Can hamster eat weed seeds
In the post every two weeks I get this box called a graze box that’s filled with healthy snacks for me to eat. Well today into box I got a little pot of mixed seeds; golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
I’m not really a fan of seeds so I was wondering if I could give them to my little hammys?
On the pot it reads “they’re a great source of omega 3, copper, vitamins b1, b6, b9 and E, magnesium and zinc”
Would these be a good treat for my little ones?
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Sunflower and pumpkin are fine, not sure about the first. Make sure they’re unsalted (I’m sure you already did!). I’d google the first one but I’m on my phone which makes double browsing tricky.
My little hybrid Chub – Born Nov 2012, came to me June 2013.
Chinese Eric – born ?, came home with me December 2013.
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Linseed is also known as Flax, and the oil extracted from the seeds, while edible, can be fashioned into a finisher for wood furniture and such.
Can Hamsters Eat Pumpkin Seeds? Are Pumpkin Seeds Safe for Hamsters?
Pumpkin seeds are a true superfood, packed with protein and other vital nutrients. They’re an excellent snack for humans, and they can be very beneficial to hamsters as well. In general, almost every hamster will enjoy having a few pumpkin seeds in their food, providing more benefits than meets the eye.
Pumpkin seeds are readily available at most grocery stores, but they’re just easy to make and prepare at home. If you’ve been considering adding them to your hamster’s diet, read on for more information about the benefits and side effects of pumpkin seeds:
Can Hamsters Eat Pumpkin Seeds? Can All Breeds of Hamsters Eat Them?
Yes, hamsters can eat pumpkin seeds, and there are plenty of reasons for them to do so. They’re highly nutritious and can balance out your hamster’s diet, even with only a few seeds added per day. Pumpkin seeds are a great way to change up your hamster’s typical variety, especially to the larger species of hamsters. Even the pumpkin fruit is safe to eat, loaded with nutrients that your hamster will benefit from.
As with anything else, some foods are not as safe or healthy for the smaller breeds of hamsters. Thankfully, all species can eat pumpkin seeds, though Dwarf hamsters and other small breeds may struggle with the size of the seed. If you have one of the smaller varieties of hamster, it’s best to start off with one smaller pumpkin seed to ensure it can eat it safely and without choking.
Image Credit: Jak Jakuu,, Pixabay
Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy for Hamsters?
Yes! Pumpkin seeds are not only tasty, but they’re highly nutritious and can provide multiple benefits. They’re rich in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, dietary fiber, calcium, and B12. These all play significant roles in your hamster’s health, including the immune system, digestive health, and even bone health. The seeds also naturally provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for your hamster’s overall health.
There are plenty of obvious reasons to give your hamster a few pumpkin seeds, but there’s one other reason: they help grind down their teeth. Hamsters that are kept as pets or in captivity need to have their teeth trimmed to prevent them from growing uncomfortably long. The pumpkin seed shells are tough enough to help grind down the teeth as they chew, which in turn helps keep the teeth at a comfortable length.
How Many Pumpkin Seeds are Safe and How Should they Be Prepared?
The number of pumpkin seeds you feed your hamster depends on what breed, especially for dwarf hamster breeds. If you have a smaller breed, only one or two pumpkin seeds should do. For larger hamsters, 2 or 3 pumpkin seeds will be enough. If your hamster has never had pumpkin seeds before, we recommend starting with half of a seed or one full seed. Introducing a new food item slowly will help prevent shocking the digestive system, as well as reducing the severity of an allergic reaction.
Both raw and baked pumpkin seeds are safe for hamsters, but baked seeds are preferred due to the hard shell. Baked seeds should be unsalted since salt can cause dehydration, which is much harder to detect early in hamsters. Flavored pumpkin seeds should be avoided outright, especially any with onion or garlic spices. They can be dangerous and even fatal for hamsters, so stick to plain, unsalted pumpkin seeds instead. If you want to feed raw pumpkin seeds, you can also try feeding a tiny amount of the pumpkin fruit with it. Pumpkin fruit is also healthy for hamsters, but it needs to be portioned properly to prevent digestive issues.
Image Credit: Vural Yavaş, Pixabay
Are Pumpkins Related to Gourds? Are Gourd Seeds Safe?
Pumpkins are in the Cucurbitaceae family, which also houses gourds and squash. Gourds are, indeed, related to pumpkins, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe to eat. Some gourds are safe, and some are not, which can get confusing. We highly recommend sticking to pumpkin to avoid any confusion. Pumpkin seeds are also much more readily available than gourds and gourd seeds, making them the better option of the two.
What Should Not Be Fed to Hamsters?
Hamsters can eat a wide variety of things, from alfalfa hay to insects. They are opportunistic eaters and enjoy eating, but there are things that hamsters should not eat. Some food can be outright fatal, so it’s crucial to be able to identify safe and toxic food. Here is a list of foods that can be toxic to hamsters:
What Can Hamsters Eat?
Lianne McLeod, DVM, is a small animal and exotic pet expert with over a decade of experience writing about veterinary care. After caring for animals in her veterinarian practice, Lianne went on to study biology and research water quality and chronic disease at the University of Saskatchewan.
Emily Estep is a biologist and fact checker focused on environmental sciences. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Science in Plant Biology from Ohio University. Emily has been a proofreader and editor at a variety of online media outlets over the past decade and has reviewed more than 200 articles for The Spruce Pets for factual accuracy.
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
For their diet, hamsters can eat a mix of pellets, seed mixes, fresh foods, and treats. The majority of a pet hamster’s food should be made up of a good quality, store-bought food designed specifically for hamsters (not for rats, mice, or cats). But pet food choices at the pet store can be overwhelming, even after narrowing it down to hamster food. The decisions don’t end when you get home and want to offer fresh foods and treats to your hamster. Learn the best food to give your hamster and the safe foods you can offer as treats.
Pelleted Hamster Diets
Pelleted hamster foods offer a completely balanced diet in every bite, and they are often recommended for this reason. Pelleted diets can come in many shapes but usually look like small biscuits, cookies, or cereal. A hamster can be picky with loose seed mixes, eating only their favorite items, resulting in an unbalanced diet. Pelleted diets prevent this from happening, but they are a bit monotonous and some hamsters will refuse them. A pelleted mix can be supplemented with a variety of other items as long as the pelleted food makes up the bulk of the diet.
Seed Hamster Diets
It is important to pick a loose seed mix diet that contains a variety of foods such as grains and dried vegetables along with some seeds. Some loose seed mixed foods also contain a balanced pellet food as part of the mix (which is ideal). When feeding a loose seed mix, make sure your hamster empties the food bowl before adding more, not allowing your hamster to eat only its favorite things.
Fresh Foods and Treats for Hamsters
You can feed your hamster a variety of human foods as long as you limit the treats to a small part of your hamster’s diet. Skip the junk food and stick to healthy things like whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruit (in moderation, otherwise diarrhea may result). Store-bought treats such as yogurt drops and honey/seed sticks are too sugary for a hamster and they should be avoided.
Since dwarf hamsters are somewhat prone to diabetes it is also especially prudent to avoid sugar in their diet, so avoid fruits altogether as treats for them. Some safe foods you can offer to your hamster are:
- Apples (no seeds)
- Dandelion greens
- Potato (cooked)
- Romaine lettuce
- Sweet potato
- Whole grain bread or toast
- Whole wheat pasta (cooked)
- Brown rice (cooked)
- Whole grain cereal (no sugary cereal)
- Small pieces of cooked chicken
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Nuts (unsalted, no almonds)
- Peanuts (unsalted)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Plain air-popped popcorn (no butter or salt)
Hamsters also usually love peanut butter, but it must be fed carefully (as with any other sticky food) since it can get stuck in their cheek pouches and cause severe problems. A very thin layer on a piece of wood is okay as an occasional treat, but peanut butter must be given with caution.
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
Foods You Should Not Feed Hamsters
- Apple seeds
- Raw beans
- Raw potatoes
- Citrus fruit
- Rhubarb leaves or raw rhubarb
- Any sugary or salty foods
- Any junk food
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
The Best Hamster Diet
The ideal diet for a hamster is a pelleted diet that is supplemented with a variety of other safe and human foods. If your hamster won’t eat the pelleted diet, then sprinkle some seed mixture onto the pellets or find a seed diet that already has pellets in it.