A major part of taking care of your pet is taking care of their diet, even if your pet is as tiny as a hamster. In fact, hamsters are animals that are difficult to read, so you have to closely monitor their diet and reactions to different food to make sure they’re doing okay. A lot of the time, you’re tempted to feed furry friends what’s commonly lying around in your kitchens such as fruits and vegetables. And if your pet is an indoor pet, it might try to act sneaky and sneak in a bit of what’s lying around in the fruit basket or on the counter, thus leaving the owners in a dilemma of whether their pet might end up with any adverse effects after their sneak attack.
For that reason, pet owners need to know what is safe for their pets and what isn’t. You’ll be surprised that even the most nutritious (human) food might be toxic for our fur babies. Even more surprising is that a lot of beliefs we grew up regarding what our pets can eat (rabbits and carrots, cats and milk) actually are myths. That is why it is super important to be well informed as a pet owner.
As far as hamsters are concerned, hamsters much like humans are omnivores. That means their diet consists of a mix of vegetarian food and meat. But that doesn’t mean all vegetables and fruits are good for them. A common household food that most hamster owners want to know about in terms of being safe to feed their hamsters is bananas. This fruit is rich in nutrients and health benefits and thus is tempting to feed them. However, the question is, is it safe to do so?
But before we begin, there is one thing you should ingrain in your memory. Moderation is key. Sure, everyone loves a plump hamster. But with the extra plumpness comes a plethora of health issues that will cut down on those quality years you can spend with your hamster and you really wouldn’t want that.
The simple answer to the simple question of whether hamsters can eat bananas is yes, they can. In fact, it seems to be that hamsters love bananas! And there’s no harm in feeding your pet hamster bananas which are laden with health benefits. They are rich in fiber, vitamin B, and C and if you’ve owned a hamster before, you’ll know just how difficult it is to ensure that your hamster gets these important minerals since hamsters are so inherently picky in what they eat. The high amounts of fiber are also a great problem solver if your hamster is prone to constipation.
Other health benefits associated with feeding your hamster bananas include the fact that it’s great for your hamster’s heart and reduced the risk of diseases such as blood pressure, leukemia, and colorectal cancer.
You can also feed your hamster banana peels! The peel is just as healthy as the actual fruit is so you can utilize the whole fruit with your hamster. However, feeding your hamster is the peel is also tricky. They can be subject to chemicals such as pesticides which will be dangerous for your little friend. So if you do want to feed it the whole fruit, then your safest bet is organic bananas.
Can all breeds of hamsters eat bananas?
While bananas are safe for all breeds of hamsters, some breeds are more to becoming diabetic than others and thus it is important to know which breed should have lesser servings than others. Breeds such as Syrian and Roborovski hamsters are okay having bananas once or twice a week. However, Winter white dwarf hamsters, Russian Campbell hamsters, and Chinese hamsters may be prone to health risks because of the amount of sugar present in the bananas and at best they should be given bananas sparsely.
What will happen if I overfeed my hamster bananas?
While bananas are the perfect solution to your hamster’s constipation problems, they can have the complete opposite effect if overfed. Overfeeding bananas can cause loose stool (a factor anyone who cleans the cage would want to avoid at all costs) and in turn, can cause dehydration.
Similarly, bananas have high amounts of sugar, and if overfed, can cause diabetes which in turn can cause your hamster to become overweight. Like we mentioned before, chubby hamsters might be cute to look at but obesity can cause even more problems such as laziness, heart problems, and joint pain.
What should the ideal serving size be?
As we mentioned before, bananas should be fed to hamsters no more than twice a week. And that should be a quarter of a teaspoon for every feed. Also, make sure that you thoroughly look at the banana before feeding your hamster to avoid accidentally giving it any rotted bits which can make it sick. Another thing you should keep a check on is that your hamster isn’t keeping the banana stored in its cheeks for too long because that causes oral problems such as teeth rot.
What other fruits can I feed my hamster?
Other fruits include apples. Feeding your hamster a piece or two of apples is safe because they are rich in fiber and help lower cholesterol levels. Similarly, strawberries are a good option too. They contain folate which has anti-cancer properties and is vital for blood health.
You might want to avoid feeding your hamster grapes. Grape seeds are harmful to hamsters and can get stuck in your hamster’s intestines. They are also high in sugar quantity so they aren’t healthy for hamsters. Similarly, avoid feeding watermelons as well since they have high water levels which can cause diarrhea.
Feeding your pet hamsters doesn’t have to be tricky. Armed with proper knowledge about their dietary requirements and with a little TLC your hamster will be by your side for years to come!