If you are a new or experienced owner of a hamster, you may be experimenting with diet and treat options. From homemade treats to store bought goodies, there is something tasty for every hamster. Your hamster's diet will play a large role in their health and well-being. Paying attention to what and how much they are eating is a vital part of general hamster care. Have you considered adding rice to your hamster's meals or providing rice treats? Can hamster's even eat rice? We have done the research to give you this answer and more when it comes to your hamster's diet.
Hamsters can eat rice. It is safe to feed them both cooked and uncooked rice. Use caution when feeding cooked rice, too moist or overcooked rice can create issues for your hamster.
Let's break down how and when to feed your hamster rice. Read on as we discuss if there are health benefits of adding rice to your hamster's diet and insights to DIY rice treats.
How Much Rice Can My Hamster Eat?
While it is safe to feed rice to your hamster, use precaution with the amount being fed. All types of rice should be given as a treat or an added element to an already balanced diet.
Your hamster can eat a few grains of rice at a time. Small rice treats can be given every other day while large rice treats can be fed once a week. Make sure to clear out any leftover or buried rice from your hamster's cage. This will prevent them from hoarding and overeating.
Are There Health Benefits Of Feeding Rice?
Rice does not add much nutritional value to your hamster's diet. Whole grain rice is considered the more nutritional choice of rice because the grains still have their husks. These husks contain minimal amounts of B vitamins, fiber and iron. Rice treats or grains should be used as an additive to your hamster's diet, not a key element. Rice does not provide a notable amount of health benefits from nutrition, but feeding rice does add to environmental stimulation.
Any time you introduce a new treat, a toy, or change an aspect of the diet, you are motivating your hamster to use their senses. Adequate environmental stimulation keeps your hamster happy and healthy.
How Should I Prepare Rice For My Hamster?
There are a few options when it comes to preparing rice for your hamster. You first choose what type of rice you want to feed - white, whole grain or mixed rice. Will you feed cooked or uncooked rice? Any of these options are safe for your pet. All rice that is offered to your pet should not have any seasonings or oils added.
Use caution when feeding cooked rice to your furry friend. Ensure the rice is not over or undercooked. Cooked rice that is not properly prepared runs the risk of getting stuck in your hamster's cheek pouches and rotting.
You can consider buying commercial rice treats for your hamster or putting together a homemade treat.
You may not find the time to purchase or make your treats at home. You can add a few grains of cooked or uncooked rice to your hamster's normal food mix.
Have more questions about your hamster's basic diet? Read our blog post, "How To Feed Hamsters - A Guide For Beginners".
DIY Hamster Treats
Looking to get creative with homemade treats? There are many hamster treat recipes you can add rice to. Baking your own treats can be a cheaper alternative to store bought ones. Enjoy a fun project while providing your hamster with nutritious, high-quality treats.
Watch the video below for a simple DIY hamster treat. For this recipe, you would add a handful of rice to your seed mixture.
Another option for a homemade treat is a "stick of seeds". This recipe requires a 5-10 inch stick, honey or peanut butter and bird seeds with rice. Simply coat your stick with the honey or peanut butter and roll is evenly over your seeds and rice. Let the sticks sit for an hour and let your hamster enjoy.
These are just a couple of treat options for your hamster. Play around with different recipes at home. If you see seeds or nuts in your recipe, here is where you can add your grains of rice.
Read more on our blog post, "What Treats Can I Give My Hamster?".
Can You Give Hamsters Rice Krispies?
You can give your hamster Rice Krispies. Just like rice, Rice Krispies should be given in moderation and only as a treat. Stick to the Rice Krispies cereal and not Rice Krispies bars. The bars contain a higher sugar content that can harm your hamster.
Hamsters tend to love Rice Krispies as a treat. Like "Peaches", the hamster in the video below!
Check your hamster's enclosure often for buried or old treats. Being on top of this will eliminate any rotting treats and will ensure your hamster does not overeat.
Do Hamsters Need A Salt Lick?
If your hamster is eating a complete and balanced diet, they do not need a salt lick. Salt licks can prevent mineral deficiencies, but if your hamster is eating their food portions this should not be an issue.
Some hamsters enjoy playing with their salt licks. While you may not need one, having a salt lick does not cause harm to your hamster. Explore your pet's habits and decide if a salt lick would be stimulating for them.
Can Hamsters Eat Other Grains?
Hamsters can eat other grains and should. You will notice that grains play a large role in your hamster's balanced diet. Some grains you can feed your hamster include:
Each type of grain will have their benefits and restrictions when feeding your hamster. All aspects of your hamster's diet should be looked at carefully to ensure you are feeding the correct amounts. Let's look at some details of the mentioned grains.
Oats provide your hamster with healthy fats, proteins and fibers. It is recommended to feed dry or baked oats to your pet. Oatmeal can have the same rotting risks as cooked rice.
Watch the video below to learn how to make oat treats for your hamster with only 3 ingredients.
Corn is a carbohydrate source that offers your hamster proteins, vitamins and antioxidants. You will often see corn in commercial hamster feed. This protein filled grain can make up 10% of your hamster's diet.
Feeding barley as part of your hamster's diet will provide essential nutrients like B vitamins, dietary fiber and protein. You should be feeding 1/2 tablespoon of barley once daily.
You can feed your hamster small crumbs of rye bread once a week. This grain treat will provide magnesium and helps control blood sugar for your hamster. You can dip the bread in milk before giving it to your furry friend to add in calcium.
Wheat can be fed to your hamsters in the form of wheat sprays, crackers or as part of a hay mixture. Wheat treats and other products should only be fed to your hamster once weekly. Adding wheat to your hamster's diet provides B vitamins, dietary fibers and proteins.
You can see that many grains can be part of your hamster's diet. Hamsters require a diet that is high in carbohydrates due to the amount of energy they burn. These grains will provide the energy your hamster needs to run their wheel, burrow and slip through their tunnels.
To learn more about what your hamster can and cannot eat, read our blog post, "14 Foods That Are Dangerous To Hamsters".
Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?
Hamsters can eat plain and fully popped popcorn. Feeding popcorn can even provide some nutritional benefits like added calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A. This low-carb treat is completely safe for your furry friend when fed in small amounts.
Do not add any toppings to your hamster's popcorn treats. Added toppings are what make popcorn unhealthy. Placing salt, butter or any other topping to the popcorn will take away the nutritional benefits of this treat. These ingredients may even cause health issues for your hamster.
You can feed your hamster rice, and they enjoy the treat! With any element of the diet, ensure you are feeding the appropriate amount. Rice is a treat, not a key element of the diet. Play around with different treat ideas to find what your hamster loves most. We hope you found this article helpful when adding new treats to your hamster's diet.
Looking for more DIY treat ideas for your pet? Read our blog post, "How To Make Hamster Treats At Home [6 suggestions]".