Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Hamsters Eat Dandelions? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

hamster eating a dandelion

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

Learn more »

 

Dandelions are a plentiful plant in the US, with more and more people becoming aware of their nutritional value and potential health benefits. Not only are they nutritious for humans, but they’re a great food for many animals as well, including hamsters. Dandelions are an excellent food for hamsters to eat in moderation.

Hepper_divider_hamster

Are Dandelions Good for Hamsters?

In moderation, yes, dandelions are a good food for hamsters. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber. The nutritional profile of dandelions means that this food can help provide valuable nutrients.

Not only are dandelions good for hamsters, but most hamsters also like this treat a lot. The best part about dandelions is that all parts of the plant are edible for hamsters, so your hamster can nosh on the flowers, stems, and leaves.

Like all things, dandelions should only be offered to hamsters in moderation. Too many dandelions or too much of a dandelion plant may lead to stomach upset. Many people also don’t realize that dandelions are a natural diuretic, which means they will help flush the body, leading to an increase in fluid loss through urination.

Cute Syrian hamster on a rock with dandelion infront
Image Credit: Anastasia Solovykh, Shutterstock

Where Can I Get Dandelions for My Hamster to Eat?

Dandelions aren’t a common staple in grocery stores, although some health food stores, specialty stores, and Asian markets may have them. If you’re having trouble finding them in stores, you can feed your hamster dandelions that you find outside.

When feeding your hamster dandelions you’ve pulled straight from nature, there are a few considerations you should take. Make sure you know the source of the dandelion is safe, so it’s best to only pull from your own yard or areas that you know have not been treated with pesticides or herbicides. You also want to ensure that the area hasn’t been used as a potty spot for other animals. Regardless of the source, you should always wash all parts of the dandelion plant well before feeding it to your hamster.

How Many Dandelions Can I Feed My Hamster?

You should limit the number of dandelion flowers that your hamster eats to only a few flowers per week, depending on your hamster’s size. Dandelion greens should be fed a little less frequently—only a couple of leaves no more than once per week. This is because the greens are high in calcium, and excess calcium can lead to kidney and urinary tract stones.

Keep in mind that too much of anything can be a bad thing, so even though dandelions aren’t toxic to hamsters, they can still lead to serious health problems if fed in excess.

hite golden hamster eating a dandelion flower
Image Credit: ElyV, Shutterstock

Hepper_divider_hamster

Conclusion

Dandelions may not seem appealing to us, but they’re a very special treat to hamsters. They are sometimes considered to be a “superfood” for hamsters, thanks to their dense nutrition. However, if fed in excess, dandelions can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, excessive urination, and dehydration, so make sure to limit the number of dandelions that your hamster eats to only a couple of times per week.


Featured Image Credit: Tsesar Anna, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database