Is popcorn safe for hamsters? And can hamsters eat popcorn? The answer is yes and no. If you give your hamster a few pieces of popped corn, they will probably be just fine. However, it has to be completely plain, no butter, salt or sugar!
What Is Popcorn?
Popcorn is a type of maize that is grown specifically for popping. The kernels have a hard outer shell and a starchy inner endosperm. When the kernel is heated, the water inside turns to steam and expands, causing the kernel to pop.
Commercially prepared popcorn usually has added salt, butter or other flavoring, which can be harmful to your hamster. If you want to give your hamster popcorn, make sure it is completely plain and unsalted.
Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?
Hamsters can eat plain popcorn, but it should only be given as an occasional treat. Popcorn is high in carbohydrates and low in nutritional value, so it is not a good food to give your hamster on a regular basis.
A few pieces of popped corn will not hurt your hamster, but too much can cause digestive problems. If you do give your hamster popcorn, make sure to remove any uneaten kernels before they have a chance to spoil.
Benefits Of Popcorn For Hamsters
While popcorn is not a healthy food for hamsters, it can be a fun treat. Popcorn is also a good way to bond with your hamster. If you pop some corn and share it with your hamster while you watch a movie, they will enjoy the experience just as much as you will!
Can you think of any great movies that hamsters might enjoy? Possibly Bolt, with Rhino the hamster.
Just remember to feed your hamster popcorn in moderation and to always remove any uneaten kernels before they have a chance to spoil.
Risks Of Popcorn For Hamsters
Popcorn is high in fiber and carbohydrates, which can give your hamster diarrhea or gas. It’s also a choking hazard, so it’s important to be careful when feeding it to your pet. If you do choose to give your hamster popcorn, make sure it is unsalted and unbuttered.
Hamsters are known for storing their food, and this can cause problems for a couple of reasons.
If any popcorn is left uneaten in your hamsters cage, they could rot, start to smell and attract insects.
Your hamster may also store uneaten popcorn in their cheek pouches, and it’s not uncommon for hamsters to develop abscesses, which can be sore for your pet.
That’s why it’s advisable to monitor your hamster when giving them popcorn and immediately remove and discard any uneaten popcorn from their cage.
How To Feed Popcorn To Your Hamster
The best way to give your hamster popcorn is to pop it yourself, without any salt, butter or other flavoring. You can then let it cool before giving it to your pet.
Popcorn can be a fun and occasional treat for your hamster, but it’s important to feed it in moderation and to remove any uneaten kernels before they have a chance to spoil.
As with the introduction of any new food to your hamsters diet, if you are going to try feeding your hamster popcorn, you need to monitor your hamster closely whilst eating them.
How Much Popcorn Can A Hamster Eat?
A small handful of popped corn is enough for one treat, and you should only give your hamster popcorn once a week at most.
If you have any concerns about feeding popcorn to your hamster, or if they seem unwell after eating it, please consult a veterinarian.
When feeding your hamster new foods, you should always start with a tiny amount to ensure that they like it, and that they don’t encounter an allergic reaction. So if you want to try feeding your hamster popcorn then we would recommend giving a very small portion size, about the size of a teaspoon.
Another good way to work out what is the right amount of popcorn to feed your hamster is to give them a portion they can comfortably hold within their hands.
Other Than Popcorn What Else Can Your Hamster Eat?
We have looked at if your hamster can eat popcorn.
Can they also eat other types of snacks? Can Hamsters Eat Potato Chips?
As a general rule, you should avoid giving your hamster processed foods, such as potato chips. These types of foods are high in fat and salt, and can cause health problems for your pet.
If you want to give your hamster a treat, there are plenty of healthy options available, such as fruits and vegetables.
Other than good quality hamster food, what else could you be feeding your hamster?
Grains are a staple food for hamsters. You should give about a tablespoonful each day. Grains can be found in commercially prepared hamster mixes, providing protein and carbohydrates. Avoid overfeeding fatty nuts (peanuts and sunflower seeds), as they can cause obesity.
Fresh, organic vegetables are the best choice for your hamster.
If you’re not using organic produce, be sure to clean it properly to get rid of any pesticides.
Whilst most vegetables are generally safe for hamsters, dark green vegetables are the best choice, so things like;
- Broccoli spears
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion greens
- Romaine lettuce
Avoid iceberg lettuce and other high-water veggies or fruits (such as watermelon) to avoid stomach problems.
Like vegetables, most fruit is OK for hamsters in small portions, as a supplement to the usual diet.
Some good choices are;
- Apples (with pips removed)
Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.
Often overlooked for hamsters, hay is a wonderful gnawing food that can keep your hamster’s teeth clean.
Your hamster should always have access to fresh water, changed daily.
What’s The Best Diet For Hamsters?
If you have a hamster, you need to make sure that you are feeding them the best food possible.
We’ve discussed if hamsters can eat popcorn, and whilst hamsters can eat a wide variety of things, their primary diet should consist of good quality hamster food.
There are a lot of options available for your hamster, but not all of them are good! If you want to learn more about the best hamster food, you can read our full review of the best hamster foods here.
If you just want to know what we recommend, it’s Kaytee Pro Health Hamster food.
The Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food was created by animal nutritionists to ensure that your hamster gets the correct nutrition within their diet.
To support digestive health, Forti-Diet Pro Health includes probiotics and prebiotics. This food is high in natural antioxidants for general health and immunity protection, as well as some bigger, crunchier pieces to promote dental health through natural chewing action.
- Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
- Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
- Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
- A nutritionally complete diet for hamsters and gerbils
- All natural
So, can hamsters eat popcorn? The answer is yes, but only in moderation and without any added salt, butter or sugar. If you want to give your hamster a treat, a few pieces of plain popcorn should be fine.
However, their diet should primarily consist of good quality hamster food to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
Hamsters are omnivores, so their diet should consist of both vegetables and fruits, as well as grains and hay. Avoid giving them processed foods or sugary treats, as these can cause health problems. Always provide fresh water for your hamster to drink.
Now you know if it is safe to feed your hamster popcorn. Just remember, always start by introducing a very small portion of popcorn to your hamster, and look out for any signs of discomfort or unusual behaviour.
If your hamster has an adverse reaction after eating popcorn, contact your local veterinarian immediately.