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Can Hamsters Eat Walnuts? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Crispy, crunchy, and downright delicious, 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 a walnut. However, you should know the proper way to feed a walnut to your hamster and the possible threats of her consuming this type of nut.

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

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Are Walnuts Safe for Hamsters to Eat?

Yes, your hamster can safely eat walnuts! She may even find it quite a tempting treat. However, you should only feed your hamster walnuts in moderation, not as a daily component of her 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.

walnuts close up
Image credit: Pixabay

Healthy Hamster Diets

While hamsters are omnivores and enjoy eating a variety of nuts, walnuts should not be a large component in her diet. A good hamster diet consists of commercial hamster pellets, Timothy hay, and small helpings of fruits and veggies. You should only give a walnut to your hamster as the occasional treat.

Walnut Health Benefits

Walnuts are nutrition-packed snacks. They contain large amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, and a ton of vitamins, including vitamins A, B1, C, E, and K.

Walnuts are great treats for hamsters during the wintertime and pregnant pets because they give your rodent an instant boost of nutrition. Walnuts can also help hamsters to develop and maintain tissue, build strong bones, prevent diabetes, and destroy harmful free radicals inside their bodies.

hamster eating walnut
Image credit: tanya_morozz, Shutterstock

What are the Risks of Feeding Walnuts to Your Hamster?

Walnuts contain high amounts of fat. If your hamster regularly eats walnuts, she can quickly become obese or develop diabetes. The salt in walnuts can cause kidney damage. Additionally, never feed your hamster walnut butter. This product is high in fat and other ingredients that can harm your pet.

Other possible risks include digestive issues, choking, and malnutrition.

How to Feed Your Hamster Walnuts

Always feed your hamster walnuts in moderation. This equates to one or two walnuts per week, depending upon the size of your hamster. You should never roast the nut as this removes vital nutrients. Also, steer clear of salted walnuts and only feed your hamster natural ones.

You can leave the shell on if your hamster is fully grown. She may even enjoy cracking open the shell to find the treat inside.

cracked walnuts
Image Credit: Pixabay

Tasty Walnut Alternatives for Hamsters

Other yummy alternatives you can safely offer to your hamster include:

  • Pecans
  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds

All of these options must not be salted, sweetened, or seasoned in any way. Aim to get them as plain as possible.

divider-hamsterCan Hamsters Eat Walnuts? The Bottom Line

Yes, you can safely feed walnuts to your hamster. However, it must be done in moderation. One to two walnuts per week is best. The walnuts should not be salted or seasoned.

Your hammie will enjoy cracking open the walnut shell to reveal the tasty treat inside. For her, it’ll be like unwrapping a holiday present.


Featured Image Credit: Iurii Kachkovskyi, Shutterstock

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.