Can Hamsters Eat Arugula? Vet-Verified Benefits & Risks

18 views 7:54 am 0 Comments March 15, 2024

arugula leaves

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable with a mild, spicy taste that can be added to salads for a little extra excitement. Like most leafy greens, arugula is highly nutritious, and if you are a hamster owner, you know that there is an abundance of vegetables that your hamster can enjoy, but is arugula one of them?

Hamsters can eat arugula, but only in moderation since too much arugula or any leafy green can cause digestive issues for your pet. In this article, we’ll explain the pros and cons of arugula, how you can safely offer it to your hamster, and some tips to keep your pet hamster healthy and happy.

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Can Hamsters Eat Arugula? 

Arugula can provide your hammy with variety and nutritional benefits, but they should only eat the leafy green occasionally since too much can cause digestive issues. You can safely offer it to your hamster as an occasional snack, but never feed arugula to your hamster as a part of their regular diet.

Fresh green arugula in the bowl snack
Image Credit: Andrey Starostin, Shutterstock

Is Arugula Good for Hamsters?

Arugula is rich in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and folate. Vitamin A is an excellent antioxidant and supports the lungs, kidneys, heart, skin, and eyes. It can help improve your hamster’s immunity by eliminating free radicals in their body. Vitamin C is also great for immune and eye health, and vitamin K supports bone health.

The calcium in the arugula supports and maintains strong and healthy bones and assists in the correct function of your hamster’s heart, nerves, and muscles. Magnesium is excellent for bone and joint support, and folate assists in the production of DNA and RNA and the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow.

Are there Risks to Feeding Hamsters Arugula?

While arugula can provide some variety in your hamster’s diet, it is important that it is only offered in moderation, as too much can be harmful.

Arugula is high in water and too much can cause digestive issues for your hamster, leading to diarrhea. If your hamster experiences diarrhea, it can sometimes lead to dehydration, which requires veterinary treatment.

vet checking hamster
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

How Much Arugula Can Hamsters Eat?

You can offer your hamster a small amount, about the size of a quarter, and leave it in your hamster’s cage. Arugula is not recommended for baby hamsters since their stomachs are much smaller, and the risk of stomach problems is greater.

You can feed your hamster a small amount of arugula once or twice a week. Some hamsters will tolerate arugula better than others, so it’s important to offer them a tiny portion if it’s their first time trying it and then monitor your pet for signs of stomach issues. It is best to always consult with your veterinarian before serving a new food to your pet hamster.

The Correct Diet Is Important

While arugula can be a healthy and enjoyable snack for your hamster, it is important that it is only offered as an occasional snack and not as a part of or a replacement for their regular diet.

Some people are surprised to learn that hamsters are more omnivores than herbivores! In the wild, hamsters eat various insects and worms along with seeds and plants.

The correct diet for your pet hamster is important, so here are some tips for keeping your hammy healthy and happy:
  • Your pet hamster should be fed high-quality hamster pellets. If you are unsure about which brand to select, your veterinarian can guide you.

  • You can offer your hamsters a ¼ teaspoon of birdseed once a week. Birdseed provides a good source of healthy fats.

  • Your hamster needs clean, fresh hay. Timothy Hay is often recommended. You can toss it into their cage for them to nibble on, make tunnels, and mix it with their bedding.

  • You can offer your hamster small portions of fruit and vegetables. They can have about a teaspoon a day as long as there is a good variety of ingredients. If there are any leftovers in the cage, throwing them away is crucial because hamsters save extra food for later, and if they get the chance to stash their leftovers, it can spoil and make your hamster sick.

  • Ensure your hamster’s water bottle is full of clean, fresh water every day.

If you don’t want to serve arugula as a treat, here are some alternatives you can offer them on occasion:
  • Apples without seed, skin or core

  • Artichoke

  • Asparagus

  • Baby corn

  • Beet tops

  • Beets

  • Cabbage

  • Carrot

  • Carrot tops

  • Cilantro

  • Mint

  • Parsley

  • Romaine

  • Spinach

  • Sprouts

  • Sweet corn

  • Swiss chard

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Conclusion

Arugula is a popular leafy green that your hamster can enjoy. However, it should only be served as an occasional treat, along with their regular, balanced diet. Too much arugula can lead to digestive issues for your hamster, which can be uncomfortable and lead to further health issues such as diarrhea and dehydration.

To safely feed your hamster arugula, you can offer a quarter-sized leaf about once or twice a week. Monitoring your hamster’s health is essential, especially if you are serving arugula for the first time. Most importantly, we recommend consulting your vet before serving new food to your pet.


Featured Image Credit: Sea Wave, Shutterstock

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