Oats are one of the healthiest snacks we can have. Many people consider oats as a healthy addition in their daily diet. They are rich in fibers and several vitamins and minerals and are great for the health of all, including people who are suffering from cholesterol or blood pressure. Another great thing about oats is that they work equally well as livestock feed. But can all pets eat oats? What if you have a hamster at home? Let’s find out whether or not hamsters can eat oats.
Can hamsters eat oats? Yes, hamsters can eat oats. As we mentioned earlier, oats are packed with nutrients and fibers, and make as healthy a snack for your little pet as for you. However, in the case of hamsters, it is best to practice moderation while feeding oats. Oats contain sodium and amino acids, which can affect your pet’s health negatively if they eat too much of it.
There are different breeds of hamsters who are kept in households as pets. Can all of them eat oats safely? And what if your hamster is still a pup? Can you feed them oats as well?
If you were looking for the answers to these questions, you’ve hit the jackpot. In this article, we’re going to talk about all the important questions you may have about feeding oats to hamsters.
Do hamsters like eating oats?
Out of all the pets in the world, hamsters probably throw the least tantrums about their food. If you have a hamster, you must have already realized the fact that no matter what you put into their dish, you will find it empty it a while.
Therefore, if you want to feed oats to your little pet and are wondering whether they will like it, you can rest easy. Even if they’ve never eaten it before, they will get used to it in no time.
However, when you start feeding them oats for the first time, it is best to feed them as little as possible in the beginning. This will make it easier for them to get acquainted with oats. Once they start to like it, you can gradually increase the quantity.
Oats for hamsters: health benefits and risks
Now that we know that hamsters will eat oats, it is time to determine whether or not these snacks will benefit them in any way. How would you do that? To begin with, you can take a look at the nutritional value of oats in the chart given below.
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let us take a look at the nutrients that can benefit the health of your little pet hamster.
Protein is an essential element of your hamster’s diet. It might sound surprising to you, but a growing hamster needs more protein than a fully-matured one.
While protein makes up about 18% of an adult hamster’s diet, baby hamsters (under the age of 6 months) need about 20-24% of it.
Hamsters who are suffering from any disease need even more amount of protein. Fortunately, oats have an abundance of protein; 100 grams of oats contain roughly 16 grams of protein in it.
Fat is a tricky nutrient for hamsters since both too much or too little of it can create a serious imbalance in their diet. The dietary need for fat can vary from one hamster to another. However, feeding them 7% of it in their daily diet should be fine on an average. The fat content in oats is ideal for your pet.
Do you know what’s the role of fibers in your hamster’s diet? Fiber is essential in the smooth maintenance of your pet’s digestive system. It nourishes the beneficial bacteria present in the gut of hamsters. Oats are rich in fibers.
On the other hand, oats also contain minerals such as phosphorous and sodium, which can prove to be detrimental to your pet’s health. Sodium can cause serious dehydration problems in hamsters because their diet already consists of little water as it is. Moreover, oats are rich in acidic content, which can make your pet very sick.
Can baby hamsters eat oats?
Baby hamsters have a far more fragile digestive system than that of an adult hamster. Therefore, not everything that is okay for adult hamsters to eat should be given to their younger ones.
However, since oats have a high protein content, they are healthy for baby hamsters, who need more protein than an adult.
Oats and hamster species
There are five different species of hamsters who are kept as a pet in households. To check whether your pet can eat oats or not, go through the following sections carefully.
Can Syrian hamsters eat oats?
Syrian hamsters have been named so because of their nativity to Syria. They are also referred to as “golden hamsters” and “teddy bear hamsters” in many regions.
Out of all the hamster breeds, Syrian hamsters have the largest body as well as the longest lifespan. Some Syrian hamsters grow to be as old as five years. Oats are a favorite snack of these hamsters and are safe for them as well.
Can Djungarian hamsters eat oats?
The Djungarian hamsters are about half the size of a Syrian hamster, which is why it is commonly referred to as dwarves. Other names of Djungarian hamsters are “striped dwarf hamsters”, “Siberian hamsters”, and “Russian dwarf hamsters”.
Djungarian hamsters have a thick, grey dorsal stripe which more prominent than other hamster breeds. During winters, their dark grey fur is replaced by thick white fur. Djungarian hamsters can eat oats in moderation.
Can Roborovski hamsters eat oats?
Roborovski hamsters are the smallest hamster breed. They are also called “desert hamsters” because of their preference for dry, hot habitats. Unlike other hamster breeds, Roborovski hamsters do not have dorsal stripes and are fast-runners.
If you want to feed oats to your Roborovski hamsters, you will have to be extra careful about the quantity because of their small body.
Can Campbell’s hamsters eat oats?
Campell’s hamsters do not have the fur crown that other hamster breeds have. These hamsters also drink plenty of water throughout the day, which is why a little sodium will not cause them any harm. You can therefore feed them oats safely.
Can Chinese hamsters eat oats?
Native to China and Mongolia, Chinese hamsters are rarely kept as pets. An easy way to recognize these hamsters is by their long tail. Like other hamsters, Chinese hamsters can also eat oats in moderation.
Can hamsters eat oatmeal?
Since oats are safe for hamsters, oatmeal can’t be bad for them as long as you stick to the plain, unflavored one. You can occasionally feed them oatmeal after cooling it properly. Hamsters can’t eat hot food, so you should keep that in mind while feeding hamsters oatmeal.
Can hamsters eat dry oats?
Yes, hamsters can dry oats. Dry oats are, in fact, much healthier for hamsters and are preferred by them as well. Just don’t feed them too much of these treats in order to avoid any health issues.
Frequently asked questions
Can hamsters eat lettuce? Lettuce contains a high water content, which can prove to be harmful to all hamster breeds, except Campbell’s hamsters. Therefore, you should feed them lettuce in careful moderation.
Can I feed tomatoes to my hamster? Tomatoes are highly acidic vegetables and can thus create problems for hamsters if fed too frequently. Feeding them tomatoes once in a week is enough.
Will my hamster eat bananas if I feed it? Yes, hamsters will eat bananas if you feed them these fruits. Hamsters love the soft fruit and can eat them 2-3 times a week.
Are strawberries safe for my hamster? Yes, strawberries are safe for your hamster as long as you are feeding them these fruits in moderation. Too many strawberries can upset their digestive system.
To sum it up, you can feed your hamster oats without any worries as long as you follow moderation. Always remember that oats are primarily human foods, no matter how nutritious. Hamsters have a small diet, and digressing from their recommended feed can lead to health problems in them.