Can Hamsters Eat Arugula?

Hamster Jun 23, 2021
Written by | Updated Oct 5, 2021
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Can Hamsters Eat Arugula?

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Arugula is a spicy-tasting leafy green that can add quite a bit of excitement to an otherwise-bland salad. Both nutritious and delicious, arugula is a treat that you’ve probably considered sharing with your pet.

Can hamsters have arugula? If so, how much can they eat, and how often can they have it?

In case you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick answer. Yes, hamsters can have arugula, but you’ll want to be really careful not to overdo it, since too much of any leafy green – including arugula – can harm your pet.

Stick with us! This guide will help you keep your hamster healthy while allowing them to enjoy nutritious snacks in moderation, including this tasty green. Keep reading and in moments, you’ll know all about arugula for hamsters.

Arugula Nutrition Stats

Like all leafy green veggies, arugula contains just a few calories while providing an impressive array of nutrients.

A serving of arugula offers approximately:

  • 5 calories
  • .4 g carbohydrates
  • .2 g fiber
  • .1 g fat
  • .3 g protein

Arugula Nutritional Facts

That same ½ cup serving of this yummy, vibrant-tasting green gives you about:

  • 5 mg vitamin C
  • 237 iu vitamin A
  • 9 mg potassium
  • .1 mg iron
  • 7 mcg folate
  • 9 mcg vitamin K
  • 16 mg calcium
  • 7 mg magnesium
  • 2 mg phosphorus

Can Hamsters Have Arugula?

Yes, but only a tiny bit at a time. Arugula is high in water and too much can lead to digestive issues. Luckily, it’s very easy to measure this green. It looks a lot like dandelion leaf, with sections that can be torn off. Be sure to wash and dry the arugula before you give it to your hammy.

Are Arugula Good For Hamsters?

Arugula is an excellent source of many nutrients that benefit your hamster.  In addition, it’s very low in sugar, meaning that it can be a safe, healthy treat when you offer it in moderation.

Do Hamsters Like Arugula?

Arugula has a peppery taste that your hamster might or might not like. The best way to determine whether your hamster likes arugula is to offer them a little nibble and see how they respond.

How Much Arugula Can A Hamster Eat?

You can enjoy all the arugula you want, but there are definite limits when it comes to the amount of arugula your hamster can have!

Here’s how much arugula a to feed your hamster:

Age Amount
Baby hamster None
Adult hamster 1 piece of arugula about the size of your hamster’s head

This would be a tiny serving size for you, but a piece of arugula that is about the size of your hamsters head also happens to be about the same amount they can hold comfortably in their hands.

Believe it or not, you will want to offer your hamster an even smaller serving of arugula the first time they try it. All new foods need to be introduced gradually, and this includes healthy options like leafy greens. Offer your hamster a piece of arugula leaf that’s about 1/3 to 1/4 the size of their head. If they like it and finish it up, watch for signs of digestive distress like diarrhea. Keep a close eye on your hamster for the next 12 hours or so.

If there are no problems, you can gradually increase the amount of arugula your hamster enjoys the next time you have some available, until they are eating a full serving.

Here’s just one more tip:

If your hamster is a new addition to your family and you aren’t certain if they’ve had fresh food in the past, start out with something milder than arugula. A bland tasting veggie like spinach is ideal. You can offer them a tiny piece of this every other day for approximately one week and so long as everything is normal, you can let them try a little bit of  arugula next time you have it on hand.

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Arugula?

Even if your hamster seems to enjoy arugula, you shouldn’t give it to them too often. Once or twice per week is plenty.

Also, don’t offer arugula on the same day as other Leafy greens such as spinach or dandelion. If you ever notice that your hamster is having troublesome digestive issues such as diarrhea, stop feeding them fresh foods and place them on a strict diet of hamster food for about two weeks. Once you’ve gone through this reset, you can once again try offering very tiny bits of fresh food and see how they respond.

Some hamsters just don’t deal well with arugula and other leafy greens. Luckily, there are plenty of other safe, natural treats they can try.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Hamsters are so cute and cuddly ; People are often surprised to learn that these adorable little animals are omnivores rather than herbivores. In the wild, hamsters eat a variety of amphibians, insects, and worms in addition to all sorts of plants and seeds. Arugula probably isn’t on a hamster’s natural menu, simply because it doesn’t grow in the arid environments that these species normally call home. At the same time, it’s safe to say that if a wild hamster encountered arugula, they definitely would give it a try.

So, what should you feed your hamster each day? Here’s a quick guide:

  • A complete, balanced hamster pellet; check the package for the correct serving size, based on your pet’s life stage and size.
  • Birdseed: Although this isn’t necessary, your hamster can have approximately one teaspoon of birdseed per week. The seeds are a good source of healthy fat plus, they’re fun for your pet to hide in caches they’ve built around their hamster habitat.
  • Fresh Timothy hay: Be sure that your hamster has plenty of fresh, clean hay. Toss it into their cage and treat them to opportunities for fun. Hamsters use hay for making tunnels, nibbling, and mixing with their bedding.
  • Tiny bits of fruit and vegetables such as arugula: Offer very tiny bits of each item, and try to give your pet plenty of variety to keep their nutrition well-rounded. Since hamsters save extra food for later, it’s important to clear away any fresh leftovers, if there are any. This will prevent spoilage that could make your fluffball very sick.
  • Clean, fresh water: Hamsters don’t drink much at all, but you should rinse and refill their drinking bottle every day.

Fun fact: Your hamster needs to nibble constantly. Here’s why.

Hamster teeth never stop growing, meaning all that chewing has a very important purpose. Nibbling and gnawing prevents the painful overgrowth and infections that happen when a hamster’s teeth get too long and grow outside their mouths and into the pouch area.

In addition, chewing is a natural behavior that helps prevent boredom and keep your hamster interested in life.

We suggest items like coconut shell, untreated softwood, or unbleached loofah. At least one of these hamster toys or another safe alternative such as hay cubes should be available 24/7.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Arugula In A Hamster’s Diet?

Since hamsters can’t have much arugula, you’ll want to provide them with a variety of alternatives.

Try some of these hamster-approved treats on for size:

  • asparagus
  • baby corn
  • artichoke
  • sweet corn
  • cabbage
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • parsley
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • romaine
  • potato (cooked only)
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • sprouts
  • swiss chard
  • spinach
  • endive
  • escarole
  • butter lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • rocket
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • cucumber
  • summer squash
  • winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • parsnip
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • cauliflower
  • okra
  • bok choy
  • yu choy
  • watercress

These items – along with lots of other healthy fruits and veggies – can help improve your hamster’s nutrition. Remember to take a few minutes to check each new item to make sure it’s safe, and to find the right serving size for your pet.

Now for the fun part: Try giving your hamster arugula – just a little! It’s likely that your furry friend will enjoy its unique flavor. If not, there are plenty of other goodies to try!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is arugula safe for hamsters?

Yes but only in small amounts, and only once or twice per week. Even though arugula is good for you and your pet, it’s something that must be enjoyed in moderation.

Can arugula make my hamster sick?

Arugula can give your hamster diarrhea, bloating, and an upset tummy, particularly if your pet isn’t already accustomed to fresh foods. When you offer a tiny bit of arugula, keep an eye out for anything unusual and if problems occur, don’t risk your hammy’s health by giving it to them again. Even though many hamsters like arugula, the potential for unpleasant side effects exists.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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