Imagine you adopt a new pet, and every question under the sun arises regarding care and comfort for your new animal. Hamsters are no exception, especially since this mouselike creature is one of the most popular pets to add to your household space and is safe around children.
However, regarding diet, hamsters need the right amount of food to nourish and not harm their furry bodies. Therefore, it’s often asked if this omnivore can eat crackers.
Unequivocally, the answer is crackers should not be the main food source for hamsters, but it’s best to rely mostly on vegetables, grasses, fruits, grains, and maybe a small token of meat every once in a while. While hamsters are notorious for sale in pet shops, it’s important to understand everything about this pet before purchasing one.
For instance, hamsters despise loud noises, they need a great amount of exercise, they’re very shy, and they’re nocturnal creatures.
A hamster’s diet has to be thoroughly researched, yet as an omnivore, giving your hamster food that isn’t on their nutrition list can cause some illness or, if not careful, death. So, let’s talk about the crackers that tend to be reached for and given to hamsters, regardless of whether they’re good for them or not.
Can Hamsters Eat Crackers?
Going back to the original question, understand that white and starchy foods aren’t preferable for this lovely little beast you call your pet. Ritz crackers, Saltines, or any other processed cracker purchased off grocery store shelves is sadly not great for your hamster. There’s too much fat, sugar, and white flour that can upset their stomachs.
If the cracker happens to be super dry and unappealing, chances are your hamster won’t eat it anyway. To add a little zest to the cracker, especially if it’s plain and without a ton of salt or additives, you can top it off with a smidge of low-fat cheese. That will not only provide your hamster with more nutrition but will make the cracker morsel more tasteful.
A word of caution, though, don’t get carried away with giving your hamster too much too soon. If the pet store is aware of the hamster successfully eating a plain cracker before you take it on as a pet, monitor your little creature for 24 hours to ensure the cracker doesn’t upset their belly.
During this time frame, you need to make sure your hamster is also eating their other omnivorous foods and going to the bathroom without any difficulties.
If you suspect something is amiss, call your vet and have them check out the health of your hamster right away. If the cracker goes down without any problems, it’s okay to give the hamster another — perhaps, larger piece — provided it’s not the sole focus of their diet. Crackers as an afternoon snack can break up the hamster’s routine, but make sure they get outdoor exercise in a safe enclosure, so other pets — dogs or cats — don’t mistake them for playtoys and harm your hamster.
Do You Know?
Hamsters can eat a variety of foods, we have researched lots of them. Check out this One: Can Hamsters Green Beans?
What’s the Best Way to Feed a Hamster Crackers and How Often?
Feeding your hamster plain crackers is not necessarily part of their natural diet; however, giving them a piece or two a few times per week won’t hurt them. That is after you’ve taken all the necessary precautions of monitoring their behavior following an initial cracker feeding.
Make sure the plain cracker isn’t too big for your hamster to hold. They like to nibble on the crackers themselves without humans intervening.
Getting the correct nutrients from their food should be a priority for your hamster. Remember that most human food contains lots of salt and added sugars; therefore, the plain cracker is best to give your small pet. Their bodies aren’t set up to tolerate every food additive that humans eat.
Being properly fed and well cared for is why hamsters are such amazing pets, not to mention the relative ease with which these charming fluffballs are around.
Are Crackers safe For Hamsters?
Can hamsters eat crackers? Absolutely. However, as a rule of thumb, plain crackers are best and not in large portions or not too often during the week.
Hamsters are designed to tolerate the added salt, sugar, and fat that most crackers come laden with. Therefore, be sure to ask your vet first and give a cracker morsel second. Although hamsters are small and don’t require a ton of attention, giving them proper exercise and an omnivore diet of fruit, vegetables, grasses, and grains will ensure they are welcomed members of your household for years to come.