Nuts come in many varieties and they all have different properties so let us find out the answer to the question “can hamsters eat nuts?” Nuts are great for us as they are packed with protein, fibers and essential fats so they are healthy and can be eaten as simple treats or put in a variety of dishes that range from breakfast to dessert. With hamsters though, the main difference is that due to their size these can be quite a big boost in fat and thus they should be kept as a treat instead of putting them in their regular diet.
Among the types of nuts the ones that are the most popular are Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios and walnuts but there are even more varieties out there. It is obvious that going over each one in detail will require separate articles so here we will just cover the basics and which to keep your hamster away from.
Nuts contain protein, fiber and essential fats as we mentioned but they also come with a mix of vitamins and minerals but it isn’t all good news for a hamster. They contain so much fat that they are a serious threat of leading to obesity and the minerals like calcium or potassium are also harmful for a hamster.
All nuts have a lot of potassium and this isn’t something that is healthy for your hamster but the ones that contain the most are pistachios, followed by Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts. This means that you should reduce the quantity your pet eats lower than with the other nuts.
Almonds also stand out since they contain small quantities of cyanide and with a pet that is as small as a hamster this could prove lethal. We recommend that you don’t serve almonds at all to the pet, especially the bitter ones, but if you really want to then you should remove the exterior skin.
The highest amount of saturated fat can be found in Brazil nuts, macadamias and cashews while the least is in hazelnuts, chestnuts and almonds so stick to hazelnuts or chestnuts since they are the safest option or simply reduce the quantity if you have the others.
How To Give Them To Your Pet
It is important to only serve plain nuts to your pet since the ones prepared for human consumption usually contain large quantities of salt. Salt can damage the kidneys of your pet and they can tolerate a lot less than we do.
Nuts need to be a treat and adding them occasionally to their diet is the best approach. They should in no way surpass ten percent of a hamster’s diet and about two each week are more than enough. We mentioned salt but products made from nuts also can be dangerous. With peanut butter or cashew butter you usually have a lot of sugar and that is dangerous too but this can also stick to their cheek pouches and cause serious problems.