Owning one of these cute little animals demands responsibility and being willing to give it special care. They are very active, funny and intelligent pets. That is why it is common for us to plan different activities to see them in action and innovate both in their routine and diet. Surely you are considering adding a crunchy and spicy touch to the diet of your little and fragile pet and you want to know if radish is a safe alternative, here you will find all the information you should know about whether your hamster can eat radishes and of course how to introduce this food safely for your pet.
What kind of food are radishes?
To begin, let’s clarify what radishes are. It is a vegetable rich in water, vitamin C and vitamin B1 that is characterized by its crunchy crust and its spicy flavor. The edible part is its root, although its clean and fresh leaves can also be used. In addition, radish is a stimulant of the digestive system, supports the mental health of humans and animals, and has antibacterial and antiviral properties. So, it is a good food, right?
Yes, it is a good food, but truth is that its nutritional value does not make it the most complete food. Although, given the health benefits it is worth knowing if it is suitable to complement the diet of our furry pet.
What you must know about radish
Once we have talked about pros and cons of consuming radish, we must consider several aspects when feeding our pet with this vegetable, some may be the caloric intake, the frequency of administration and what types of hamsters can consume it and which ones cannot.
Radish Nutritional Contribution
The Nutritional contribution of every 100 g of radish shows it contains 1.86g of sugar and 95.27g of water, which can be very high for a hamster. This is a very important fact to take into account since it can cause diabetes and diarrhea to our pet, leading to dehydration and even death. Here is a table that resumes nutritional value of this vegetable.
|Nutritional Value Per 100 g (3.5 oz)||Vitamins||Minerals|
|Energy 66 kJ (16 kcal)||Thiamine (B1) (1%) 0.012 mg||Calcium (3%) 25 mg|
|Carbohydrates 3.4 g||Riboflavin (B2) (3%) 0.039 mg||Iron (3%) 0.34 mg|
|Sugars 1.86 g||Niacin (B3) (2%) 0.254 mg||Magnesium (3%) 10 mg|
|Dietary fiber 1.6 g||Pantothenic acid (B5) (3%) 0.165 mg||Manganese (3%) 0.069 mg|
|Fat 0.1 g||Vitamin B6 (5%) 0.071 mg||Phosphorus (3%) 20 mg|
|Protein 0.68 g||Folate (B9) (6%) 25 μg||Potassium (5%) 233 mg|
|Vitamin C (18%) 14.8 mg||Zinc (3%) 0.28 mg|
|Fluoride 6 µg|
Is radish good for hamsters?
The short answer is YES. But it depends on several factors. First, we have to consider the breed of the hamster, its age and of course its own gastronomic preferences! Yes, even if you find that it is an alternative to supplement your hamster’s diet, there is no guarantee that he will agree, so in any case you have to try.
- Breed: Some varieties of hamsters are smaller and with particular tendencies to develop diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. That is the case of the Chinese, Campbell, Siberian and Russian dwarf hamsters. These breeds are smaller, their digestive systems are more fragile and it can be difficult for them to properly digest this vegetable. By contrast, Roborovski and Syrian dwarf hamsters are more resistant breeds and tend to tolerate this food better.
- Age: Radish is a prohibited food for baby hamsters, it should only be considered as a supplement to the diet of adult hamsters.
- Hamster´s preference: It may sound funny, but it is important to know the gastronomic tastes of our pet. If indeed the breed and age of your hamster allows you to feed it radishes, you must identify if your pet enjoys the food or if, on the contrary, he leaves it in his cage or causes him any discomfort such as colic or diarrhea. If he doesn’t like it, stop trying.
How to safely feed your pet with radish
Since we know when it’s a good idea to feed your pet radishes, let’s learn how to do it safely.
- Presentation: Radish is eaten raw so it is very important to wash it well and remove all traces of dirt. As with the rest of the foods, this step will make a difference and your pet will appreciate it.
- Serving: Servings should be small, preferably no more than a thin slice, no seasonings, no salt or sugar. At first you should try with small pieces to see if your hamster tolerates the food, if it causes an upset stomach you should avoid it completely.
- Frequency: Radish is a supplement to the diet and not a main component of it, do not include more than once a week or every two weeks.
- Make sure to remove the leftovers that remain in the cage: When we include organic food in the diet of our little pet, we must ensure that there are no leftovers in the cage. These little rodents tend to reserve a little for later, fill their cheek pouches and hide their reserves. These foods will start to spoil after a few hours and can cause food poisoning, which is serious in such a small pet.
Frequently asked questions
The consumption of this type of food should be occasional, once every 15 days is recommended, although the less frequent the better. You should provide a small slice of radish to your pet, which should not be too dry or too wet. It is better to give this type of food to adult hamsters and not to young ones.
Can dwarf hamsters eat radishes?
Not all breeds of dwarf hamsters can eat radishes, as we explained above, the Roborovsky and Syrian breeds are more resistant and tolerate this food better.
What is poisonous to hamsters?
Pay attention, hamsters can be seriously poisoned and even die if you feed them:
- a) Candy, chocolate
- b) Milk
- c) Coffee (will damage their nervous system),
- d) Seasonings
- e) Avocado (will cause digestive complications)
- f) Potatoes and beans (can cause severe diarrhea in some breeds)
- g) Indoor plants
- h) Tomato leaves (most toxic for a hamster)
- i) Citrus in general.
What fresh vegetables can hamsters eat?
If it is about innovation and you are considering other options to feed your pet, you can include spinach, cabbages, dry lettuce, endive, peas, vegetables such as carrots and small amounts of fennel or zucchini.
What raw foods can hamsters eat?
In their natural habitat, most hamsters are omnivores; however some can be scavengers and seek to feed on small insects, lizards or worms. If you want to include a little animal protein, dry worms are a good option for them.
Can Syrian hamsters eat radish?
Yes, Syrian hamsters are one of the most resistant breeds along with roborovsky hamsters. Both breeds tolerate radish very good. If you have a Syrian hamster and want to try to feed it with radishes remember to follow our safety recommendations so your pet can enjoy the process.
Can Russian dwarf hamsters eat radishes?
Russian dwarf hamsters are the smallest, their size makes them more fragile and they tend to develop diabetes and hypertension. Being more delicate it is important not to try irritating or difficult to digest foods. It is preferable to avoid radish in this breed.
In conclusion, radish is a beneficial food for adult hamsters of some breeds. Like any other food, if you plan to introduce it into your pet’s diet, you should do it slowly and in small portions. Remember that each pet is unique and your hamster may reject this food or not tolerate it, make sure to monitor it during the process and always remember to remove the leftovers from its cage. Share with us your questions or comments, if you have already tried this food, tell us how your friend did.