Do Hamsters Really Need Salt Licks?

If you were thinking about getting a salt lick for your hamster or you already have one in their cage you may have a few questions about it, like whether they need it or not. So do hamsters actually need salt licks?

Hamsters don’t actually need salt licks because it doesn’t really provide any nutritional value for them. The food that you buy for your hamster usually has all of the vitamins and minerals that they need.

Hamsters mainly need water and a balanced mix of food like nuts, seeds, fruit, grains, and vegetables so that they can remain as active and healthy as possible.

That means a hamster won’t need a salt lick in the same way that they’ll need their regular food and water.

So if you were planning on getting one of the salt licks that are available for hamsters, just know that it isn’t really all that necessary from just a nutritional standpoint.

That being said, it doesn’t mean hamsters should never have a salt lick available for them.

Why Would A Hamster Need Salt Licks?

So it’s true hamsters don’t need salt licks. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t get salt licks for them.

Hamsters are very active animals so they need all kinds of different types of stimulation.

That means adding a lot of different things in their cage for them to play with and explore is especially important.

That’s when having a salt lick for your hamster can start to become really useful.

You can think of having a salt lick in their cage as just another object for them to interact with when they feel like it.

If you have a big enough cage with a decent amount of toys and other objects for them to interact with, it’ll keep your hamster engaged in activities that will help keep them from becoming bored.

So if you think about it that way, adding a salt lick to their cage can actually be a good thing for your hamster, even if they only come up to it and use it every once in a while.

Are Salt Licks Okay For Hamsters To Have?

If you already decided that you wanted to get one for their cage, then the next question that pet owners usually have is are salt licks okay for hamsters.

Salt licks are generally safe for hamsters to use even though they don’t really need it.

However, like most other things too much salt intake can be bad for a hamster.

So salt licks are perfectly fine to have in their cage as long as they don’t overuse it.

The good thing about hamsters is that they know their own body and usually won’t overdo it.

However, if you see that your hamster is spending too much time using their salt lick, then the best thing you can do is to regulate their time with it.

Take the salt lick out of their cage and only put it back in at certain times of the day.

That way they don’t harm themselves by taking in too much salt. In fact, it might actually be a good thing to only give them the salt lick every once in a while so that they can view it as a treat.

Are Salt Licks Good For Hamsters?

When you look at salt licks for hamsters from a nutritional standpoint, it doesn’t really add too much value to their diet.

That being said though, salt licks are neither good for hamsters or bad for them.

Having a salt lick in their cage won’t really benefit them in any way that’s noticeable.

So being something for them to play with and use every now and then is the only real value that it brings to their cage.

That’s because salt licks aren’t all that necessary and are mainly only used as a decently fun and interactive toy for them that can also be licked.

Salt licks aren’t bad for hamsters either though. Having one in their cage won’t harm them unless they start to take in too much salt.

Too much salt will start to dehydrate your hamster if they use it all the time, but the good thing is that hamsters usually won’t use it that often for that to happen.

Do Hamsters Even Like Salt Licks?

Many pet owners will get salt licks for their hamsters and some of them will use it while others will never even touch it. So do hamsters even like salt licks?

Most hamsters don’t actually like salt licks all that much while some hamsters seem to love it and use it daily.

Some hamsters will only go up to it the first time that you put it in their cage just so they can see what it is.

After that, you won’t really see them go up to it as much because they don’t find it that interesting.

However, some hamsters actually like their salt licks and will fit it into their daily routine by using it along with their usual food and water intake.

If you only let them have access to it at certain times of the day, then some hamsters will view it as a treat or reward and even come to like it more that way.

It really just depends on the individual hamster, because they all have their own different tastes that they like.

So if you want to try getting a salt lick for them, put it in their cage to see if your hamster is actually interested or likes it first.

If your hamster doesn’t like the salt lick that’s fine too. Not all hamsters will like or even care if a salt lick is in their cage.

So if they don’t like it, just take it out and try something else. Salt licks can be a great addition to your hamster’s cage, but it’s not a totally necessary item for them to have.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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