Peanut butter is appetizing and the big question is can hamsters eat peanut butter? Almost every house has peanut butter and we always ask whether we can offer various safe food items to our pet hamster. Most of the time, the answer is yes but you need to be very careful when offering certain foods as wrong kind of food can make your little furry friend sick in no time.
As a hamster owner, you love your pet hamster a lot and you don’t want anything happen to your pet. The answer to the first question we asked is yes, a hamster can eat peanut butter. You just need to be aware of the right amount you should serve.
As a matter of fact you need to keep in mind that you need to offer a well balanced and complete hamsters diet which contains mostly hamster food. Diet should contain pellets, seed and a small quantity of healthy treats such as fruit and veggie. Hamster peanut butter can be considered as a small treat.
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Ingredients Of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter mainly contains dry roasted peanuts which are pureed and crunched and some added oils to maintain the creamy texture. Based on the brands, sweeteners might be included.
- Support to development and growth of hamsters
For baby hamsters peanut butter is great as it helps to gain weight and supports muscle development. It provides good amounts of protein to promote weight gain so peanut butter is a good addition for hamsters who are recuperating from health issues that caused debilitation and weight loss.
- Improved cardiovascular health
Peanut butter contains good kind of fats or in other name “unsaturated fats”. This good fat helps to improve healthy heart function and regulates the blood cholesterol levels.
Potassium and magnesium in peanut butter lower the blood pressure and in overall peanut butter promotes enhanced cardiovascular health.
- Offer mental stimulation
As peanut butter is rich in vitamins from the B complex that improve the hamster’s brain function and maintain a healthy neurological system. You can offer peanut butter in interactive games that provide psychological stimulation.
You can simply spread small amount of peanut butter on a cracker, then keep it somewhere in your hamster’s cage. Your hamster will try to find it by sniffing around.
What Happens With Over Consumption Of Peanut Butter?
Providing nut butter in suggested amounts is safe for your hamster and if you offer over the limit that will risk your hamster’s health.
- Aflatoxin poisoning
In general, all nuts including peanuts contain high molding tendencies. Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus which are two common molds could produce a harmful chemical known as aflatoxins while they are growing.
Usually all the products which are made from peanuts can contain aflatoxins in small amounts if these products are made from molded peanuts. To humans, these aflatoxins amounts are not capable of causing problems but for hamsters, as they are small animals, these aflatoxins amounts can cause lethal effects.
The best way to serve peanut butter to your hamster is to make peanut butter at home so you can ensure that there won’t be any aflatoxins in peanut butter.
- Cheek pouch clogging
As you are aware peanut butter has its own sticky consistency and peanut butter could easily clog into your pet’s cheek pouches. This is a serious condition than you think and cheek pouch clogging can cause serious health issues to your pet hamster.
When the peanut butter clogs, it will start decaying and the bacteria which accompany the decaying course can cause infections to hamsters. These infections always need to take care by veterinarians.
In severe situations, hamster might have to put under sedation to perform the cleaning process. Vets may prescribe antibiotics as well to manage the infection and to stop the spreading.
- Stomach problems
Hamsters are well known for their sensitive abdomens. Usually when there is new or unusual food, they are known to cause stomach issues. With peanut butter the high sugar content plays the part of it.
If your hamster is suffering from bloating or diarrhea after consuming peanut butter you need to seek medical advice immediately. These two health conditions can cause serious danger to your pet’s life.
- Diabetes and obesity
It is well known that peanut butter contains high sugar and fat levels. Just like in humans, too much peanut butter can cause obesity and diabetes to hamsters in no time.
With pet hamsters, obesity can cause joint and cardiovascular issues. Further, obesity always brings high sugar levels and high fat levels to body and increase the risk of diabetes. With the dwarf hamster, this is a major concern as dwarf hamsters are genetically predisposed to diabetes.
Many peanut butter makers use artificial sweeteners in their products. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can be more dangerous than natural sugar.
- Pro inflammatory consequences
Peanut butter contains a lot of lectins. Lectin is a carbohydrate binding type protein infamous for its pro inflammatory characteristics. Pro inflammatory means it has the influence to support inflammatory progression.
This is a very bad news for hamsters that are already going through chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
- Peanut allergies
Peanut allergies in people are very common. It is not a common condition in hamsters but it’s possible thing. Allergies such as skin issues, stomach problems and serious condition such as impaired breathing can be caused from peanut butter. If you notice any symptom in your pet you should contact a vet for more medical advice.
- Choking risk
If hamsters try to fit more than they can handle, they can easily choke on peanut butter. The risk is higher with crunchy peanut butter variations so when you serve peanut butter serve it in small quantities so they can handle it with ease.
What Kind Of Peanut Butter Can Hamsters Eat?
For humans, there are two types of peanut butter to consume. They are smooth and crunchy peanut butter. Both of them are the same even from the ingredients. For hamsters, the smooth peanut butter or plain peanut butter varieties are safer as the crunchy peanut butter varieties can cause choking.
Also check carefully to make sure that there are no additives which can harm hamsters if consumed.
How Much Peanut Butter Can You Feed Your Hamster?
The portion size mainly depends on hamster’s size. Syrian hamster and robo hamster can consume one quarter of a teaspoon of peanut butter. For dwarf hamster you can use the tip of the teaspoon as measurement guidance.
These potion sizes are for adult hamsters that are already familiar with having peanut butter. If your hamster has never tried peanut butter before do not offer the full portion in the first time.
Read also : Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts?
How Often Can Hamsters Eat Peanut Butter?
As for the portion size, frequency of offering peanut butter also depends on the size of hamster. If you have a robo hamster or a dwarf hamster you can serve peanut butter as an occasional treat once every two weeks time. If you are parenting a Syrian hamster, you can offer peanut butter once a week to your pet.
How To Introduce To Peanut Butter?
When you are first introducing peanut butter to your little friend just feed in small quantities to see any allergies. Although it is not common in hamsters to have allergies from peanut butter, some hamsters may have some allergies.
If you don’t notice any reactions you can offer peanut butter at ordinary intervals in hamster diet.
You can use a tea spoon to offer peanut butter and your pet can lick the peanut butter layer from the tip of the spoon you can continue this weekly.
If you observe any issues, do not feed peanut butter further and mainly peanut butter should only be served as an occasional snack. Do not offer peanut butter as an alternative to fresh food such as fresh fruit, vegetable.
How To Store Peanut Butter?
It is very important that you store peanut butter in the refrigerator after purchasing it. You can keep it in room temperature as well but it is not highly recommended as extensive light can decrease its essential nutritional value. So you must store it in the fridge as soon as you can, after purchasing it. When you serve it your pet hamster make sure that you leave peanut butter to reach to room temperature first and then your pet can enjoy its tasty snack without an issue.
Can Hamsters Eat Peanut Butter Bread?
Yes, you can offer peanut butter bread in hamster’s diet. In this way you can offer more bread to your hamster as the quantity of peanut butter is less than serving alone.
Too much peanut butter bread will cause the same dangerous effects as excess peanut butter when taken alone. Again do not serve peanut butter bread as a full meal, just serve it as a tasty snack.
Can hamsters eat peanut butter? is a famous question and even before peanut butter hamsters do eat peanuts as a seed in the wild. However peanut butter offers the great taste without cracking the hard shells of peanut.
Like many other foods peanut butter can be offered to hamsters and it is not harmful if you offer it as a snack rather than a full meal.
Hello, my name is James and I’ve been caring for tiny pets for over 14 years with a passion. I enjoy passing on my expertise to other individuals in order for them to have the same amount of enjoyment as I do.