the husks contain some vitamin B, fiber, and iron, although the amounts are still not substantial enough to make rice an essential ingredient in a hamster’s diet.

How To Prepare Rice

The best way for your hamster to enjoy rice is raw and uncooked. Uncooked grains of rice will be easier for your hamster to store in its food pouch. It shouldn’t become stuck and will be easy to place into and retrieve from the pouch. However, this isn’t the only way to feed rice to your pet.

Rice can be boiled before feeding to your hamster, but care needs to be taken when preparing it in this way. Boiled rice can be sticky. This means that it can become stuck in your hamster’s food pouch. It can become compacted, and the rice can swell further, potentially causing restrictions and preventing breathing and swallowing. If it becomes stuck in his pouch, the rice can also start to rot and once it goes off, it can make your hammy ill.

A great way to add a small amount of rice to your hamster’s diet is to prepare natural and homemade treats. These are similar to the cereal and chew bars that you can get from the pet store, but because they are homemade you have control over the specific ingredients that are included.

Coat a 6-inch stick in natural honey or peanut butter. Roll it over seeds and include a few grains of rice. Let the stick sit for an hour so that the honey or peanut butter can gather more of the ingredients, and then give it to your hamster. The treat is very simple to make, but your hamster will enjoy chewing on the stick and eating the seeds and rice.

rice grain
Image Credit: white kim, Pixabay

What About Rice Krispies?

Rice Krispies are really just puffed and toasted rice. They do contain sugar but are still considered to be safe for hamster consumption. As with whole rice, you should only feed one or two Krispies, preventing your hamster from overeating. And, as ever, you need to ensure that you are not feeding anything toxic in the shape of processed food or additional treat ingredients, so feed the cereal rather than the cereal bar.

Rice Alternatives For Hamsters

Rice is a safe treat for hamsters, but it should be fed in moderation and not too frequently. It should not be a major part of your hamster’s diet. The vast majority of your pet’s diet should be made up of good quality hamster pellets. These contain all the vitamins and minerals that your hamster needs. The rest of their diet can include fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as seeds and some other ingredients.

Can Hamsters Eat Pasta?

Pasta, like rice, can be fed to your hamster, and you can feed it raw or cooked. You can also feed any variant of pasta that does not have harmful additional ingredients, and you should ensure that it is cooked properly and is not too sticky.

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Credit: justus_joseph, Pixabay

Can Hamsters Eat French Fries?

French fries may be made of potato, but they are not considered healthy or safe for hamsters. They are full of fat and while your hamster should be fine if they nibble on one, they should not be encouraged to eat this particular food type.

Can I Give My Hamster Potato?

You should never feed raw potato to your hamster, but you can feed a small amount of cooked potato. You can simply boil the potato or offer a little bit of mashed potato. Do not give fried potato in any form, which means no French fries.

cute-hamster-eating-potato-stick_jin-hyuk-huh_shutterstock
Credit: jin-hyuk huh, Shutterstock

Can Hamsters Have Milk?

Milk is not considered toxic to hamsters, and most hamsters would be able to stomach a small amount of the liquid. However, milk is fatty. If you do intend to give your hammy any of this lactose-laden treat, you should give only skimmed milk and in moderation. Do not give chocolate or flavored milk and avoid plant-based milk until you have checked that they are safe for your pet.

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Can Hamsters Eat Rice?

Rice is considered safe for hamsters. You can feed white, brown, or wholegrain rice, and it can be fed raw or cooked, although you should only feed a minimal amount and you need to ensure that it is not too sticky after cooking it. Include a few grains in a homemade chew stick, incorporate vegetables and seeds, but remember that these additional ingredients should only make up a small portion of your hamster’s daily diet.


Featured Image Credit: Pxhere

Nicole Cosgrove

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.