Do you have more than just one pet at home? Well, I used to have a Yorkie and a few hamsters and they love each other!
One fine day when I got home, I saw my doggy snacking on some of the hamster treats that I forgot to keep away. It got me thinking: Can dogs eat hamster treats?
Dogs can share most treats with hamsters, although it is not recommended as dogs and hamsters have different dietary requirements and tastes. On the other hand, dog food might not be suitable for hamsters, so you need to check properly before feeding to them.
In this post, we shall find out if dogs and hamsters can share food and if there are certain things you should look out for.
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- Can Dogs and Hamsters Share Food?
- Reasons not to share food between dogs and hamsters
- Dangerous Foods for your Dog
- What food can be shared between your dog and hamster?
- Can dog food harm hamsters?
- In conclusion: Can dogs eat hamster treats?
Can Dogs and Hamsters Share Food?
The overall consensus is that sharing food between pets is okay in small doses.
However, generally, you should stick to feeding your animals the specific food that was made for them.
Hamsters and dogs have very different natural diets and nutritional needs, and store-bought food will take this into account.
There is also food that is harmless for your hamster, but potentially deadly for your dog. Some substances found in common, everyday foods are toxic to dogs and can make them very sick.
But no worries! There are still some scrumptious treats your dog and your hamster can share just like the small treats and biscuits!
Reasons not to share food between dogs and hamsters
One reason you should avoid sharing food between your dog and hamster is that they have very different natural diets.
Yes, they are technically both omnivores who eat plants and animal protein as part of their diets, but the kinds of food they eat are still widely different.
Hamsters are mostly herbivores who feast mainly on grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Though they do sometimes eat meat, they consume very little animal protein in comparison to their overall diets.
We know this isn’t the case for dogs!
Dogs are much closer to being carnivores and up to ⅔ of a dog’s diet can contain animal meats and proteins.
The remainder of their diet comes from vegetables and grains but it only makes up a tiny portion in comparison.
Not Enough Nutrition
Because dogs are mostly carnivorous, dog food has a much higher protein content than hamster food.
It also has a much higher fat content, which is necessary for a healthy pooch but can lead to heart disease and obesity in hamsters.
Hamster food is also significantly higher in fiber than dog food.
If dogs are eating too much hamster food, then they will be consuming too much fiber.
Though not dangerous, too much fiber in their diet can lead to bloating, gas, and constipation. That can be pretty uncomfortable for your pooch, similar to when they eat too much marrowfat peas.
And though hamster food may provide your dog with too much of this one nutrient, it’s lacking in others that your dog needs to survive.
Giving your dog too much hamster food will fill them up with snacks that are not satisfying their fat and protein needs.
Dangerous Foods for your Dog
Despite having strong stomachs, there are still some foods that can be dangerous for your pup. That’s why you have to be careful when giving them food that was created for a different species.
Oftentimes, we think that we can give dogs any of our table scraps and that it’s totally safe for them due to their iron stomachs.
But that’s not the case!
There are certain foods you should never feed to your dog, some of which are found in hamster food as well.
Here is a list of delicious treats for your hamster that may seem harmless to share, but are actually toxic for your pooch:
Though you probably aren’t feeding your hamster straight-up chocolate, there are chocolate-flavored hamster treats on the market.
It’s best to avoid sharing these because chocolate contains a substance that is toxic for dogs and can lead to kidney failure.
Though these hamster treats don’t contain enough real chocolate to harm your dog, it’s better not to let them develop a liking to the taste.
Grains, seeds, and nuts play a huge role in your hamster’s diet.
Macadamia nuts are quite high in fat, so they should be fed to your hamster sparingly, but they are still perfectly safe.
For your dog, however, it is a different story.
Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that is very harmful to dogs. It affects your dog’s muscles and nervous system and can lead to vomiting, weakness, and swollen limbs.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a nice treat for your hamster but can be dangerous for your dog. Though the corn itself is safe for dogs to ingest, they may end up choking on the cob or having it cause blockage in their intestines if swallowed.
A little bit of avocado may be a nice treat for Hammy, but it is poisonous to give to your dog.
Avocados contain Persin, which is a substance that can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea for dogs. The high-fat content of an avocado can even cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and Raisins
Hamsters love to munch on grapes!
But for dogs, grapes are seriously toxic and can cause liver damage and kidney failure.
Dried grapes – raisins – also tend to be in many of the foods we like to eat, like cookies, cereals and seed & nut mixes.
They may be hidden in some of your hamster’s treats as well, so always double-check that they are not in the food you share with your dog.
What food can be shared between your dog and hamster?
Though you have to be careful about what foods you share with your dog, there are still some healthy and delicious hamster treats that your dog will just love!
Hamster nuggets and dried food
Most hamster food bought from pet stores will be made from different grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
Therefore, they contain a lot of nutrients that can benefit your dog.
Though the nutrients aren’t sufficient for all your dog’s needs, dried hamster pellets can still be a nice treat for your dog.
Carrots are a healthy treat for your hamster and good for your dog as well!
They provide a good source of beta-carotene which helps the absorption of vitamin A and in turn, boosts your dog’s immune system.
A lot of hamster food contains different dried berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
These berries are both safe and nutritious for your pup!
Berries contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cell function and reduce inflammation.
They also contain vitamin C, which boosts immune systems and maintains good bone health.
However, not all berries are safe for dogs.
Some may be toxic, so always verify what type of berries are present in the food you’re sharing.
Celery and Cucumber
These are 2 delicious veggies your hamster will love to munch on that are also good for your dog.
If your dog is a bit overweight, these veggie treats can aid with weight loss since they have low calories.
However, many dogs may not consider these veggies as a treat!
They’ll often give them a sniff and walk away uninterested.
Can dog food harm hamsters?
What if the tables are turned and your want to feed your hamsters dog food?
Well, you can do so, but always in moderation. Hamsters are less fussy eaters but care must still be taken when feeding them.
You have to take note of the types of food that are dangerous to hamsters and ensure they are not present in what you are feeding them.
And as hamsters are small in size, never overfeed them. Dog food is often high in protein which can be harmful to hamsters when consumed in large quantities. It makes them sick and dehydrated fast!
Stay on the safe side of caution if you are unsure. I’m certain your hamsters are happy with their current treats!
In conclusion: Can dogs eat hamster treats?
Dogs and hamsters have very different diets and must be taken into consideration when feeding them.
Dogs need a more complete and complex diet than hamsters and there are some foods that they absolutely must avoid.
Though hamster food is not “bad” or “unsafe” for dogs, it is definitely nutrient deficient and not sufficient for what your dog requires for a healthy lifestyle.
Giving them some hamster food as a treat is fine, but you cannot supplement your dog’s diet with too much hamster food.
Hamster pellets are generally safe for dogs to consume but they should be regarded as small treats only and not replace their regular diets.
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