Can Hamsters Have Strawberries? Hamsters are not so commonly kept as pets, but those of us who have them know how cute and adorable they can be – with their big, expressive eyes and plump cheeks. If you are looking to own a hamster in the near future, or already own one, you probably know that hamsters, just like other rodents, are very fond of grains, fresh vegetables and most types of fruits.
So, can hamsters eat strawberries?
Yes, it is safe to give strawberries to your hamster. However, you should limit the servings to at most thrice per week to prevent stomach upsets, particularly diarrhea. Additionally, strawberries are pretty high in sugar, which may affect your hamster healthwise. Remember, hamsters can also get lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer, just like us humans.
Hamsters That Can Eat Strawberries and Those That Can’t
Not all hamsters are the same. While some can eat dozens of strawberries per week, some breeds will get sick at the mere taste of a berry. These include:
- Chinese Hamsters – They’re too susceptible to diabetes. Any sugary food should be avoided at all cost!
- Russian Campbell Dwarf Hamsters – First off, they’re too tiny (which means they have weaker immune systems), and just like the Chinese hamsters,they are prone to diabetes. You are therefore advised not to feed them sugary foods like strawberries.
- Winter White Dwarf Hamsters – Same as the above breeds.
What to Be Cautious About
Hamsters are small and very naive animals, and if you’re not careful and watchful, even a single strawberry could harm your hammy. To prevent that, here are a couple of precautions to take when feeding them. These include:
1. Remove all the leftover fruits from your hamster’s cage as soon as its clear to you that they’re not going to finish. This is important as the hammy may stash leftover berries in their cheeks, or leave them in their mouth for too long, which can cause dental issues. Additionally, the fruit could rot after a few days in the cage, and the hamster could get very sick when they eventually eat them.
2. Make sure that you only feed your hamster purely organic strawberries without any pesticide traces. Remember, hamsters are very tiny animals (tinier than a normal puppy), and any chemical exposure is likely to make them very sick.
3. Even as you stick to the maximum 3 times a week feeding rule, you must also be careful not to feed too many berries to your little one, as too many of them can cause diarrhea in hamsters. The recommended portions are between 3-5 strawberries per serving, depending on the size of your hammy.
How Do Strawberries Benefit Hamsters?
Apart from being a safe snack (with our artificial sweeteners) that you can give your hamster as a reward or treat, strawberries are also super nutritious fruits. For one, they are full of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene. As we all know, antioxidants help in neutralizing free radicals – which are harmful to the body – and help in the prevention of heart disease and several types of cancer as well as hastening digestion.
Additionally, strawberries also nourish your hamster with vitamin K, potassium and magnesium, all of which are essential to a strong immune system and in building strong bones. Some studies also suggest that strawberries contain some properties that are useful in the prevention of atherosclerosis – a condition where the arteries get filled with fat.
Health benefits of strawberries to hamsters include:
Improve Eye Health – Constantly feeding your hammy with strawberries will enhance their sight and even make their eyes look brighter and healthy.
Better Fur – As an antioxidant, strawberries are known to give clearer skin to humans and nice and bright fur to hamsters and other animals.
Weight Loss – You probably leave your hamster locked up in their cage as you go to work every day. This lack of exercise, coupled with all the food you feed them, will not bode well for their body weight. Giving them enough strawberries weekly will aid in controlling their body weight.
Sounds good, right?