Nuts seem the sort of food hamsters should be able to safely enjoy, so can you feed your hamster almonds? Yes! You can. Hamsters enjoy almonds and get some health benefits from eating them in small quantities.
However, you should only offer them a little at a time, and never give your hamster flavored almonds of any kind.
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Why Are Almonds Healthy?
Almonds are good for us, but why are they good for hamsters? Well, almonds contain some useful nutrients. They have plenty of dietary fiber, which can help your hamster digest food properly.
Almonds also contain vitamin E, which is good for controlling blood sugar levels. Because hamsters are prone to diabetes, this is a particularly good vitamin to give to them, reducing their risk of developing the disease or potentially mitigating its effects.
Furthermore, almonds may be able to help prevent cholesterol spikes; they do in humans. Almonds are good at reducing cholesterol, which can help to protect your hamster from certain diseases.
Almonds are also pretty filling, so they might help your hamster cut back on other foods a bit – because it feels full – and this may help if your hamster is becoming overweight.
However, bear in mind that almonds are also quite fatty themselves, so too many will exacerbate the issue.
What’s The Problem With Too Many Almonds?
As mentioned, almonds are rich in fat, so eating a lot of almond will see your hamster piling on the pounds. Hamsters definitely enjoy nuts, but you need to be careful they aren’t getting more than they should be.
Almonds also contain cyanide, which can easily kill your hamster if eaten in large amounts. In small, infrequent doses, the cyanide won’t do any harm, but remember that hamsters are much smaller than humans, and need proportionally less food.
Don’t give your hamster handfuls of almonds; you risk killing it or making it very sick.
What Kinds Of Almonds Can Hamsters Eat?
Plain, sweet almonds (not sugared) are the right kind to feed your hamster. It doesn’t matter if the almonds are roasted, but they must not be salted, or have any kind of coating which could potentially be toxic or contain high concentrations of the things your hamster shouldn’t be consuming (like sugar or salt).
Do not EVER feed your hamster bitter almonds. These have a much higher concentration of cyanide than regular almonds, and eating one could kill your hamster outright.
Always taste a bit of the almond you plan to feed to your hamster first, making sure it’s a sweet almond, and there is no chance of a mix-up having happened.
Particularly short and wide almonds, or ones that are oddly shaped, are more likely to be bitter almonds. Avoid feeding these to your hamster, but check other almonds thoroughly too before you offer any to your little friend.
Serving size: 1 ounce (28 g)
|Amt per Serving
How To Prepare The Almonds
If you decide you do want to offer your hamster some almonds as treats, use whole almonds and then shave small pieces off yourself. You shouldn’t buy ready-shaved or ground almonds.
You can also soak almonds in hot water for fifteen minutes and then gently rub them to remove the skins if you want to. Almond skins might irritate the stomachs of more sensitive hamsters, so this is a good option if you’re concerned about that.
How Often Can I Give My Hamster Almonds?
Almonds are too high in calories and fat to be a regular part of your hamster’s diet. You need to limit the amount your hamster gets to an occasional treat, and don’t include almonds as part of your hamster’s weekly menu.
Never give your hamster a whole almond at once. A little nibble now and again won’t hurt, but less than once a week is probably a safe rule to adhere to.
Should I Worry If My Hamster Won’t Eat Almonds?
No; different hamsters can have very different tastes, so if yours doesn’t seem keen on almonds, don’t worry about it. You can try again in the future, but there’s no reason to be concerned if your hamster rejects the nuts and favors other foods.
Hamsters don’t need almonds to have a balanced diet. Don’t leave almond pieces lying around in your hamster’s cage in the hopes it might change its mind later.
If the hamster ignores the food, it probably won’t suddenly decide it’s delicious. Nuts don’t go moldy very readily, but they will go stale, so it’s best to take them away if you don’t think your hamster is going to eat them.