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Can Hamsters Eat Potatoes? (Is it Safe For Hamsters?)

I love my hamsters (and I’m sure you do too) which is why we need to check that treats are safe before we feed them. In my case, I wanted to know – can hamsters eat potatoes?

Hamsters can eat potatoes, and they are a great treat packed with vitamins and minerals to help boost their immune systems and promote healthy growth combined with a balanced diet. You have to watch out for the raw taters – those are toxic.

Let me take you through everything you need to know about giving your hamsters potatoes.

Also Read: Can Hamsters Have Tomatoes?

Key Takeaways:

  • Hamsters can safely eat potatoes, but they should not be a regular part of their diet.
  • Potatoes are starchy and not nutritious for hamsters
  • Raw potatoes are poisonous to hamsters because they contain solanine
  • Hamsters should only eat cooked potatoes and never fried potatoes or potato chips

Are Potatoes Safe for Hamsters to Eat?

Like me, you may wonder if a potato is a safe food for hamster to eat. The answer is that they can, but there are things to remember before feeding potatoes to your furry friend.

potatoes for hamster but can hamsters eat potatoes

While potatoes are NOT poisonous to hamsters, they are a starchy food that is not part of a healthy diet for these small animals.

If you want to give your hamster a cooked potato treat, boiled, baked, or roasted potatoes are SAFE options.

Pro Tip: It is important to avoid feeding your hamster potatoes that have been seasoned, fried, or raw. These types of potatoes can lead to obesity, stomach upset, and potentially death.

When feeding your hamster any type of potato, be sure to do so in MODERATION to avoid any health problems.

Are Potatoes Safe for Dwarf Hamsters?

No, potatoes are NOT safe for dwarf hamsters. In fact, feeding a dwarf hamster any type of potato can be DEADLY.

The high starch content in potatoes can cause SEVERE health problems for dwarf hamsters, including diabetes, obesity, and digestive issues. If you want to give your dwarf hamster a treat, there are plenty of other safe options available.

How Much Potato Can Hamsters Have and How Often?

When feeding your hamster potato, ensure they only get a little at once. A quarter of a teaspoon of potato EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS is enough to be a tasty treat in your hamster’s diet without causing any health issues.

potato for hamster but can hamsters eat potatoes

Pro Tip: Always watch a hamster eat potatoes or any other treat to ensure they don’t choke or hoard it.

Can Hamsters Eat Raw Potatoes?

No, hamsters cannot eat raw potatoes. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is POISONOUS to hamsters. Solanine can cause hamsters to experience the following:

[1]
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

In severe cases, solanine poisoning can be FATAL.

Pro Tip: If you want to give your hamster a potato treat, be sure to cook it first. The best options are boiled, baked, or roasted potatoes with no seasoning or oil.

ALSO CHECK:

What are the Benefits of Giving Your Hamster Potatoes?

There are a few advantages to giving your hamster a little potato treat now and then. In fact, it can have some GREAT health benefits. [2]

1. Antioxidants

Potatoes are a GOOD SOURCE of antioxidants. These nutrients can help hamsters fight off free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease.

2. Fiber

Potatoes are also a good source of fiber. This nutrient is IMPORTANT for hamsters because it helps with digestion. In fact, a diet rich in fiber can help hamsters avoid constipation and other digestive issues.

3. Vitamin C

Potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for hamsters because it helps BOOST the immune system.

4. Vitamin B6

Potatoes are also a great source of vitamin B6. This nutrient is VITAL for hamsters because it helps with energy metabolism.

5. Phosphorous

Potatoes are also a FANTASTIC source of phosphorous. This nutrient is essential for hamsters because it helps develop bones and teeth.

6. Niacin

Potatoes are also a GOOD SOURCE of niacin. This nutrient is vital for hamsters because it helps with energy metabolism.

What are the Risks of Giving Your Hamster Potatoes?

There are several potential RISKS to giving potatoes to your hamsters, and it’s essential to be aware of them before you go ahead with this snack.

1. Take a Long time to Digest

Potatoes can take hamsters a LONG TIME to digest. This is because they are starchy food. In fact, it can take hamsters up to 24 hours to fully digest a potato.

2. Obesity

Potatoes are also HIGH in calories. This means they can lead to hamsters becoming obese if they eat too many.

3. Diabetes

The HIGH starch content in potatoes can also cause hamsters to develop diabetes.

4. Gastrointestinal Issues

Potatoes can also cause hamsters to experience gastrointestinal issues, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

5. Risk of Hoarding

Another potential problem with giving hamsters potatoes is that they may start to HOARD them. This can lead to hamsters eating too many at once and becoming sick.

The potatoes may also ROT while being hoarded, which can cause health issues if ingested and lead to the spread of mold.

Also Read: Do Hamsters Like Cucumber?

FAQs

Can Hamsters Eat Sweet Potatoes?

sweet potato

Yes, hamsters can eat sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes because they are lower in starch and calories.

Can Hamsters Eat Dried Potato?

No, hamsters cannot eat dried potatoes. Dried potato is high in starch and calories, which can lead to health problems for hamsters.

Can Hamsters Eat Mashed Potatoes?

mashed potato for hamster but can hamsters eat potatoes

Yes, hamsters can eat mashed potatoes. Mashed potato is a good source of fiber and nutrients, but it should be given in moderation because it is high in calories.

Can Hamsters Eat French Fries?

No, hamsters cannot eat French fries. French fries are high in fat and calories, which can lead to health problems for hamsters.

Can Hamsters Eat Potato Chips?

No, hamsters cannot eat potato chips. Potato chips contain loads of fat and calories, which can lead to health problems for hamsters.

Conclusion

While hamsters can technically eat potatoes, it is not the best option for them, which means you need to give them in very SMALL AMOUNTS as a little treat. Potatoes are high in starch and calories, which can lead to health problems.

They are also starchy food, which means they can take hamsters a long time to digest. If you do give your hamster a potato treat, be sure to COOK it first.

If you want to know more about what you can and cannot give your hammy, check out the rest of my guides!

can hamsters eat potatoes

So, what do you think, can hamsters eat potatoes? Let us know in the comments section!

Sources:

  • 1. Baker DC, Keeler RF, Gaffield WP. Mechanism of Death in Syrian Hamsters Gavaged Potato Sprout Material. Toxicologic Pathology. 1988;16:333–9.
  • 2. Raman R. 7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Potatoes [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2018. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-potatoes
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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