Hamsters are omnivores, they can eat plant and animal food, and of course, they can eat a moderate amount of meat.
I have often wondered if I should give my hamster some beef jerky, whether it is healthy or not, so I did some research to find out more about this issue.
Can hamsters eat beef jerky?
Hamsters can eat beef jerky and take advantage of the protein and other nutrients. The only thing to watch out for is the amount because beef jerky has a lot of salt and fat.
Hamsters should consume animal proteins from beef jerky which are important for improving their health, better muscle growth and to have more strength.
In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters can eat beef jerky, how much they can eat, benefits and risks, as well as other questions related to today’s topic.
Can hamsters eat beef jerky?
Hamsters can eat beef jerky, it is safe for them as long as they eat in moderation.
Beef jerky is an excellent source of animal protein that is very important for hamsters and should therefore be part of their diet.
However, due to the large amount of salt and fat, they should not be given large amounts and hamsters should not consume it every day.
Hamsters should eat cooked beef jerky and there should be no additions of salt or any other ingredients since this meat has a lot of salt anyway.
Beef jerky should not be given to hamsters if it is raw, as your pets will not digest it in their digestive system and may become infected with bacteria.
Always give the hamsters small pieces of beef jerky, so that the hamsters do not suffocate, large pieces are too risky for our little friends.
Hamsters may eat beef jerky as an occasional treat, but it should never be a daily meal in their diet.
Is beef jerky good for hamsters?
Although hamsters can eat beef jerky, it is still not the best option for hamsters even though it contains a lot of protein for the growth and development of their body.
As we said at the beginning, beef jerky has a lot of salt and fat, so you have to be careful with the amount because it can make hamsters fat and cause health problems.
Beef jerky is made with beef that is then cut into strips and dried. Indeed, with this method of preparation, most of the fat is removed, leaving the proteins in the meat itself.
But this kind of meat is more difficult for the digestive system of hamsters to digest and is very salty, which is an additional problem for your pet.
In addition, this kind of meat can cause dehydration in hamsters due to the salt, and it can also cause problems for your hamster’s teeth.
When hamsters eat beef jerky they should always have fresh and clean water.
Therefore, give beef jerky to your hamster, but always in small quantities, so that there are no health problems.
How to give beef jerky to hamsters?
When you start giving hamsters beef jerky, you should start gradually with small pieces so that your pet gets used to it, just like with any new food.
Give him a small piece of beef jerky and see if the hamster likes it, if he doesn’t like it, don’t give him more, although most hamsters will like the taste of beef jerky.
Beef jerky is a good food full of proteins that are welcome for hamsters, so it is worth trying to introduce this food into their diet, of course for occasional consumption.
A beef jerky alternative for hamsters
Obviously, beef jerky has benefits for hamsters because of the protein, but heavy processing in their stomachs can be a problem for hamsters.
That’s why there are other types of food that are easily digestible for hamsters and that you can give them to eat.
For example, a piece of fish or boiled chicken, carrot, celery, apple, and other types of food are great for your pet.
in general, the diet of hamsters should be varied and moderate in order to have the best health benefits.
How much beef jerky can hamsters eat?
As for quantity, it is best to give your hamsters about 3 grams of beef jerky two to three times a week.
Beef jerky has a lot of protein, but because of the salt and fat, it should not be excessive in the diet of hamsters.
Whenever you give beef jerky to your hamsters make sure they have enough water in their bottle as they will drink much more than the regular amount.
Syrian hamsters have a stronger digestive system with which they will process beef jerky more easily, while dwarf hamsters have a weaker digestive system and therefore it is best not to give them this kind of meat.
Nutritional values of beef jerky
In order to better know what the hamsters will ingest by eating beef jerky, we have prepared a table for the nutritional values of this meat.
A portion of 100 grams of beef jerky has the following values:
- proteins 25 g
- sodium 550 mg sodium
- fat 10 grams
- cholesterol 75 mg
As you can see from the table, beef jerky has a lot of protein, but it also has a lot of fat, salt, and cholesterol.
How much protein should hamsters eat?
Hamsters should consume about 11-15% protein per day in their diet.
Apart from proteins, they should take in about 2% fiber every day, as well as other nutrients such as minerals and vitamins.
Therefore, beef jerky should be an occasional treat for hamsters, never a regular food. Hamsters should also eat a lot of vegetables and fruits to be healthy and have a longer life span.
What snacks can I feed my hamster?
The best snacks for hamsters are any type of food that is similar to the food they eat in the wild.
Hamsters can eat and enjoy a healthy diet such as:
Of course, in addition to a healthy diet, you should not forget that hamsters always need fresh and clean water.
Can hamsters eat chicken?
Hamsters can eat cooked chicken in moderation.
Chicken meat will allow them to enter proteins that are needed for the health of the hamsters.
Hamsters mostly eat plant food, but an occasional treat with chicken is certainly welcome for your pet.
Read more: Can Hamsters eat Chicken? (Serving, Benefits, Risks)
Can hamsters eat raw meat?
Hamsters should never eat raw meat because it is harmful to them.
If they eat raw meat, hamsters may have serious problems with their stomach and digestive system, they will not be able to digest it properly.
Hamsters must not eat raw meat because then they expose themselves to the dangers of bacteria, infections, and other dangers from raw meat.
Only cooked or roasted processed meats are good for hamsters and utilize nutrients and proteins.
Read more: What Proteins Can My Hamster Eat? Let’s Find Out
Hamsters can eat beef jerky, but you must always pay attention to the amount, they should never overeat.
About 3 grams of beef jerky two to three times a week is enough because this meat has a lot of salt and fat, which can make the hamster fat and cause health problems.
Beef jerky is difficult for the digestive system of hamsters to process, so it is best not to give it to dwarf hamsters, while Syrians can eat it in moderation.
Hamsters should mainly eat more vegetables and fruits, and only occasionally they can be offered some meat as a treat because of the proteins it contains.
Read more: Can Hamsters Eat Salami? Let’s Find Out