Hamsters, with their chubby cheeks, multicolored bodies, cute whiskers and big eyes, are extremely cute animals. If you recently bought a hamster, or are planning to buy one, you probably know that being part of the rodent family, they eat fruits, seeds and grains, and even vegetables.
So, Can They Feed on Grapes?
Yes, they can! Matter of fact, most types of fruits, including grapes, are safe, and actually healthy for hamsters. Remember, hamsters are herbivores, and fruits and vegetables are their main foods.
Don’t worry about kidney damage from grape consumption, as that only happens to cats and dogs. The only fruits you should never feed your hamster are the citrus fruits – lemons and oranges – as they’re too acidic, which could affect your ham’s digestive processes.
How Many Grapes Should You Give Your Hamster in A Day?
As much as there are no known medical issues that would arise from serving grapes to your hamster, it’s always good to consult your vet on the maximum allowable quantity per day. Of course, this will depend on the age and size of your hamster. Younger and smaller hamsters should only consume a few pieces per day, while bigger ones can eat a few more pieces.
Remember to always peel off the skins of the grapes you feed your hamster to facilitate easy chewing and digestion. Moreover, remove all the seeds in the fruits to avoid your little ham choking on then. To help save on time, you may choose to buy seedless grapes from your vendor.
How to Introduce Your Hamster to Grapes
If your hamster has never taken grapes before, she may be reluctant to eat them. Also note that there are some hamsters who just don’t like grapes, and won’t eat them no matter what you do.
So what’s the trick?
Firstly, test if your hamster likes grapes by giving them a small piece. If they gobble up the piece, you can then give them more pieces. If they show any sign of discomfort or turn their face away after tasting the grape, then this could signify an issue. It could be that the particular fruit you offered was bitter or sour, or just a sign that they don’t like grapes. To be sure, try buying grapes from another seller or a different brand and see how your hamster reacts to it.
What to look out when giving your hamster grapes the first time
Notably, just like humans, hamsters may fall ill when exposed to new foods, especially sugary and acidic products such as grapes. On the first day, only feed your baby a few pieces, and then wait till the next day to see how he holds up. If he falls sick or gets diarrhea, visit your vet to establish whether it was caused by the grapes or not.
If your hamster doesn’t fall sick or experience discomfort from the first serving of grapes, you can now proceed with the slow and consistent weaning process. This basically involves adding one grapefruit on each consecutive daily serving, until you hit the recommended maximum.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t feed your hamster with grapes every passing day, as they also need a balanced diet! You can, for instance, dedicate certain days of the week, such as Mondays and Fridays as Grape Days, where you give your hamster several servings of the fruit throughout the day.
Ideally, you should stick to at most two servings per week, as grapes contain high amounts of sugar, which can be harmful if consumed beyond the recommended amounts. You can supplement the grape servings with other fruits and veggies, such as apples and carrots, to provide additional nutrients.
What Foods to Avoid
While hamsters, and rodents in general, are known to eat all sorts of things, there are some foods you should never feed your pet if you want them to remain healthy. These include eggplants, onions, peanuts, chocolate (and any other form of candy) and garlic. Most of these foods are high in fat and calories, which leads to obesity – a fatal condition for Hamsters.
Also avoid giving your hamster bread as they contain yeast, which may be highly toxic to the rodent. If possible, stick to recommended vegetables and fruits as they’re more healthy and contain low-calorie contents.