Peanut butter is simply dry roasted peanuts with added ingredients that give it a creamy texture. It is the most common go-to snack all across the world and due to this, you might wonder can hamsters eat peanut butter?
Fortunately, yes! Hamsters can eat peanut butter but only in small quantities. Hamsters love the sweet taste of peanut butter and it can add proteins to your pet’s diet. So, if you’re having peanut butter, you can safely give some to your little one.
All you need to do is rub some on your pet’s favorite foods, and let him have a go at it. But, not frequently, and never in excess. If you’re wondering why then continue reading to find out more about this.
Adding Peanut Butter To Hamster’s Diet – How Safe Is It?
Hamsters undoubtedly love peanut butter, but this certainly does not mean you can feed them every day. There is only a small amount that is safe for them considering how many calories and proteins are packed in it.
The reason why you need to keep the serving size small is that it can lead to severe health complications like arthritis due to the amount of lectin in it. Additionally, it will also make your little one obese.
Due to obesity and the risk of arthritis, it is wise to keep the serving size small because no pet owner would want to make their pet uncomfortable.
But, that’s not all. Here is what you should know before feeding your hamster peanut butter. Make sure to go through the entire post to avoid any possible health hazards.
1) Do Hamsters Like Peanut Butter?
Yes, they do! Hamsters munch on different kinds of nuts and seeds in the wild. They will eat peanuts whenever they find some. Since peanut butter is made from peanuts, they are attracted to its smell and are keen to eat it.
Due to their love for nuts and seeds, you might even find peanuts in store-bought food mixes for your little one. So, when you first feed your pet hamster, he or she will absolutely love it!
2) Is Peanut Butter Toxic To Hamsters?
Peanut butter isn’t toxic to hamsters. However, some store-bought peanut butter may contain certain ingredients that are toxic to your furry little one.
Such ingredients include xylitol which is basically a sweetener. So not only are some hamsters allergic to it, but it also increases the chances of your pet getting obese and suffering from diabetes if overfed.
Apart from this, peanut butter also contains high amounts of lectin. If frequently fed, it will lead to inflammatory complications and may even cause arthritis in worst-case scenarios.
3) What Kind Of Peanut Butter Can Hamsters Eat?
The only type of peanut butter that your hamster can eat is a plain and organic one. As mentioned earlier, store-bought peanut butter may have certain additives that aren’t safe for hamsters.
Ideally, you should look for peanut butter that has no additives and is only peanut-based.
Keep in mind, you might come across salted peanut butter as well. Feeding your hamster salted peanut butter is also not a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to get peanut butter that separates naturally in a jar.
3 Common Breeds Of Hamsters – How Much Peanut Butter Can They Eat?
As you might already know, there are different breeds of hamsters. These include Syrian, Robo, and Dwarf hamsters. They are different than each other in terms of their body size and physique.
Due to this, their serving sizes aren’t the same as well. A serving size that is considered small for Syrian hamsters may be considered large for dwarf hamsters.
This is why you need to know how much you can feed your little one. Without any further ado, let’s dive straight into the serving size for your pet hamster.
A point to remember: When feeding your pet peanut butter, always start slow and see how your pet’s digestive system reacts to it. If you notice, any symptoms or signs of discomfort, you need to discontinue feeding.
If you do not see any such reactions, you can gradually increase the serving size to the recommended one.
1) How Much Peanut Butter Can A Syrian Hamster Eat?
Syrian hamsters are superior to other breeds considering the fact that they have a bigger body compared to others. Due to this, their serving sizes are also greater than other breeds.
Although they may be bigger than other breeds, this certainly does not mean you can feed them peanut butter every day.
You can feed your Syrian hamster ¼ of a teaspoon of peanut butter once a week. Due to the high number of calories and fat, you should stick to this serving size.
2) How Much Peanut Butter Should You Feed A Roborovski Hamster?
Roborovski hamsters are 2nd in the list after Syrian hamsters. They are smaller in size compared to Syrian hamsters but bigger than other breeds.
For your Robo hamster, you can feed him or her ¼ of a teaspoon of peanut butter. But, unlike Syrian hamsters, you cannot feed them every week. Instead, you need to feed them every fortnight!
3) How Much Peanut Butter Is Safe For A Dwarf Hamster To Eat?
Dwarf hamsters are the smallest of all breeds and hence their serving size is also the smallest. These include Chinese, Russian, and Campbell hamsters.
You can feed your dwarf hamster a small amount of peanut butter on the tip of a teaspoon and that should be it. Anything more than that will be harmful to your tiny hamster and should not be risked whatsoever.
Serving Guide – How To Prepare And Feed A Hamster
Considering how sensitive hamsters are, you need to know how to serve them peanut butter the right way. Here is a detailed insight into this.
1) How To Make Peanut Butter For Your Hamster?
The best way to avoid the risks of added ingredients in store-bought peanut butter is to make peanut butter treats at your own home.
Luckily, it doesn’t include any rocket science and all you need to do is buy peanuts and follow our simple guide. Keep in mind, before buying peanuts, make sure they are fresh and not molded.
After getting peanuts, just add them to a food processor. Add some oil to give your peanut butter its creamy and smooth texture. Without oils, it will turn out to be a crunchy paste.
Our recommendation is to go with the creamy paste to avoid the risk of potential choking hazards with crunchy peanut butter.
Once you get your desired mixture and it is prepared, pour it into a jar. Cover the lid and let it sit in the refrigerator. Storing it in a refrigerator will retain its nutritional content and ensure your pet can benefit from it.
That is all you need to do to prepare peanut butter for your little one.
If you insist on getting store-bought peanut butter, you should look for ones that contain no sugars, salt, or any harmful additives. In addition, you should make sure it is smooth and not crunchy.
2) 5 Steps To Safely Feed Peanut Butter To A Hamster:
Knowing how to feed peanut butter to a hamster will make it easy for your pet to enjoy eating it. Besides, it will ensure you do not overstep and risk your pet’s health by serving them the wrong way.
If you’re wondering how peanut butter can harm your pet, here is how. Serving a large chunk of peanut butter to your pet will increase the chances of it getting the creamy structure stuck in the inside of your pet’s mouth.
To avoid you and your pet from all this trouble, here are the steps that you need to take:
- Take the peanut butter out of the refrigerator. Grab a spoon and only get the recommended amount for your pet hamster.
- Let it sit for a couple of hours so that it is not cold when you serve it. Hamsters tend to run away from cold peanut butter so letting it sit outside the refrigerator will get it to the desired temperatures.
- Take a small amount of peanut butter using a teaspoon and smear it to a hard surface. You can either use a small piece of food for this or simply on the edge of your pet’s food bowl.
- Let your pet have a go at it. Your pet will likely not eat all of it at once and he or she will taste some then runaway, and then later come back for more.
- When your pet is done eating, you should remove the leftovers.
Since your pet will be licking it from the wood or the edge of the food bowl, you will not have to worry about it getting stuck to the insides of your pet’s mouth.
Additionally, it will also prevent your pet’s cheeks from getting stuck together. Yes, you read correctly! Large blobs or chunks of peanut butter can make your little one’s cheeks get stuck together.
To mix things up for your little one, you can make homemade treats with peanut butter. All you need is a cup of whole wheat flour, with ½ cup of oats, and 1/3 cup of plain peanut butter.
Add an egg, some water, and mix the ingredients thoroughly. When the mixture is prepared, make circular treats for your little one. You can also make a square, triangle-shaped, or whatever shape you like.
Place it in a preheated oven and let it sit in at 180 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve and let your pet have a feast! But, make sure you don’t overfeed or serve them frequently.
Nutritional Facts Of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is undoubtedly rich in calories, proteins, and carbs. Here are the nutritional facts of a 100 gram serving of peanut butter:
|588 calories||8 g water|
|25 g protein||50 g fat|
|20 g carbohydrates||2 g sugar|
|6 g dietary fiber||8 g starch|
Here are the vitamin and minerals that your pet can get from peanut butter. Keep in mind, these are per a 100 gram serving of peanut butter:
|11 mg thiamine (B1)||11 mg riboflavin (B2)||2 mg niacin (B3)|
|1 g pantothenic acid (B5)||55 mg pyridoxine (B6)||35 µg folic acid (B9)|
|9 mg vitamin E||54 mg calcium||179 mg magnesium|
|5 mg manganese||2 mg iron||649 mg potassium|
|335 mg phosphorus||0 mg sodium||7 mg zinc|
3 Major Health Gains Of Peanut Butter For Your Hamster
The serving size of peanut butter may be small for your pet hamster, but it is more than enough to benefit your little one. So, not only does your pet enjoy a tasty treat, but he/she also gets to benefit from it.
Here are some potential benefits of peanut butter for your hamster:
1) Supports Growth And Development:
Peanut butter works like a miracle for supporting the growth and development of young little hamsters. It helps your adorable little pet put on some weight to ensure it gets to the recommended weight of a hamster.
Additionally, it also helps your little ones develop muscles that help them move around.
But that’s not all. Adult hamsters can also benefit from eating peanut butter. It helps hamsters that have become weak due to a certain sickness and gets them back on their feet.
2) Improves Cardiovascular Health:
Peanut butter is rich in fats. But, these aren’t the bad type of fats that lead to sickness. These are in fact the good kind of fat, unsaturated ones.
When fed as part of a balanced diet, it will help improve the cardiovascular health of your pet. It will also ensure a good flow of blood in your pet’s body and ensure the cholesterol levels are regulated.
3) Provides Mental Stimulation:
Peanut butter is a rich source of vitamin B complex for your pet hamster. Vitamin B not only improves the brain function of your pet friend but also ensures his/her nerves are actively responding and healthy.
This will also allow your pet to stay active and healthy in games and other day-to-day activities.
Risks Of Feeding Peanut Butter To Hamsters
Anything that is fed in excess amounts can turn out to be bad for your pet hamster. Here are some possible risks and dangers that are involved with feeding peanut butter to your dear friend.
1) Aflatoxin Poisoning:
Peanuts usually tend to mold with the passage of time. Unfortunately, they mold at a higher rate and can have two common types of molds. These include:
- Aspergillus parasiticus
- Aspergillus flavus
Both of these produce aflatoxins when they’re molding and are exposed to light and air. These can end up being fatal to your pet friend.
So, if you have made peanut butter or got store-bought with molded peanuts, there is a good chance that your peanut butter has aflatoxins.
The only way to avoid the risks of exposing your pet to aflatoxins is to make peanut butter at home with fresh peanuts. This way, you will have control over the peanuts and oils that you are adding to the peanut butter.
2) Cheek Pouch Clogging:
Peanut butter has a creamy texture. But the creamy texture is sticky and can easily stick to the cheek pouches of your little one. This is referred to as cheek pouch clogging and can put your pet in severe discomfort.
Not only does it cause discomfort but it also decays with the passage of time. As a result of this decay, it will lead to infections in the cheeks and insides of your pet’s mouth.
In that case, you will have to take your pet to the local veterinarian immediately. He/she will likely suggest antibiotics and will have to clean the cheeks via a procedure.
3) Digestive Complications:
Your little one is known to have a sensitive digestive system and it is common in all hamsters. When you first introduce your pet to new foods, he or she will likely suffer from digestive complications.
The same goes for peanut butter as well. Your pet will likely suffer from diarrhea, and bloating when fed peanut butter. If that happens, you will have to reach out to your local vet for further diagnosis and treatment.
4) Diabetes And Obesity:
Peanut butter has a high number of calories and is also a rich source of fat and sugars. When overfed, it will make your pet obese and increase the chances of your adorable hamster suffering from diabetes.
Obesity will open up the pathways to a number of other health complications including heart and joint issues. Due to this, you need to control the serving size of your pet hamster.
5) Pro-Inflammatory Effects:
Hamsters already have a hard time suffering from severe inflammatory conditions. This includes arthritis that hamsters are more prone to. Peanut butter contains a high concentration of lectin.
It is alarming since this can lead to pro-inflammatory issues which significantly increases the risk of your little one suffering from arthritis.
6) Peanut Allergies:
Similar to humans, some hamsters too can be allergic to peanut butter. Although this is highly unlikely but still possible that your little one may be allergic to peanuts.
You should keep an eye out for the following symptoms of your pet is allergic:
- Digestive complications such as bloating and diarrhea
- Skin issues
- Trouble breathing
If you notice any of the symptoms or signs mentioned above, you should contact your vet immediately and discuss the matter with him in detail.
7) Choking Hazard:
Feeding your pet peanut butter, specifically, the chunky ones possess a serious choking hazard to your pet hamster. It is certainly not worth the risk and you should instead choose one with a smooth texture.
47 Healthy Alternatives Of Peanut Butter For Hamsters
Fortunately, when it comes to treats for hamsters, there are plenty that you can choose from. Just to get you started and narrow down the list of safe foods, here is what you should feed your pet as part of a balanced diet.
|Green beans||Red lettuce||Parsnip||Celery||Buttercrunch lettuce|
|Bibb lettuce||Parsnip||Cucumber||Winter squash||Watercress|
|Summer squash||Basil||Sweet potato||Parsley||Baby corn|
|Asparagus||Beets||Beet tops||Potato (cooked only)||Rocket|
|Mint||Swiss chard||Escarole||Bell pepper||Pumpkin|
|Yu Choy||Bok choy||Sweet corn||Artichoke||Cabbage|
Keep in mind, these fruits and veggies might be safe for your pet friend but this is only true if you feed them in moderation. Excess of anything is bad and the same goes for hamster foods as well.
1) What Are Some Other Safe Nuts And Seeds For Your Hamster?
Hamsters can eat a variety of nuts and seeds with a few exceptions. Here are some other nuts and seeds that are considered safe for your pet friend. These include:
|Hazelnuts||Sunflower Seeds||Pumpkin Seeds|
Keep in mind, just like peanuts, these too need to be unsalted and unsweetened. You should only serve them fresh, and plain to avoid the possible risks of the additives in these nuts and seeds.
Additionally, you need to feed them nuts and seeds only twice a week. Anything more than this will be considered too much for your cute little friend and will lead to health complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can Hamsters Eat Smooth Peanut Butter?
Of course! They can eat smooth peanut butter. In fact, it is the only type of peanut butter that your pet friend should have. Just make sure there are no seasonings or additives in it and stick to the recommended serving sizes.
2) Can Hamsters Eat Crunchy Peanut Butter?
Yes, hamsters can eat crunchy peanut butter. But due to the risk of choking, you should it is strictly not recommended for your pet friend. Instead, you should get creamy peanut butter.
3) What Are Some Unsafe Nuts And Seeds To Keep Away From Your Hamster?
When it comes to nuts and seeds, there are some that you need to keep your little one away from. These pose a serious threat to your pet’s health and should be avoided at all costs whether it is in large or small amounts.
- Any sort of seeds from fruits(apple, grape, peach, plum, etc)
Hamsters can safely eat peanut butter and benefit from them significantly. But for that to happen, the peanut butter needs to be organic and made from fresh peanuts with no additives or seasonings whatsoever.
In addition, you also need to keep the serving size small and only feed your pet the recommended amount based on the breed of your pet. This will lower the risk of accidental overfeeding and ensure your pet’s safety.