Can Hamsters Eat Nuts or Are They Toxic? [Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds & More!]

Have you ever wondered if you can share some nuts with your hamster? It’s not all that strange of a question, after all, hamsters are omnivores and can eat a large variety of different kinds of food. However, while hamsters can benefit from eating a wide range of different kinds of food, there are also foods that are bad and can even be lethal. Therefore, it’s crucial that you do your research before introducing new foods into your hamster’s diet. So, where do nuts fall on this scale – are they good or are they bad? Let’s find out!

If you’re in need of a quick answer to the question at hand, here it is: Hamsters can definitely eat nuts, but only in very small quantities. Nuts contain many healthy nutrients, but they’re also very high in fat and calories. So, while nuts are not toxic to hamsters, feeding them too many nuts can lead to weight gain which is something you want to avoid.

But don’t run to the kitchen and grab a bag of nuts just yet. There are some important things you need to know before you start feeding nuts to your hamster. Keep reading, and before you know it you’ll be an expert in all things nuts!

can hamsters eat nuts

Can hamsters eat nuts and should they do so?

Nuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that hamsters benefit from having these omega-3s in their diet. On top of that, nuts are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and protein. All of these are good for your hamster to consume. Therefore, we can say that nuts can be a healthy treat for your hamster.

However, while nuts contain a lot of good stuff, they’re also very high in fat and calories. It’s for exactly that reason that you should limit your hamster’s nut intake. Nuts may be good, but they should be a small addition to your hamster’s regular diet, not a replacement.

So, in short, hamsters can eat nuts and they are good for them, as long as you make sure that you feed them in moderation. A small amount of nuts is good for your hamster, but if you overdo it your hamster will get fat and the consequences of that far outweigh the benefits that nuts have to offer.

What kinds of nuts are safe for hamsters to eat?

Now that you know that hamsters can eat nuts, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular nuts that are safe for hamsters to consume. I’ll give a brief overview of the most popular nuts, the nutrients they contain, and whether or not your hamster can safely eat them.

Can hamsters eat peanuts?

can hamsters eat peanuts

Yes, hamsters can eat peanuts. Even though peanuts are technically not nuts (they’re legumes), people often consider them as nuts, so I figured I’d include them in this overview.

Peanuts are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They contain good amounts of Biotin, Magnesium, Thiamine, Vitamin E, Copper, and Manganese. They also contain the all-important omega-3s and omega-6s, making them a great treat for your hamster to snack on.

Do make sure that the peanuts you feed your hamster are unsalted and unflavored – plain peanuts only!

A fun way to feed a peanut to your hamster is by giving it to them in the shell – hamsters have very strong teeth and opening the shell themselves to get to the delicious treat is a fun and rewarding activity for them. It’s of course also a lot of fun to watch!

Also, keep in mind that you should not overfeed your hamster. A single peanut once a week is more than enough. Hamsters are small animals, and while a single peanut might not seem like a lot to you, it’s a lot for your little hamster.

Can hamsters eat peanut butter?

Now that you know that peanuts are safe for your hamster to eat, you might wonder whether the same goes for peanut butter. After all, peanut butter is made of peanuts!

Peanut butter is not toxic to hamsters, but you do have to be careful. Peanut butter is very sticky, and because of that, it can get stuck in your hamster’s cheek pouch if you give them too much of it. The safest way to give peanut butter to your hamster is by smearing a very thin layer on a piece of wood so that they can lick it up. That way, they can enjoy this delicious snack, without having to worry about it getting stuck in their pouch.

Can hamsters eat almonds?

can hamsters eat almonds

Hamsters can eat almonds in very small quantities, and it can be a good and nutritious treat for them. Like other nuts, almonds contain good amounts of Omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, there are a few precautions you must take when feeding almonds to your hamster.

First of all, make sure that you do not feed your hamster bitter almonds, only sweet almonds. The reason for this is that bitter almonds contain a lot more cyanide than sweet almonds. Bitter almonds contain 42 times more cyanide than sweet almonds, which is toxic to hamsters and should therefore be avoided!

You should also make sure that the almonds you give to your hamster are not coated in chocolate or anything like that. Only give your hamster plain, roasted, sweet almonds.

As long as you stick to plain sweet almonds and do not feed them more than a single almond a week, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Can hamsters eat walnuts?

photo of walnuts - can hamsters eat this?

Hamsters can definitely eat walnuts. Walnuts are among the healthiest nuts in the world, largely because they’re very rich in omega-3s. Additionally, they’re a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and antioxidants.

However, while walnuts are a healthy treat for your hamster, you must make sure that you do not feed them too much. Walnuts are a good treat, but only in moderation. Since walnuts are quite big, it’s recommended that you either feed them a single nut or part of a nut (depending on the size of your hamster).

Walnuts have notoriously hard shells, but hamsters are perfectly capable of opening it thanks to their very strong teeth.

Can hamsters eat pistachios?

picture of a pistachio nut - can hamsters eat it?

Yes, hamsters can eat pistachios as long as they’re unsweetened, unsalted, and without any additives. They’re a good source of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamins, and protein, making them a healthy snack for your hamster.

Of course, just like the other nuts on this list, pistachios are also quite rich in fat and calories, which means that you should limit how often you feed them to your hamster. 1 pistachio about once a week is more than enough for your hamster.

Can hamsters eat brazil nuts?

photo of brazil nuts - are they safe for hamsters to eat?

Yes, hamsters can eat brazil nuts and it can be a great treat. These nuts are packed with nutrients! They’re a good source of protein, selenium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, thiamine, vitamin E, and copper, while also containing a lot of antioxidants.

However, brazil nuts are incredibly large nuts, especially for your little hamster. Make sure that you do not feed them the whole nut, cut it up, and only feed them a small part of it.

Can hamsters eat hazelnuts?

photo of hazelnuts

Hamsters can definitely eat hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, copper, manganese, omega-6s, omega-9s, and antioxidants, all of which can benefit your hamster’s wellbeing.

However, as with every nut, hazelnuts contain a lot of fat and calories, so make sure that you restrict the amount you feed to your hamster. A single nut is plenty, and for smaller breeds, like dwarf hamsters, half a nut is enough.

Can hamsters eat cashews?

picture of pecans - can hamsters eat this nut safely?

Hamsters can eat cashew nuts, they are not toxic to your hamster and can in fact be quite a healthy treat. Cashews are rich in copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium, thiamine, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and antioxidants, which are good for your hamster.

Do make sure that if you decide to feed cashews to your hamster, that you feed it to them in small quantities. Cashew nuts are rich in nutrients, yes, but they also contain a lot of fat and as a result a lot of calories. Because of that, do not feed your hamster more than one cashew a week if you have a Syrian hamster, or once every 2 weeks if you have a Robo or a dwarf hamster.

Other nuts that hamsters can eat

  • Pine nuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Pecans

How often can hamsters eat nuts?

Since nuts are so calorie-heavy, hamsters can not eat nuts very often. In other words, it should not be a staple of their diet, but rather an occasional treat. How often you can feed nuts to your hamster depends on what kind of hamster you have. Syrians are bigger than dwarf and Robo hamsters, so it makes sense that Syrians can eat nuts more frequently than their smaller counterparts.

In general, stick to the guidelines I’ve mentioned above for the individual nuts. Do keep in mind, that these guidelines do not take into account the different nuts into account. For example, when I say that your hamster can eat a peanut every week, and later say that your hamster can also eat a cashew every week, do not feed them both – feed them one or the other, or both in smaller quantities.

Can hamsters eat nuts in the shell?

Hamsters are rodents and because of that, they have teeth that never stop growing. To keep their teeth at a manageable level, they need to grind them down. Normally, this is done through chewing on chew toys. However, the shells of nuts are also a great way for hamsters to grind down their teeth. The shells are very hard, and your hamster will have a great time chewing through the shell to get to the delicious treat.

So, yes, you can feed the nuts with the shell included. The only time you do have to remove the shell is if you’re feeding a large nut to a small hamster. For instance, say you want to feed walnut to a dwarf hamster. The walnut is far too big for a dwarf hamster, so you have to give them a small part of it. This is only possible if you open the shell and cut the nut into smaller pieces, so in that case, you can not feed your hamster the whole nut with the shell included.

Do hamsters like nuts?

Most hamsters absolutely love nuts. Hamsters are drawn to food that’s high in fat and calories because it gives them the energy they need to sustain themselves. Nuts absolutely fit that description. However, while most hamsters love nuts, you have to be responsible and not overfeed them. It might be tempting to give your hamster nuts on a frequent basis once you see how much they love it, but if you do, they can easily gain a lot of weight, which comes with a whole host of problems.

Do keep in mind that all hamsters are different and that they have their own dietary preferences. Most hamsters absolutely love nuts, but there are some hamsters that aren’t very interested in them. If your hamster doesn’t like nuts very much, don’t force it on them. Yes, nuts can be a healthy treat, but hamsters can live just fine without eating nuts.

Alternatives to nuts for hamsters

If your hamster doesn’t seem to be very interesting in eating nuts, try giving him some of these treats instead:

  • Fish (great alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Chicken
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Apples

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