Movie nights are some of the greatest moments of our lives. However, every movie enthusiast will confirm that such moments are never complete without a large bowl of popcorn. And yes, movie times become even more memorable when you have your hamster pet snuggled up with you on the couch.
And while it’s very likely for your hamster to find himself next to the popcorn bowl, you might be wondering what to do the next time your hamster friend tries to dip their tiny paws into your popcorn bowl. But can hamsters eat popcorn?
The short answer is yes; hamsters can eat popcorn. However, you need to be careful since not all popcorns are safe for your little furry friend. Again, like any other treat, they do best when given in moderation.
With that said, you have to know how to select the best popcorn for your hamster. This article will provide you all the information you need in order to make it easier for you to feed your pet with one of its favorite snacks in a safe manner.
Let’s get started;
Should Hamsters Eat Popcorns?
Before we look at anything else, let’s tackle the very first question that might be plaguing your mind at this point. Well, should your pet hamster eat popcorn?
Well, yes, only when you have the tasty snack prepared in a healthy way that won’t trigger any health issues in hamsters.
Therefore, provided that you are ready to follow all the safety precautions in preparing and feeding your hamster popcorns, there really isn’t anything to worry about.
There are actually other considerations before you take out your popcorn bowl and call your hamster for a movie night.
What Popcorns Are Safe for Hamsters?
Since we’ve already stated that popcorn can become a part of your furry friends’ treats, you need to know which types are safe for them.
Popcorns with added salt, sugar, and butter are definitely out of the question, so keep those away from your hamster’s treats list. Also, avoid flavored popcorns since these could carry additional unneeded ingredients which can put your pet’s health in danger.
In other words, only offer plain, unseasoned, and unflavored popcorns to your furry friends. Again, they need to be fully popped otherwise they can be a choking hazard to your hamsters.
We recommend that you prepare these popcorns at home instead of buying them from a store since you can better control the contents and quality. Store-bought popcorns generally come with added flavors and preservatives that your pet’s body will not need.
In a nutshell, healthy hamster popcorns should be;
- Fully Popped
- Air-popped without any oil.
When you consider all the listed factors, you can conclude that the healthiest popcorns for your pets would be air-popped or microwaved ones. Therefore, ensuring that they are free from any added ingredients and oil is a must.
What Amount of Popcorns Should You Give Your Hamster?
We said that there are two things to consider when giving your pet popcorns; the type and the quantity. Now that we already know what type works best for your pet’s health, it’s time to move on to the next consideration; how much should you give them?
One thing to keep in mind when deciding the amount of popcorns to give to your hamster pet is that an average popped kennel weighs around 0.15 grams.
Also, you have to know that smaller breeds of hamster will need to eat less often than the larger kinds.
If you have a Syrian hamster, one piece of popcorn per week. Sure, it may seem little, but keep in mind that your hammy friend is tiny as well.
Robo hamsters are smaller than Syrian hamsters. Hence, they need to take popcorns less frequently than their Syrian counterparts. For the furry friends belonging to this class, only give one piece of popped popcorn in a fortnight.
The dwarf hamsters are the tiniest of all, so they need popcorns less often. For furbabies belonging to this category, for instance, the Chinese dwarf hamster, a piece of popcorn a month should be enough.
Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn Kernels?
While they aren’t going to make your hamster sick, never give your hamster unpopped kernels. Similar to unpopped popcorns, kernels pose a choking hazard to them. Therefore, the next time you think about giving your pet the stuff at the bottom of your popcorn bow, please think again.
Why Popcorns Are Good For Your Hamster
You love your hamster. He/she also loves you. And yes, one way to keep this love alive and kicking is to pay attention to their dietary needs to ensure that you provide your hamster with treats and foods which are healthy and nutritious. We only need to offer them what’s essential for their bodies.
Here is why popcorns are good for your pocket pet!
- They are Tasty: We can all attest that popcorns are among the tastiest treats for mankind. That’s probably why we always want to have them when watching a movie or a TV show. And like humans, hamsters enjoy eating popcorns. After all, who on this earth doesn’t love something that’s sweet? This is what makes popcorns the perfect treat for your hamster.
- High-Energy food: Also, they are a high-energy food, great for those furbabies that need energy during late nights or early mornings when they’re most active. Plus, since they don’t have as much fat as other treats, popcorns will never be a cause of obesity to your pet hamster when given in moderation.
- Plenty of Beneficial Nutrients: popcorns contain lots of essential nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, proteins, and fiber. The fiber in popcorn helps in improving digestive health whereas the other nutrients also play a great part in keeping your hamster healthy.
- Anti-Age Properties: Popcorns contain antioxidants that help boost your pet’s immune system and protect them from cell damage. This way, they can prevent diseases and illnesses that hamsters could get if their immune systems aren’t strong.
As seen, popcorns have ample health benefits. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that these benefits will only come when you do everything right!
Health Risks of Feeding Your Hamster Popcorn
If you stick to the recommended type and amount, popcorn is actually safe to eat for your furry friend. However, depending on the quantity or type of popcorn you give them, there are health risks that your little buddy might be exposed to.
- Obesity: Most store-bought popcorns come with added sugar and salt. These ingredients can cause obesity in your pet hamster. Plus, if you give them large quantities of popcorn that are fried in oil or butter, this can cause obesity and other health problems too.
- Choking Hazards: As for the unpopped ones, they pose the same choking hazard as kernels. So always ensure to get your popcorns popped before feeding them to your pet hamster.
- Low Nutritional Value: Popcorns aren’t as nutritious as some foods. That’s another reason you shouldn’t allow them to take much space in your pet’s stomach that ought to be filled with their regular nutritional diet.
- Diabetes: Just like humans, excessive consumption of popcorns can trigger blood sugar disease in hamsters. We all know that diabetes comes along with a series of other health-related issues. If you have a diabetic hamster, avoid giving popcorns entirely.
- Digestive Problems: This will happen when they eat too much popcorn containing salt and sugar, as well as the unpopped ones. Your hamster can experience an upset stomach, constipation, and other health issues. For that reason, popcorn should only serve as an occasional treat to supplement the usual high-quality hamster food.
- Allergies: Since popcorns are a type of grain, they can cause allergic reactions to those who have such conditions as corn allergies. Therefore, if your hamster is on any medication for such condition, ensure to consult your vet before giving them anything
Can Hamsters Eat Buttered Popcorn?
As aforementioned, avoid giving your hamster popcorn containing butter, sugar, and salt. A high-fat diet such as the buttered variety should never be given to your pet. That’s mainly because they are the type of food that can cause obesity in turn causing many other health problems like diabetes and heart health issues.
Are Sweet Popcorns Good For Hamsters?
Just like buttered popcorns, sweet popcorns aren’t good for hamsters. That’s because they contain artificial sweeteners which may cause health problems. Only think about plain popcorn if you want a healthy treat for your pet!
Unfortunately, you can only share popcorn with an adult hamster. Vets recommend that you avoid giving your baby hamster things like popcorn. These little pets begin by getting their nutrients from their mothers. As they grow, you can start giving them things like millet, pellets, wheat, but NOT Popcorn!
Popcorns can be a part of your hamster’s balanced diet so long as you get the right type and amount. Other than being tasty, there are lots of benefits your hamster gets from eating this delicious snack.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that these advantages will only come when you do everything right! If done wrongly, popcorns may cause health problems that might be difficult to treat. So always ensure to discuss with your vet before giving them anything