Being a responsible hamster pet parent means paying attention to everything concerning your furry friend. You have to ensure that you provide a comfortable environment, a balanced diet, fresh drinking water, and more.
Now, one of the hurdles every hamster caregiver faces is choosing what foods are best for hamsters. Some foods are just not suitable for small pets due to the dangers they feature. That applies even when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
And today, we will be focusing on cucumbers. Let’s find out if it is okay to offer them to your hamster, and if so, what are the best ways of doing that. So, are cucumbers good for hamsters?
It’s okay to give your hamster cucumber. They make for a healthy and refreshing treat for hamsters. However, there are a few precautions you need to take. You must pay attention to the amount of cucumbers you give them as well as the preparation process.
What Is Cucumber?
Before we proceed to our main topic, it would be best to learn a bit more about cucumbers.
Cucumbers are a common vegetable that belongs to the same family as melons and zucchini. They have a crunchy texture and a juicy taste that makes them a popular addition to meals and salads.
They are believed to have originated in India a long time ago. They were then spread throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe through trade routes. However, they did not arrive in North America until after 1492.
Nowadays, people all over the world enjoy them no matter which way they are sliced. Some of the most common ways to prepare cucumbers include; pickling, marinating, and pickling. You can also eat them fresh or turned into juice.
Cucumbers are about 95 percent water, which contributes to their refreshing nature. They are basically an excellent snack you can enjoy all year round.
Cucumber Nutritional Information
Having stated that they have a high water content, it’s very likely for one to wonder whether cucumbers have any nutritional value. Well, the fact is that they do!
Cucumbers get their nutritional value from vitamins, essential minerals, and phytonutrients. These include; calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K 1 (phylloquinone), B vitamins (thiamin), potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and carotenoids.
What’s more, this delicious snack also contains beneficial enzymes. These include; superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, and lipoxygenase.
Do Hamsters Like Cucumbers?
If you haven’t tried giving your hamster cucumber, then you are likely to wonder whether or not they are likely to make your pet’s favorite treat. So, do hamsters like cucumbers?
As you may expect, it varies. Hamsters are quite picky when it comes to food. However, most of them do love cucumbers. They are usually consumed once they are freshly sliced.
And as usual, if it’s the first time, you introduce cucumber to your hamster, then don’t expect them to eat it immediately. Allow them to sniff and lick it before they can go ahead and consume the food.
Again, ensure that you begin with a small amount just in case it may react badly with your pet.
Health Benefits Of Cucumber For Hamsters
Your hamster benefits in many ways from eating cucumbers. Some of these benefits include:
Cucumber Improves Digestion:
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits you can get from cucumber. It helps improve your hamster’s digestion and prevents constipation, bloat, abdominal pain, and stomach cramps. You don’t have to worry about your furry friend suffering these conditions anymore when treated with cucumber.
They Regulate Blood Sugar Level:
A cucumber a day can help regulate your hamster’s blood sugar level, which makes it the best food you can give after they are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. It can also be used to treat some of the symptoms that come along with diabetes like blurred vision and poor wound healing.
They Aid In Weight Loss:
Most of us know that cucumbers are a healthy snack to eat. It’s also known for its ability to aid in weight loss. If you’ve been thinking about dieting, then using cucumber as a replacement for some of your unhealthy snacks can contribute a lot towards reaching your goal.
Cucumbers Prevents Cancer:
The cucurbitacins and phytonutrients in cucumbers are believed to prevent certain types of cancers in hamsters. It’s also believed that they increase the antioxidant levels in their body which prevent them from contracting free radical damage.
They Promote Mental Health:
Cucumber contains beneficial nutrients like magnesium which help improve a pet’s mental health. It also contains vitamin B-6 that helps improve their mood and reduce stress levels which are vital for hamsters that may be feeling anxious or nervous of any kind.
How Much Cucumber Should Your Hamster Eat?
One of the areas you have to ensure you get right all the time is the amount your hamster eats. That applies even when it comes to supplementary foods like cucumbers.
First of all, since cucumber is generally considered a low-calorie food item, you shouldn’t expect your hamster to eat a lot of it unless it’s their only option. Again, you shouldn’t underestimate the calorie content here, as the calorie count isn’t the only thing to consider.
So, how much should you be giving your hamster?
For now, you can give your hamster around a tablespoon-sized amount of cucumber. That goes for the larger hamster breeds like the Syrian. If you have a smaller breed of hamster, for instance, dwarf hamster or Robo hamster, consider giving a smaller amount. For these breeds, a 1/2 tablespoon-sized amount of cucumber should work just fine!
Can Hamsters Eat Cucumber Skin?
Since cucumbers are rich in vital nutrients, it’s not surprising that some people feed the skin to their hamsters as well. However, this practice is controversial. Many experts believe that feeding them cucumber skin can be dangerous for small pets. So, what’s the real story?
It is possible for your hamster to digest the skin of this green fruit. However, it’s not advisable for them to eat cucumber skin in large quantities- especially when it comes to dwarf breeds like Roborovski hamsters which are smaller than Syrian hamsters and have a much higher metabolism rate.
They might be able to eat the skin of this green snack without too much problems, but it’s still not a good idea to make this a regular thing.
Again, if you have to give them cucumbers with the skin, ensure that you wash them with plenty of water to remove all the germs and bacteria present on the skin. And above all, don’t forget to cut them into smaller cucumber pieces they can conformably handle.
Can Hamsters Eat Seeds?
Whether cucumber seeds are safe for hamsters is another question we often find ourselves asking. The truth is, seeds remain a choking hazard. That’s especially true for smaller hamster breeds.
Therefore, you can play it safe by removing the seeds from your hamster’s cucumber. That way, you will have eliminated any chances of them eating them by accident and ending up choking on them.
Can you Feed Pickled Cucumbers to Your Hamster?
The fact that pickles are from cucumbers doesn’t give them an automatic qualification of being healthy and safe for your hamster.
In fact, there’s a good chance that you’re going to find some vinegar in pickled cucumbers that can be harmful to your pet.
The chances of them getting health problems from eating pickled cucumbers is also very high. For the sake of their health and your peace of mind, always avoid feeding your hamster pickles.
Risks of Cucumbers for Hamsters?
While we have countless benefits of cucumbers when fed to your hamster, it’s not all green lights. The following are some of the risks associated with feeding cucumbers to your pet rodent.
- Diarrhea: This is likely to happen when you feed your hamster too much cucumber. That’s why you should always stick to the recommended dosage.
- Dehydration: Since they cause diarrhea, feeding too much cucumber can also lead to dehydration in hamsters.
- Bloating: Bloating is another health issue that might be incurred when you feed your hamster too much cucumber without chewing it well. As a result, they can end up choking on the pieces!
- Food Allergies: Cucumbers are safe for most pets to eat, but some may develop allergies when they eat them. For instance, some hamsters may find themselves allergic to cucumbers when they try eating them for the first time. This is very hazardous and can even lead to death!
- Bad Breath: One of the reasons why many experts believe that cucumbers shouldn’t be fed to our pets is because of their effects on their breath. For instance, too much cucumber in your hamster diet can give your pet bad breath.
Cucumbers are generally safe for your little furbabies. However, always give it to your hamster in moderation. That means you should follow the recommended amounts and avoid feeding them too much, or else they may suffer from the dangers associated with overfeeding.
When it comes to cucumber seeds and skin, always remove these before giving them to your hamster. That way, you will prevent exposure to any form of risks that may be associated with them.
And lastly, cucumbers should not be used as the common hamster food. It should serve as an occasional treat for them. So don’t use it as their main food source!