Hamsters are among the easiest pets to keep. This is because they can thrive even in seemingly hardy environments.
Hamsters are omnivore rodents that will eat anything they come across in the wild since food is scarce. As pets, however, you should be careful about what you feed them to guarantee the highest levels of health.
Most nuts are safe for hamsters, but can they eat peanut butter?
Yes, hamsters can peanut butter, though it is not recommended as a regular part of their diets. The peanut butter is, after all, primarily pureed and crushed nuts with added oil to make it creamy.
The best option for hamsters is the unsweetened plain type since this contains nothing more than peanuts.
The preservatives and flavoring agents in some peanut butter brands might affect your hamster. Smooth peanut butter is also an ideal choice since the crunchy variety might choke your hamster.
Peanut butter contains unsaturated fats that are good for the hamster’s heart, and it is a good cholesterol source. It is also high in proteins, vitamin B, potassium, and vitamin E.
The high protein content of peanut butter will be particularly beneficial for young hamsters to help them gain weight and develop their muscles.
Furthermore, you can reduce the fats in your hamster’s body by including peanut butter in the diet.
The fiber in the butter will boost the body’s metabolism and make your hamster feel full for a long time, thus reducing food consumption.
Why are Hamsters Attracted to Peanut Butter?
Nuts are among the primary feeds for hamsters in the wild. The safe ones to include in your pet’s diet are peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Peanut butter is particularly attractive to hamsters because of its strong sweet smell, and they already love eating peanuts. The butter offers the advantage of savoring the sweetness of peanuts without the need to crack through their hard shells.
Is Peanut Butter Toxic to Hamsters?
When taken in moderation, peanut butter is safe for your hamster. There are a few risks linked to the overconsumption of peanut butter. Some brands, for instance, have xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener.
This increases the risk of your hamsters developing diabetes when consumed in high amounts. Dwarf hamsters are at the highest risk of contracting diabetes, and peanut butter should thus be cautiously included in their diets.
The following are the other risks associated with unchecked consumption of peanut butter in hamsters:
- Obesity owing to its high-fat content.
- Clogging the cheek pouches as the hamster tries storing the peanut butter for later. This is because of its sticky consistency. To prevent this, you should serve the peanut butter with dry foods like bread and oats. You can alternatively smear a small peanut butter layer on a flat surface then encourage the hamster to lick it.
- High amounts of lectin in peanut butter might contribute to inflammation and arthritis in your pet.
- Diarrhea, bloating and gastrointestinal issues.
How Much Peanut Butter Can You Feed Your Hamster?
When introducing peanut butter to your hamster, feed only small amounts first and check for any allergic reactions. Though uncommon, some hamsters are allergic to peanuts.
If there are no reactions, you can introduce the peanut butter at regular intervals into the hamster’s diet.
Give the hamster small peanut butter quantities once weekly. You can layer the back end of a teaspoon with a thin peanut butter layer for the hamster to lick.
If you notice any issues, negate peanut butter altogether from the pet’s diet. The peanut butter should be offered as a snack rather than a full meal.
Can Hamsters Eat Peanut Butter Bread?
You can include peanut butter in your hamster’s diet in peanut butter bread. You can offer more bread to your pet this way since the peanut butter amount is less than when eaten alone.
Excess peanut butter bread will nonetheless have the same harmful effects as excess peanut butter when eaten alone. Moreover, the peanut butter bread should be a snack rather than a full meal.
How to Make Peanut Butter Hamster Treats?
When making peanut butter hamster treats, you will need the following:
- One cup of whole wheat flour
- Half cup of oats
- A third cup of peanut butter
- One egg
- Set your oven’s preheating temperature at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix your whole wheat flour, oats, peanut butter, and egg in a large bowl.
- Add about two tablespoons of water to this mixture if it is too dry to mix adequately.
- Stir the mixture to a ball with a firm and smooth consistency.
- Place this ball on a cutting board and roll it out to get a quarter or half-inch thickness.
- Using a butter knife or cookie cutter, cut the flat piece into small pieces. You can get about 24 pieces.
- Place these pieces onto a baking tin and into the preheated oven for about twenty minutes. Aim for a crispy treat that is not too dark along the bottom.
- Give the pieces time to cool before storing them and giving your hamster a piece periodically.
Refrigerate the peanut butter you buy for your hamster. This is because it might lose its nutritional value when placed in well-lit rooms with moderate temperatures.
However, before serving the peanut butter to your hamster, remove it from the refrigerator a few hours beforehand to ensure it is adequately warm.
This is because cold peanut butter might not taste good, and your hamster will not like it.
With the above guidelines, you now know how to include peanut butter in your hamster’s diet. Like all foods, it is only best for your pet when included in moderation.
Other than the peanut butter treat, include fresh water in your hamster’s daily diet. You should also monitor the pet’s water intake since a reduction might require a vet’s visit.