Can Hamsters Eat Parsley?

Hamster May 13, 2022
Written by | Updated May 14, 2022
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Can Hamsters Eat Parsley?

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Parsley is among the most common culinary herbs on the planet. Fresh-tasting and delicious, it’s a very nice addition to salads, soups, and much more.

If you’ve got some fresh parsley on hand, you’re probably wondering if it’s OK to give some to your pet. If so, how much can they have? And, how often can a hamster eat parsley?

No worries! We’re here with the answers. In case you’re in a rush, the short answer is “Yes, hamsters can have parsley.”

But that’s only the beginning. Since your pet’s digestive system is delicate, it’s important to learn how much parsley a hamster can have, and how often.

Keep reading! Our complete guide to parsley for hamsters provides all the information you need.

Parsley Nutrition Stats

Parsley is great for you and your hamster!

One cup of the fresh herb provides approximately:

  • 5 calories
  • 8 g carbohydrates
  • 2 g fiber
  • 8 g protein
  • .5 g fat

Of course, we’ve never met anyone who could eat a full cup of parsley at once!

Parsley Nutritional Facts

If you eat parsley, you’re treating yourself to vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit your entire body.

That same cup of parsley provides about:

  • 984 mcg vitamin K
  • 8 mg vitamin C
  • 5055 IU vitamin A
  • 7 mg iron
  • 91 mcg folate
  • 332 mg potassium
  • 8 mg calcium
  • .1 mg manganese
  • 30 mg magnesium

Parsley offers traces of other nutrients including copper, zinc, vitamin E, niacin, and vitamin B6, too.

Can Hamsters Have Parsley?

Yes – but surprisingly, they can only have small amounts.

Parsley is fairly acidic, plus it contains quite a bit of calcium, which can contribute to kidney and bladder stones when a hamster has too much.

Is Parsley Good For Hamsters?

Even though it should be eaten sparingly, parsley is very good for your hamster.

Do Hamsters Like Parsley?

Most hamsters love parsley and nibble it eagerly every time it’s offered. We’ll say it this way: We’ve never met a hamster that didn’t like parsley!

How Much Parsley Can A Hamster Eat?

Since too much parsley can cause trouble, you’ll want to offer a fairly small amount, just as a treat.

Here’s how much parsley to feed a hamster:

AgeAmount
Baby hamsterNone
Adult hamster1 3-inch sprig, with stem and leaves

Confused? Why does a food that’s good for your hamster need to be limited?

The answer lies in your hamster’s ability to handle acidic foods and process calcium. Too much acid can irritate your hamster’s pouch and cause digestive trouble, and too much calcium can leach into your pet’s urine, where it combines with other substances to form stones.

We always want to err on the side of caution and that’s why we advise taking a careful approach when giving parsley to a hamster!

The good news is that such a small amount of parsley should be fine for your hamster to have, even if they’re a brand new addition to your family.

Go ahead and offer them their nibble, then keep an eye out for anything abnormal, such as signs of discomfort or diarrhea. If everything is normal, it’s OK to continue giving your hamster parsley every so often.

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Parsley?

You can give a hamster parsley once or twice each week, but don’t offer it on the same day as other high-calcium veggies like kale or broccoli.

The Correct Diet Is Important

If you’re new to this whole hamster guardianship thing, then you’re probably wondering what a hamster eats.

The answer might surprise you! Hamsters are omnivores. This means that they can eat animal products as well as plants – in fact, they need a high level of protein and can benefit from treats such as dried mealworms, crickets, tiny bits of hard-boiled egg, or even small amounts of cooked chicken.

No worries, though. If mealworms and crickets give you the creeps, balanced food formulated just for hamsters will give your hammy all the nutrients necessary for great health.

Besides good-quality hamster food, here’s what else to feed your little hamster friend:

  • Unlimited fresh hay for nesting, tunneling, and nibbling
  • About a teaspoon of birdseed every week, unless there are already lots of seeds in your hamster’s food
  • A daily fill-up of clean, fresh water
  • Tiny natural treats such as fruits and vegetables, just once per day or even just a few times per week

While we’re on the subject of your hamster’s health, let’s talk dentistry. No, you don’t have to brush your hamster’s teeth, but you do need to make sure that they have every opportunity to chew safe hamster toys such as hay cubes, untreated softwood, apple wood sticks, and more.

These items are essential: Without them, your hamster’s teeth are likely to become overgrown, painful, and even infected.

They also give your pet more to do, making life in a hamster habitat more fun. Hamsters love to stay busy, after all!

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

All out of parsley, or looking for something different to spice up your pet’s day?

Here’s a list of veggies hamsters usually like:

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

Even though there are lots of herbs, fruits, and vegetables hamsters can have (and enjoy!) it’s important to spend a few minutes researching new items before you jump in with both feet.

Look for information about whether the food is safe, check to see if it’s beneficial, and find out how much (and how often!) your hamster should have it if at all.

If you’ve got it on hand, giving your hamster parsley is a great way to add flavor to their day and treat them to a bit of extra nutrition. They’ll have fun nibbling away!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is parsley safe for hamsters?

Yes! It’s perfectly safe to give parsley to a hamster – just wash it well beforehand and be sure to offer only a little at a time.

Can parsley make my hamster sick?

Parsley isn’t likely to make your hamster sick so long as it’s clean and fresh, and so long as you offer the right amount. If you feed your hamster too much parsley, their pouch could become irritated from the acid it contains, and in the long term, they might suffer from kidney or bladder stones.

Can hamsters have dried parsley?

Yes! You can give a hamster dried parsley so long as it doesn’t have any additives or preservatives. Just a tiny pinch will do, perhaps as a garnish for a bit of romaine lettuce or a slice of cucumber!

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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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