It is crucial to know what your pet can eat and what you should avoid in its diet. Most pet owners assume that hamsters are tiny pets, and their food will not affect their health.
Hamsters are undoubtedly hardy pets, but without a proper diet, your pet will not live for long, and you will battle frequent diseases associated with low immunity and digestive issues.
You might have been negating bananas from your hamster’s diet, believing they are harmful or that the animals do not need them.
But hamsters can eat and do like bananas. These fruits contain a lot of vitamins, including vitamins C, B6, fibers and minerals. Nonetheless, hamsters should eat bananas with moderation because of its high sugar content.
Also keep in mind that excess vitamins in a hamster’s diet might cause cramps, bloating, and congenital disabilities in pregnancy.
Here are a few facts to guide you on how to include bananas in your hamster’s diet.
How Often Should You Feed Bananas to Your Hamster?
Hamsters do not need so many bananas in their diets. They should have bananas in their meal once a week as a quarter teaspoon serving for adult hamsters.
Moreover, this banana should not be given on the same day you give your pet sugary treats. If you have a new hamster, do not start its diet with a weekly banana serving.
It would help if you instead started with fresh vegetables like cucumbers to avoid sudden dietary changes that can make your pet sick. This is because the fresh veggies mirror the hamster’s food in the wild.
You can then slowly introduce other fresh fruits like watermelons, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. Wait until your hamster starts enjoying and tolerating these fruits before you add a weekly banana serving.
If your hamster tolerates and loves the banana, you can include a twice-weekly serving at maximum in its diet.
Why You Should Avoid Feeding Bananas to Hamsters Too Often?
Bananas are highly nutritious additions to hamster’s diet owing to their high potassium, fiber, vitamin, and magnesium content.
Magnesium is beneficial for the cardiac health of hamsters, whereas fiber does wonders for its digestive system. Potassium plays a key role in the proper functioning of the hamster’s organs.
Even with these benefits, bananas also contain high amounts of sugar. Overfeeding them to your animals can lead to diarrhea, obesity, and diabetes. Remember that hamsters are tiny animals, and too much sugar will be stored in different parts of their bodies since they do not need it.
The obesity that this leads to causes laziness, joint pains, and heart issues in your hamster.
Some hamster species are more prone to diabetes than others. You should be careful with their banana serving. Roborovski and Syrian hamsters, for example, have a low risk of diabetes and will have no issue with twice-weekly banana servings.
On the other hand, Chinese, Russian Campbell white dwarf, and winter white dwarf hamsters are highly prone to diabetes. For them, you should limit the banana serving to once weekly.
Will Hamsters Eat Banana Peels?
Yes, hamsters can eat banana peels. The banana peel is filled with potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B2 and B12.
These are the same ingredients in the fruits, making peels as nutritious as the latter. Moreover, the peels have lower sugar content compared to the fruit and might thus be a better alternative for hamster species that are highly prone to diabetes.
Even so, most supermarket bananas might have been sprayed with pesticides during their cultivation. These chemicals might harm your hamster. As such, when feeding your hamster on peels, opt for organic bananas since these are chemical-free.
Can Hamsters Eat Banana Bread?
Wild hamsters eat varied diets, including grains, seeds, worms, veggies, and insects. Hamsters can eat banana bread since it contains banana chips.
Even so, remember that bread does not only contain bananas and has a high fiber content. Furthermore, with over 70% carbs, it can cause rapid weight gain.
As such, when including banana bread in your hamster’s diet, do so in small amounts. This protects your hamster from diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.
Another issue with banana bread is its gluten content. Your hamster might have a gluten allergy/ the best approach, therefore, is feeding it on wheat banana bread that is gluten-free.
Remember to dip the bread in a liquid since the dry pastry can choke your pet and is hard for the hamster to swallow with its small throat.
What Other Fruits Can You Give Your Hamster Beside Bananas?
There are other safe fruits that you can feed your hamster besides bananas. These include:
- Apples: the dietary fiber in apples has been shown to reduce the cholesterol levels of hamsters. Limit the portion of apples you give your hamster to a small piece or two. Apples should also be given as occasional treats since too much of them might cause diarrhea.
- Strawberries: a slice of strawberries once or twice weekly is enough for your hamster. These fruits contain vitamin C and folate that helps in the formation of red blood cells and the prevention of cancer.
- Pears: these contain phytonutrients, vitamins, and dietary fiber. They are, however, only safe for your hamster when their seeds are removed. You should only give a small slice of pear one weekly to your hamster.
- Blueberries: these contain high antioxidant levels but should be given in moderation to hamsters.
- Mango: a small piece of mango delivers a high content of vitamins and minerals that will boost a hamster’s health.
Hopefully, the guidelines above have enlightened you on how to include bananas and other fruits in your hamster’s diet.
Other than fruits, include fresh water daily in the diet and remove any remnants after feeding since mold and bacteria might proliferate on these.
Furthermore, when you introduce a new feed, give it in small amounts, then observe for an adverse reaction for about a week. This is because sudden dietary changes might cause stress in your hamster.