Can Hamsters Eat Shallots?

Are shallots safe for hamsters to eat? Absolutely not! Shallots are part of the onion family and should be avoided. Read on to learn more about why you should not feed your hamster shallots.

What Are Shallots?

Shallots are a type of onion that are known for their strong flavor. This vegetable is actually in the same family as garlic and they have many similarities. They are related to other vegetables such as onions, leeks, chives, and even garlic. Shallots are different from both onions and garlic because they contain more water in them than either one of those vegetables.

This vegetable is generally a reddish-purple color and about the size of an onion. They also have a bulbous bottom and long, hollow leaves coming from them that contain the edible part. Shallots are known for their strong flavor, but they can vary depending on where they were grown.

People generally eat shallots by slicing them into small rings or chunks that can then be cooked before eaten. They’re found in a wide variety of dishes all over the world because of their versatility in taste.

Can Hamsters Eat Shallots?

So, can hamsters eat shallots? No, hamsters can’t eat shallots. Shallots are part of the onion family and contain many of the same harmful substances that onions do. These substances, when consumed in higher quantities by small animals like hamsters, can cause some serious health complications that can ultimately lead to death.

The two main components of shallots that make them dangerous for hamsters are thiosulfate and sulfoxides. When hamsters consume too much of these compounds it causes hemolytic anemia, which is where red blood cells burst due to a lack of oxygen. This means that hamsters will become lethargic because there’s not enough oxygen in their bloodstreams and they will also begin to show signs like lab breathing, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.

If you think your hamster has consumed enough shallots to cause any of these complications then you should seek medical attention for them immediately. It’s also important to note that the onion family is actually known for causing this condition in small animals, but shallots especially seem to be very harmful for some reason.

Benefits Of Shallots For Hamsters

You should not feed your hamster shallots because they’re part of the onion family and potentially dangerous if your hamster eats them.

Whilst shallots contain many healthy properties including beta-carotene, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, and dietary fiber, these benefits can be found in most vegetables so you don’t need shallots specifically for your hamster to receive all of these nutrients; there are plenty of other foods with the same nutritional value.

Risks Of Shallots For Hamsters

As mentioned above, there are two compounds found in the onion family–thiosulfate and sulfoxides–that can be very harmful for hamsters if consumed in large enough quantities. These substances cause hemolytic anemia, which is where red blood cells burst due to a lack of oxygen. When red blood cells die body’s organs don’t receive the vital oxygen that they need in order to function properly.

If your hamster accidentally eats shallots you should take them to a veterinarian immediately so they can provide treatment.

How To Feed Shallots To Your Hamster

You should not feed shallots to your hamster.

How Much Shallot Can A Hamster Eat?

Your hamster should not eat any shallot. Even a small amount would be detrimental to your hamsters health.

What Can Your Hamster Eat Instead Of Shallots?

We have looked at if your hamster can eat shallots.

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;

  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli spears
  • Carrot tops
  • Dandelion greens
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach

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)
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Strawberries

Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.

Timothy hay

Often overlooked for hamsters, hay is a wonderful gnawing food that can keep your hamster’s teeth clean.

Fresh water

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 shallots, 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.

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Pet Hamster & Gerbil Food, 3 Pound
  • 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


Shallots are not safe for hamsters because these vegetables also contain thiosulfate and sulfoxides, which can cause hemolytic anemia if too much is consumed at once. This causes red blood cells to burst and prevents organs like the stomach from receiving enough oxygen.

If you think your hamster has consumed shallots then you should take them to a veterinarian immediately, and be aware that the onion family is harmful for hamsters.

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