do hamsters eat meat

Do Hamsters Eat Meat?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo

Hamsters are very exciting creatures to keep as household pets. They eat a variety of foods like greens, insects, and fruits. But if you are raising one for the first time, you would probably like to know, do hamsters eat meat?

In this article, we will look at the type of foods hamsters eat. So keep reading to learn more.

Do Hamsters Eat Meat?

Hamsters are omnivores which means that they eat both plants and meat. Wild hamsters are known to be lovers of grains, seeds, grasses, critters, and animals like frogs and lizards in their raw state. Since pet hamsters mirror the feeding pattern of wild ones, they can also eat meat, whether cooked or processed.
So if you have a pet hamster and you want to add meat to their menu, then you can do that but only on a few occasions. Adult hamsters, especially mother hamsters, can be fed small amounts of plainly cooked meat when they are pregnant or nursing their young. Experts in Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals advice that these hamsters need the protein derived from meat to grow and stay strong and healthy while replenishing their used energy.

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Do Hamsters Like Meat?

Most hamsters love meat. Some are lovers of seeds and grains and they might not find meat as enticing to eat. But if you have a hamster that loves meat, then you can feed it to them as an occasional treat.

Meat is a good provider of protein and growing hamsters depend on an adequate amount of protein for their growth. They are tasty and rich and as such, most hamsters love them. Notwithstanding, however, they are to be consumed in little quantities by pet hamsters.

Which Type of Meat Can Hamsters Eat?

Hamsters can eat meat, especially in small quantities. However, there is meat they can consume, and some they are not supposed to consume for any reason. Wild hamsters can eat whatever meat they can but pet hamsters on the other hand can eat certain meat types and meat products derived from beef, lamb, pork, and so on.

These are some meaty options your hamster can eat:

  • Chicken
  • Ground or minced beef
  • Sausages 
  • Fish
  • Steak
  • Lamb
  • Turkey 

Processed meat like salami, ham, pepperoni, bacon, and beef jerky are not good choices because of their high salt and fat content which are unhealthy for hamsters.

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Things To Consider When Feeding Hamsters Meat

While you can give your pet hamster the aforementioned meat to eat, there are certain factors you need to put into consideration for the sake of their health. 

Here are some of them:

  • Never give your pet hamster raw meat to eat. Most raw meat like raw chicken contains bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter which are very harmful to mammals.
  • Meat must be cooked without spices because salted foods are harmful to hamsters.
  • The internal temperature of the meat must reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celcius).

With these factors in check, you can proceed to serve your hamster meat in the right proportions.

Is Meat Good For Hamsters?

You should note that insects do not classify as meat in this regard. While insects are high in protein and low in fat, meat contains high fat, protein, and salt. Also, not all meat is considered healthy for consumption. Red meat can cause health hazards like heart disease and diabetes in hamsters, so they are not advisable to be fed as food. Also, processed meat like bacon can also lead to serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and high cholesterol levels.

In the wild, hamsters eat frogs, lizards, and other small mammals which can hardly be classified as meaty animals. So, they are not in danger of consuming harmful meat products. Pet hamsters, on the other hand, are not to be subjected to carnivorous meat diets. Although it is part of their dietary needs, meat should always be seen as an occasional treat.

Conclusion

As earlier said, hamsters are omnivorous creatures and so, they feed on plant and animal-based foods. Meat is an adequate addition to their feeding menu and most hamsters love it. If you have a pet hamster in your care, then it is advisable to feed them plainly cooked meat.

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