Can Hamsters Eat Avocado?
Avocado is a very popular superfruit rich in many nutrients, especially healthy fats, with some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants also being present. The human body can benefit from eating avocado in moderation frequently, but what about hamsters?
Hamsters are omnivores and eat a rather varied diet in the wild, and although they have delicate digestive systems, they can digest a wide range of foods. But, can they eat avocados?
Published: January 27, 2023.
Quick Answer: No, avocados are not suitable for hamsters. Avocados contain the toxin persin (natural fungicide), plenty of calories, and can be difficult for hamsters to digest.
While really smaller amounts of avocado will not kill the hamster, why risk it when there are other so much healthier treats around?
Can Hamsters Have Avocado
No, hamsters should not have avocado, not even as a treat, in very small amounts.
Because of the naturally occurring fungicide persin, avocados should not be given to hamsters. Larger pets like dogs, also omnivores, can tolerate persin up to a point, but even they should avoid it for many other reasons.
Even eating a tiny portion of avocados can cause serious health problems. If your hamster has eaten an avocado, it is advisable to take him to a veterinarian.
Other than persin, avocados are not recommended for hamsters for other reasons, including:
Digestive problems: avocados contain large amounts of potassium (almost 500mg per 100g of fruit) and can cause various digestive issues in hamsters. These issues can further endanger the health of hamsters due to diarrhea, slowed digestion, and even intestinal blockage.
Although omnivores, hamsters have a sensitive digestive system used to digest the food that hamsters can easily find in the wild - and avocados are not on that list. To avoid any intestinal complications, don't feed your hamster with avocados, not even a little bit.
Physical Weakness: Even a small piece of avocado may cause physical weakness and dizziness and can make hamsters sluggish. These effects will pass if the hamster manages to digest the avocado, but why risk it?
Obesity: Avocados contain plenty of calories (160 kcal/100g), mostly from fats (~15g/100g) and carbs (~9g/100g), and can increase calorie intake in hamsters in a very short time. After all, even humans should eat avocados in moderation, being very careful about the portions.
Other potential issues include issues with the immune system, respiratory problems, problems with urine, etc.
Fortunately, not all hamsters will eat offered avocado, which is good. On the other hand, don't leave avocado in the cage for a hamster to "eat it later" - old avocados can be even more dangerous to hamsters than fresh ones.
So, if You really care about your hamster, don't give it avocado, no matter "how cute" it looks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about avocados and hamsters.
Can hamsters have avocado pits?
When compared with hamsters, avocado pits are big and difficult to eat. If the hamsters somehow manage to break off a few tiny pieces, those pieces are a huge choking hazard.
Not to mention persin, which is also present in avocado pits.
Can hamsters have avocado peel?
Although the skin of the fruit has a rather rough texture, hamsters can chew it using their small teeth. But, the avocado peel is difficult to digest, which may cause digestive blockage, slow digestion, diarrhea, etc.
Again, to protect the fruit, avocado skin contains large amounts of persin.
Can hamsters have avocado leaves?
Again, due to the large persin content, hamsters should not eat avocado leaves.
Eating too many leaves can cause persin poisoning.
Is guacamole poisonous to hamsters?
Guacamole is based on the avocado and since avocado contains persin and is generally difficult for hamsters to digest, don't feed your hamster with guacamole.
Few Final Words
Hamsters and avocados are a big no-no. Due to the persin content, calorie content, and potential issues with digestion, do NOT feed your hamster with avocado.
If your hamster eats some avocado, contact the vet and act according to their instructions. Healthy hamsters can manage really small amounts of avocado, but don't risk it - when eating avocados, keep your hamster in the cage.
Also, avocados are very decorative fruits but don't keep them on surfaces that your hamster can reach.
If You are unsure about what food to give to your hamster, contact the vet and ask for advice - generally, they need hamster pellets and Timoty hay, with access to fresh water. Also, they require small amounts of fruit, vegetables, and herbs and occasional treats like nuts, boiled egg, or even a mealworm.
Again, if unsure, always ask a vet...