Can Hamsters Eat Bread?

Hamster May 13, 2022
Written by | Updated Apr 30, 2024
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Can Hamsters Eat Bread?

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Most people love bread and enjoy it every day. And what’s not to love?

Bread is satisfying, chewy, and delicious, especially when you’ve baked it yourself and it’s fresh from the oven. No wonder you’re curious about whether you can share bread with your pet!

So, can, hamsters have bread? If so, how much bread can you give a hamster? And, how often should they eat it?

In case you’re in a hurry, the quick answer is “Yes.” Hamsters can eat bread, but it really isn’t recommended and shouldn’t be part of their regular diet.

Keep reading, because there’s a lot more you should know before you run for the kitchen to fix your hammy a snack! In just a few minutes, you’ll have answers to all of your questions about bread for hamsters.

Bread Nutrition Stats

Bread has a bad reputation with people who want to keep their carbs low, but it can be good for you in moderation! Check your bread’s nutrition label for accurate information, as different brands and varieties vary.

On average though, a single slice of whole wheat bread contains:

  • 128 calories
  • 6 g carbohydrates
  • 8 g fiber
  • 8 g protein
  • 5 g fat

Bread Nutritional Facts

Again, remember to check your bread’s label to see which vitamins and minerals you’re getting.

The average one-slice serving of whole wheat bread offers:

  • .3 mg manganese
  • .8 mg iron
  • 6 mcg selenium
  • 22 mcg folate
  • .1 mg riboflavin
  • .8 mg niacin
  • .1 mg thiamine
  • .1 mg copper
  • 2 mg phosphorus

Can Hamsters Have Bread?

Yes – but only in tiny amounts and not all that often. Hamsters can eat bread but there are far better treats to try!

Is Bread Good For Hamsters?

Bread might be healthy for you, but it’s not the best thing for your hamster. Still, if you offer a brand with lots of seeds and you give your hammy just a tiny bit, it can be a nice “occasional” treat.

Do Hamsters Like Bread?

Most hamsters love bread. It’s yummy, after all! Just remember though, stick to the recommended amount, even if your hammy begs for more.

How Much Bread Can A Hamster Eat?

Since bread isn’t a natural food for hamsters, our answer has to be “Not much!” Still, we’re sure your hamster thinks that’s better than “None!”

Here’s how much bread to feed a hamster:

Age Amount
Baby hamster None
Adult hamster ½ inch piece

Hamsters everywhere are double-checking to make sure they saw this right the first time. And if you’re a strict pet parent, you might decide not to give your hamster bread at all, since there are so many other foods that contribute to their health.

To hamsters, bread is nothing more than empty calories.

If you do decide to give bread to your hamster, watch them closely for the next 12 hours or so just to make sure that there were no unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea or bloating. While problems aren’t likely, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Bread?

Once in a blue moon. Seriously, if you decide to feed your hamster a bit of bread, make sure it only happens occasionally.

Make it once per month or less, if at all – and be sure not to offer it on the same day as you provide high-sugar treats.

Most breads are high on the glycemic index, meaning they quickly turn to sugar once the starch has been digested and the nutrients enter the bloodstream.

If your hamster is new to the family, then bread isn’t a good choice!

Because any sudden change to your hamster’s diet can cause digestive distress, consider offering something natural, without lots of sugar. Cucumber or a little piece of romaine lettuce might be a far better option.

The Correct Diet Is Important

What do hamsters eat? It’s a question we hear often.

Here’s the scoop: In the wild, hamsters are fairly opportunistic omnivores, happily consuming insects as well as seeds and small plants.

You can easily mimic this diet by offering crickets or mealworms every now and then. You might even want to give your hamster a tiny bit of cooked chicken or a bit of hard-boiled egg.

The good news is that you don’t have to do this. After all, being fairly low maintenance is one reason why hamsters are such popular pets!

Here’s what to feed a hamster for total well-being:

  • Hamster food should be the cornerstone of your pet’s diet. The best hamster foods are formulated to provide all the nutrients your hamster needs for good health, so you don’t have to worry too much about which treats you’re offering. Check the label for feeding instructions.
  • Fresh Timothy hay enriches your hamster’s environment and gives them something to nibble. Your pet will appreciate an unlimited supply, and you’ll have fun watching the building projects your pet creates.
  • Fresh water is essential. Be sure to rinse and refill your hamster’s drinking bottle at least once each day.
  • Seeds give your hamster plenty of chewing satisfaction, plus they’re a good source of important fats. Offer your hamster just one teaspoon of mixed seeds (birdseed blends are fine) each week.
  • Natural treats such as fresh fruit and vegetables can be offered once a day or once every other day. Remove uneaten portions to prevent mold and spoilage.

Fun fact: A hamster’s teeth are always growing.

That’s why chewable hamster toys are a must-have!

Be sure that your hamster always has something to chew on, whether that’s a hay ball, hay cubes, a grass house, or even a piece of natural coconut shell.

Untreated softwood sticks and unbleached loofah slices make great hamster chew toys, too!

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

Since hamsters can have bread on a very limited basis only, what else can you give them? As it turns out, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Next time you’re in the mood to treat your hamster, why not try:

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

Although many foods are safe for hamsters, it’s important to spend a few minutes researching new items before adding them to your pet’s diet. This way, you’ll find out what’s safe as well as how much and how often to offer each treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bread safe for hamsters?

While giving your hamster bread isn’t ideal, it’s generally safe.

Can bread make my hamster sick?

Yes, too much bread can give your hamster tummy troubles and it could lead to diarrhea. In addition, feeding your hamster too much bread might lead to impaction inside their pouch. If this happens, your vet will have to sedate your hamster to clear the impaction and ensure that their pouch doesn’t develop an abscess or infection.

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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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