Everyone knows that dark, leafy greens are good for humans, but are they good for hamsters? Yes, fortunately spinach leaves are great food for hamsters. They are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They also contain calcium and magnesium.
As always, you need to feed your hamster moderate amounts, even though spinach is healthy; don’t go overboard, or you might end up with a very sick hamster on your hands!
Why Is Spinach Good For Hamsters?
As established, spinach contains a lot of the nutrients which hamsters need to be healthy. Feeding your hamster spinach regularly can help to keep their vitamin levels up. Spinach is also a good source of iron. As vegetables go, spinach is probably one of the best to offer your hamster on a regular basis. It’s also readily available and easy to prepare, making it a great addition to your hamster’s bowl.
How Much Spinach Should A Hamster Have?
Spinach is one of the foods you don’t need to worry too much about your hamster eating larger amounts of. That isn’t to say you should be giving your hamster handfuls on a daily basis!
Remember that hamsters are very small, and do not need large quantities of any food at all.
A couple of spinach leaves are probably plenty for a hamster to eat in one day. One leaf may be a safer option, especially if you plan to feed your hamster spinach regularly.
It’s better to reduce the quantity and offer lots of variety than to risk your hamster eating too much of any one vegetable.
While eating spinach regularly is fine for a hamster, a lot of spinach can lead to issues, so do vary their diet and build in at least two to four days a week in which they don’t eat any spinach at all. Hamsters don’t need loads of fresh fruit and veggies in their diet, and can easily become overweight if they have too many treats.
Nutritional benefits of spinach
An 80g (raw) serving contains:
- 2.2g protein
- 0.6g fat
- 1.3g carbohydrates
- 2.2g fibre
- 136mg calcium
- 1.68mg iron
- 91mcg folate
- 21mg vit C
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Hamsters Eating Too Much Spinach?
Fortunately, spinach doesn’t have any major side effects, though it can cause digestive issues if it is consumed in large quantities.
The most common problem which excessive spinach consumption can cause is gas. This might make your hamster uncomfortable, and can be a bit unpleasant. It may also cause digestive and gastrointestinal issues in the long term if you aren’t careful.
While extra spinach probably won’t kill your hamster, it’s best to keep changing their diets, ensuring they get their vitamins and nutrients from a wide range of different foods, rather than eating the same thing over and over again.
All hamster food should be given in moderation, so if you think your hamster has had a bit too much spinach lately, don’t feed it any for a week or two.
How To Prepare The Spinach
Wash the spinach very thoroughly before you feed it to your little pet. This will remove any contaminants from the leaves, making them safe to eat.
If you’re feeding true spinach to your hamster, you may want to shred the leaves so they’re easier to eat. Remove any fibrous stems or stringy bits.
If you’re offering the hamster baby leaf spinach, you probably don’t need to worry about fibers, but you might still want to tear or cut up the leaves into more manageable pieces. This can help your hamster better enjoy its treat.
What Happens If My Hamster Doesn’t Eat The Spinach?
If your hamster rejects the spinach, you should remove it from the cage straight away. Although many hamsters like to hoard food they aren’t ready to eat, spinach leaves will not do well in your hamster’s private pantry.
They will wilt and gather dust from the cage, and quickly become very unappetizing. Remove them before they can do this, or you may find yourself dealing with a mushy mess. If forgotten about, the spinach leaves might turn moldy, which isn’t good for your hamster.
If your hamster consistently doesn’t eat spinach, it’s time to find an alternative food that they enjoy more. There’s no point filling a cage with a food which isn’t appreciated.
Sometimes taking the food away for a short period of time and then offering it again can reignite your hamster’s interest, but this won’t always do the trick.
There are many other veggies that your hamster can enjoy, so don’t worry if it won’t eat spinach. You can still provide a balanced and interesting diet with other veggies and fruits, and as long as you’re offering variety, your hamster should be both happy and healthy.