Can hamsters eat cucumber? Do hamsters like cucumber?
Are cucumbers safe to feed your hamster? Do cucumbers provide any nutritional benefits for your pet rodent?
It’s important to find the answers to these questions because tiny hamsters are fragile creatures, and disturbing their digestion can cause serious health issues.
This article will delve into details about cucumbers and whether or not they’re a good addition to your hamster’s diet.
All about cucumbers
The cucumber originated in India and has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years.
This study suggests that cucumbers were found in Europe by the mid-9th century.
Cucumbers are part of the gourd family, which also includes squash, pumpkin, and watermelon.
Cucumbers grow in two ways: vining and bush. The vine variety climbs up trellises or crawls along the ground and generally yields more fruit than the more compact plant variety during growing season.
Cucumbers will be ready to harvest in 50-70 days from sowing.
Commercial production of cucumbers is also divided into two types: slicing for fresh consumption and pickling for being processed into pickles.
According to Consumer Goods & FMCG statistics, the consumption of fresh cucumbers in the US has increased from 6.4 pounds per capita in 2012 to 8 pounds in 2016.
What nutrients are in cucumbers?
With only 16 calories per cup, cucumbers pack a lot of vitamins and minerals into a low calorie food.
They contain vitamin K, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, silica, and vitamin A.
But just because cucumbers are good for humans doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for little creatures.
And we want to know, can hamsters eat cucumber?
Can Syrian hamsters eat cucumber?
Syrian hamsters, also known as Teddy Bear or Golden hamsters, are the most popular type of hamsters kept as pets.
Many of the diseases that exotic pets, like Syrian hamsters, suffer from are linked to or caused by improper nutrition practices
We might be tempted to give cucumber to our pets because we know they’re a healthy human snack, but can you give hamsters cucumber as a treat?
Yes, cucumbers are safe to feed your hamster in moderation, but these little guys will eat as much as they can. It’s important not to give them too much of any one type of food.
Make sure to cut the cucumber into small pieces so it’s easy for them to chew properly and won’t cause digestion problems.
Can hamsters eat too much cucumber?
Even the healthiest foods can be harmful if eaten in excess.
Due to the watery consistency of cucumber, your hamster’s stools could become overly wet if they eat too much cucumber.
A slice twice a week is a reasonable amount of cucumber for your hamster to eat.
Make sure to wash it well to remove bacteria, or cut the peel off altogether.
Diarrhea can cause severe dehydration and other health problem in hamsters.
If your hamster has eaten too much cucumber and has diarrhea, limit all fresh vegetables and fruit in their diet.
If the symptoms don’t get better quickly he will need to see a veterinarian right away.
What are the benefits of feeding my hamster cucumber?
Like watermelon, those refreshing cucumbers are 95 percent water.
Cucumbers are a good treat for hamsters who are overweight because the high water content makes them very low in calories.
This high water content is also good if your hamster is averse to drinking water. It’s an excellent food for baby hamsters because it will get fluids into them.
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation.
Cucumbers contain dietary fiber which adds bulk to stool, making it easier for your hamster to have regular bowel movements.
Increasing the amount of fiber in your pet’s diet is one of the best ways to relieve constipation.
This study found that the high levels of fiber in pineapple peel could improve intestinal function in hamsters.
The combination of fiber and water in cucumbers is good for regulating your hamster’s digestion. It can also reduce the risk of other health issues.
Can hamsters eat pickles?
It should be noted that just because pickles are made from cucumbers that doesn’t mean you can feed them to your hamster.
Any vinegar-based food, like pickles, is lethal for your pet.
Hamsters will eat just about anything, so it’s vital that you know what foods to avoid.
Under no circumstances should you ever feed your hamster pickles, as it will very likely kill him.
Can dwarf hamsters eat cucumber?
Adult Syrian hamsters will grow to 6 or 7 inches and weigh 1.5 to 7.5 ounces.
Adult dwarf hamsters only grow to 3.5 to 4 inches in length and weigh 3/4 to 1 3/4 ounces.
These small pets are at a high risk for diabetes and they have specific dietary needs. Check out our article on the topic.
Fruits, sweets, and refined products should be avoided to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Dwarf hamsters require a variety of foods for a balanced diet. Always have fresh food and water available to them.
Vegetables, including cucumbers, are a safe and healthy food for dwarf hamsters. But, they should be given sparingly because watery bowel movements can cause real health issues in these tiny creatures.
For this reason dry treats may be preferable for dwarf hamsters.
Can hamsters eat cucumber? – A summary
Hamsters require a varied diet to meet all of their nutritional needs.
Hamsters typically love cucumbers. You can’t blame them for preferring the taste over dry hamster pellets.
However, if your pet eats cucumbers too much and neglects to eat his pellet food, his diet will become unbalanced, lacking in the nutrients he requires to stay healthy.
Too much cucumber can also cause diarrhea and lead to digestion problems.
With their high water and dietary fiber, low calorie content, and numerous vitamins and minerals, cucumbers make an excellent addition to your pet hamster’s menu as long as it’s done in moderation.
Here’s a link to some hamster food recipes. The Hammy Salad includes cucumber and other veggies for a special treat.
Does your hamster like cucumbers? Let us know in the comments!
References and Further Reading
- Paris, H.S. et al (2012). Occidental diffusion of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 500–1300 CE: two routes to Europe. Annals of Botany, 109(1).
- Li, D., et al. (2011). Syntenic relationships between cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and melon (C. melo L.) chromosomes as revealed by comparative genetic mapping. BMC Genomics, 12.
- Whitlock E. (2012). Nutrition for exotics: correct diets will prevent problems. Vet Times.
- Statistica, Consumer Goods & FMCG: Per capita consumption of fresh cucumbers in the United States fom 2000 to 2016 (in pounds).
- Huang Y., et al (2014). Water-insoluble fiber-rich fraction from pineapple peel improves intestinal function in hamsters: evidence from cecal and fecal indicators. Nutrition Research, 34(4).