Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:36 pm
In the diet of hamsters, we can use a wide variety of food, from pellets, vegetables, fruits and various seeds, which makes it easier to provide them with the healthy nutrients they need so that they can be healthy and live longer.
Looking at the acorns falling from the oak trees, we wonder if giving some to our furry friends is okay.
Can hamsters eat acorns?
No, hamsters should not eat acorns; they are not a good food choice for their health. They can only eat acorns that have been shelled and washed very well, but it is still best to avoid giving them to hamsters. Acorns are not toxic, but they can cause problems and it is better to avoid them in the diet of hamsters.
In today’s article we will find out why acorns are not good for the health of hamsters and what side effects they can cause in our pets.
What Are Acorns?
Acorns are the nuts of oak trees and can be found in many parts of the world. There are hundreds of oak trees and about 90 species are native to the United States.
Acorns have been used as food long ago, and the ancient Assyrians and Greeks regularly consumed them. Acorns are used as a substitute for nuts in various recipes and as an addition to various dishes.
Raw acorns have a lot of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus and potassium in their composition. However, they are not a good food choice for our hamsters, and they are a good option for humans.
Can hamsters eat acorns?
Hamsters should not eat acorns, especially since wild acorns are very dangerous for their health. Wild acorns have a lot of bacteria and parasites.
You can only give acorns to those that are on the ground. The acorns should be washed very well to remove all dirt and bacteria.
The husks of the acorns should be removed if you decide to give them a small amount to eat. Acorn shells are very sharp and can cause intestinal and stomach perforations in our pets.
Acorns are very difficult to digest in the stomach of hamsters, and at the same time, they have no nutrients, so it is best not to give them to hamsters.
How to give acorns to hamsters?
Although our recommendation is not to give acorns to the hamsters, for those who want to do it, we will tell you how to prepare them in the best way.
First, they should always be washed well.
Acorns without shells are very hard and hamsters will not be able to eat them; you will have to put them in water for an hour before to soften them so that our pets can eat them.
What are the risks of acorns for hamsters?
Acorns can be found scattered around oak trees, and they are common food for mice and squirrels but not good for hamsters.
Hamsters can indeed eat a variety of seeds, but acorns are not among those choices. Acorns found in the wild can have bacteria, fungi, and parasites that are very dangerous to the health of hamsters.
Acorns with their sharp tips can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract of hamsters. These seeds can easily damage our gentle pets’ intestines, stomach, and esophagus.
Do acorns have nutritional value for hamsters?
Acorns do not have any special nutritional value for hamsters and therefore there is no need to introduce them into their diet.
Eating these seeds will do more harm than good to your hamster, and may make them sick, so apart from acorns, many other seeds are nutritious and healthy for hamsters.
Which seeds are toxic to hamsters?
As we said, acorns are not a good choice for hamsters, but there are other seeds that we should be careful about that are also harmful to their health.
Toxic seeds for hamsters are:
- apple seed
- pear seed
These apple and pear seeds contain cyanogenic acids in their composition, which are a real danger for hamsters, because they can cause terrible problems and the death of our furry friends.
Cyanogenic acids cause symptoms such as:
- shortness of breath
- loss of appetite
All these symptoms can eventually be fatal for hamsters if they are not noticed in time and are not treated with treatments from a veterinarian.
Which seeds are healthy for hamsters?
Acorns are not healthy for hamsters, but that shouldn’t discourage us because many other seeds are great for the health of our furry friends.
So let’s see in more detail the best seeds you can give hamsters in their diet.
Sunflower seeds are one of the favorite foods for hamsters, they enjoy eating them, and at the same time, they are excellent for their health.
Also, sunflower seeds offer excellent nutrients, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Of course, moderation is always the key to the health of hamsters, so sunflower seeds should be given in moderate amounts, so they do not have side effects.
If they eat too many sunflower seeds, hamsters will gain weight and have problems with movement and balance.
Too many sunflower seeds also cause diarrhea because their digestive system cannot process larger amounts of these seeds fully.
Pumpkin seeds are healthy for hamsters
Pumpkin seeds, like sunflower seeds, are great for hamster health.
They contain many nutritious ingredients with vitamins and minerals, extending the life span and providing better health to our hamsters.
Pumpkin seeds can be given alone or mixed with other seeds, pellets, etc., which will further enrich the amount of nutrients for our pets.
Again, attention should always be on the amount we will give to the hamsters so that there are no side effects such as an increase in their weight, satiety, etc.
The mix of various seeds
The best seed-eating option for hamsters is to buy them a seed mix.
In a seed mix, a variety of great seeds are great together so that the hamsters can get the nutrients in the best way.
A seed mix may include the following:
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- corn kernels
Of course, you should again pay attention to the amount you will give them, but it should not be too much.
Acorns are not a good food choice for hamsters and should not be given to them in their diet.
Acorns are very difficult to digest and may contain bacteria, parasites and other harmful and dangerous ingredients to their health.
Only acorns that have been thoroughly washed and removed from the shell and pre-soaked in water for about an hour can be given very rarely to your furry friends.
However, our recommendation is to avoid giving acorns to hamsters.
Because they are too heavy for their digestive system and do not have many nutrients that our furry friends need.
Instead of acorns, it is better to give hamsters pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or a mixture of several seeds; they are much healthier and have vitamins and minerals necessary for their health.
read more: Can Hamsters Eat Sesame Seeds?