Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables. It’s a staple food that’s used in various dishes and comes in many forms. Aside from being delicious, it also offers a lot of nutrients to the body. But can this also be said for a hamster?
Although hamsters can be quite hardy, you still need to do your homework when it comes to its diet if you want it to remain happy and cute.
Can hamsters eat potatoes?
Your precious little furballs can eat potato but only cooked potato. These vegetable offers a lot of health benefits and will keep your hamster healthy and active.
What is the nutritional value found in potatoes?
When hamsters eat potatoes, they absorb the same nutrients that we do.
Below are some of the nutrients that hamsters get if you give them potatoes. We have collected this information from posts published on a legitimate medical page.
Potatoes contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acid which are antioxidants. These chemicals neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. When free radicals accumulate, there is an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Researches show that colored potatoes contain more antioxidants than the common white potato. This means that they are more effective in fighting free radicals.
Fibers ease a smooth digestive process. They prevent constipation, indigestion, and gassiness. They are very good at keeping a healthy digestive system.
Vitamin C is one of the most needed nutrients in the guinea pig’s body. It boosts the immune system and fights common diseases. Enough amounts of vitamin C prevent scurvy.
Vitamin B help prevent infections. It promotes healthy brain function, good eyesight, and a healthy appetite for hamsters.
This helps your hamster maintain a normal weight. The protein content in potatoes makes it satiating. It curbs your hamster’s hunger and prevents overeating.
What are the risks in feeding potatoes to your hamsters?
Despite the health benefits, eating potatoes also carry some risks to hamsters. After a thorough search, here are things you should consider before feeding potatoes to your pet.
Potato can cause diabetes
Potato is an excellent addition to a hamster’s diet. It’s the source of good healthy carbs. But when these carbs get broken down by the body, they are converted into sugar. Eating too many potatoes can cause a spike in blood sugar and too much sugar can lead to diabetes.
Potato can cause obesity
Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates which in excess can lead to weight gain. Carbohydrates are a source of energy. In small amounts, they are beneficial, but if your hamster can’t work out its carbs it could cause health problems. Incorporating too many potatoes into a hamster’s diet can cause obesity.
Potato can cause digestive issues
Feeding hamsters uncooked or improperly cooked potatoes can cause tummy problems. Hamsters can suffer from indigestion and other gut issues.
How many potatoes can a hamster eat?
When it comes to diet, the amount of food is as important as the type of food. Most of the time, the amount determines if food is safe for an animal. It is the case for potatoes and hamsters.
Hamsters have tiny stomachs. They eat not more than two tablespoons a day. The safe amount of potatoes to feed your hamster is a quarter of a teaspoon per week.
If this is the first to give your hamster potatoes, you must give it a little bit at a time. If your hamster liked it and did not exhibit any unwanted effects like allergic reactions, you can continue feeding it to your pet. Make sure that your hamster did not store the potato in its cheek pouch.
Giving potatoes to baby hamsters is harmful. Aside from being much smaller and cannot handle the carb content of potatoes, it can also result in problems with their sensitive tummies.
What kinds of potatoes can hamsters eat?
Potatoes are prepared in many different ways. Continue reading to know which forms of potatoes are safe for your hamster.
Can you give your hamster raw potatoes?
No. Never feed raw potatoes to a hamster, even if they’re fresh. Uncooked potatoes have solanine. This chemical is deadly to a lot of animals like hamsters.
Can you give your hamster mashed potatoes?
Mashed potatoes are soft and easily chewable to hamsters. They will love this delicious treat. Do not add salt, butter, pepper, and any additives when preparing your hamster’s taters. These can cause many health problems for hamsters.
Can you give your hamster roasted potatoes?
Yes, as long as they are well cooked. Do not put any oil when roasting the potatoes. It will add unwanted fats to your pet’s meal.
Can you give your hamster french fries?
No, there is too much risk in feeling french fries to your pet. While they are a tasty treat for people, they are not healthy for hamsters because they are too oily. The hamster’s small body will not be able to process that much fat. Excessive fats can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Can you give your hamster potato chips?
Do not feed your pet potato chips.
Potato chips are high in fat and salt, which are dangerous to hamsters. They can also be a choking hazard, especially for younger ones.
Can you feed your hamster sweet potato?
The answer is yes. Sweet potatoes are tasty treats. These are not a kind of potato, but they are distantly related. These root crops can be fed to hamsters in small quantities.
Like the proper potatoes, they cannot be served to hamsters raw. They must be boiled or roasted. Peel off the skin before serving.
When giving your hamster potato, the best option is plain, unseasoned, cooked potato.
Alternative foods for hamsters
There are many types of food that you can feed your hamsters. Knowing what they are will help you prepare interesting, and nutritious meals for your little champs. Giving your hamster a diversified combination of foods is the answer to keeping your furry friend in perfect condition.
Here is a list of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables that are safe for a hamster to eat.
- summer and winter squash
- Brussel sprouts
- bell pepper
- carrot and carrot tops
- buttercrunch, red, romaine, and bibb lettuce (hamsters cannot eat iceberg lettuce)
Final thoughts on “can hamsters eat potatoes?”
Cooked potatoes are safe to feed to hamsters. They have vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep your hamster in perfect condition.
Raw potato is deadly for a hamster because it has solanine. Even a little bit can kill your precious little pet. Baby hamsters cannot safely eat potatoes in any form.
When preparing a potato treat for your hamster, steer away from salt and other seasonings. These can negate the health benefits.
Remember, potatoes are treats. They should not be given daily. The potato belongs to the group of starchy foods, which means that it is rich in carbohydrates. Excessive consumption of potatoes can lead to several health problems like diabetes and obesity. A quarter of a teaspoon once a week is the safe amount to give your pet.
A hamster’s meal should consist of a mix of fruit, vegetable, and hay to ensure that they have all the nutrients they need.