Hamsters are a great pet to have. They can be your best friends if you succeed in developing a bond with them. One of the most important ways to develop a strong bond of affection with them is to take proper care of them. Pet experts are of the view that serving them a good and healthy diet along with different treats helps in developing a special relationship with your pet.
If you already own a hamster or are looking to get one, there must be certain questions in your mind about their diet. One such question is whether your hamster can eat popcorns. In this article, we will answer this question in detail and also explain all the details you need to know about how to feed popcorns to your hamsters.
The short answer to this question is yes; your hamster can eat popcorns.
Guidelines for Giving Popcorns to your Pet Hamsters
Following are the guidelines that you need to keep in mind when serving popcorns to your hamster. We have consulted a lot of pet experts, pet owners, and vets before writing this article. We care for your pet as we know that you treat him as a family member. So, be confident when you rely on the information given below.
Type of Popcorns – please keep in mind that if you are serving your hamster with popcorns, they should be fresh, plain and does not have any flavors, and are fully popped.
Food Testing – When you are introducing a portion of new food to your pet hamster, it is very important to grow the testing phase. It is recommended that you give a small piece of popcorn to your hamster and wait for a couple of days to check for any side effects. If your hamster has difficulty in swallowing the popcorns, do not give them anymore.
Amount and Frequency – Popcorns should serve as an occasional or weekly treat. They should not be made part of the regular diet and should be served in moderation.
Hamster Breed – If you have a Syrian hamster with you, you can give him butter or cheese popcorns as well occasionally. For any other breed like winter white hamster and Chinese hamster, only plain popcorns are recommended. Cheese and butter flavored popcorns have a large sugary content, so it is not recommended for any other breeds than Syrian hamster, because only they can handle an extra amount of sugar in their diet.
Leftovers – Remember to pick any leftover popcorn in the cage. Leftovers can get rotten pretty soon and of by chance your pet consumes these rotten popcorns, it can be detrimental to his health. Not only picking up the food leftovers is good for your hamster, keeping the cage neat and clean all the time is also a must.
Benefits of Popcorns
Hamsters have a delicate stomach and they need a good amount of fiber in order to keep their digestive system on track. Popcorns are high in fiber and thus help in maintaining a smooth digestive activity for hamsters. Popcorns also contain Vitamin A, which is very important for natural and proper growth in hamsters when they are young. So if you have a growing hamster, it will benefit from popcorns a lot. Popcorns are also rich in calcium and phosphorus; both of these minerals are needed in normal bone formation and growth in hamsters. Popcorns are also very helpful when hamsters are breeding.
Disadvantages of Popcorns for Hamsters
First of all, please keep in mind that only plain popcorns should be served to hamsters. Flavored popcorns like cheese, butter, salty and sugary popcorns can be harmful to the health of your hamster as they contain an extra amount of sugar. Hamsters are also prone to getting overweight, heart diseases and diabetics. An overdose of popcorns can lead them towards such dangerous conditions. It suffices to say here, that popcorns are only bad for hamsters when given in high quantities and with flavors.
Can Hamsters eat Flavored Popcorns?
Syrian hamsters can be given flavored popcorns very rarely, though it is better that you avoid them because of the high sugar content in all the flavors. Hamsters can take the required sugar and carbohydrates from their regular diet, an extra dose will disturb their internal system and as already explained, it can lead to some serious health problems. Similarly, salty popcorns are also needed by the hamsters. The required salt content is provided from the regular diet. An additional intake of salt will do more harm than good. High salt in the blood can lead to kidney problems in hamsters.
What about Popcorn Kernels?
Hamsters can have special corn cubs that are sold by pet stores as a special diet for hamsters. As far as normal popcorn kernels are concerned, they should never be given to hamsters. Hamsters can choke on the kernels and this may get serious and in some cases, death may occur as well. Hamsters can also try to store some kernels in their cheek pouches and it can also cause check infection. So, when you are serving popcorns to your hamster, make sure that they are properly popped and must not be overcooked as well.
Hamsters will love popcorns as a part of their diet. They will want more and more of popcorns. You must be careful that popcorn quantity should be moderate, served occasionally and should be plain in flavor. The unpopped kernels can also create problems for your hamsters as well. Popcorns served in moderation and on a weekly or biweekly basis can be very good for your hamster’s health.