Pet Consider

Can Hamsters Eat Meat?

Can Hamsters Have Meat?

When you think of your hamster you may imagine the small little ball of fluff that stumbles on his running wheel or gently sniffs your hands. Their hamster food may look and smell like a fruit and veggie melody, but the option of giving them meat may have crossed your mind.

There surely is no way, their tiny bodies are too small to hunt or kill any protein worth consuming, right? Whether you are considering giving your hamster some protein or they accidentally consumed some that dropped on the floor, it may lead you to wonder…

Can I Give My Hamster Meat?

Answer: Yes! We may not picture these small little furry creatures as meat eaters, but hamsters are actually omnivores. Which means they will enjoy fruit, vegetables, and meat! In fact, in order for them to have a balanced diet, they will need protein. Animal meat is going to provide them with an excellent source of that protein in order to maintain their diet.

Health Benefits of Giving Your Hamster Meat?

grilled chickenWhen we say hamsters can eat meat, you may picture chicken, beef, or pork. Consider wildlife applications before you start cooking up a steak for snowball. Yes, hamsters can eat meat but in the wild, they would rarely take down a cow – what a sight that would be! No, when we say hamsters can eat meat, we are typically referring to insects like crickets and mealworms. These are particularly popular options among those who have dwarf or Syrian hamsters. If you are wondering how long it will take you to pull some out of your backyard, rest assured your local pet store should have plenty on hand.

When it does come to meat like beef and chicken, there may not be enough research to give you a definitive yes or no. Some agree that other kinds of meat like cooked chicken, beef, or even canned dog food can be a source of protein for your hamster. Although there are those that argue it is not a good idea to provide them with these sorts of protein. Simply put, hamsters can eat meat but proceed with caution when it comes to giving them meat they would not eat in the wild. If you do decide to share a bit of your poultry, share in moderation.

One type of meat most people agree on avoiding is pork. There are a few that said they have never had any issues, but the general consensus is there is too much risk involved. Especially when there are so many other protein options.

You should also avoid feeding your hamster any sort of lunchmeat. In order to preserve lunch meat, the meat is filled with salt to maintain its freshness. The high salt content may be manageable for us but overwhelming for your hamster.

Some other meat options include fish, a hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs. If you are a vegetarian and would prefer your hamster follow suit, consider seaweed, roasted soybeans, or flaxseed. These options are meat free but still can provide high amounts of protein.

Regardless of what kind of meat you feed your hamster, make sure it is unseasoned. Salt, pepper, or any other type of seasoning may be too intense for their little mouth and can disrupt their digestive system.

Things to Keep in Mind

When providing your hamster with any sort of meat it is suggested you limit the amount to ¼ tablespoon once or twice per week. This may not seem like a lot, but for their tiny and fragile bodies, it is plenty.

Lastly, you may have heard stories of hamster cannibalism. This can happen if they think their area is unclean, if the young looks unhealthy, or if the area is too crowded. This does not happen if you hamster develops a taste for meat. This is a bit of a myth that has been used to discourage people from feeding their hamsters any sort of meat. The myth that they will become aggressive and harm their roommates or even bite the hand that feeds them is simply false. Protein is an essential part of your hamster’s diet and animal or insect meat is a great way to obtain it. Hamsters may attack one another, but the cause will not be because they love protein.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters are little-munching machines. They love their fruits, veggies, and protein! Like all of our diets, there is such a thing as too much so be sure to feed them the recommended amount. It is also worth noting, feeding your hamster meat will be a way to supplement their diet. Their standard hamster food should already contain sufficient amounts of protein.

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Gene M.
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