If you are a meat lover, you will agree with me that pork is one of the most delicious meat types you can eat. The taste and smell is one of the best things that makes us want more and more of this meat.
And with your hamster pet almost always by your side, you may want to know if what you are eating is safe for your furry friend.
Can hamsters eat pork? Unfortunately, pork is not safe for your hamster to eat. Although there is no empirical evidence that renders pork dangerous for hamsters, we still have several apparent reasons that make this type of meat one of the foods your hamster needs to avoid.
What Is Pork?
I know you feel too sorry to have to declare those mouth-watering pork chops off-limits for your hamster. But you are soon going to know why you have to keep them from your pet. But just before that, let us take a look at what exactly this meat is.
Pork is the meat from a domestic pig. It is very versatile that you can cook it in different ways to suit your taste and diet. The common pork forms are chops, pork steaks, bacon, ground pork, chili with pork meat sauce… the list goes on and on.
Pig meat is considered one of the fatty foods, so you better stay away from it if you are on a weight-loss program. Also, it’s high in cholesterol.
Now we know something a little bit more about what pork is, let us have a closer look at why it should not be part of your hamster’s menu.
Why Can Hamsters Not Eat Pork?
As already said, there are no specific studies showing that pork is harmful to hamsters. Nevertheless, the fact this type of meat is too fatty. The fact that it’s high in cholesterol is enough to make it one of the foods your hamster should not eat.
But Why Hamsters?
Well, you may be wondering why it seems okay for humans to eat pork while for your furry friend it is one of the foods to shun.
Now, before we get there, let’s first clear the air;
The fact that humans love eating pork doesn’t mean that the meat is not harmful to them. In fact, this meat variety can have many health risks for humans too, and that’s why it’s considered among the foods lowest in quality.
In other words, pork can just be as harmful for human consumption as for pets. So why not go ahead and share even a little piece with your hamster? After all, doesn’t it sound fair that way?
NEVER give pork to your pet.
Here is why;
Hamsters are too tiny compared to humans. For this reason, it only takes a very small amount of food to cause these pets trouble. Therefore, even the smallest bit of meat from pigs can go to unimaginable extend to compromise the health of your pet.
Something else, hamsters are prone to gaining weight! Yes, those little guys can easily become obese if you are not careful. Therefore, keeping pork away is one way to keep them from becoming overweight.
Nutritional Facts Of Pork
Though it isn’t going to feature in your hamster’s menu, it’s still good to know what nutrients you can get from this type of meat.
The first and the most dominant of all nutrients pork contains is fats. This meat definitely has a high percentage of fats compared to other food sources. Most of the fatty acids in pork are unsaturated, but it also contains some amount of saturated fat. What that means is, eating too much will not only affect your hamster’s cholesterol level but also increase the chances of developing heart disease and other health problems like diabetes.
In addition, pork is rich in proteins. Each ounce of pork contains about 22% of the daily required value for this nutrient. While that’s a decent amount, we already know that excess of anything can be dangerous.
Also, meat variety contains Vitamins (such as thiamin B1, niacin B3, and B6). That’s in addition to minerals like Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Selenium, all of which are important for a healthy body.
However, the most interesting part about it is that it contains ZERO carbohydrates, sugars, and dietary fiber! That’s usually not the case for most hamster foods.
What Would Happen If You Gave Your Hamster Pork?
Since we’ve already said that it’s not advisable for you to give your pet any type of pork, let me tell you what will happen if you do.
Pork contains a good amount of Arginine. This amino acid is considered vital for your hamster because it can be used as a source of energy by the liver and muscles. However, too much Arginine in the body can cause severe liver problems, and chances are that your pet gets excess of it when they eat pork.
Another amino acid that is found in pork and can be harmful to your pet is Aspartic Acid (Asp). This substance doesn’t only affect the liver but also causes severe damage to kidneys and muscles.
Those are just a few of the many pork compounds that will affect your pet. You see, it’s not only the high cholesterol content that makes this meat bad for your hamster but also the amino acids and other elements found in the meat.
So, as a pet owner, the best thing you can do is avoid giving pork to your furry friend. This way, you will be able to avoid causing them any harm.
Now you Know!
What Can Hamsters Eat Instead Of Pork?
Now that this type of meat and other pork products are a no-no for your hamster, you should know some of the healthy alternatives to pork.
And as I’ve already mentioned earlier in the article, hamsters are prone to becoming obese or developing diabetes too. So it’s important that their diet does not contain any fatty food for that case. Try giving them low-fat pellets instead of high-carb ones.
Now, the first type of food you can consider for your pet is fruits and veggies. They make for healthy pork alternatives. Not all fruits and vegetables are good for your pet, so again be careful.
Fruits like strawberries, grapes, blueberries, bananas, apples (without seeds), melons, etc. are great choices. For vegetables, you can give your pet cucumber, spinach, eggplant, kale, cabbage, broccoli, green onions, zucchini squash, bell peppers (green or red).
And when it comes to meat, consider giving them squid, shrimp, turkey, chicken, or lean beef as an alternative to pork. And as mentioned earlier, make sure this meat is not fatty otherwise you’ll be attracting more trouble.
And whatever you settle for, always keep the intake limited. At times it’s a bit difficult to ignore your pet when begging for more. However, you have to do what you know is right and healthy for them.
I hope you understand why it’s not advisable to give pork to your hamster. This meat contains lots of amino acids which aren’t good for hamsters. If you do give them pork, your pet can become obese, have trouble breathing, and suffer from seizures, lose balance, etc.
You definitely don’t want any of these, so it’s best that you avoid feeding your pet any type of pork at all cost! Consider other healthy pork alternatives for your pet. Fortunately, there’s a wide scope of options to choose from.