You’ll be pleased to learn that hamsters can eat small quantities of carrot with no problem. Carrots are nutritious and contain vitamin C and vitamin A. They also contain calcium and magnesium. However, you should not feed your hamster carrots too often or in very big quantities.
Are Carrots Good For Hamsters?
Yes, carrots are good for hamsters in moderation. They supply vital minerals and nutrients, and many hamsters really enjoy a nice crunchy carrot to chew up. Fresh veggies are an important part of keeping your hamster healthy, so a few little chunks of carrot are great. However, it’s important to remember that carrots contain sugars, and – like almost any food – too much is a bad idea.
Your hamster might love carrots, but if you give them carrot in large amounts all the time, it might overdose on some things, while not getting enough of others.
Do Hamsters Like Carrots?
Now that we’ve established that hamsters can safely eat carrots, what about whether they like them? There’s no point offering them up if a hamster won’t eat them!
Most hamsters do enjoy carrots, although every hamster is individual, so you may find that yours is not very keen. It’s best to keep an eye on your hamster once you’ve given it a piece of carrot, and watch to see what it does.
Even if it enthusiastically grabs the treat, if it then carries it away and buries it, you might be faced with a hamster who doesn’t particularly like carrots. This could also be a sign that you’re feeding your hamster too much and it simply isn’t hungry.
If your hamster doesn’t eat the carrot soon after burying it, you should remove it from the cage. Although storing food is natural behavior for these animals, it can lead to moldy treats, which isn’t good for your hamster, and may start to smell after a while.
Carefully clean out your hamster’s stored food stocks on a regular basis, and take the opportunity to check whether there’s anything it consistently isn’t eating. If so, you should stop giving it this food, at least for a while.
Nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:
- Calories: 41
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 9.6 grams
- Sugar: 4.7 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
How Much Carrot Should I Give My Hamster?
How much carrot you supply will depend to some extent on what other foods you give your hamster. If it’s regularly eating lots of sugary treats, you will either need to cut back on those or not give it very much carrot, and choose less sugar-packed veggies instead.
However, if your hamster isn’t getting too much sugar, it’s safe to offer a little more carrot to compensate.
How Should I Prepare The Carrot?
Give the carrot a good wash to remove any surface bacteria or contaminants, and consider peeling off any particularly rough parts. Carrot skin is fine, and has lots of nutrients, so only remove anything you think your hamster will struggle with.
You should then cut the carrot into small chunks, or consider grating it. This will give your hamster lots of easy, bite-size nibbles to enjoy.
If you’re just introducing your hamster to carrots, feed it just a little bit to begin with, and watch over the next few days to see if any problems – such as loose stools or lethargy – arise. If they don’t, it’s safe to offer a little bit more carrot. Remember, small amounts!
Why Has My Hamster Gone Off Carrots?
If your hamster previously loved carrot but now seems disinterested, don’t worry too much; it simply means it’s time for you to change the routine a bit.
Just like people, hamsters get bored if they eat the same food over and over again. Too much repetition can also lead to nutrient deficiencies; while your hamster’s feed should provide everything it needs, it’s best to top it up.
Try not feeding your hamster any carrot at all for a while, and choose something different to replace it with. Clean any leftover carrot scraps out of the cage, and wait a few weeks before reintroducing carrot.
You may find the hamster is once again keen to grab and nibble, or that it still shows minimal interest. If it’s the latter, you should again avoid giving it carrot for another extended period of time. Eventually, the hamster’s interest is likely to rekindle, and if it doesn’t, you’ll have to find other options.
There are plenty of foods hamsters enjoy, and if it is consistently rejecting carrots, move on. There isn’t any point in giving it food it doesn’t eat; the hamster will just tuck it away in a store for later, and it will eventually go moldy.