Hamsters are omnivores, which typically means they eat a mix of fruits, veg, and meat. In the case of the sociable hamster, it means they eat whatever they can get their wee paws on. This includes your electrical wiring, grapes, and prawn crackers.
So, yes, hamsters can eat prawn crackers. Given the chance, they will do so happily. But should hamsters eat prawn crackers? Let’s find out.
Despite their small size, hamsters have robust digestive tracts that can process various foods, including:
This is different from cats and dogs, who are notorious for having difficulty processing grains effectively.
So, yes, hamsters can eat prawn crackers. They may even benefit from some of the ingredients. Like other crackers, prawn crackers are a source of fiber, protein, and minerals like sodium and calcium.
Yes, prawn crackers are safe for hamsters. Prawn crackers are primarily made of prawns, tapioca, and flour. There’s a bit of salt and sugar added for flavor, but it’s minimal.
All of these ingredients are safe for hamsters. The biggest danger to a hamster eating prawn crackers is that they might choke if they are fed too big of a piece.
Many hamsters enjoy prawns. Since there’s a significant amount of prawns in prawn crackers, it’s likely your hamster will also like prawn crackers.
However, just because they like them doesn’t mean your hamster can regularly eat prawn crackers.
Prawn crackers do have some benefits for your hamster. They contain quantities of:
- Vitamin B6
They’re not as healthy as carrots, but they have less sugar than grapes, which have one of the highest sugar counts of any fruit.
While prawn crackers aren’t the healthiest snack for your hamster, they’re not necessarily bad for hamsters.
There’s more to prawn crackers than a source of fiber and protein. One prawn cracker at approximately 32 grams contains roughly 132 calories. That’s nearly 10% of a human’s recommended daily nutrients.
The same portion of prawn crackers contains 15% of a person’s recommended carbohydrate intake and an astonishing 18% of fats. That’s more than your hamster needs.
A good rule of thumb is that if your hamster enjoys prawn crackers is to limit prawn cracker snacks to one or two a week.
To ensure your hamster gets a prawn cracker that’s proportionate to its size, these treats should be no bigger than the average postage stamp. Any bigger than that, and you risk a hamster with obesity or diabetes, never something you want.
This is particularly true of prawn crackers because they don’t have the combination of grains and cereals in healthier crackers. Instead, they’re primarily full of carbohydrates, which are tasty but not as crucial for maintaining a healthy hamster’s diet.
Since hamsters are considerably smaller, not only should you not feed them a whole prawn cracker, but you should limit how often you give them prawn crackers in the first place.
Because prawn crackers can be quite large, you’re unlikely to feed a hamster a whole one in the first place, as it would cause a choking hazard. That being the case, we recommend rationing out pieces of prawn crackers to give them throughout the week. Make sure to keep the pieces small to avoid choking your hamster.
Introducing hamsters to prawn crackers is much like introducing them to other foods. A little goes a long way.
Start by breaking off a small piece of prawn cracker for your hamster to try. There’s no sense giving them lots of pieces at once if they don’t enjoy it. If you get a positive response, you can start feeding your hamster prawn crackers as an occasional treat.
If you decide to do this, remember to top their water up at the same time. Otherwise, you risk the salt in prawn crackers dehydrating your hamster.
Let’s take a quick look at different types of hamsters to see if all of this applies to the one you have.
It is safe for Chinese Dwarf hamsters to eat prawn crackers. As we discussed, you shouldn’t feed a Chinese Dwarf hamster prawn crackers every day because the fat content is excessive. But as an occasional treat, they are fine.
Just like other breeds, Syrian hamsters can eat prawn crackers, but at the same time, this shouldn’t be a regular snack. Alternate prawn crackers with plenty of grains, vegetables, and fruit to keep your Syrian hamster healthy.
Baby hamsters get most of their nutrients from their mothers. For that reason, you probably won’t be feeding them prawn crackers.
However, treats can be an excellent way to bond with baby hamsters. You still shouldn’t feed them prawn crackers, because the salt can cause dehydration and that can be serious in young hamsters.
While there are some variations in prawn crackers, these mostly have to do with the type of prawns used to prepare them. Different prawns can affect the flavor and color of prawn crackers.
Since hamsters can eat all types of prawns provided they are well-cooked, you can feed your hamster all types of prawn crackers.
Can hamsters eat prawn crackers? Absolutely. In fact, they’ll enjoy them. However, they’re not the healthiest treat for your hamster, so you shouldn’t feed them prawn crackers too often.
For a healthy, happy hamster, intersperse the prawn crackers with a healthier snack, like Vitikraft’s apple and honey sticks. They’re sweet and will help balance out your hamster’s diet.