Hamsters are known as omnivores that enjoy eating a balance of seeds, grains, meat, and fruits and vegetables. However, before you start pulling fruits and vegetables from your fridge, you must also know exactly which foods are safe and which aren’t. Some foods aren’t harmful to your pet but don’t do them any good so there’s no point in giving them to your hamster. You must also know exactly what quantity of allowed food you can give your little furball.
Now you’re probably wondering: fruits and vegetables are anything but harmless for us, so why should we not feed them to our hamsters. The answer lies in your question. All fruits and vegetables are great for our human health but our hamster’s digestive system might not be equipped to handle certain fruits and vegetables.
Little known fact, tomatoes are actually fruit, not vegetables! This delicious fruit is perhaps one of the most common foods found in our fridges and is known to be extremely nutritious for us. But does that also hold for our furry friends? Read on to find out!
Tomato nutritional facts:
Tomatoes are laden with nutrition that our bodies need. Rich in minerals and vitamins and low in calories, these are a perfect snack. Tomatoes contain Vitamins A, B, and C as well as manganese, potassium, and folate. As far as your hamster is concerned, the tomatoes nutritional stats include:
Vitamin C: This is a great aid for your hamster’s immune system. Vitamin C also helps fight off your hamster’s risk of contracting scurvy.
Vitamin K: this helps keep your hamster’s bone strength and also helps in blood coagulation.
Low Carbs: low on sugar quantity, it prevents the risk of a raised glycemic index.
High Fibre: this helps in the digestion in your hamster as well as the intestinal transit.
Low Calories: this helps prevent obesity.
Other benefits also include:
Tomatoes have nutrients that keep your hamster’s immune system strong to help them in their recovery process after falling ill.
They also contain elements that keep your hamster’s cardiovascular system in check.
They also help reduce the risk of anemia in your furry friend.
So the simple answer to your question is that yes you can feed them tomatoes.
Do hamsters even like tomatoes?
Now, this is a question best left to be answered by your furball itself. The answer solely depends on their preference for taste. To figure out whether they like this fruit is to offer them small pieces as an introduction and monitor if they eat it or not and how their bodies respond to having it included in their diet.
Also, make sure to feed your hamsters ripe tomatoes only. Green tomatoes and the leaves of the tomato are considered to be unsafe for your pet and can lead to an upset stomach. You can, however, feed them cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes. However, you must do so in small amounts.
Potential harms in feeding your hamster tomato:
Moderation is always important when it comes to feeding your pet. Just because foods such as tomatoes are safe enough to be fed to your hamster, doesn’t mean you can feed it to them in any quantity you want.
Hamsters need a well-balanced diet. Tomatoes, although packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, are not a part of their staple diet and if it is added as everyday food, it will result in health concerns for your hamster.
Acidic, high in fiber and water, too much of this fruit can end up making you hamster sick with a loose tummy, vomiting, gastritis. The excess amount of water present in this fruit can also cause kidney failure for your furry friend.
If your hamster suffers from vomiting and diarrhea, it might end up dehydrated which is a huge health risk in itself. If your hamster is unable to hydrate itself quickly, it can prove to be fatal. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, loss of appetite, and weakness. A telltale sign of dehydration also includes the skin around its neck becoming loose.
How to introduce tomato to your hamster:
If you do plan on feeding your hamster tomato, it is always wise to start with a tiny piece, perhaps the size of a raisin. Then you’ll need to closely monitor your hamster to see how it reacted to the new food. Any negative reactions will need vet attention immediately.
If there is no negative reaction, small amounts that can be quantified as a half teaspoon can be offered to them as a treat once or at most, twice a month but no more than that.
You’ll need to chop the fruit into tiny pieces to prevent your hamster from choking on them. Stick to serving that is recommended to avoid overfeeding your hamster.
Does the breed of the hamster matter?
Hamsters come in different breeds and there isn’t much of a difference between the two breeds other than size. Dwarf hamsters tend to be smaller in size. Since they are smaller, they are less likely to end up with digestive problems as a result of the high amounts of acidity in the tomato. Although we don’t advise giving you dwarf hamster tomatoes, an occasional small amount will be safe as long as you monitor their health.
Syrian hamsters are bigger in size and so it’s safe to feed them tomatoes as long as you follow the recommended serving portion.
So there you have it. Tomatoes, as it turns out, don’t pose any health risk to your hamster as long as they are treated as an occasional snack and are not made as part of their staple diet.
If your hamster doesn’t seem to want to eat the tomato, don’t force them to. If they skip out on eating tomatoes altogether, they aren’t losing out on anything nutrition-wise.
Always remember to monitor your hamster’s health and reach out to a vet to stay safe.