One of the staple foods in pretty much any and every culture are potatoes. This means that you’ve probably had them in one way or the other, but that does raise a question of can hamsters eat potatoes and enjoy them as much as you do?
The answer is short and sweet – YES. Don’t let yourself be fooled – like with all foods there are some restrictions you’ll have to be aware of in order to ensure your pet doesn’t have any digestive problems.
I suggest you keep reading to find what those restrictions and regulations you’ll need to follow are and maybe to pick up on some of my favorite ways to serve some of this starchy goodness to my hammy.
Potatoes – What Do They Contain?
Whenever I want to introduce a new food to my pet’s regular diet (regardless of if it’s the daily or weekly diet) I try to learn everything there is about that food in order to better understand what I’m giving to my beloved hamster.
I suggest you develop the same habit, so in that manner, I’d like to show you what you can find in some boiled potatoes:
I bet there are a few things that caught your eye when you first looked at this table. Don’t worry, I’ll explain all of it in just a second. There’s one thing you need to remember, that these are not nutritional values for raw, but rather boiled potatoes. Now, let’s start explaining:
To get only 87 calories per 100 grams of a particular food is a golden standard. The only thing is that you mustn’t give your hamster full 100 grams of boiled potatoes. As a matter of fact, don’t give your pet 100 grams of any food because it’s too much in any scenario!
Another good thing about calories that come from potatoes is that they’re not “empty calories” but rather calories that will give some energy to your pet.
An animal that is as active as a hamster needs a lot of amino acids that are found in protein. These are responsible for muscle tissue recovery and growth.
If you’ve ever considered helping your pet gain some muscle tissue that’ll make it easier for them to run all day, this is the way.
It’s amazing how in a full 100 grams of boiled potatoes, you find only 0,9 grams of sugar. This means that boiled potatoes are made of less than 1% sugar.
Low-sugar foods are desirable for your hammy because they can gain weight quite quickly, so it’s always better to prevent it than to wait for your hamsters to gain some weight to react.
There’s no negative side to this because there are quite a few foods your hamster eats on a day-to-day basis that contain enough sugar to meet their needs.
This is the most represented ingredient in potatoes after water. Carbs can be harmful if eaten in extensive quantities but are not bad at all if you keep track of how much you give to your hamster.
Carbs are the primary source of energy for your pet, so it’s not a good idea to cut them out of their diet because they can’t run only on protein.
A healthy amount of carbohydrates will be met with other foods when talking about hamsters, but some extensive carbs that they’ll get from boiled potatoes are nothing horrible.
I’ve intentionally mentioned fats in the table above just to make it clear how absent it is in potatoes. Fats are also not bad for your hammy, but in some regulated amounts that are found in other foods.
0,1 grams of fat is virtually nothing, so you shouldn’t be worried about this when you decide to feed some boiled potatoes to your pet.
Just remember that when you do this, you will probably need to pair boiled potatoes with something fattier just to meet your pet’s dietary requirement.
To ensure your pet has a healthy tummy, you need to give it enough fiber for the day so its stool doesn’t become irregular.
The amount of fiber found in potatoes is not significant, but it’s better than having no fiber. This is only a good addition to everything besides fiber so don’t count on potatoes to check the fiber field on your hamster’s “to eat” list.
It goes without saying that water is essential to any living being. 77% of this compound that is found in boiled potatoes ensures that your pet won’t experience constipation after eating it.
Besides that, you’ll make sure your pet’s water intake is met for the day. Hydration is very important for hamsters, and sometimes they forget to drink water.
By giving them water-rich food you are making sure that even if they forget to drink water, they’ll stay hydrated to a certain level.
How Not To Serve Potatoes To Your Hamster?
Here you’ll find more stuff on how NOT to serve potatoes to your pet, but also a few tips and tricks that I found helpful the first time I decided to give my hammy some boiled potatoes.
|You’ve probably noticed how I emphasize that potatoes that go to your hamster need to be boiled. This means that boiling is the only acceptable way of heat-treating this food when you’re preparing it for your pet.|
Now, let’s first go over some ways that you shouldn’t do with potatoes when preparing them for your hammy.
Don’t give your pet raw potatoes. Even humans that are much bigger than hamsters shouldn’t eat raw potatoes for a few reasons.
The first and the biggest reason is that your hamster’s tummy won’t be able to digest raw potatoes. When this happens, your hammy will probably experience bloating, tummy ache, and an increase in body temperature.
Your pet can also experience poisoning that can seriously damage its health in the long term.
Hopefully, this is a good enough reason for you never to do this, because I can’t stress enough how wrong it is to give raw potatoes to your hamster.
Fried potatoes are the staple of fast-food restaurants. Everyone knows how bad they are for your overall health, but people still keep eating them even after they find out the bad side of fries.
Your hamster has a much smaller stomach and a much smaller body than you, and so you have to keep in mind that the harmful effects of fries amplify if you give them to your pet.
The biggest deal-breaker when talking about fried potatoes is that they’ve been drenched in oil in order to be fried. This is exceptionally bad for your pet because hamsters tend to react badly to fatty foods.
Please avoid doing this because you can seriously damage your pet’s cardiovascular system!
We all love to spice up our potatoes in order to make them taste better. This is something you should absolutely avoid when preparing potatoes for your pet.
Spices and herbs that are used in the human diet are quite strong and are not meant for feeding hamsters.
Your hammy will experience severe tummy ache and potentially diarrhea if you season their potatoes.
Then How Do I Do It?
The only good way to prepare potatoes for your hammy is to boil them. I like to thoroughly wash the potatoes, peel the skin off and chop them up in order to help them be boiled sooner.
Another thing that chopping up the potatoes will help with is that the potatoes will get cool sooner because it’s also a bad idea to give your hamster a hot potato.
|I suggest you boil your potatoes for around five to seven minutes just to make sure they’re cooked properly.|
When you think the time is up, I suggest taking a fork and running it through the potatoes. If you meet any resistance it means your potatoes need a bit more time to cook.
If you’d like to make it even more fun for your pet, I suggest you mash the potatoes once they’re done to end up with some mashed potatoes that are perfectly safe for your hamster.
The amount I recommend is a teaspoon-full of boiled potatoes once every two weeks.
Can Hamsters Eat Potatoes? – Summation
I think this answers the question of can hamsters eat potatoes pretty clearly. But, if you’re still unsure I’ll sum it up into one word – yes.
This is nothing unusual because potatoes are quite healthy if prepared in a healthy way. Any food that you dip into a sea of oil and season with everything you find in your kitchen becomes unhealthy.
Keep it simple, safe and healthy when you make food for your pet so you ensure its well-being and longer lifespan!
Read Also: Can Hamsters Eat Sweet Potatoes?