As you probably know, hamsters are omnivores, meaning that they can benefit from eating meat as well as plants. There are many different types of food that hamsters can safely eat, and it’s a lot of fun to discover what kinds of food your hamster likes. However, you do have to be careful, because there are some foods that are very dangerous to your little hamster so you always have to do your research.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at feeding fish to your hamster. We’ll take a look at whether or not hamsters can safely eat it, if it’s good for them, how much of it they can eat, and any precautions that you have to take.
If you need a short answer, here you go: Hamsters can eat many kinds of fish, such as tuna, salmon, and shrimp, but not in huge amounts. The majority of their diet should consist of pellets, but fish can be a good, healthy treat. Always make sure to properly cook the fish, do not feed it raw. Also, make sure not to season the fish – only feed it plain.
But do keep reading, simply knowing that your hamster can eat fish is not enough. You need to learn about the precautions, which fish are best for them, and more! Let’s get into it.
Can hamsters eat fish?
Hamsters are omnivores and because of that, they’re perfectly capable of digesting and obtaining nutrients from fish. So yes, hamsters can definitely eat fish, and it can actually be quite beneficial for them to do so. Fish is rich in many nutrients and is a great source of lean proteins.
However, while fish is good for hamsters, do make sure that you feed it to them in moderation. Too much of anything is not good for your hammy, and that includes fish.
Is fish good for hamsters?
In small quantities, fish is definitely good for hamsters.
First off, fish is very rich in Omega-3s. Studies have shown that omega-3s prevent skeletal muscle lesions in hamsters. On top of that, omega-3s can fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Also, fish contains good amounts of vitamin D, B2, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium, all of which are beneficial to your hamster’s wellbeing. It’s also a great source of protein.
Precautions when feeding fish to your hamster
So, now you know that your hamster can safely eat fish. That’s great, but there are a few precautions that you have to keep in mind before you start the feeding process.
There are 4 main precautions that you should look out for when feeding fish to your hamster:
- Make sure to cook the fish properly to get rid of harmful parasites and bacteria.
- Do not season the fish – seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon are not good for your hamster – plain fish is the way to go.
- Make sure to remove the fishbones. If you do not, they can be a choking hazard.
- Do not overfeed. Fish should be an occasional treat, not a replacement for their regular diet. Especially if you have a Dwarf or Robo hamster you have to make sure that you feed it to them in small quantities.
Can hamsters eat canned fish?
Many kinds of fish, such as tuna and sardines, are often preserved in cans or tins. While it’s convenient and perfectly safe for us humans to consume that way, the same does not go for hamsters. Canned fish is usually preserved in either brine or vegetable oil, neither of which is good for your hamster. The brine contains a huge amount of salt, and too much salt in your hamster’s diet is a recipe for disaster. Vegetable oils can make your hamster sick, and should also be avoided.
Go for fresh, cooked fish instead of canned.
Can hamsters eat raw fish?
No, only feed your hamster fish that’s properly cooked through. Raw fish can contain harmful parasites and bacteria which your hamster should not ingest.
Do hamsters need fish in their diet?
Hamsters do not necessarily need fish in their diet in order to thrive. While fish contains nutrients that your hamster can benefit from, many hamsters never eat fish and are perfectly healthy. As long as you give them a balanced diet they can be healthy with or without fish in their diet.
What kinds of fish can hamsters eat?
Did you know that there are almost 28,000 fish species in the world? I didn’t, but I looked it up. I’m not going to bore you to death by listing all of them, because there are simply too many. What I will do is briefly discuss the most popular kinds of fish and whether or not they’re safe for your hamster to consume.
Can hamsters eat tuna?
Tuna is one of the kinds of fish that you have to be careful with. Unlike many other kinds of fish, tuna has a high mercury content. This is because tunas feed on other fish, and grow very large. The small amounts of mercury that exists in the smaller fish they eat accumulates in the tuna. Eating too much mercury can lead to mercury poisoning, even in humans! Since hamsters are much smaller, this danger is even more pronounced for them.
I would recommend feeding a different kind of fish to your hamster (such as salmon), but if you insist on feeding tuna to your hamster, make sure that you go for skipjack. Skipjack is lower in mercury than other kinds of tuna, like albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack.
Can hamsters eat salmon?
Hamsters can definitely eat salmon. Salmon is one of the healthiest kinds of fish in the world because of how rich it is in omega-3s and healthy fats. If you’re going to feed fish to your hamster, salmon is an excellent choice. Also, unlike tuna, salmon is very low in mercury.
Can hamsters eat shrimp?
Technically, shrimp is not a fish but a crustacean. Nevertheless, most people consider it in the same class of food as fish so I will discuss it in this article. Hamsters can eat shrimp just fine. It’s an excellent source of Iron, Protein, Magnesium, Vitamin B, Zinc, Omega-3s, which will benefit your hamster’s health.
Shrimp is also very low in mercury, which is great because you don’t run the risk of mercury poisoning.
Can hamsters eat cod?
Yes, hamsters can eat cod. Cod is a good choice for your hamster because it contains very good quantities of vitamin D along with healthy fats and omega-3s. Similar to salmon, cod is also low in mercury.
Can hamsters eat sardines?
Yes, hamsters can eat sardines. It’s low in mercury and rich in many important nutrients. However, do make sure that you do not feed them canned sardines. Canned fish is often preserved in oil or brine. Neither of these is good for your hamster. If it’s fresh sardine that’s properly cooked, then it’s okay for your hamster to eat.
Can hamsters eat mackarel?
Hamsters can eat mackerel, but king mackerel should be avoided. King mackerel is a huge fish, similar to tuna, and contains a lot of mercury. To avoid mercury poisoning, it’s better to go with smaller kinds of mackerel.
Can hamsters eat fried fish (fish fingers, sticks, etc)
No, the batter and oil on fried fish are very high in calories and unhealthy fats and should be avoided. A small nibble will not kill your hamster but it’s definitely not good for them.
Do hamsters like fish?
Most hamsters do like to eat fish, but no two hamsters are the same and they all have their own likes and dislikes. It’s very possible that your hamster is not very interested in eating fish. After all, in the wild, hamsters do not eat fish at all so they might find it a bit strange. If your hamster does not like fish, do not despair. There are many other foods that they can eat as a treat instead.
- Cheese (small amounts)
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