As humans, honey often comes to mind whenever we think of sugar substitutes. This is thanks to the honey’s natural sweetness and how it’s packed with nutrients, making it a new-age superfood. With all its merits as a superfood, perhaps you’ll be wondering if it’s safe to feed your hamsters some honey. But can hamsters eat honey?
Generally speaking, it’s not harmful to sparingly feed your hamsters some honey. This, however, does not mean that you should allow your hamsters to eat honey as often as you’d like.
While feeding your hamsters small amounts of honey to give them a little energy to last the day is fine, giving them honey in the long run may cause diabetes and other health concerns.
Before you make a final decision whether to allow your hamsters to eat honey, let’s look at the pros and cons of this feeding habit.
Can hamsters eat honey?
The short answer is yes, hamsters can eat honey but in controlled amounts. We all know that honey is packed with nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamins, but these traces are often too insignificant for a hamster’s diet.
Instead, honey should be treated as a rare snack to feed your hamsters sparingly. For many owners, feeding hamsters with honey gives their furry friend an energy boost for the day. As such, many owners have advised against giving your hamsters honey at night.
Due to the sticky texture of honey, you should also keep a watchful eye on your hamsters when you feed them this sweet treat. This is as the stickiness of honey can make it hard for your hamsters to swallow or get trapped in its fur, causing a terrible mess.
If you’d like to treat your hamsters to some honey, it’s recommended to dilute it with a little water or milk to make it easier to swallow.
When choosing honey types to feed your hamster, it’s best to avoid store-bought brands as they may contain additives and refined sugar. Instead, do opt for natural honey such as New Zealand’s Manuka honey as they’re known to be a healthier variation.
If your hamster catches a cold, you may also give it some milk with honey. Be sure to serve the milk at a lukewarm temperature and try feeding it with a soft spoon, syringe, or straw.
What happens if I feed my hamster honey often?
Unfortunately, honey contains high traces of sugar that could lead to diabetes in your hamsters. This is especially prominent in dwarf hamsters, so you may want to avoid giving your pet honey altogether. Excessive honey intake can also cause your hamsters to gain weight, causing a variety of health problems in the long run.
Hamsters also have a sensitive tummy, so feeding it too much honey may cause stomach discomfort. In a worst-case scenario, your hamster may be prone to diarrhea or vomit after taking in too much honey.
Tip: Here’s what to do if your hamster’s poop turns green.
Of course, these cases would only affect your hamster if they are given honey too often. So, if you’ve recently fed your hamster with a little honey as a sweet treat, you won’t have to worry just yet.
What can I feed my hamster?
So, now that you understand how honey can affect a hamster, maybe you’d like to seek for snack alternatives for your furry friends. Here are several items that may be better for your hamsters instead:
- Apples: Be sure to slice them thinly so your hamster can gnaw on the apples easily. It’s also important to remove all the seeds to avoid accidental choking.
- Bananas: Bananas are full of potassium and are soft enough for chewing. Do be sure not to feed your hamsters with too much, however, as it’s always good to avoid giving hamsters any sugary foods – natural or otherwise.
- Vegetables: Great options for vegetables to feed your hamsters include broccoli, carrots, kale, and spinach.
- Cooked potatoes: Always ensure that the potatoes are thoroughly cooked before feeding them to your hamsters to avoid health problems in the long run.
- Peanuts and other nut products: Nuts are a great snack to feed your hamsters, but you’ll always have to ensure they’re unsalted. In general, do also avoid feeding your hamsters with almonds and go with other nut variations like cashew and peanuts instead.
Tip: The dietary needs of a baby hamster differ from adult hamsters. Click here to learn how to feed a baby hamster.
In conclusion, honey isn’t necessarily bad for hamsters if you want to feed them some. Always be sure to control its intake to avoid onset diabetes in your hamsters and watch out for their weight gain in the long run.
We all love a chubby little hamster, but it may not be the best for their health. If you’d still like to give your hamsters a little treat every now and then, try replacing it with healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables instead. Your hamsters will surely thank you for it later.