can hamsters eat chips

Can Hamsters Eat Chips?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo

The fun part about having a pet hamster is being able to feed it a variety of plant-based, meaty and new products. But you must be careful of the things you feed them. So, If you’re wondering if hamsters can eat chips or any other junk food, you’re in the right place.

In this article, you will find out the health benefits and risks associated with feeding chips to hamsters. Let’s dive right in! 

Can Hamsters Eat Chips?

Hamsters cannot eat chips. This is because chips are processed foods that contain a lot of oil, salt, and additives which are incredibly harmful to their bodies and organs. While it is true that hamsters need food that contains fiber, fats, and protein, they do not have to get these nutrients from human junk foods. The chemical composition of chips, as well as the added preservatives, makes it too dangerous a meal for hamsters to eat and can make them fall sick if consumed in large quantities.

Bear in mind that no chips are acceptable for consumption in hamsters. Banana chips, potato chips, yam chips, tortilla chips, french fries, and many others are unhealthy for them. So long as they are fried, salted, and packed with a lot of preservatives, they are not good for the sensitive digestive tract of hamsters.

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What Will Happen If You Feed Hamsters Chips?

If your pet hamster has a penchant for eating chips and similar junk foods, a lot of health complications may arise and these problems can be deadly if not addressed on time. These are some of the health risks associated with feeding hamsters chips:

  • Kidney stones as a result of excess salt.
  • Weight gain and obesity are likely to occur.
  • Heart diseases result from toxic oil and preservatives in the chips.
  • Stomach upset and diarrhea.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Serious sickness may end up leading to death.

In the event that your hamster ate a few bites of chips, then you have nothing to worry about. It might cause a little stomach upset in your furry friend but it won’t lead to anything serious. However, if your hamster has consumed too many chips, you might have to pay a quick visit to the vet for a proper check-up.

Can Hamsters Eat Potatoes?

Since chips are not edible for hamsters, then you might be thinking the same applies to potatoes. However, hamsters can eat potatoes provided it is thoroughly cooked and plain without seasonings, oil, salt, or sour cream.
According to an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw potatoes contain a toxin called solanine which can be lethal for hamsters. So potatoes are not to be fed as chips to hamsters but should be cooked plainly and fed in moderation to them.

You might also like: What Do Syrian Hamsters Eat?

What Can Hamsters Eat?

Instead of settling for an unhealthy meal for your furry friend, you can try out other alternatives. Here are some treats you can give your pet hamster on a few occasions:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Fruits like apples and peach
  • Vegetables like cauliflowers and carrots
  • Chunks of plainly cooked meat
  • Insects
  • Timothy hay
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbs like basil and parsley

Syrian hamsters eat multiple times a day. So you can provide them with these treats on a few occasions instead of giving them chips.

Final Thoughts

Chips are not healthy food choices for hamsters and so, should not be added to their natural diet for any reason. They are high in fats, oil, and salt and contain too many additives that are harmful to the digestive properties of most hamsters. So if you have been feeding your pet hamster a lot of chips or junk food and if your hamster has gotten used to eating them, then you might have to take your pet to see the vet for a health check.

At the same time, if you are considering chips as a feeding option for your pet, it is best that you don’t push through with it for your hamster’s sake.

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