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Home > Hamsters > Can Hamsters Eat Walnuts? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Can Hamsters Eat Walnuts? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Can Hamsters Eat Walnuts

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Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

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

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Walnuts are crispy, crunchy, and downright delicious, and many people enjoy cracking open a walnut and popping it into their mouth. But can you share your adoration for walnuts with your pet hamster? Are walnuts safe for your rodent to consume?

Fortunately, the quick answer is yes. Your hamster can safely eat walnuts in moderation. However, you should know the proper way to feed a walnut to your hamster and the possible risks of consuming this nut.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about walnuts and hamsters!


Are Walnuts Safe for Hamsters to Eat?

Walnuts are not toxic for hamsters and they can safely consume them. They may even find them quite the tempting treats. However, you should only feed your hamster walnuts in moderation, not as a daily component of their diet.

Additionally, when feeding a walnut to your hamster, ensure that it does not have added salt, any type of sweetener, or extra ingredients, including honey. The walnut your pet eats must be completely natural and raw.

walnuts close up
Image credit: Pixabay

Healthy Hamster Diets

While hamsters are omnivores, walnuts should not be a large component of their diet. A good hamster diet consists of commercial hamster pellets, high-quality hay, and very small helpings of fruits, nuts, and veggies. You should only give a walnut to your hamster as an occasional treat.

Walnut Nutritional Benefits

Walnuts don’t have much going for them in terms of the nutritional benefits that they may offer to hamsters. Like most nuts, walnuts are extremely nutrient dense. Much of their caloric value comes from their high fat content. Their main nutritional composition is as follows:1

Key Nutritional Information of Walnuts, per 100 Grams (3.5 oz.)
  • Water: 3.14 grams (g)
  • Calories: 679–730 cal
  • Carbohydrates: 10.9 g
  • Fat: 69.7 g
  • Protein: 14.6 g
  • Fiber: 5.2 g

While walnuts do contain minerals and vitamins, their incredibly high fat content makes them a poor source of acquiring these micronutrients. In addition, their protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrate levels are not compatible with a hamster’s daily requirements. Therefore, they should only be used as occasional snacks or treats.

hamster eating walnut
Image credit: tanya_morozz, Shutterstock

What Are the Risks of Feeding Walnuts to Your Hamster?

The nutritional downsides of walnuts far exceed their benefits.

Nutritional Risks of Walnuts
  • A teaspoon of walnuts contains around 37 calories. This amount alone is more than the amount of calories that a 100-gram (3.5-oz.) Syrian hamster eats in a day on average. This means that they would quickly lead to an obese pet. It also exceeds the amount that an average dwarf hamster would require in a day.
  • Walnuts have far too much fat and not enough protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, and they are also lacking in certain vitamins.
  • A sudden dietary change can lead to an upset stomach in hamsters. This usually manifests as diarrhea, which shouldn’t be taken lightly in hamsters. Hamsters can quickly deteriorate if they develop diarrhea, and they require prompt veterinary attention if this ever happens.

How to Feed Your Hamster Walnuts

Always feed walnuts to your hamster in extreme moderation. This equates to 1 gram or 0.035 oz. of a walnut piece offered no more than once a week. You shouldn’t offer salted walnuts to your pet.

cracked walnuts
Image By: Pixabay



Yes, you can safely feed walnuts to your hamster. However, it must be done in extreme moderation.

As nuts are incredibly nutrient dense, they are not considered healthy for hamsters. If you’re in doubt about what to feed your hamster, you should consult your veterinarian.

Featured Image: Iurii Kachkovskyi, Shutterstock

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