Since hamsters are members of the rodent family, many assume that because wild rats consume practically anything they can find in garbage cans, the same is the case with hamsters. However, just because rats consume anything they can get their hands on doesn’t mean it benefits them.
Similarly, sharing our food, such as fries, can be tempting if you own a hamster. However, you need to know what to feed it and what not to feed it to keep it healthy. So, can hamsters eat French fries?
The answer would be a big No. When you think about it, hamsters in the wild do not have access to French fries. Therefore, they should not have access to it in captivity. Certain ingredients in French fries, such as salt and oil, can be toxic to hamsters. Let’s further discuss why you should not feed hamsters French fries.
Can Hamster Eat French Fries?
Pet owners must first understand that just because some meals are labelled healthy, they may not be beneficial for your pet. Did you know that hamsters have a relatively short lifespan?
Hamsters may live for an average of 18 to 36 months, which indicates that they can live for a maximum of three years.
Furthermore, hamsters are sensitive creatures that require special attention. If you feed hamsters potentially toxic foods, they can become ill and die within a few weeks of being alive.
Hamsters have unique anatomy since they have two stomachs rather than one. So, if you give your hamster anything unhealthy, they can develop an excruciatingly painful stomachache. Pain can also cause behavioral changes in your hamster.
For example, if your hamster is not aggressive and suddenly starts biting, it is recommended that you take it to the vet and have it checked.
One of the most important reasons hamsters should not eat fries is that they are unhealthy. Moreover, fries contain salt and oil, which can negatively impact a hamster’s health. Here are some specific reasons why hamsters should not consume fries.
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Fries Contain High Amounts of Oil
Some oils, such as peanut oil in peanut butter or coconut oil in fresh coconuts, can be healthy for hamsters. However, the oil used to fry French fries can be highly toxic to your pet hamster. Even though a hamster may consume these oils in tiny amounts, continuous use can lead to obesity and other serious health problems.
French Fries Are High In Fat
French fries are a high-fat dish that should only be taken in moderation by humans. A balanced hamster diet must include nutritious proteins, fats, and fibers. Even though French fries contain fat, they are the harmful type known as saturated and Tran’s fats. These fats can harm hamsters in the same way they can harm humans if consumed in excess.
What’s more, while one serving of French fries may contain an acceptable amount of fat for humans, it may have an unhealthy amount for hamsters. Therefore, it is best to stick with foods containing healthy fats for hamsters rather than giving them something that can potentially harm their health.
Fries Have an Excess Amount of Additives
Freshly cut homemade fries may have very little to no additives, whereas fries you have from the store may contain high amounts of preservatives. Most of these ingredients are harmful to humans, so you can understand how dangerous they may be for a hamster’s delicate digestive system.
Therefore, whole foods are the way to go if you wish to feed your hamster a healthy and nutritious diet. Doing so will rest assured that you are not feeding your hamster anything toxic and will ensure your hamster stays happy and healthy.
Fries Are Fried
As mentioned above, oils used to fry food can harm hamsters, and French fries are usually deep-fried. In addition, we often add bread to fries to make them crispier, which is another ingredient you should not be feeding hamsters.
It would be best to consider factors like whether you use the same oil to fry other harmful ingredients in hamsters.
Is It Safe For Hamsters To Consume Potatoes?
Whether one ingredient is safe for hamsters also depends on how it is cooked or made. For example, even though French fries are unsafe for hamsters, it is safe for them to consume cooked or boiled potatoes. However, there are a few factors one must consider before feeding different forms of potatoes to hamsters.
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Hamsters Do Not Need Seasoning
Seasonings may contain ingredients like salt, which can harm a hamster’s health if consumed excessively. Hamsters are quite similar to humans because they can develop high cholesterol and heart disease if they ingest fat and cholesterol-rich foods. Therefore, keep ingredients like sour cream and butter away from them.
No Raw Potatoes!
Raw potatoes have Solanine, a toxin that can be incredibly harmful to hamsters. According to research findings, Solanine can be detrimental to all species of hamsters, such as the Syrian Golden Hamster, one of the most common pet hamsters.
Anything in Excess Can Be Harmful
Even while properly cooked potatoes are safe for hamsters, excessive quantities can harm their health.
Additionally, potatoes should never be used to replace a hamster’s balanced daily diet, which should include a variety of seeds and pellets. Too many potatoes can compromise your hamster’s health by causing it to get obese and not consume the necessary meals.
So, if your hamster enjoys eating potatoes, make sure you feed them in moderation as an occasional treat and not as part of their everyday diet.
Risks Associated With French Fries Consumption in Hamsters
Even though we’ve already discussed how potatoes may harm a hamster’s health, let’s take a closer look at what happens if a hamster consumes too many French fries.
So, if you didn’t realize that French fries are unhealthy for hamsters and have been feeding them fries for a while, you should get them examined for the following health conditions.
Food allergies are common in hamsters. So, if you have been feeding them a pellet-based diet and suddenly start feeding them potatoes, they may become allergic to them. The best way to introduce new foods to hamsters is to give them a tiny amount to ensure they are not allergic to them.
If you see your hamster becoming obese and lacking energy, visit your veterinarian to determine the cause of the weight gain. Obesity may be fatal to hamsters; therefore, keep any form of potato away from it if your hamster is obese.
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Congestive Heart Failure
As previously stated, French fries are heavy in cholesterol and fats, leading to heart disease if ingested excessively. Congestive heart failure usually occurs in hamsters that have been eating a poor diet for a long time.
Proper, nutritious feed is crucial to ensure your hamster’s long life and health. So, if you intend to raise a hamster or already have one, you must study and speak with vets about the foods you should and should not give the hamster.
Oil-based diets, such as French fries, can induce digestive issues, diarrhea, and vomiting in hamsters. A hamster’s digestive system cannot handle foods rich in oils. Diarrhea and vomiting can be fatal to hamsters if not treated promptly, as they can cause kidney failure and dehydration.
So, be careful to feed hamsters non-fried foods and always exercise in moderation. Add a variety of healthy and nutritious meals to your hamster’s diet, and always monitor how it reacts to new foods to ensure they do not negatively impact the hamster’s health.
What Other Foods Are Toxic To Hamsters?
Aside from French fries, a few other meals are not hamster-friendly. Here is a list of food items you should keep away from your hamster or feed in moderation to protect your hamster’s health.
- Raisins and grapes: Hamsters can develop diabetes. Grapes and raisins have high sugar content. So keep these fruits away from hamsters, and if your hamster like them, feed them in limited quantities as occasional treats
- Celery: You’ve probably noticed that celery stocks have tiny strings, so you shouldn’t give celery to your hamsters. Your hamster may choke on these strings, resulting in severe conditions and death. If you wish to feed your hamsters’ celery, feed them celery leaves instead
- Citrus-rich fruits: Citrus fruits, such as oranges, can be acidic, causing hamsters to develop diarrhea and digestive problems
The answer to ‘can hamster eat French fries’ is that avoiding cholesterol-rich meals like French fries is the best way to prevent your hamster from developing health problems, including congestive heart failure, diarrhea, vomiting, or allergies.
Your responsibility as a pet owner is to know what you should and should not feed your pet. Hamsters are fragile creatures who may require special care to remain healthy and active.
It is advisable to experiment with different foods to ensure your hamster gets all the necessary nutrients and minerals. However, the best method to introduce new foods is to conduct research and consult your vet to verify they are not toxic to your hamster.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more