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Ham is a delicious food, we put it in our sandwiches and huge chunks of it can even be used in big roasts! We love to eat ham, and we love our hamsters! Loving our hamsters means that we have to get them the food that they deliver, the food that is healthy for them! So, can hamsters eat ham? The answer is sadly no. It isn’t healthy for your hamster and we will be discussing in this article why you shouldn’t be giving your hamster it.

This article will be going through what ham is, why hamsters can’t eat it and what alternatives you have. Enjoy!

What is Ham?

Ham is a type of pork which is cut from the leg of the pig. It is usually cooked by smoking it. This lovely meat is made by curing the leg with salt. This can end up taking up to a year! It is often used to make sandwiches, either in the thin or thick variety. Ham primarily made in Europe, with Italian ham being famous for being delicious! Ham is a wonderful and tasty type of meat, but your hamster cannot eat it!

Cute dwarf hamster
What a cute dwarf hamster!

Why can’t Hamsters eat Ham?

There’s around five different reasons why hamsters cannot eat ham. These are: it’s too salty, it’s too processed, the lack of nutrients, the amount of fat and the fact that hamsters shouldn’t be eating pork. Let’s look into each one in depth!

It’s too salty!

As stated before, the main way of making ham is through curing it with salt. This involves a lot of salt which makes the meat extremely salty. This can pose a few problems for your hamster. The primary issue is that it can raise your hamster’s blood pressure, too much salt can really hurt their delicate bodies! The other reason is that salt can quickly dehydrate your hamster, which obviously poses problems for them. Stay away from foods high in salt!

It’s too processed!

We don’t recommend that hamsters eat processed foods. It is dangerous for your hamster, humans can eat them but not your furry friend! Therefore you need to stay away from these type of foods as it could seriously hurt your hamster’s health.

It doesn’t have a lot of nutrients!

One of the unfortunate consequences of the curing process is that it can strip the nutrients from the meat. Hamsters require a lot of varied and balanced nutrients, including protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals which all make up a balanced diet for your hamster to live for a long time! Your furry friend simply doesn’t have enough room for the right amount of nutrients if they eat too much ham!

It’s high in fat!

One of the key issues with ham is that it has a lot of fat. It has so much fat that it is considered unhealthy for humans, nevermind your furry friend! Saturated fat can cause obesity in your hamster, which obviously is something that you really want to avoid! This is especially problematic for dwarf hamsters, whose digestive system is extremely delicate.

Hamsters cannot eat pork!

The final reason is a fairly obvious one, we don’t recommend that your pet eats pork! It’s a red met and can cause illness if it isn’t cooked properly. Many people in the past have also had problems with it. Read more in our article!

Cute multicoloured hamster
A lovely multicoloured friend!

Alternatives to Ham?

So, can hamsters eat ham? No.. But what if you want to feed meat to them, this is understandable and it is possible for your furry friend to enjoy meat. Here’s two great alternatives for your pet.

Chicken

Chicken is the best meat to give to your hamster, this is undoubtedly true. This meat, when cooked properly, is filled with the correct nutrients and it is easy to cook it in a way that doesn’t hurt your pet’s health. We have a full article on this here!

Mealworms

Mealworms aren’t the sort of thing humans can eat, but it can be great for your hamster! Just make sure that they are dead and unsalted/sweetened. Your hammy will love this and it is safe for them!

What a cute Syrian.
A blonde and adorable pet!

Conclusion – Can Hamsters Eat Ham?

So, we now know that hamsters cannot eat ham. This is due to five main reasons: it is too salty, it is too processed, ham has too much fat, it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients and your furry friend isn’t recommended to eat pork! We also have anecdotal evidence that it can be bad for your pet. Sadly, this is an good set of reasons why hamsters cannot eat ham. We have given you some alternatives though! Chicken and mealworms can be fantastic alternatives to ham, they are just as tasty!

What replacements do you use instead of ham? Let us know in the comments!

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