Can Hamsters Eat Carrots?

Hamster Jun 23, 2021
Written by | Updated Oct 9, 2021
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Can Hamsters Eat Carrots?

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Can Hamsters Eat Carrots?

Carrots: They’re delicious and crunchy, and they’re one of the best sources of vitamin A anywhere. With so many health benefits and such great flavor, it’s easy to see why carrots are such a popular choice.

But can you share them with your pet? Can hamsters have carrots? If so, how much carrot can they safely enjoy, and how often can you put carrots on your hammy’s menu?

The quick answer (to the first question, anyway) is yes! Hamsters can eat carrots.

But hold on – there’s a lot more to the story and it’s important to be well-informed before you run for the fridge.

Keep reading for all the facts on carrots for hamsters.

Carrot Nutrition Stats

Great news for you (and your pet!) Carrots are low in calories, but they’re full of important nutrients.

One cup of raw, chopped carrots offers about:

  • 52 calories
  • 3 g carbohydrates
  • 6 g fiber
  • 2 g protein

Carrot Nutritional Facts

Even though carrots are tasty, they’re a great source of vitamin A, along with many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help keep your entire body healthy.

That same one-cup serving of chopped carrots treats you to approximately:

  • 6 mg vitamin C
  • 21383 iu vitamin A
  • 410 mg potassium
  • 42 mg calcium
  • 4 mg magnesium
  • 4 mg iron
  • 3 mcg folate
  • 8 mg vitamin E
  • 9 mcg vitamin K
  • 8 mg phosphorus

Can Hamsters Have Carrots?

Yes, but you’ll want to take a fairly cautious approach when giving a hamster carrots. Even though these veggies are nutritious, they’re pretty high in sugar.

This can lead to digestive problems and other issues, particularly if other sugary foods are part of your hamster’ regular diet.

Are Carrots Good For Hamsters?

Yes, but this doesn’t mean you can offer unlimited amounts. Hamsters can only have a little bit of carrot.

Do Hamsters Like Carrots?

Most hamsters go crazy for carrots, and this makes sense. Carrots tick all the right boxes for a hamster: They’re sweet, they’re crunchy, and they make the day more interesting.

We’ve never met a hamster that didn’t like carrots!

How Much Carrot Can A Hamster Eat?

Cover your hamster’s ears because they’re probably not going to like what we’re about to say. When it comes to carrots, there’s definitely such a thing as “too much.

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

Age Amount
Baby hamster None
Adult hamster 2 small carrot coins or 1 large carrot coin

What amounts to a single quick bite of carrot for you translates to a few minutes of nibbling delight for your hamster!

Don’t feel like your letting your hammy down by limiting the amount of carrot you’re feeding them. Too much sugary food (like carrots!) increases the risk of bloating and diarrhea – two things that can leave your hamster feeling miserable.

If your hamster already eats fruit and vegetables, then you can give them their full serving of carrot the first time around. If they’re new to fresh foods, carrot isn’t a good choice just yet.

Last but not least, keep your hamster’s size in mind when deciding how much carrot to feed them. A full-size Syrian hamster can eat more carrot than a dwarf hamster or robo hamster!

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Carrots?

After your hamster is accustomed to carrots, they can enjoy a serving once per week or so, but not on the same day that other high-sugar options are offered, unless you offer just a tiny fraction of the recommended serving for each item.

  • If your hamster is a new addition to the family, then you’ll want to introduce them to other low sugar vegetables before moving on to carrots. Since sudden dietary changes and stress can cause digestive issues (even wet tail!) you need to take things very slowly. Gradually introduce your hamster to mild veggies such as cucumber or spinach, offering tiny bits every other day over the course of a week and then gradually increasing the amount of veg you offer over the course of the following week. You can offer another new food during the third week – a tiny bit of carrot is OK, for example.
  • Whether you’re introducing carrot to a new hamster or a pet you’ve had for a while, you’ll want to carefully monitor them for signs of diarrhea and an upset tummy. If everything is normal, you can gradually increase the amount of carrot you’re giving your hamster until they eventually enjoy a full serving.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Have you ever wondered what wild hamsters eat? As it turns out, these little creatures are pretty fierce in the wild, catching and eating large insects!

They also eat seeds and lots of little plants, plus the occasional bit of fruit when they can find it. One thing is for sure though: Carrots aren’t a major part of a hamster’s natural diet in the wild, and they can’t be a big part of your pet hamster’s intake either.

So, what’s a pet parent to do? Here’s what you should be feeding your hamster:

  • Unlimited Timothy hay for nibbling, tunneling, and nesting. It’s not exactly necessary, but it is very good for them and it helps them engage in natural behaviors while helping their teeth from becoming overgrown.
  • A serving of hamster pellets: Nutritionally complete hamster pellets are essential for your hammy’s good health. Read the package to determine how much you should be feeding based on your hamster’s size and age.
  • A small amount of birdseed; about a teaspoon per week is plenty.
  • Very small amounts of fruit and vegetables; just enough to nibble on but not enough to store for later. If your hamster doesn’t finish their treat, remove the leftovers to prevent caching and possible spoilage or mold in your hamster’s bedding.
  • Unlimited access to clean, fresh water; remember to rinse your hamster’s drinking bottle every day and refill it.

Your hamster’s teeth will never stop growing. This isn’t a problem for hamsters in the wild as they’re constantly chewing through tough fibers, but pet hamsters rely on us to help them keep their teeth from becoming overgrown and painful.

Chewable hamster toys and items like hay cubes, coconut shell, unbleached loofah, and untreated softwood sticks are ideal, and need to be available to your hamster at all times.

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

Hamsters can’t have unlimited amounts of carrots, so what can they have?

Great news for hamster friends everywhere: There are tons of different foods to try!

Our list of hamster-approved vegetables contains quite a few favorites along with some unexpected treats:

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

The odds are very good that if a veggie or fruit is good for you, it’s good for your hamster, too!

At the same time, some foods that are safe for people and other pets are toxic to hamsters. This means that you’ll want to research each new food to ensure that it’s a safe treat for your hammy and to find out how much they can have.

Giving your hamster carrots is a good way to provide some variety while adding extra nutrients to their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are carrots safe for hamsters?

Yes, but only in the right amount. Be sure to wash the carrots before you give them to your hamster and consider peeling them if they’re not organic.

Can carrots make my hamster sick?

Yes, unfortunately carrots can make a hamster sick if too many are eaten at once. There’s another consequence to carrots and other sweet food: Overdoing it can cause your hamster to suffer from obesity and develop diabetes. Both conditions are uncomfortable and can shorten your pet’s life.

Can my hamster eat carrot tops?

Yes! Hamsters can have carrot tops, and you can let them eat a few inches at a time if they enjoy the flavor. Do remember to introduce carrot tops to your hamster slowly to prevent an upset tummy. Even thought the tops aren’t high in sugar like the carrots themselves, any sudden dietary change can cause your hamster to have diarrhea, gas, or bloating. Once your hamster is familiar with carrot tops, they can have them a few times per week if you like

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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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