Can Hamsters Eat Barley? Benefits And Risks

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:28 pm

Hamsters can include a variety of foods in their diet besides pellets and Timothy hay, and they can also eat vegetables and fruits.

Have you ever wondered if you should also give them barley?

Can hamsters eat barley? Yes, hamsters can eat barley, but in moderation to reap the benefits because if they overeat, they can have side effects on their health.

In today’s article, we will find out how much barley hamsters can eat and the benefits and risks of this food.

What is barley?

Barley is one of the oldest cereals in the world. It is widely used as animal feed in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Barley is also used to make bread, beer, and animal feed.

Also, barley contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other ingredients that make it useful for hamsters.

Can hamsters eat barley?

Yes, hamsters can eat barley, but always in moderation; they should never overeat.

It contains proteins, fibers, B vitamins, niacin, and other nutrients that are excellent for hamsters. There are many carbohydrates and proteins in raw barley.

All these ingredients are good for improving the health of hamsters, as long as the hamsters eat barley in moderate doses.

Hamsters can eat barley, preferably cooked barley which is easier for their digestive system to digest. Hamsters can eat barley and make the most of their nutrients to improve their health.

Barley is a safe food for hamsters, so feel free to let them eat.

Will hamsters want to eat barley?

Yes, hamsters will want to eat barley because they like its taste.

Although most hamsters will want to consume barley, the exception may always be for one of the hamsters to refuse to eat.

But this should not disappoint you because there is a large selection of other foods besides barley, which hamsters will gladly want to consume.

How much barley can hamsters eat?

Depending on the breed of hamster, your pet should be given the right amount of barley.

For example, Syrian hamsters can eat the most, while dwarfs can eat the least barley. So let’s see in more detail which breed of hamsters and how much barley can eat.

can hamsters eat barley

How much barley can Syrian hamsters eat?

Syrian hamsters always have the honor of eating the most barley or any other food.

It is best for the health of Syrian hamsters to give them half a spoon of barley a day.

This amount is sufficient for the maximum utilization of barley nutrients to improve their health.

How much barley can Robo hamsters eat?

Robo hamsters are smaller than Syrian hamsters but larger than dwarf hamsters so that they can eat 1/4 teaspoon of barley a day.

Although it may seem small, this amount is still enough for them to make the most of the benefits without having side effects.

By eating barley, Robo hamsters will improve their health and, at the same time, will enjoy eating.

How much barley can dwarf hamsters eat?

Dwarf hamsters are the smallest breed, and they always eat the least of any food.

It is best for dwarf hamsters to eat 1/8 of a teaspoon of barley daily to benefit their health.

It’s tiny, but their digestive system can still not process more significant amounts of food; if they eat more than expected, they can only impair their health.

Can baby hamsters eat barley?

Yes, baby hamsters can eat barley, but only after a few weeks of their lives.

They should consume only breast milk, water, and unique commercial food in the first weeks.

Before you start giving barley to your baby hamsters, you should consult a veterinarian to see how far they have come and whether they are ready to introduce barley into their diet.

How to prepare barley for hamsters?

The most important thing is to always wash the barley very well before giving it to the hamsters to eat.

Washing will remove dirt and any chemicals on the surface of the barley.

Hamsters have a delicate digestive system, so these preventive measures are essential for their health and protection against diseases, infections, etc.

How to initially give barley to hamsters?

Hamsters are very careful whenever they try new foods because they are pretty scary.

Personally, you as the owner can give them barley from your hand for the first time so that they can more easily dare to try to eat, and at the same time, you will strengthen the bond between you and your furry pet.

If he wants to eat right, and if the hamster refuses, then do not give him more because there is no reason to eat something he does not like.

What are the benefits of barley for hamsters?

As long as hamsters eat moderate barley, they will have their health benefits.

Here are some of them:

  • Antioxidants – found in barley help fight free radicals that can cause cancer in hamsters. With antioxidants, hamsters will prolong their life and slow down their aging.
  • Fiber – is essential for improving digestion and the overall digestive system.
  • Less cholesterol – because barley has no cholesterol at all, which will help hamsters have good cholesterol levels in their body.
  • Iron – this mineral in the composition of barley helps to improve the blood, prevents anemia, and improves the energy level of your pets so that they can play and run during the day.
  • Calcium – is one of the most critical minerals for hamster health to improve bone strength. Barley has not had much calcium, but it is still welcome for your furry pets.
  • Zinc – is an excellent mineral for improving the immunity of hamsters.
  • Magnesium – with this mineral, hamsters will have much healthier bones, undoubtedly one of the most important things for your pet.

can hamsters eat barley

What are the side effects of barley for hamsters?

Moderation is the key to good health for both humans and hamsters.

If hamsters overeat barley, the following side effects may occur:

  • diarrhea – because they will not be able to process too much barley.
  • Abdominal pain – again, because their digestive system will not be able to digest the entire amount of barley.

What to do if hamsters overeat barley?

If hamsters overeat barley, nothing terrible is likely to happen to them, but that does not mean it should be repeated in the future.

The best solution at this time is to give them plenty of water so that they can easily digest a large amount of barley in their stomach.

Diarrhea can also occur, but it should be normalized within 24 hours; otherwise, you should take them to the vet.

read more: Can Hamsters Eat Granola? All You Need To Know

Can hamsters eat raw barley?

Yes, hamsters can eat raw barley quite safely; after all, it is the best choice for them.

Eating raw barley will maximize the benefits of nutrients to improve their health.

Barley will provide them with excellent minerals, vitamins, fiber, and other essential ingredients.

Read more: Can Syrian Hamsters Eat Chia Seeds?

Can hamsters eat pearl barley?

Yes, hamsters can eat pearl barley, but it should always be added to a mix with other ingredients.

You can make a mixture of pearl barley with other seeds and fresh vegetables or dried fruit and a little sugar.

In any case, the amount should be moderate so that they do not have side effects on their health.


No, hamsters should never use barley straw for bedding, it is dangerous for them. Barley straw is sharp and can only hurt your pet. It can cause injuries to the mouth and its inner part, i.e. gums and skin.


Hamsters can eat barley, but always in moderation to make the most of the nutrients without having harmful consequences.

If your hamster eats moderately, it will protect them against cancer, have a longer life, more energy, less cholesterol, healthier blood, and better digestion.

If they overeat, diarrhea, stomach aches, and the like can occur.

Lastly, give moderate amounts of barley to your furry friends and watch them enjoy eating this cereal.

read more: Can Hamsters Eat Shrimp? All You Need To Know