Are sesame seeds safe for hamsters to eat? They sure are, but should only be fed in moderation. Read on more to learn about the nutritional benefits of sesame seeds and how to feed them to your hamster.
What Are Sesame Seeds?
Sesame seeds come from Sesamum indicum, a flowering plant that belongs to the Pedaliaceae family. They are round and tan-colored with an oval shape. When milled, they can be used as sesame oil, tahini paste or halvah.
Some people have allergies to sesame seeds but are still able to eat products containing them since processing removes the allergens.
Sesame seeds have a nutty and earthy flavor. They are often used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Sesame seeds are extremely nutritious. They contain copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B1 and fiber.
They are high in calories but low in saturated fat.
Can Hamsters Eat Sesame Seeds?
So, can hamsters eat sesame seeds? Yes, hamsters can eat sesame seeds, but only in moderation.
Hamsters who eat too many sesame seeds may experience a stomach ache, flatulence or diarrhea.
Benefits Of Sesame Seeds For Hamsters
Hamsters can eat sesame seeds in small amounts.
They contain good levels of magnesium and phosphorus, which support bone health. They also provide antioxidants and unsaturated fats to hamsters’ diets.
However, the main benefit of sesame seeds for hamsters is that they contain tryptophan amino acid. Tryptophan helps produce serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that boost a hamster’s immune system and help them fight stress .
Sesame seeds are also high in calcium, which can help give your hamster strong bones.
Hamsters love the flavour of sesame seeds, so they will be very excited to eat them! They will appreciate the extra protein and nutrients that this snack offers.
Risks Of Sesame Seeds For Hamsters
Excessive sesame seeds can cause intestinal issues.
These include flatulence, bloating and stomach problems. This is why it’s best to only give your hamster a little bit, maybe just one or two sesame seeds per day.
Hamsters who have digestive problems could be at risk of developing more serious health conditions if they eat too many sesame seeds.
Hamsters are known for storing their food, and this can cause problems for a couple of reasons.
If any sesame seeds are left uneaten in your hamsters cage, they could rot, start to smell and attract insects.
Your hamster may also store uneaten sesame seeds 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 sesame seeds and immediately remove and discard any uneaten sesame seeds from their cage.
How To Feed Sesame Seeds To Your Hamster
If your hamster likes sesame seeds, it’s fine to feed them a couple from time to time.
However, remember that these seeds are high in fat and calories so limit the amount you give your hamster.
You could try mixing them in with your hamsters normal food.
As with the introduction of any new food to your hamsters diet, if you are going to try feeding your hamster sesame seeds, you need to monitor your hamster closely whilst eating them.
How Many Sesame Seeds Can A Hamster Eat?
A couple of tablespoons will do just fine for a handful of treats.
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 sesame seeds 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 sesame seeds to feed your hamster is to give them a portion they can comfortably hold within their hands.
Other Than Sesame Seeds What Else Can Your Hamster Eat?
We have looked at if your hamster can eat sesame seeds.
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 sesame seeds, 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
Sesame seeds are okay for hamsters, but only in small amounts.
Now you know if it is safe to feed your hamster sesame seeds. Just remember, always start by introducing a very small portion of sesame seeds to your hamster, and look out for any signs of discomfort or unusual behaviour.
If your hamster has an adverse reaction after eating sesame seeds, contact your local veterinarian immediately.