Arugula is a spicy-tasting leafy green vegetable that is usually used to add a more peppery taste to your salad. Arugula is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and other health benefits. So, you might be wondering if your hamsters can eat arugula, too.
Can Hamsters Eat Arugula? Is It Good for Them?
Yes. Arugula can be eaten by hamsters in regulated amounts. Arugula is good for hamsters as long you don’t overfeed them. Too many leafy green veggies, like arugula, can be harmful to your pet if given in high amounts. Also, hamsters love a variety of healthy food.
You can give them small portions of hamster food and some supplementary fresh vegetables and fruit to achieve a balanced diet. As much as possible, you should avoid feeding them watery, sugary, or acidic foods because they cannot digest them easily.
How Much Arugula Can Hamsters Eat?
An adult hamster can eat a piece of arugula roughly the size of its head or even smaller. If it is your hamster’s first time, give it just a bite or in a smaller amount until it gets used to the taste of this leafy vegetable. You can give at least half a teaspoon of arugula once or twice a week depending on your hamster’s diet and age.
Baby hamsters should not be given any amount of these leafy greens since they are not yet able to digest them. They should depend on their mother’s milk for nutrition and feeding. If the mother is not available to feed the baby hamster, you can use milk replacements to nourish it.
Dwarf hamsters can eat at least 1/9 portion of arugula leaf once a week. While Syrian hamsters can have at least 1/2 teaspoon of arugula leaf. Wild hamsters can eat almost anything that a pet hamster will eat. Their main diet includes seeds, fruits, vegetables, and insects. As a general rule of thumb, if even if your hamster belongs to other breeds, it is still safe not to overfeed them and just let them have small quantities.
Can Arugula Kill Hamsters?
Large amounts of arugula can cause bloating which may result in stomach pain and other digestive tract problems. It can also cause diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. A dehydrated hamster can look lethargic inside its hamster cage. They will lose energy and will have a dull coat.
If this continues to happen and proper treatment was not given, your hamster may eventually die.
Is Arugula Bad for Hamsters?
Arugula can be bad for hamsters if given in the wrong amount. This leafy vegetable is a healthy treat for hamsters. However, just like any food, if given in a very generous amount, your hamsters may develop several diseases.
For example, since arugula has high water content and fiber, it can lead to many digestive tract issues. Overfeeding arugula to your furry friend can cause bigger issues. Too much arugula encourages bloating, diarrhea, and other risks to your hamster’s health if given in bigger quantities.
How Do I Prepare Arugula for My Hamster?
Here’s how you can prepare the arugula leaf that you can feed to your hamster:
First, wash the leaf with running water to remove dirt and some bacteria. The next step is to let it dry for a while. After drying it, get at least 1/2 teaspoon of the leaf and try feeding it to your hamster. This food should only be given to them at least once or twice a week.
Hamsters can eat the petiole or stem of arugula as well in very tiny portions. Keep an eye on your hamster’s reaction within the day. If your hamster develops any digestive problem, stop giving arugula to it.
Can Hamsters Eat Raw Arugula?
Generally, hamsters eat vegetables and fruits raw. You can just wash or blanch it and your hamster can enjoy this healthy snack. Hamsters can eat fresh and dried arugula in tiny portion. However, there are veggies that you should not give to your little hamsters. Here’s a short list of them:
- potato tops
- raw potato
- raw rhubarb
- rhubarb leaves
- raw kidney beans
- tomato leaves
- arugula seeds
Can Hamsters Eat Cooked Arugula?
Similar to other veggies, once the arugula is cooked, soluble vitamins and minerals will be gone. You can feed them cooked arugula in small portions, but it is still best to give it fresh. You can also feed dried arugula and baby arugula to your hamsters in small amounts.
What Can I Feed My Hamster Instead of Arugula?
Commercial hamster food from pet stores comes with lots of needed nutrients for your hamster. Nevertheless, they still need some fresh supplements that can be available in your kitchen. Here are the other plant-based foods that you can feed your hamster with:
- seedless apple
- watermelon flesh
As pet owners, should be responsible when it comes to their hamster’s welfare. Some foods are just not good for them no matter how nutrient-filled they seem. So, do not just feed anything to your hamster without reading about it.
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- Healthline “Arugula: Benefits and Nutrition, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/arugula” Accessed July 22, 2020.
- NCBI “Nutrient Requirements of a Hamster, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231928/” Accessed 1995.
- Wiley Online Library “Semi-synthetic vs Natural Diet, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpn.13035” Accessed January 18, 2019.