Can Hamsters Eat Broccoli?
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Steamed, sautéed, or raw and crunchy, broccoli is one of the world’s most popular vegetables. Love it or hate it, you might be wondering if this veggie is OK for your pet.
Can hamsters have broccoli? Is it safe to give raw broccoli to a hamster, and if so, how much should they eat?
The quick answer is “yes.” Hamsters can eat broccoli!
But there are some really important things to keep in mind before you hand it over. Our guide answers all of your questions about broccoli for hamsters, so keep reading!
You’ll be well-informed in a few moments.
Can Hamsters Eat Broccoli Leaves?
Check out any list of the planet’s most nutritious vegetables, and there’s a very good chance that you’ll see broccoli and broccoli leaves somewhere on it!
Even though it’s relatively low in calories, it’s a great source of protein and healthy fiber especially the leaves. Even if your hamster decides they don’t like broccoli, you might want to think about eating it more often!
A one-cup serving of broccoli offers approximately:
- 55 calories
- 11 g carbohydrates
- 5 g fiber
- 4 g protein
- .3 g fat
Can Syrian & Dwarf Hamsters Eat Raw Broccoli?
Vitamins and minerals? Yes, please!
Broccoli is an excellent source of nutrients including important antioxidants that protect your cells (and your hamster’s cells!) from damage.
That same one-cup serving of broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, offering about:
- 100 mcg vitamin K
- 120 mg vitamin A
- 457 mg potassium
- 168 mcg folate
- 101 mg vitamin C
- .4 mg vitamin B6
- .4 mg manganese
- 62 mg calcium
- 33 mg magnesium
- 105 mg phosphorus
Can All Type of Hamsters Have Broccoli?
Yes, broccoli can be given to all types of hamsters, but you’ll want to introduce it carefully and in the right amount.
Is Broccoli Good For Hamsters?
Yes! broccoli is really low in sugar – and all the nutrients it contains make it a fantastic natural treat for hamsters.
Do Hamsters Like Broccoli?
Here’s the thing: Just like some people really love broccoli and others can’t even stand the thought of it, some hamsters like broccoli and others don’t care for it at all. You can check to see if your hamster likes broccoli by offering a tiny bit and watching what happens next.
How Much Broccoli Can A Hamster Eat?
We humans can eat as much broccoli as we like, but too much of anything at once can cause trouble for hamsters.
Here’s how much broccoli to feed a hamster:
|1 inch-long broccoli floret
If your hamster seems to like broccoli, then you can offer up to an inch of this tasty veggie once they’ve become accustomed to it. Since sudden dietary changes can cause diarrhea and an upset tummy, it’s important to give your hamster a gradual introduction to broccoli.
If they’re already eating fruits and vegetables, then give them half a portion of broccoli and watch for signs of diarrhea for the next 12 hours or so. If all is normal, you can increase your hamster’s broccoli intake to a full serving next time.
How Often Can A Hamster Eat Broccoli?
You can give your hamster broccoli two to three times per week. Don’t offer it on the same day as you provide other veggies that might produce gas!
- If your hamster just arrived home from the rescue or pet store and you’re not sure if they’ve ever had veggies or fruit, don’t offer broccoli just yet. Instead, start with something less complex and easier to digest. A bit of celery (carefully prepared, see our guide to giving celery to hamsters!) or a very small wedge of cucumber is a better introduction to fresh food.
- Offer these easy-to-digest veggies every other day over the course of a week and then every day the next week. Gradually introduce other things until your hammy is happily snacking on different fruits and vegetables, then give them an introduction to broccoli. This might seem excessive but taking a careful approach is the best way to help your hamster’s digestive tract stay healthy!
The Correct Diet Is Important
Hamsters are omnivores – and they eat a wide variety of food in the wild. Even though broccoli might not be on their natural menu, it’s a food they’d probably choose for themselves if they had the opportunity!
At the same time, broccoli is a treat – it shouldn’t be a major part of your hamster’s diet.
Here’s what to feed your hamster for good health every day:
- Hamster pellets – Choose a quality brand and check the package for the correct serving size.
- Fresh Timothy hay – Your hamster will appreciate having an unlimited amount of fresh Timothy hay for tunneling and nesting, and of course, for nibbling!
- Natural treats like fruits and veggies – offer small amounts and change things up frequently to give your hamster a variety of nutrients.
- Chewable treats – Durable, chewy treats help keep your hamster’s teeth from becoming overgrown, and should be available 24/7. Hay cubes, coconut shells, unbleached loofah, and untreated softwood are favorite options. There are lots of hamster toys available!
- Optional protein snacks – Dried mealworms, tiny bits of hard-boiled egg, and even tiny bits of cooked chicken can help round out your hamster’s diet.
- Birdseed – Rich in healthy fats, birdseed is fun for your hamster to eat. Offer about a teaspoon each week.
Hamsters very wisely save extra food “just in case.” They’ll save leftover treats given the opportunity, but fresh items like broccoli spoil very quickly and can turn moldy, putting your pet’s health in danger and creating quite a mess inside your hamster’s habitat.
Remove uneaten fresh food right away to prevent this from happening.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Broccoli In A Hamster’s Diet?
Hamster pellets provide all the nutrition your pet needs, but let’s face it: Eating the same exact thing day in and day out gets to be pretty boring!
Your hamster will appreciate a bit of variety.
Try offering some items from our list of vegetables hamsters like:
- green beans
- red lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- bibb lettuce
- winter squash
- summer squash
- sweet potato
- baby corn
- beet tops
- potato (cooked only)
- swiss chard
- bell pepper
- yu choy
- bok choy
- sweet corn
- carrot tops
There’s a very good chance that many of your favorite fruits and vegetables are also good for hamsters. At the same time, some foods are toxic to hamsters, so you’ll want to do a few minutes worth of research to ensure that every new food you feed your hamster is safe.
Researching takes a little bit of time but it’s the best way to find out how much of each food to offer as well as important safety and preparation tips.
For the time being, giving your hamster broccoli is a great way to make life a bit more interesting and treat them to some essential nutrients!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is broccoli safe for hamsters?
Yes! It’s safe to give broccoli to a hamster. Be sure to introduce it gradually and feed the correct amount.
Can broccoli make my hamster sick?
Broccoli can produce gas in the digestive tract and that can lead to uncomfortable bloating. Too much broccoli can also cause diarrhea. You can solve both of these issues by offering small amounts and providing your hamster with a gradual introduction to broccoli. If they don’t seem to tolerate it, you should choose a different snack like celery or cucumber.
Can hamsters have broccoli leaves?
Yes! Broccoli leaves are really nutritious and many hamsters like the way they taste. Only give a little bit at a time – two small leaves or one big one.
Can hamsters eat cooked broccoli?
Yes. While some animals cant’ digest cooked vegetables, hamsters can have cooked broccoli. Lightly steamed is best – and make sure that there’s no seasoning on it. Last but not least, make sure the broccoli is cool before you offer it to your hamster!