Can Hamsters Eat Pretzels? [Here’s How To Serve]

Hamsters are ‘omnivores’ – meaning they mainly eat a mix of plants and insects. The primary food source is the plants, but they snack on insects, tiny frogs, and lizards when in the wild.

Hamsters are known to store a large number of snacks in their cheeks. So, make sure they finish this food before feeding more to them.

So, Can Hamsters eat Pretzels?

Don’t feed your hamster pretzels as pretzels are higher in fat, salt, sugar, and calories, which can cause dehydration and make your hamster fat if served regularly. A fat hamster can have a lot of diseases, so it is better to stay away from this snack.

However, a small bite of pretzels may not harm your hamster quickly. But serving it frequently is not recommended.

Generally, hamsters’ food and snacks must be filled with all essential vitamins and minerals and consider around 15% protein and no more than 5% fat.

This article discusses how many pretzels to feed your hamsters, how often, what alternative snacks are best, and what snacks to avoid.

What are Pretzels?

Pretzels are a popular hand-held snack that is famous all over the world. It is made from wheat flour and is usually in the shape of a twisted knot.

Legends say that a monk invented the pretzel knot to present praying arms. Apart from the twisted knot, it comes in various shapes and sizes.

What are Pretzels?

They also come in varieties and are known for their salty flavor and unique crunch. In this guide, we’ve researched different information regarding the food you need to feed your hamsters, and by the end, you will be able to make clear and safe decisions regarding your pet hamsters’ diet.

How often can Pretzels be Given To the Hamsters?

Once a month, only give a very small piece alongside the regular diet, and make sure it consumes plenty of water as pretzels are high in sodium content and have the potential to leave the hamsters dehydrated.

Risk of feeding Pretzels to your Hamsters

Unintentionally, feeding your hamster an unhealthy diet will increase its chances of various diseases that can cause early death for your hamster.

The Health Benefits of pretzels are not many, so it is usually considered junk food for humans and animals. Consult your veterinarian before feeding you hamster pretzels, as the risk of consuming pretzels outweigh the reward.

Risk of feeding Pretzels to your Hamsters?

The high sodium content in pretzels will potentially pose kidney problems. The amount of fat, sugar, and salt combined poses risks to health, such as ingestion, obesity, diabetes, and many more.[1]Healthline

Short-term consequences of your hamster consuming pretzels once or twice are:

  • Dehydration: Pretzels are high in sodium content and will leave your hamsters feeling thirsty. Ensure proper hydration if feeding your hamster with pretzels.
  • Increased thirst: Increased appetite will make your hamsters consume more water, making them nauseous.
  • Electrolyte imbalance: Consuming pretzels will cause electrolyte imbalance in the hamster, and electrolyte balance is essential to balance water levels, allow nerves to send signals, etc.

However, if your hamster consumes pretzels in huge quantities, the long-term consequences are:

  • Weight gain: Pretzels contain the worst ingredients, salt and fat, which, when mixed, will be the worst possible combination for your hamster as some of the pretzels are high in carbs.
  • High blood pressure: Caloric foods increase blood pressure, you might notice signs of dizziness in your hamster, or you might be allergic to something present in pretzels, and this would just make it worse.
  • Heart disease:  If your hamster consumes pretzels for the longest time, its body might be full of salt, disrupting other bodily functions. At this point, hamsters are at risk of suffering a heart attack. 
  • Osteoporosis: This is a condition where bones lose density; the salt is responsible for causing this condition pretzel. By nature, hamsters are vivacious animals. In the case of osteoporosis, the hamster’s body becomes weak and prone to injuries.

Best Alternative snacks of Pretzels for Hamsters

Suppose you’re considering what hamsters can alternatively eat, if not pretzels. Then follow the below-mentioned list when it comes to feeding your pet hamster.

List of fruits and vegetables which are perfectly safe to be consumed by the hamster.

  1. Carrot: Like all foods, you should give carrots to hamsters in moderation. The problem is don’t overfeed your hamster as carrots have sugar, making them overweight and susceptible to diabetes.
  2. Grapes: Grapes are a healthy and safe option for your hamster as they have no known side effects. The best option is to discuss the appropriate quantity of grapes to feed the hamster with the veteran.
  3. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are another safer option to feed your furry friend. But before feeding, remove the skins as they upset the digestive tract and other ailments.
  4. Peaches: Forget the seeds and feed your hamsters with some fresh peaches.
  5. Peas: Peas are affordable and hamster-approved snacks. They are a perfect bite-sized treat for the hamster.
  6. Apples: Apples are perfectly safe for your hamster; just forego the seed and never feed hamsters with brown apples.
  7. Watermelon: Watermelons are an ideal fruit option for your hamsters. Remove the seed and serve it in moderation to avoid diarrhea.

Seed is another perfect snack for your furry friends. Offer a handful of seeds in moderate quantities to the hamsters.

  1. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are the perfect size snack for your hamster to munch on.
  2. Sunflower seeds: Another seed suitable for feeding your hamsters is sunflower seed, as it is a popular option loaded with fats and vitamins and makes a healthy snack.

Apart from the fruits, vegetables, and seeds, you can feed your hamster a few nuts like peanuts and walnuts to ensure the peanuts are unsalted.

Peanuts are an excellent snack as they are a superb protein source. While feeding walnuts, feed them in moderation as it may lead to obesity.

As we are nearing the end of our article, we hope that the guidelines provided in this article provide you with much-needed information regarding the various snacks which can be fed to the hamster. One such snack is pretzels.

Pretzels will cause dehydration and electoral imbalance in hamsters and are not desirable for them. To ensure proper hydration in your hamster, change your hamster’s bowl of water every day. Refill it with fresh, filtered, and chlorine-free water.

And I think it is not worth serving snacks to your hamster with little to no value and more health issues to ensure that it stays fit, healthy, and lives longer.

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1 Healthline