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"Can Hamsters Eat Tomatoes?" is a commonly asked question among the hamster owner community. Certain human foods can make great treats for hamsters and provide wonderful nutritional benefit. However, not all human foods are able to be consumed by your fuzzy friend.
In order to answer the question of whether hamsters can eat tomatoes, it is important to understand what a typical hamster eats.
What Do Wild Hamsters Eat?
Wild hamsters are omnivores and usually feed on seeds, grains, natural grass, frogs, lizards, and insects.
Domesticated hamsters can thrive exclusively on store bought food mix as long as it provides all of the nutrients needed in typical hamster diet. However, the closer the diet is to that of a wild hamster the better.
Many hamster owners like to provide fruits and vegetables as treats. A healthy diet includes a balance of fruits, vegetables, and hamster pellet food. But what about Tomatoes? Are they good for your hamster?
Are Tomatoes Good For Hamsters?
Tomatoes generally are not bad for your hamster as long as they are fed in small amounts. Large amounts of tomato can have negative side effects due to the acid content. We recommend feeding your hamster half a table spoon of ripe tomatoes and no more.
It is very important that you do not feed your hamster un-ripened tomatoes. Un-ripened tomatoes along with tomato stems and leaves contain tomatine a solanum alkaloid that can affect the neurologic and digestive tract of your hamster.
Remember that your hamster only needs a teaspoon of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Tomatoes should be used as a rare treat rather than a staple food. If your hamster does not like tomatoes, feel free to cut them out of their diet as they provide no unique health benefits unlike something like carrots.
Introducing Your Hamster to a New Treat
Remember that each hamster is different, and that they could react negatively to any new treat that upsets their stomach. When introducing new treats to your hamster for the first time, it is important to do the following:
- Make sure the treat is fresh, hand washed and is preferably organic. We don't want to be handing off any pesticides to our little ones.
- Give the hamster a small test piece. Then closely monitor them for any unusual symptoms.
- Don't start giving them the recommended portion amount right away. A large change in a hamsters diet could upset their stomach. Be sure to slowly increment the amount of the treat you give them over a couple weeks.
Other Hamster Feeding Tips
We want to make sure you take the best care of your hamsters stomach. Here are a few quick tips to help you do so:
- When feeding your hamster fresh fruits and vegetables, be sure to remove an remains within a reasonable amount of time. You don't want your hamster to come back to feed on a moldy or spoiled item.
- While fruits and vegetables can provide nutrients beneficial to your hamsters health, be sure not to overfeed them. A diet with too much fruit and vegetables can cause diarrhea. Keep in mind that hamsters will stuff their cheeks with food and continue to beg for more. Do not fall victim to their cuteness.
- Remember that pellet food should be the primary source of your hamsters diet. They contain a variety of seeds and grains that your hamster would be eating in the wild.
- If you can, start introducing your hamster to new foods at a young age. The older a hamster gets the more likely it is to refuse new food.
Have any questions? Shoot us a comment down below. Feel free to check out other foods hamsters can and cannot eat.
Carol is a head content developer for ultimatepethub.com and mother of 2 adorable chocolate labs(and one child). Growing up on a farm, she has handled all kinds of animals and pets. When Carol isn’t taking her two labs to the park, you can find her researching products and topics to keep you updated with the latest info for your pets!