They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However, does this also apply to hamsters, can hamsters eat apples?
Well, let’s find out…
Apples are one of the most nutritious fruits. They’re also incredibly sweet, and have the right amount of juice. This makes them a preferred choice for many. Some people like to consume them raw, others blend them, while others put them in salads.
But, can hamsters eat apples?
Yes, hamsters can eat apples, and they actually do eat apples. As earlier mentioned, apples are healthy and nutritious, and these health benefits are not restricted to human consumers only.
Nonetheless, you should watch the amount of apples you feed your hammie to prevent possible side effects. More on that later, for now, let’s look at how apples benefit your hamster.
Health Benefits of Apples for Hamsters
The following are the vitamins and minerals found in apples.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is commonly found in most fruits, including apples. It helps in the growth and development of body tissues, strengthening the immune system, and boosts the recovery process from illnesses. Further, vitamin C was found to delay and prevent cancer of the cheek pouches in hamsters.
Apples are full of antioxidants, which mostly help in neutralizing the harmful free radicals that occur in the blood. Antioxidants also help in the prevention of cancers and heart diseases as well as boosting the digestive system.
Apple contains dietary fiber, which promotes a healthy and functional digestive system, as is essentially vital in preventing constipation. Dietary fiber also encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
What Are The Potential Risks of Feeding Your Hamster Apples?
Just like humans, hamsters may experience digestive problems when they are introduced to new foods. Diarrhea, particularly, is a very common problem that occurs when you start feeding apples to your hamster. To prevent this, get your pet used to apples by feeding them tiny amounts at first, and only increase the portions once you are sure there are no adverse reactions, such as allergies.
If your hamster gets diarrhea, or experiences visible discomfort after feeding on apples, it is best to discontinue the feeding and seek your vet’s opinion.
Another reason to only feed your hamster small portions at a time is that the tiny animals like to hide their food in their cages. Apples, just like most fruits, tend to go bad after a few days, and when your hammy eventually eats the hidden fruits, they may get sick. You are therefore advised to always feed your pet the amounts you’re sure they can finish. And if they don’t manage to complete all the apple pieces you served, take them away and keep them yourself till the next day.
Can Hamsters Eat Apple Seeds and Peels?
Apple seeds contain a toxic compound called cyanide, which can harm your pet. Of course, apple seeds are mostly safe for humans, as they have a higher immunity compared to the tiny hamsters. In fact, a single toxic seed is enough to kill a typical hamster.
Apple peels, on the other hand, are safe for hamsters and are very nutritious. Just like the inner part, the peels contain several vitamins and dietary fibre. Just remember to thoroughly wash the apple with clean water to remove dirt and any pesticide residue before feeding your pet. Notably, some pesticides are highly stubborn, and may not come off the skin even after washing. Hence, only go for organic fruits if you intend to feed the peels to your hammy.
What Is The Recommended Amount Of Apple for Hamsters To Eat?
Obviously, the amount of apple you should feed your hamster depends on their size and age. For the younger hamsters, a very tiny slice, twice per week is adequate. For the older ones, slightly bigger slices, served at most thrice a week is enough. If you’re unsure about the specific portion sizes, you are advised to consult your vet.
Fresh vegetables and fruits, such as apples, are healthy snacks that should be a common feature in your hamster’s diet. However, you are advised to only feed them small pieces at a time. More importantly, you should also try looking for seedless apples, instead of removing the seeds every time.
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