Broccoli is a vegetable that your kids hate, but your hamsters will love. Packed with minerals, vitamins, and fibres, broccoli is healthy and tasty – if you know how to cook it. But can hamsters eat broccoli?
In short, hamsters can have broccoli occasionally thanks to its wonderful benefits, but, as always, moderation is key.
Is Broccoli Safe For My Hamster?
Yes. Remember that hamsters are omnivores and wild hamsters have a diverse diet, which you should match. Your hamster might eat just pellets, but wild hamsters eat grains, seeds, nuts, the occasional worm or frog, plus some traces of fruits and veggies.
Broccoli is a safe enough food that hamsters love, but some of them might not tolerate it. To avoid digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhoea, start with a small piece of broccoli, and monitor your hamster’s reactions for a few days.
Another safety issue to consider is cleaning your hamster’s cage after feeding him broccoli. If he stashes the pieces of broccoli you give him and these rot, the bacteria can pose serious health issues.
Is Broccoli Good For My Hamster?
Broccoli has a lot of health benefits, including:
- A low caloric intake. Hamsters are prone to obesity because they like to eat and because their human parents love to offer them food.
- A high intake of fibres, which regulate your hamster’s bowel movements, prevent heart disease, and reduce bad cholesterol levels.
- 135% of the RDI for vitamin C. Hamsters are prone to scurvy, a lack of vitamin C deficiency, which affects their heart.
- 116% of the RDI for vitamin K. This vitamin is important in bone metabolism and blood clotting.
- Vitamin B9 for brain health.
- Antioxidants for protecting your hamster’s immune system.
- Plenty of bioactive compounds that reduce inflammation and help an ill hamster get better faster.
- Low sugar levels, so your hamster’s glycemic index doesn’t sky-rocket and trigger diabetes.
The broccoli stems are equally rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Broccoli For My Hamster?
With so many health benefits, you would believe that broccoli can be fed to hamsters every day and in bulk sizes. Unfortunately, broccoli:
- Is filled with water, and hamsters can’t tolerate a water-rich diet, which leads to diarrhoea and digestive issues, including bladder problems and kidney infections.
- Has a high intake of fibre that can lead to diarrhoea, which triggers dehydration.
How Do I Feed Broccoli To My Hamster?
Broccoli and other vegetables and fruits shouldn’t comprise more than 20% of your hamster’s diet.
- A Syrian hamster eats about two tablespoons of food each day, so you shouldn’t give him more than a teaspoon of broccoli, two-three times per week.
- A Dwarf hamster can take about one half of teaspoon of broccoli twice per week.
You can give your hamster:
- Raw broccoli, which is the most nutritious and easiest to serve.
- Steamed broccoli, but remember not to add any salt to it.
- Dehydrated broccoli, which is crunchy and has a lesser water intake, so it’s safer to eat than fresh broccoli.
- Oven-baked, which is crispy and water-free.
To avoid choking, it’s best to cut broccoli in small chunks.
Hamsters can eat broccoli, thanks to their important benefits for your pet’s cardiovascular and immune systems. However, broccoli is packed with water, so it’s best to limit its consumption and portion sizes.