If you’re one of the people who frequently enjoy sweet potato products on an almost daily basis and you own a hammy, you’ve probably asked yourself can hamsters eat sweet potatoes at least once in your life.
The fantastic news is that they absolutely can! If you follow some simple steps and instructions for preparation and if you educate yourself on what can be found in this veggie, it’s perfectly safe to share your favorite snack with your little furball.
You also need to be informed of some limitations that go with this veggie if you want to incorporate it into your hamster’s regular diet.
If you’re eager to find out all about these, and maybe some tips & tricks on how I like to prepare sweet potatoes for my hammy, I suggest you keep scrolling!
Sweet Potatoes – A Food With Character
People who have never tried sweet potatoes claim that they aren’t drawn to the idea of trying them. Not many of them know that sweet potatoes are not really potatoes, but a root veggie that is originally from Africa!
This means it doesn’t contain as much starch as a regular potato and that they don’t share some of the other characteristics of this well-known vegetable.
Here are some of its characteristics:
|Vitamin C||65% RDI|
|Pantothenic Acid||18% RDI|
|Vitamin A||769% RDI|
*RDI – Recommended Daily Intake
These astonishing characteristics show me and you that sweet potatoes are some of the most nutritional veggies there is! There are a few things that I want to address to clear up some potential misunderstandings regarding some of the nutritional facts named here.
Taking into consideration that we are talking about 200 grams of sweet potatoes, 180 Calories doesn’t seem that much. In fact, it seems much less than I expected when first heard about this.
You shouldn’t give 200 grams of these to your hammy, but just keep in mind that calorie count falls off proportionally to the amount of sweet potatoes.
All of you know that protein is an essential energy source, regardless of the animal in question. Like many other pets, hamsters need protein to be full of energy and run around all day. Some of you might think that sugar is essential to this, but you are mistaken.
Protein is also important when talking about the weight of your pet. It’s much easier for your hammy to gain weight if it eats sugar-rich food than protein-based plants such as sweet potatoes. Don’t let the name fool you!
These are some of the most important ingredients in our pet’s regular diet plan. Fiber is in charge of taking care of your hamster’s tummy and keeping its stool regulated and healthy.
For this reason alone, the amount of fiber that sweet potatoes contain is a fantastic addition to your hamster’s tummy regulation.
This is the one ingredient that causes the most controversy when talking about sweet potatoes. People say that almost a quarter of this veggie being carbohydrates is bad, but I would disagree.
If you know what you’re doing with it when preparing it for yourself as well as for your pet, and if you know the amount that is healthy – there shouldn’t be any problems.
The negligible amount of fat found in sweet potatoes is really nothing to be concerned about. The staggering 0,3 g in every 200 grams is really something that shouldn’t bother you at all. Much fattier food is found in many hamster’s diets and they don’t pose any problems for them.
Vitamin C is a staple in any quality diet. It’s found in virtually any food you give to your pet, but it’s much more practical if you find it in natural food than to bring in supplements as an alternative.
This veggie contains 65% of the recommended daily intake for humans, and that tells you something about how useful it is for your hammy.
Just be careful, excess vitamin C can sometimes cause diarrhea, so make sure that you don’t give multiple vitamin-c-rich food to your pet in one meal!
Also known as vitamin B5, this substance is one of the essential things in every living being’s diet. It helps convert food into energy which is important enough by itself. Another thing that this acid is good for is making blood cells.
As you can see, there is virtually no reason not to take pantothenic acid. Sweet potatoes contain plenty of it, so your hammy should get enough of it from eating this amazing vegetable.
This truly amazed me, and that’s the reason I wanted to leave it for the end. Sweet potatoes contain 769% of the recommended daily intake for humans in only 200 grams. Yes, you read that right. This means that this veggies richness in vitamin A exceeds the expectations of every consumer.
Vitamin A is essential for good vision, heart, kidneys, lungs, and the immune system. Keeping this in mind, just try to imagine how useful and good sweet potatoes are for your furball.
Like with every raw food, when you heat treat it some of the nutrients are lost. Taking into consideration how nutritious sweet potatoes are, you shouldn’t be worried about this when talking about them.
There are some things (as I’ve said) that you need to be careful about when preparing this vegetable for your pet:
- A good rinse – this prevents your pet from eating any of the excess dirt found on the sweet potato peel, as well as any residual chemicals.
- Keep the skin – by not peeling the potatoes, you keep most of the nutrients intact even when boiling them.
- Slice into strips – if you just give your hamster a chunk of boiled sweet potato, they’ll have a problem with eating it, it’s just too big!
- Boil or air fry – These are my two favorite ways of thermal treatment of sweet potatoes.
When I talk about preparation I like to bring up the fact that many people fry sweet potatoes as french fries. It’s imperative you DON’T do this when preparing them for your hammy.
Oil or fat that is used to fry these is highly toxic and unhealthy for your pet. An air fryer is a fantastic alternative, giving your pet the crunchy experience of the french fry, but keeping the unnecessary fat out of their system.
Boiling is the most common way of preparing these, without seasoning of course. This is also the dullest way to make these. It takes 30 to 50 minutes to boil these whole, so it’s not exactly the fastest way either.
It is perfectly safe for your hamster, but the boiled version got pretty boring for my Syrian hamster. Your experience might be different, but I guarantee you that air frying is the way to go!
Another common question I get is how much sweet potato should you give to your hammy. This varies from hamster breed to hamster breed, but there are no big changes in the quantity.
Syrian hamsters should get one teaspoon every week, Robovski hamsters should be given a teaspoon every other week, and any dwarf hamster should get a tiny bit of sweet potato every seven days.
Don’t go overboard with these measurements, because it can easily cause constipation or diarrhea, depending on your hamster’s reaction to it. Keep this in mind if you think of treating your pet with sweet potatoes more often than recommended.
I like to give my hammy sweet potato on its own so it learns it as a treat every time I give it to them.
You can also incorporate sweet potatoes with other food, but then it’s much less recognized as a treat by your hammy.
There really aren’t any bad reactions your hamster can have to sweet potatoes. The main one is listed previously (diarrhea or constipation). If this occurs, just feed your hamster with a lot of fibers if it experiences diarrhea, and with some more water-based food if constipation occurs.
If you see any other bad reactions that your hamster potentially has to this food, you should call its vet immediately and stop feeding sweet potatoes to it.
This is so rare that I didn’t manage to find examples of these reactions, but you never know, so I have to mention this at the end.
Can Hamsters Eat Sweet Potatoes? – Conclusion
If you’re still unsure about can hamsters eat sweet potatoes – you shouldn’t be.
It’s perfectly safe for you to share some of that delicious veggie with them, just keep in mind the measurements when talking about the quantity of food you should give to them.
I know I was satisfied when I fed my hammy sweet potatoes for the very first time, and you should experience that as well! There is no better scene than seeing your pet try a new food for the first time.
For this reason alone (but for many others I’ve listed), I highly recommend you grab some sweet potatoes from your local store and start implementing them in your hamster’s regular diet. I hope you both enjoy this experience!