Can Hamsters Have Tomato? [Everything You Should know]

Can hamsters eat tomatoes? Maybe you bought one too many tomatoes from the grocery store and now have no idea what to do with the leftovers.  

Perhaps you could feed some of these tomatoes to your furry friend, but then you stop and think: can hamsters eat tomatoes? Yes, hamsters in Michigan can eat tomatoes – but there are a few things you should know.

Read: Can Hamsters Eat Green Leaf Lettuce?

Hamsters and Tomatoes

Hamsters can eat tomatoes comfortably in small doses. Their digestive system is designed to process tomatoes without any safety concerns.

However, it would help if you did not feed tomato leaves to your hamster because they are harmful to them. You should wash the tomato to eliminate pesticides on the outer layer.

You can feed one teaspoon of tomato to your hamster every week. But you should never include tomatoes as a daily meal for your hamster.

Try to look at the diet index of the hamster to help you prepare a list of foods for your furry friend.

 For the most part, tomatoes are an excellent source of minerals and nutrients, which will meet their daily diet requirements.

Why Tomatoes are Good for Hamsters

Tomatoes are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are high in potassium and calcium and are rich in vitamins K and C.

  • Vitamin K plays a vital role in normal blood clotting.
  • Vitamin C is crucial for the immune system of hamsters.
  • The tomato diet provides a decent dose of nutrients to hamsters in just a few calories
  • The high fiber content of tomatoes aids digestion maintains sugar levels and facilitates a healthier digestive system.       
  • Tomatoes decrease a hamster’s risk of anemia.
  • The low carbs in tomatoes can help maintain healthy sugar levels in hamsters.

The fiber in tomatoes is good for two reasons:

  • It allows the digestive system to run in a healthy manner
  • It keeps their teeth healthy

Although there is nothing explicitly wrong with tomatoes, it should never be the primary source of carbs for hamsters.

The majority of a hamster’s diet should consist of store-bought pellet foods. This contains all the nutrients and minerals that your hamsters need for survival.

Pellets do not contain any toxic or harmful ingredients for hamsters. You can also supplement a hamster’s diet with mealworms, boiled eggs, and hay.

In general, tomatoes and other veggies are safe for hamsters. However, you should feed them in small quantities to hamsters because they contain sugar that could lead to weight gain.

If your hamster puts on too much weight too quickly, it may become unhealthy.

Read: Can Hamsters Eat Grass From Outside?

The Risk of Poisoning from Tomatoes

Too many tomatoes in one serving could lead to gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea and stomach pains.

Tomato is also high in sugar, so much so that it can cause health issues, including fatty deposits and diabetes in hamsters.

Eating too many tomatoes can cause your hamster to gain unhealthy weight.

You should never feed unripe tomatoes to your hamsters. Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family.

This means they contain excessive tomatine, which is poisonous for hamsters and can be very toxic to their health. Tomatine is found in significant quantities in the stems and leaves of tomatoes.

Tomatoes are high in acid that most hamsters may not be able to handle. Their sensitive stomach is not designed to handle this much acid.

Feeding too many hamsters can lead to problems such as dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea.

How many Tomatoes can a Hamster Handle?

You should avoid feeding tomatoes to baby hamsters. However, if your hamster can handle a fully ripened tomato’s high acid and fiber content, you can feed it one teaspoon a week.

However, the risk of poisoning means that we recommend avoiding tomatoes altogether. Instead, you should provide your hamsters with a diet that consists of pellets and other foods that are safe for hamsters.

How to Feed Tomatoes to Your Hamster in a Safe Manner

If you would still like to try feeding tomatoes to your hamster, start with a low quantity of tomatoes.

As mentioned earlier, we recommend only feeding one teaspoon of tomatoes weekly. You may increase the serving size of tomatoes based on your hamster’s response.

Closely observe your hamster’s reaction and behavior for signs of allergic reactions and gastrointestinal problems.

Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • If your hamster eats something that offers zero nutritional value, such as their bedding or a piece of cardboard, they may be in discomfort. Hamsters often do this as a self-soothing behavior to distract them from the discomfort.
  • If your hamster develops diarrhea or loose stools, do not feed them any more tomatoes. Diarrhea will quickly lead to dehydration if not resolved right away. 
  • If your hamster seems so lack energy after earring tomatoes, they may be struggling to digest them.
  • Another sign that tomatoes don’t go along with your hamster’s digestive system is if they lose their appetite and no longer want to eat their usual food.

If any of the above symptoms persist for over 48 hours, it is a good idea to take your hamster to a vet.

As a rule, do not feed tomatoes to hamsters less than 4 weeks old.

Alternatives to Tomatoes that Hamsters May Eat

You can feed a teaspoon of fruit to hamsters twice a week. Popular options include bananas, pears, apples, blueberries, strawberries, watermelons, and grapes.

However, you should stick to just one teaspoon of fruit because of its high sugar content. Do not give your hamster any citrus fruits like limes, lemons, or oranges.

Special Note for Dwarf Hamsters

You should not feed dwarf hamsters any fruits at all. Dwarf hamsters are very susceptible to diabetes and the spike in sugar could affect their health negatively.

Syrian hamsters are better equipped to process sugar – but this only applies to sparing amounts of fruit.

Make sure to remove any seeds from the fruits before you serve them to your hamsters.

How to Prevent Tomato Poisoning in Hamsters

The first step before feeding any meal, including tomatoes, to your hamster, is to wash them thoroughly.

Most tomatoes may still have a coating of toxic pesticides to prevent a pest infestation. These pesticides are harmful to hamsters.

There may be more severe effects of ingesting pesticides through tomatoes. Barely washing your tomatoes with water is not going to help.

Gently scrub the tomatoes under cold running water. You may use a soft brush for tomatoes with harsher skin. It also helps to soak, drain, and rinse tomatoes a few times.

For a better result, it may be better to soak the tomatoes overnight to ensure they are clean enough.

Ensure that your tomatoes are cut into smaller pieces before feeding them to your hamster. Better yet, stick to a quarter of a teaspoon of tomato for your hamster.

Finally, never feed tomatoes if they have moldy growth over them. Some people give leftover tomatoes to their hamsters, not knowing that their pet has a sensitive digestive system.

Always make sure that the tomato you feed your hamster is fresh and not rotting. Mold can develop on tomatoes over time and is toxic to hamsters if ingested.

Treating a Poisoned Hamster

Hamsters that are suffering from tomato poisoning will likely experience fatigue, difficulty breathing, and diarrhea.

If you notice any of these signs, take the hamster to a vet right away. Hamsters are very small and the toxins from tomatoes can work through their digestive systems very quickly.

You can also take the source of poison or toxicity to the vet with you. This will help the vet accurately diagnose the poison because they know exactly what has caused the reaction.

Don’t know why your hamster has been poisoned? Try to identify a list of toxic substances that the hamster may have access to.

Finally, you should follow the care instructions that your vet has provided. Once your hamster has received medical attention, your vet may provide ongoing care instructions.

Read through the institutions carefully to ensure that the hamster receives the proper care it deserves.

Check: Can Hamster Eat French Fries?

Other Foods You Should Avoid Feeding to Your Hamster

Here is a list of dangerous foods that you should never feed to your furry friend. While these foods may not be fatal, they are likely to make your hamster feel upset.

Bitter Almonds

Bitter almonds are very harmful to hamsters. They contain an enzyme called emulsion that produces cyanide and glucose.

In fact, bitter almonds have 42x the cyanide content. Exposure to high levels of cyanide will kill hamsters.

Garlic and Onion

Garlic and onions are spicy vegetables that can be harmful to your hamster. Onions contain a substance known as N-propyl disulfide that affects a hamster’s red blood cells.


Potatoes are starchy foods that may cause diarrhea in hamsters. Advanced cases of diarrhea may lead to dehydration.

Excessive dehydration in hamsters can be deadly. A dehydrated hamster will appear weak and slow with sunken eyes. They will not want to eat anything, which can make their condition worse.

Junk Food

The digestive systems of hamsters cannot handle junk food such as chips, cookies, candy, and cakes.

The high salt and sugar content of these foods can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. The processed ingredients are also hard on your hamster’s little stomach.

So keep your hamster away from your junk food leftovers.

Wrapping Up

Hamsters in Michigan are sensitive creatures with very delicate digestive systems. They can handle a small quantity of tomatoes but anything too excessive will disrupt their health.

It is recommended to keep hamsters on a simple diet of pellets and an occasional treat in the form of fruits and veggies.
And if your hamster has accidentally eaten something toxic, take it to a vet immediately!

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