Can Hamsters Eat Bread?
Bread is a very popular food that can be found in almost every household. Depending on a person’s taste, they can be eaten in various forms and flavors such as garlic bread or butter bread. One of the major ingredients for baking bread is flour.
Every flour used comes from a particular variety of grounded grain. As a pet owner you might be wondering if hamsters can eat bread like humans do. Well let’s explore together!.
Can Hamsters safely eat Bread?
Surprisingly yes, they can eat bread too but only in small amounts. Whether it is safe for them to consume totally depends on the type of bread. Hamsters can eat whole grain bread without inviting much complication. In fact, they could gain a lot of advantage from eating this type of bread because they are rich with vitamins.
They can also safely consume plain, wheat bread which also contains nutrients like niacin. It could be served to them as treats at most once a week. Other types of bread are:
- White bread
- Brown bread
- Rye bread
What is White bread?
White bread is considered the least nutritious of all the types of bread. It is at times referred to as the junk food of all bread. This is because the bran and germ, which contains most of the grain’s nutrients, have been removed. Once these two nutrient-dense parts are removed, the flour also gains its characteristic white color, hence the name white bread.
Can Hamsters safely eat White bread?
This type of bread should be avoided. Your pet hamster may enjoy it because of its sweet taste but they contain high amounts of sugar which may cause obesity or tooth decay. It also doesn’t provide much nutrition to your pet so they are not losing anything if you exclude them from their diet.
What is Brown bread?
Most people confuse brown bread with whole grain bread because of their similar colors. They may contain wheat grain but that doesn’t mean their color comes from there. In most cases, it is from the addition of molasses that produces that shade of brown. They contain nutrional components because it still has the complete parts of a grain.
Can Hamsters safely eat Brown bread?
Yes, they can safely eat small amounts of it. They can enjoy brown bread as fresh treats. Feeding it to them can also help improve the health quotient of your pet hamster to some degree because of their nutritional value.
What is Rye bread?
This type of bread comes in various forms such as light rye, dark rye or marbled. They are made from the combination of both rye flour and grain. The light rye bread is made with rye white flour while the dark rye is made with whole rye grain. The marbled rye is made with a combination of light and dark rye.
Can Hamsters safely eat Rye bread?
Yes, they can. Rye bread contains nutrients like fiber in high amounts. They also contain more nutrients than those found in both white and whole wheat bread. Another reason why they are safe for your furry pet's consumption is that though they contain sugar, they do not affect blood sugar levels significantly.
Can Hamsters safely eat salted bread?
No it isn’t safe for them to consume. It is highly advised not to include this type of bread in their diet because they contain sodium which is unhealthy for hamsters.
Are there benefits to feeding your pet hamster bread?
Hamsters, especially the dwarf species, require foods that are nutrient dense since they can’t eat much because of their small stomachs. They require high amounts of protein in their diet to ensure proper bodily function.
Bread is mostly composed of carbohydrate and contains little amounts of proteins and even lesser amount of other nutrients. You can find that wheat bread contains carbohydrates at 72%, proteins at 16% and low amounts of fat and cholesterol while white bread contains a less significant amount of proteins.
Nutrient composition of whole wheat bread
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, the following nutrients can be obtained from a slice of whole wheat bread
- 69 Calories
- Protein 4g
- Sodium 132mg
- Sugars 2g
- Carbs 12g
- Fiber 2g
What risks are hamsters exposed to from consuming bread?
Bread is one of the many types of food that are high in starch, gluten, salt and carbohydrates. These components alone can easily alter your pet’s health negatively. Some health issues they can expose your pet to are obesity, diabetes, allergies, and in worst cases, even death.
Warning Signs of illness
Humans can detect early signs of certain illnesses by carefully watching out for prominent or subtle symptoms. The same can be done for your pet.
This is to ensure that they're properly cared for before the sickness advances due to negligence. You will need to quickly take your hamster to the vet if after feeding them bread, you notice that your pet
- Is having difficulty walking
- Looks unsteady
- Has diarrhea
- Is not eating or drinking
- Has dull or sunken eyes
- Cannot sit straight but always hunched over
- Has a persistent cough or sneezing
- Sounds like breathing is a lot of work (labored breathing)
- Is not losing weight but rapidly gaining more
- Is loosing hair and has abnormal bumps that you hadn't felt before
- Has no desire to partake in it's normal activities. Appears disinterested
- Is limping or reluctant to use a pàrticular limb
- Has discharge coming from the eyes, ears and nostrils
- Is drinking more quantities of water than usual
- Has a warm, swollen stomach
While feeding bread to your pet hamster might not come with much complication, it is better to feed them foods that will offer them more nutrition that is important for their survival. Foods such as fruits and vegetables are more nutrient dense than bread which is sometimes referred to as a food filled with empty calories. If you must feed them bread, let it not be served as a main hamster food.