The hamster diet, in addition to nutritious cereal grains, also includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. The question is, can tomatoes be found in the diet shortlist or not?
When it comes to tomatoes, it is clear that this is a fruit that carries a lot of health benefits. However, does this apply to everyone, and can hamsters eat tomatoes?
Unfortunately, this fruit is not a favorite among hamsters and is recommended to be avoided. Stay until the end and find out what exactly makes this fruit toxic, how dangerous it is for your hamster, and what will happen if it does eat it.
Can Hamsters Eat Tomatoes? Tomatine – Animal Poison
Although at first glance, tomato looks like an ideal fruit that could be used in your pet’s diet – you may be wrong.
At least in the case of a hamster, tomato consumption is very dangerous. For starters, they contain one very dangerous substance – tomatine.
Tomatine is a dangerous toxin that can be found in tomato leaves and stems. The toxicity of this substance has been tested on laboratory animals. The results were negative, which led to this substance being used as an animal poison.
When consumed, tomatine almost instantly reduces the blood pressure, and the heartbeat slows down. Tomatine poisoning occurs within hours after the leaves or stems are consumed.
Many people use tomatine poisoning to get rid of mice and other rodents in their gardens. Hopefully, now you get why this is not recommended for your furry little friend.
Also, we are talking about miniature pets here. Two wrong bites and your hamster could be facing some severe consequences.
If your hamster found its way to some tomatoes, after all, be one step ahead and recognize the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty standing
- Reduced appetite
REMEMBER: tomatine is extremely dangerous, so the minute you notice something is wrong with your pet, my suggestion is to rush it to the vet’s
You rarely know the severity of the problem, and avoiding it might end up costing your pet its life.
Another threat posed by this fruit is high acidity. Unfortunately, there are very few fruits and vegetables for which we can say with certainty that they consist of balanced nutrients.
For the most part, there is generally this one ingredient that outperforms the others, and often in a negative sense.
In tomatoes, they are fibers and water. Although both nutrients are seen as positive, in huge quantities, they can only bring harm.
What does this mean for your hamster?
Let’s focus on levels of fiber first. Here’s what excess amounts of fiber consumed can cause:
Your hamster’s stomach might start bloating, and it might have a lot of gas. These animals don’t need a lot of food to start showing bloating signs.
What follows bloating is constipation. Consequently, as your hamster starts to bloat, it will have problems with further digestion and food processing. This can be extremely painful for your hamster.
Since fiber is a relatively strong nutrient, excess amounts can cause cramps. The more fiber your hamster consumes, the more frequent the cramps will become.
Dehydration is also one of the possibilities. Your hamster will end up being so thirsty that after going absolutely crazy for water, its stomach will start to bloat again.
As you can see, this is kind of a vicious circle, so you should do your best not to let your hamster go through this.
You don’t have to be an expert to know that even too much water isn’t ideal for your hamster.
Just as lack of water can lead to dehydration, too much water results in overhydration. How to deal with this, and how dangerous is it?
Symptoms of overhydration are mainly reflected in:
- Change in dietary habits
As you can see, the symptoms are not terrible, but unfortunately, they can do great damage to your hamster’s body. Excessive amounts of water can lead to:
- Kidney problems
- Excessive urination problems
- Liver problems
Namely, when the organs in your hamster’s body encounter a huge amount of “juice” from tomatoes, this can damage overall functioning and seriously compromise metabolism.
This is by no means a thing you should take lightly, so – keep away the tomato!
Cooked Tomatoes, Tomato Juice?
It often happens that the owners do not think clearly and that if the animal is not allowed to consume raw food, they turn to the cooked version thinking that it is easier to digest.
If you are reading, this is a sign that this is NOT the case with TOMATO.
Don’t even think about feeding your hamster a cooked version of tomatoes. This includes any processed products such as ketchup, homemade boiled tomatoes, and even the most common tomato juice.
A while ago, we had the opportunity to learn about the dangers of raw tomatoes.
When it comes to cooked tomatoes, you can multiply the same danger by two. During cooking, the taste becomes stronger, it releases various juices, and the toxicity is higher for your animal.
Red flag alert!
To draw your attention to the variety of products that come from this fruit, here is an additional list.
- Tomato puree
- Tomato jam
- Tomato powder
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato pickle
- Tomato soup
- Tomato paste
Tomato – Ground Information
Tomatoes are fruits that originate from South America, but as you already know, they are pretty much prepared and eaten like a vegetable.
We’ve mentioned that tomatoes are notorious for their water content, so let’s take a quick look at what else there is in these fruits. Here’s what one small 100-gram tomato contains:
Here’s the irony.
If you grow tomatoes in any case or have a small garden that allows you to do so, you are probably familiar with when and how to harvest them.
Well, the moment the tomatoes are most ripe, mostly in late summer, that’s when they’re most dangerous to your hamster.
So, the juicier and more mature, the more toxic. This is precisely why it is very important not to let your hamster into the garden without supervision.
Now, consuming a ripe and juicy tomato is one thing, but consuming a rotten one is something totally different – and 10 times more dangerous.
How to be sure if your tomato is spoiled?
There are 4 ways in which you can check this:
- Fruit cracks
- Fusarium wilt
- Blossom drop
The first, fruit cracks, are pretty much self-explanatory. You can notice this while you’re walking around the garden or watering the tomatoes. If you look closely, you can tell if the tomato is cracked somewhere. If so, you’re not going to use it in your cooking.
The next thing is sunscalding. This occurs when the Sun rays are too strong. Even if the tomato appears healthy, the rays can cause yellow or white lines on the surface of the tomato. Unfortunately, this can greatly affect the taste afterward.
Fusarium wilts are tricky because your tomato can appear totally fine, and all of a sudden, it can start to wilt. You can prevent this “external damage” by regularly watering your plants and rotating them.
The last thing you need to watch out for is blossom drop. Before your tomato grows, flowers are supposed to bloom on the crops. If the flowers fall off too quickly, this will result in the loss of tomato fruit. The main cause for this is a change in temperature or some other natural disaster.
There is a way you can reduce the risk of these external influences, save the tomato but also separate it from the hamster.
Use of a mini greenhouse. This is your salvation. It’s not that hard to set it up, and your tomatoes will grow in a safe environment – and most importantly, out of reach of your hamster.
Now that we have established this, let’s turn for a second to the shelf life of this fruit and how long it can last in your home.
When it comes to raw tomato, it can last up to 5 days in the kitchen pantry and a maximum of 7 days in the fridge. If you cooked a tomato, it has no place in the kitchen pantry. It needs to be put in the fridge. There, covered and sealed in a container, it can stand for a maximum of 5 days.
Anything beyond that is risky to consume.
Some people like to freeze their tomatoes. Raw tomato can last up to 12 months in a freezer if you store it the right way.
This means that it is protected from the dangers of pesticides and moisture, which can endanger its shelf life and significantly reduce it.
Learn More: What Can Hamsters Eat? A Complete Food List For Hamsters