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What Hamsters Should Not Eat

Don’t feed these 15 foods to your hamster.

By Doran Jones
Posted: March 23, 2012, 1:15 p.m. EDT

hamster eating pellet
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Beware of these foods hamsters can't tolerate

Hamsters require a certain diet and need specific nutrients in their food. Feed your hamster safely and know which foods to not give to your hamster. Just because you can eat a food safely does not necessarily mean your hamster can. Hamsters cannot tolerate the following foods:

see Hamsters table of contents

  • Almonds — contain cyanide, which can kill hamsters in enough quantity
  • Celery, whole stalks — stringy texture could choke a hamster
  • Chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) — contains theobromine, which causes circulatory problems for hamsters
  • Fruits, unwashed — poses danger to your hamster from pesticides
  • Garlic — may cause indigestion
  • Kidney beans, uncooked —toxic to hamsters
  • Lettuce, iceberg — can cause liver problems in hamsters if eaten in excess (more than a few small pieces every three days)
  • Onion — N-propyldisulfide causes damage to the hamster’s red blood cells
  • Peanuts — contain aflatoxin, which is toxic to hamsters in too large a quantity
  • Potato, Potato tops — toxic to hamsters
  • Rhubarb, Rhubarb leaves —toxic to hamsters
  • Spicy or seasoned products — may cause indigestion in hamsters
  • Sugary products — bad for hamsters’ teeth and are fattening
  • Tomato leaves — toxic to hamsters
  • Vegetables, unwashed — poses danger to your hamster from pesticides

Excerpt from the Popular Critters Series magabook Hamsters with permission from its publisher, I-5 Press.

Posted: March 23, 2012, 1:15 p.m. EDT


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