Yes, hamsters can eat some types of fruits. However, hamsters should eat fruits in very small amounts, and not often.
The majority of fruits are okay for hamsters to eat; however, citrus-type fruits are not. They’re too acidic for the hamster’s gut.
We’ll cover in the rest of the article which fruits are safe for your hamster, and which should definitely be avoided. And also, how much fruit you should give your hamster, and how often.
What Do Hamsters Eat?
A healthy pelleted rodent diet for hamsters should contain approximately:
- 15-25% protein
- 35-40% carbohydrates
- 4-5% fat and
- 5% crude fiber
Work with your veterinarian to determine your hamster’s caloric needs based on their size and health, but most hamsters require ⅛-⅓ cup of pellets per day. Because they are nocturnal, the majority of hamsters eat at night.
Some hamster diets are mostly made up of seeds. These foods should only be used to supplement a pellet diet, or not given at all. Hamsters fed only seed will have nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin E and calcium.
Seed diets also contain a lot of sugar and fat, which may lead to diabetes and obesity. You can also supplement your hamster’s diet with vegetables and small amounts of fruit as treats. However, their primary food should be pelleted rodent food.
Fresh water should be provided to your hamster every day. Hamsters drink approximately 10 milliliters of water per 100 grams of body weight per day. It is best to provide water in a bottle with a stainless-steel sipper tube.
What Fruits Can Hamsters Eat?
Hamsters are also well known for their love of other fruits, including apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas. However, PetCo cautions that these should also be given “in moderation, as a supplement to the regular diet.”
Fruits should be washed before use as pesticides can pose a danger to your pet. Make sure to remove them if have not been consumed within 24 hours.
Clark said: “Check your hamster’s bed each day and remove any fresh food that hasn’t been eaten. Rotten or moldy food can make your hamster very unwell.”
Citrus foods, on the other hand, should be avoided as their acidity can cause dental and digestive problems.
Fruits to Give Your Hamster (as a Treat)
- Apple (no seeds)
- Cherries (no pit)
- Grapes (no seeds)
- Honeydew Melon
- Passion Fruit
- Peach (no pit)
- Plum (no pit)
- Tomatoes (ripe)
Fruits to Avoid
- Apple (seeds and skin)
- Fruit pits
How Much Fruit Should a Hamster Eat?
Hamsters are omnivores which means they need to eat a variety of protein, vegetables, and fruits, but the amounts of each are just as important to note as what you are feeding.
A hamster’s daily diet should be about 75% protein from fortified hamster pellets, 5% treats, and the remaining 20% from vegetables, greens, and fruits.
Each day they should receive a few tablespoons of pellets (or 1/8 cup of seed mix if you are ensuring your hamster cleans their bowl and doesn’t pick and choose which items to eat) and small bits of leafy greens and other vegetables to make a tiny salad.
A few times a week you can add very small pieces of fruit to your hamster’s salad, but if the fruit piece is too large for your hamster to pick up and hold, it’s probably too much fruit for them to eat in one day.
How Often Should You Feed A Hamster?
Feed your hamster once a day the best feeding time for a hamster is in the evening when they start to wake up. As a nocturnal animal, this is their breakfast time!
Only feed the amount of food they need each day around a tablespoon of hamster nuggets each evening, depending on the species of hamster you have.
Rather than just putting your hamster’s favorite food in a gnaw-proof ceramic bowl, scattering some of it around encourages natural foraging behaviors. Your hamster will love searching out tasty titbits to stuff in their cheeks and take to their den to eat later.
Chewing, gnawing, and shredding stuff is a natural hamster behavior, so provide a variety of things for them to get their teeth into such as cardboard, coconut shells, hay bars, pumice stone, and seagrass toys.