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Can Hamsters Eat Zucchini? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

bowl of fresh zucchini slices on wooden background

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

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

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Hamsters eat an omnivorous diet and can enjoy eating a variety of vegetables. While vegetables shouldn’t make up the majority of their diet, it’s nice to add some veggies to their diet for additional nutritional benefits. It’s safe to add small amounts of zucchini to your hamster’s food, and there’s a good chance that your hamster will enjoy eating this nutritious and low-calorie snack.

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Is Zucchini Safe for Hamsters to Eat?

If your hamster’s eating a well-balanced, high-quality pellet diet, they don’t necessarily need additional types of food served during mealtimes. However, hamsters usually welcome some variety and will enjoy eating some kinds of vegetables.

Zucchinis can be a healthy snack for hamsters that supplement their regular diet. They are low in calories, a good source of antioxidants, contain vitamins A, C and K, as well as dietary fiber.

chopped zucchini being mixed by wooden spoon
Photo Credit: Marisa_Sias, Shutterstock

How Much Zucchini Can I Give My Hamster?

A healthy diet for hamsters consists of 35–40% carbohydrates, 15–25% protein, and 4–5% fat 1. So, most of their nutritional needs can be obtained through eating a high-quality hamster or rodent pellet. Vegetables alone aren’t sustainable for hamsters, so they should only be given as supplemental snacks. With that being said, it’s generally safe to give your hamster a small piece of zucchini a few times a week in rotation with other veggies, but avoid feeding it to them two consecutive days in a row.

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How Do I Start Feeding My Hamster Zucchini?

If it’s your hamster’s first time eating a zucchini, cut a small sliver of zucchini that’s no more than an inch long. Place the zucchini in an area away from your hamster’s usual food to prevent food from getting wet and spoiling. Let your hamster approach the new food on their own. Your hamster may eat the zucchini right away or take their time. Just make sure to discard any remaining pieces after a few hours. Fresh vegetables become risky to eat if they’ve been left out at room temperature for too long, and hamsters may hoard food in their cage to eat later.

Check on your hamster for the next 12 hours. Look for any signs of an upset stomach, like watery stool. If your hamster has an upset stomach, refrain from feeding them any new food or foods with high moisture content, like fruits and other vegetables. If your hamster’s condition doesn’t improve rapidly, consult your veterinarian.

If your hamster doesn’t experience any issues eating their first piece of zucchini, you can increase the portion size slightly for the next feeding. Increasing the size gradually will help prevent an upset stomach. It’s safe to feed a Syrian hamster up to a 1-inch cube of zucchini. It’s best to feed hamsters washed, raw zucchini.

Syrian Hamster Eating Zucchini
Photo Credit: LR_Perspective, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Zucchini is a nutritious and low-calorie snack that hamsters can enjoy. So, if you’re looking to add something new to your hamster’s diet, zucchini would be a safe choice. Just make sure to start with small pieces and gradually increase the size of the pieces you feed your hamster. Stick to feeding your hamster zucchini once or twice a week, and don’t exceed giving them zucchini more than every other day.


Featured Image Credit: bigacis, Shutterstock

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