Incorporating vegetables like beetroots into our diet can help us acquire all the vitamins and minerals required to stay healthy. Beetroot salads are high in calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and other vital nutrients.
While eating your beetroot salad, have you ever wondered if can hamsters eat beetroot? Vegetables offer nutritious treats for our furry companions. However, it is necessary to ensure that a vegetable is safe for your hamster before you feed it. Let’s discuss if beetroots are safe for hamsters or not.
Can Hamsters Eat Beetroot?
Yes, beetroots are a safe treatment option for hamsters and are a rich source of vitamins such as potassium, iron, vitamins K, C, and A, etc. However, you must exercise caution when feeding beetroot to your hamster since beets have significant amounts of sugar and calcium, which may harm your hamster if consumed in excess quantities.
The best way to determine how much beetroot you can feed your hamster depends on several factors, like the size and breed. If you own a larger hamster, such as a Syrian hamster, then feeding a tiny piece of beet is the way to go.
Syrian hamsters have a sizeable appetite, so your hamster will likely devour the beetroot in a few seconds. This may tempt you to want to give them more, but you must not do so since that may cause your hamster more harm than good.
A tiny portion of beetroot not more than two times a week is a great way to ensure you are not feeding high amounts of beetroot to your Syrian hamster. However, if you own a smaller specie like a Dwarf hamster, an even tinier piece of beetroot would be the way to go.
Since that tiny piece of beetroot would be enough to fulfill the daily intake of beetroot that your dwarf hamster should be having.
Moreover, for a smaller specie like a Robo or dwarf hamster, a tiny portion of beetroot once a month is more than enough. Never try to replace hay or proper hamster food with treats like fruits or vegetables.
A hamster’s primary source of diet should always contain hay, hamster food, and a bowl of clean water.
Health Benefits/Risks of Beetroot for Hamsters
Even though beetroot is safe and nutritious food for hamsters, it must be offered in limited quantities. Here are a few health benefits your hamster will enjoy from consuming beetroot.
We have also mentioned the risks of overconsumption of beetroots below to help you understand the importance of moderation when feeding vegetables such as beetroots.
Decrease the Chances of Stroke and Other Complications
Did you know that newborn hamsters are completely blind? Since hamsters are considered burrowing animals, their instinct is to depend on hearing and smelling to judge their surroundings. Even when a hamster reaches adulthood, its eyesight is limited.
Therefore, any sudden noises or touch can startle them and even cause them to have a stroke. The vitamin C contents in Beetroot can decrease the chances of a hamster’s stroke.
Research shows that Beetroot has the potential to reduce the chances of a hamster getting a stroke by around 42 percent. Furthermore, it also minimizes the chances of a hamster developing life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart disease.
Beetroots are known to be a rich source of antioxidants called betalains. These antioxidants reduce the chance of cancer development while also controlling inflammation.
Regulate the Digestive System
Beetroots have traces of fiber, an essential carbohydrate that helps maintain a healthy digestive system. High-fiber foods can be a risk for hamsters since excess quantities of fiber can cause diarrhea. If not treated immediately, diarrhea can cause death in hamsters.
Beetroots have minor traces of fiber which is just enough of what a hamster needs. So, your hamster will not be at risk of developing diarrhea by consuming beetroots.
However, hamsters have delicate digestive systems, so exercising moderation with foods with fiber is always advisable for hamster owners.
If your hamster is lazy or recovering from an illness, beetroot can offer it a boost of energy. The sugar and Pectin found in beetroots are natural energy boosters.
However, if your hamster is diabetic, consulting your vet before feeding beetroot to your hamster will help you ensure you are not making any mistakes by feeding it this vegetable.
Improve the Reproductive System
Vitamin K is known to improve the reproductive systems in hamsters. If you have a pair of hamsters and wish for the pair to breed, feeding them foods rich in Vitamin K will help you enhance their reproductive health.
However, breeding hamsters is not advisable if you are busy or do not plan on keeping them. If you plan on breeding hamsters, talking to your vet is a great way to avoid complications later.
Boost immune system
Vitamin C is known as a natural immune system booster. A robust immune system will help your hamster stay healthy and fight diseases or infections.
A tiny portion of beetroot once or twice a month can help your hamster’s body get adequate Vitamin C required to enhance its immune system.
Diarrhea Causing Acid
Beetroots contain an acid called Oxalic. This acid can cause several complications for a hamster if they have excess amounts of it in their bodies. Overconsumption of foods rich in Oxalic acid can cause your hamster diarrhea.
We might consider diarrhea as a minor complication. However, it can be deadly for fragile animals like hamsters.
Excessive Calcium Causes Kidney Stones
Even though calcium is an essential component for the healthy bone development of your furry friend, studies show that excessive amounts of calcium may lead to kidney stone development in hamsters.
Beetroots are a rich source of calcium, so you must feed them in moderate amounts. This becomes even more essential if you incorporate other calcium-rich foods into your hamster’s diet.
Having a proper chart or plan for your hamster’s diet can help you track what foods you are giving your hamster and ensure that they do not get excessive amounts of foods rich in a specific mineral or vitamin.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet for your hamster will help ensure your furry friend lives a healthy life. Your vet can help you plan a healthy diet for your hamster.
Are Beetroot Leaves Safe For Hamsters?
Even though beetroot leaves are safe for a hamster to consume, you must not offer them more than twice a month. This is because beetroot leaves have a good amount of potassium which may disturb your hamster’s digestive system.
A disturbed digestive system can cause appetite loss and several other complications in hamsters. Beetroot leaves are also high in oxalic acid, which is considered harmful for hamsters if ingested in large amounts.
What Is The Safest Method Of Feeding Beetroot To A Hamster?
When feeding a new treat to a hamster for the first time, we recommend giving a small portion first to see how your furry friend reacts to it. Doing so will help ensure that your hamster does not develop an allergic reaction to that food.
When preparing beetroot to feed your hamster, you must first wash and peel the vegetable’s skin. Washing with lukewarm water will help eliminate any bacteria or pesticides on the vegetable.
After peeling, remove any damaged portions of the beetroot (if any). Now cut the beet into tiny portions and give one of the portions to your hamster. You can also mix it with other vegetables your hamster likes eating to encourage it to eat the beetroot.
Make sure to remove any uneaten vegetables from your hamster’s cage since leftover vegetables like beetroots can release a smell that may bother your hamster.
Is Beetroot Skin Safe For A Hamster?
Even though beetroot skin is safe for a hamster, we recommend peeling it before feeding beetroot to your furry companion. Beetroot skin lacks essential nutrients and vitamins.
So, feeding it to your hamster will not improve its health. It will simply satisfy your hamster’s appetite and prevent it from eating its hamster food, which is vital for its health.
What Will Happen If My Hamster Eats A Large Amount Of Beetroot?
If your hamster accidentally consumes large amounts of beetroot or if you have been feeding it excessively, then there are a few symptoms or reactions you can look out for.
Vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reaction, or discolored urine are some symptoms your hamster may develop after excessive consumption of beetroot. If your hamster shows any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to have them assessed and treated by a vet immediately.
Things to Remember Before Feeding Beetroot to Hamsters
It would help if you kept a few important things in mind when feeding beetroots to your hamster to ensure you are not feeding them something that will damage their health. Here are a few factors you must remember:
- Do not give pickled or packaged beetroots to hamsters since they may contain additives or preservatives which may upset your hamsters stomach
- Cooked foods are not that beneficial for hamsters. Cooked beetroots may lose some of their nutritional value in the process and may contain additives like salt, which are toxic for hamsters. So giving hamsters raw beetroot is the best way to ensure they benefit from it
Our Final Thoughts
Knowing what foods are healthy for your pet hamster can help ensure you are a responsible pet owner. Now that you know the answer to ‘Can hamsters eat beetroot,’ you can incorporate this vegetable into their diet.
Do not forget to remember the points mentioned above to ensure you are preparing the beetroot correctly and taking all necessary precautions to ensure your hamster’s health does not get affected negatively by consuming the vegetable.
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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