The hamster’s delicate digestive system makes it quite hard for their caregivers to decide what food to give and what not to give. While these lovely pets will eat nearly anything you set before them, that doesn’t mean you should offer them anything. You have to know what’s good for them and what’s likely to cause them health issues when taken. And now, are you wondering whether or not eggplants can be added to a hamster’s diet? Well, you have come to the right place.
You can be the creator of a beautiful, healthy world for your hamster by adding eggplant to its diet. As one of nature’s finest gifts, it contains many necessary nutrients that are vital in making sure they have what is required for better growth and development. However, beware that not all hamsters can eat eggplant.
What Is Eggplant?
Even before we get deeper into our today’s topic, it’s important for you to be acquainted with eggplant.
Eggplants are a common vegetable that belongs to the nightshade family Solanaceae. They have many varieties, but the most commonly eaten is Solanum melongena or aubergine. Their color may vary from lavender, purple, white to green when they are not ripe yet. Once ripe, eggplants are deep purple or red in color.
Eggplant is commonly used as a cooking ingredient all around the world due to its versatility and potential health benefits. However, it’s best taken fresh or lightly cooked for maximum benefits.
You can eat eggplants raw after dipping them in boiling water to remove their skin. They can also be sliced and deep-fried, grilled, or roasted.
What Does Eggplant Contain?
As mentioned earlier eggplants are rich in nutrients that are necessary for your hamster’s well-being. For example, they contain vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
They also contain a compound that is known as nasunin which has been scientifically proven to protect your hamster against radicals that may cause damage to the neural membranes. This means it can help maintain the brain health of your hamster up to par.
In addition, eggplant is a rich source of fiber. The dietary fiber helps your hamster maintain a healthy digestive system, lower your hamster’s cholesterol level and lose weight.
Last but not least, eggplants are a good source of minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. That said, it’s evident that eggplants make for excellent food for hamsters since it contains lots of healthful ingredients.
Are Eggplants Safe for Hamsters?
Now that you’re already familiar with the nutritional value and health benefits of eggplants, it’s time to answer the question at hand: are eggplants safe for hamsters? Well, the answer is a big yes! Eggplants are a safe food for hammies.
In fact, they can be even more nutritious and beneficial for your little furry friends than you could have imagined. So as long as you don’t over-feed them with it, there won’t be any problems.
Therefore, if you were looking for a healthy treat for your hamster or even a way to make up for the lack of certain elements in their diet plan, eggplants are there to help you.
How Much Eggplants Can Hamsters Have?
As with any other treat, the amount of eggplant you should give varies with the breed. I mean, larger hamsters need more than the smaller kinds. Therefore, if you have a Syrian hamster, you can feed them up to 2 slices of eggplant or 2 tablespoons.
The only other breed of hamster that can eat eggplants is the Roborovski hamster. For hamsters belonging to this breed, one can give up to 2 eggplant cubes or 1 tablespoon of slices.
Apart from the amounts I’ve mentioned above, don’t make it a habit of feeding your hamster eggplants for they are not meant to be their main source of diet. Rather, you should use them as treats once in a while to pep things up a bit.
Again, as a hamster owner, it’s important to note that you should NEVER give eggplants to Dwarf hamsters. This is because they are too small to eat eggplants in the first place. In addition, they have a hard time digesting them even when given in tiny amounts. The same applies to baby hamsters as well.
Are Eggplant Seeds Safe for Hamsters?
When giving some fruits like apples and watermelon, it’s recommendable that you remove the seeds. That’s because they are a choking hazard and may contain some substances which aren’t good for hamsters.
However, when it comes to eggplant, the case is a bit different. Eggplant seeds are soft and edible, so you can give them to your hamster without worrying that they will choke them. In addition, the seeds don’t contain solanine like the eggplant leaves.
Can Hamsters Eat Eggplant Skin?
Another common question that pet owners ask is whether hamsters can eat eggplants skin.
The answer to this question is similar to the one I gave earlier about the seeds – eggplant skin is edible.
However, there are times when they are likely to get constipated if they eat too much eggplant skin. So ensure that you don’t give them more than the recommended number of eggplant slices at a time!
How to Offer Eggplants to Hamsters?
Since you now know whether you can feed your hamster with eggs or not, it’s time to look at some simple ways on how to offer them to your hamster.
There are several ways you can offer eggplants to your hamster. You can present them in the form of eggplant fries, eggplant roasts, raw eggplant slices, and more.
And no matter the form you choose, always remember that they need to be in their smallest size for them to be safe for your hamster to eat.
If it’s the first time, begin by giving your pet a small amount of egglant recommended. You can begin with a very small slice of eggplant. Then, look out for any unusual signs. If you notice any, refrain from giving eggplant to your hamster.
However, if there aren’t any signs, increase the amount gradually until you reach the recommended amount.
Keep in mind that each hamster is unique in its own way. Therefore, what is safe for one doesn’t mean it’s safe for all others. That’s why before you introduce any food to your hamster, ensure that you begin by first testing the waters.
Risks Associated With Giving Your Hamster Eggplant
While it’s generally safe for Syrian hamsters and Robo hamsters, that doesn’t mean there are no risks associated with giving your hamster eggplant.
Just like any other fruit or vegetable you can offer your little furry friend, it’s possible for them to suffer from an upset stomach after having it. So if you notice that your hamster has vomited or has diarrhea, stop feeding them eggplants immediately!
Do not be mistaken – diarrhea or vomiting isn’t the only sign that tells you eggplant is not good for them. The other signs include loss of appetite, discoloration of their teeth and gums, bloating, etc.
Another risk associated with eggplants is poisoning. As mentioned earlier, eggplants contain solanine which can be harmful to your hamster if they eat it in large quantities. And that’s another reason you have to stick to the recommended amounts!
To be on the safer side of things, avoid giving them green or yellow eggplants as they contain higher amounts of solanine than purple ones.
As seen, most of the risks associated with eggplants will only come when you do not follow the recommended amounts. And that’s why you should ensure that you stick to them at all costs!
Important Health Tips When Giving Your Hamster Eggplant
After reading through the article, you’d have already discovered that eggplants are not complete no-gos. As long as they eat them in moderation, it’s totally fine to offer your hamster eggplant once in a while.
However, there are certain additional tips that you should keep in mind when feeding your hamster eggplant. These include:
- Try and feed them purple or dark green eggplants as opposed to light yellow ones. Green and yellow ones contain higher amounts of solanine compared to purple ones, which is why it’s better if you offer your hamster purple or dark green eggplants instead.
- Keep an eye on their stool. This is because eggplants can turn the stool into a dark color. If this happens, it means that your little friend isn’t digesting them properly and you need to cut down on the amount of eggplant you’re giving them.
- An overdose of eggplant can cause constipation so ensure that you give the correct amount to your pet.
- Avoid giving them eggplants if they are sick, pregnant, or nursing! Eggplant is not toxic to hamsters, but it’s best to avoid it when they are ill or pregnant as it can cause constipation and bloating.
- Don’t give them more than two eggplant slices at a time. And if they’re not eating it, take them away immediately!
- Monitor their teeth after giving them eggplants as the skin can cause yellow or brown stains on their teeth or gums.
- Don’t give them eggplants when they just had fruits and vegetables. Actually, the eggplant should be a substitute for other snacks and shouldn’t be their daily diet routine.
ONLY Syrian and Robo hamsters can eat eggplants! However, ensure that you follow the instructions given in this article to avoid any problems like diarrhea, constipation, or poisoning. You should also avoid giving them eggplants when they are pregnant, sick, nursing, or had fruits and vegetables beforehand.