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Can Hamsters Eat Pretzels? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

pretzels on wooden board

Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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Pretzels are one of the most popular snacks in the country. If you’re enjoying a late-night pretzel snack, you might wonder if sharing with your hamster is okay. While a tiny bite might be okay, hamsters shouldn’t eat pretzels.

In this article, we’ll tell you why pretzels aren’t the best option for your hamster and answer some frequently asked questions about treats for hamsters.

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The Problem with Pretzels

The problem with feeding hamsters pretzels is that they don’t offer much nutritional value and are essentially empty calories. We’ll go into more detail about a proper hamster diet later, but pretzels don’t make the cut.

Another problem with pretzels is that they’re seriously salty. Eating too much salt is unhealthy for hamsters, just like it is for humans. Unsalted pretzels are the better option for most humans and safer for hamsters if they steal the occasional bite.

pretzels in a wooden bowl
Image Credit: Elena Veselova, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Hamsters Eat Any Human Snack Foods?

Most snack foods are highly processed and contain a lot of fat, sugar, and salt. None are healthy for hamsters, who are frequently prone to obesity anyway. Hamsters can occasionally enjoy sugarless, whole-grain foods like bread or cereal, or the occasional bite of a plain or seeded cracker, but they should not be a significant part of their diet.

So, What Should My Hamster Be Eating?

Most of your tiny pet’s diet should consist of pellet food formulated specifically for hamsters. It contains the right blend of nutrients to keep your pet healthy. Hamsters on a balanced pellet diet shouldn’t need to eat anything else.

hamster eating a bowl of vegetables and fruits
Image Credit: Ultraskrip, Shutterstock

Pellets Seem Boring…Can I Feed My Hamster Anything Else?

As we said earlier, hamsters can be picky eaters. Spicing up their pellet diet with other safe, healthy foods is okay as long as they don’t start eating those other items exclusively. Here are some options to consider:

  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Melon
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Hardboiled egg
  • Pears

You can serve a small assortment of these foods to your hamster each day in addition to their pellet diet. Mix up the foods you offer so your hamster doesn’t develop a preference for one over another. About a tablespoon of these treats is plenty.

Which Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Hamster?

In addition to fatty, salty, and sugary foods, you should avoid feeding your hamster seed diets that contain nuts and dried fruit. These mixtures are high in fat and sugar.

They generally don’t provide the same nutritional value as pellet diets either. Also, avoid feeding your hamster citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemon, as well as avocado, onions, garlic and chives.

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Conclusion

Pretzels, even the unsalted kind, aren’t a healthy food for hamsters, and they shouldn’t eat them regularly. However, if you provide your hamster with quality pellet food each day, you can supplement it with some fruits and vegetables to keep things interesting. Hamsters may seem easy to take care of, but feeding the wrong diet can lead to serious health problems. Talk to your veterinarian about what and how much your hamster eats to ensure your pet stays happy and properly nourished.


Featured Image Credit: Liudmyla Chuhunova, Shutterstock

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