Can Hamsters Eat Pumpkin?
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Pumpkin isn’t just for pie.
It’s awesome pureed into soup, heavenly as a filling for ravioli, and marvelous just roasted, maybe with some nutmeg on top.
If you’ve got some pumpkin on hand, you’re probably wondering whether it’s OK to share this fruit (yep, it’s a fruit!) with your pet.
In case you’re in a rush, here’s the quick answer: Yes, hamsters can have pumpkin, but you’ll want to offer the right amount.
Keep reading and soon you’ll be well-informed! Our complete guide to pumpkin for hamsters has answers to questions you might never have thought of.
Pumpkin Nutrition Stats
In the days before refrigeration was common, pumpkin was an important crop that could be stored and enjoyed throughout the cold months.
A one-cup serving of raw, cubed pumpkin gives you approximately:
- 30 calories
- 5 g carbohydrates
- .6 g fiber
- 2 g protein
- .1 g fat
Pumpkin Nutritional Facts
A one-cup serving of raw diced pumpkin offers a whopping 170% of your recommended daily vitamin A intake, but that’s only the beginning.
You also get:
- 4 mg vitamin C
- 2 mg vitamin E
- .7 mg niacin
- 3 mcg vitamin K
- 6 mcg folate
- 4 mg calcium
- 9 mg magnesium
- 394 mg potassium
- .4 mg zinc
Pumpkin also provides traces of riboflavin, copper, vitamin B6, thiamine, and manganese.
Can Hamsters Have Pumpkin?
Yes – in fact, hamsters can have pumpkin and other squashes including:
- butternut squash
- spaghetti squash
- acorn squash
- hubbard squash
- delicata squash
… and more!
Hamsters can eat raw pumpkin and squash with and without the skin, and they can eat cooked pumpkin and squash, also with or without the skin. Of the two options, raw is preferred.
Is Pumpkin Good For Hamsters?
Pumpkin is a healthy treat with lots of nutrients to help your hammy stay healthy. Feeding hamsters raw squash and pumpkin is fantastic for their teeth, too.
Do Hamsters Like Pumpkin?
We’ll put it this way: We’ve never met a hamster that didn’t like pumpkin. Sometimes it takes a little time to get a hamster accustomed to a new variety of food, and this can be the case with pumpkin and squash.
We recommend offering your pet a little bit of fresh pumpkin or whatever squash you happen to have on hand, and letting them decide for themselves!
How Much Pumpkin Can A Hamster Eat?
Those hamsters that like pumpkin are jumping for joy, because it’s safe to eat quite a bit of this tasty treat!
Here’s how much pumpkin to feed a hamster:
|Adult hamster||One inch cube of raw pumpkin or squash or 1 teaspoon cooked|
Give your hamster half the recommended amount the first time they try pumpkin. Over the next 12 hours or so, keep an eye out for signs that your hamster has diarrhea or an upset tummy. If there are no issues, you can progress to the full serving size next time.
Remember, if you have a dwarf hamster or a robo hamster, you’ll want to adjust their serving size accordingly. A half-inch square of pumpkin or squash is plenty for a smaller hamster.
How Often Can A Hamster Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin checks off all the right boxes: It’s low in sugar, high in fiber, tasty, and satisfying. This means you can give it to your hamster fairly often – up to three times per week, if you like!
Follow the same rules for giving your hamster winter squash varieties.
The Correct Diet Is Important
We’re fairly confident that hamsters don’t eat pumpkins in the wild, but we know that most of them would be thrilled to encounter something so tasty and nutritious in their natural environment!
Besides bits of pumpkin and other natural fruit and vegetable treats, what do hamsters eat?
Here’s a helpful guide to feeding your hamster the right way:
- Balanced hamster food (the label is your guide to the correct serving size)
- Fresh hay such as timothy, orchard, or oat hay (essential for building and tunneling, plus nibbling)
- About a teaspoon of birdseed once per week, unless there are already lots of seeds in your hamster’s food
- Clean, fresh water (rinse and refill your hamster’s water bottle every day)
There’s one more thing you’ll want to give your hamster for good health: chewable items. Hamster toys made with natural grasses, soft woods, loofah, and other safe substances help keep your hamster’s teeth at the correct length.
Since a hamster’s teeth are always growing, it’s up to us as their caretakers to make sure that they always have something to gnaw. Without constant nibbling and gnawing, your pet’s teeth are likely to grow too long, which causes pain and can lead to infections.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Pumpkin In A Hamster’s Diet?
Pumpkin and squash are excellent for hamsters, but what else can you give your pet?
There are lots of healthy treats to try, including:
- carrot tops
- red lettuce
- bibb lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- green beans
- bell pepper
- summer squash
- sweet potato
- yu choy
- bok choy
- sweet corn
- baby corn
- beet tops
- potato (cooked only)
- swiss chard
Even though most fruits and veggies are safe for your pet, certain foods are toxic to hamsters. This underlines the importance of double-checking to ensure that new items are safe!
Conducting a little research is the best way to find out how much of each food to give your hamster, too.
For now, why not try giving your hamster pumpkin or offering them some squash? They’ll probably love it – and you’ll enjoy the fun of watching them discover a new, interesting flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pumpkin safe for hamsters?
Yes! It’s safe to give pumpkin to a hamster, just be sure to offer the right amount.
Is squash safe for hamsters?
Yes, it’s safe to give squash to your hamster. Give them just the right amount, using the same guidelines we’ve provided for pumpkin.
Can pumpkin make my hamster sick?
Anything in excess can make your pet sick, and this includes healthy, natural snacks like pumpkin and squash.
Since these fruits can have traces of herbicide and pesticide on their skin, it’s important to give them a good scrub before preparing them for yourself or your hamster.
Can hamsters have pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are great for hamsters, but only offer a few at once since they are very high in fat. You can give your hamster squash seeds too.
Pumpkin and squash seeds can be given to your hamster raw or roasted, without any additional salt, spices, or oil.