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Can Hamsters Eat Cucumbers? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Hamsters Eat Cucumbers

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hamsters are popular pets that are fairly easy to care for. They often thrive on commercial hamster diets that include some fresh fruits and vegetables, but you have to be mindful of which ones you feed.

Can hamsters eat cucumbers? Yes, cucumbers can be a good addition to your hamster’s diet, but there are some things to know.

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What Do Hamsters Eat?

In the wild, hamsters eat a mixture of seeds, plants (including fruits and vegetables), and insects. As pets, they need a quality, balanced, and varied diet which contains all the essential nutrients and minerals they need. The recommendation is that hamsters are fed a pelleted rodent ration containing 15-20% protein.  Seed diets are not recommended, even the ones that say they are “for hamsters” as they have a high fat content and can lead to obesity and nutritional deficiencies.  In addition to the pelleted hamster food, hamsters enjoy and benefit from small quantities of greens, root vegetables, and some fruit.

cucumbers on wooden board
Image Credit: yubimova Tatiana, Shutterstock

Are Cucumbers Good for Hamsters?

Cucumbers offer some benefits for hamsters. They’re mostly water, which gives your hamster some additional hydration to keep them healthy. Cucumbers also have some fiber to keep the digestive system functioning properly.

Because cucumbers are mostly water and fiber, they’re low in calories and help your hamster get nutrition without becoming obese. Cucumbers also contain vitamins A and K, potassium, and silica.

Are There Risks to Feeding Cucumbers to Hamsters?

Cucumbers are a healthy addition to your rotation of vegetables, but there are some risks to be aware of. Hamsters don’t need a lot of cucumber to gain the health benefits, so they should be cut into small pieces and mixed with other safe vegetables and fruits.

If you give your hamster too much cucumber at once, especially the first time, they could get loose stools or urinate too often, flushing vitamins and nutrients out. Large cucumber pieces can be a choking hazard so always chop cucumber up into small slices.

A beige guinea pig of the American breed eats a piece of cucumber near an orange bowl
Image Credit: Beliakina Ekaterina, Shutterstock

How to Feed Cucumbers to Hamsters

It’s best to limit cucumber to a slice or two each week. A few small chunks or slices are all you need to give your hamster the benefit of its nutrition. You can add these chunks to your vegetable and fruit mix that you give alongside a commercial, pelleted diet.

If you want to make feeding a little more fun, you can hollow out half a cucumber and turn it into a chew/snack tunnel for your hamster. Just make sure that you only leave it for a short period to avoid your hamster overindulging and to prevent it from spoiling.

You can also turn cucumber into balls with a melon baller, much like a fruit salad with watermelon or honeydew. Just cut it in half and scrape the flesh out with a melon baller to turn it into a snack and a toy. Make sure to remove the ball if you notice signs of spoilage, however.

Hamsters are hoarders who are very good at hiding food.  Make sure you spot check your hamsters enclosure every day to remove any fresh food that will spoil quickly.

hand feeding pregnant guinea pig with cucumber
Image Credit: VelP, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Cucumber is one of several vegetables you can feed your hamster safely to provide some added nutrition, water, and fiber. There are plenty of other fruits and vegetables, however, so make sure to provide cucumber only as part of a varied diet, only in small portions, and in limited quantities. It’s best to start slow when you’re first feeding your hamster cucumbers or any new food and see how they react before making it a regular part of the diet.

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Featured Image Credit: ka_re, Pixabay

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