I often get asked by new Syrian hamster owners what fruits and vegetables can their pets eat. Bananas often come into discussion as a portion of potential food.
But can Syrian hamsters eat bananas and should you feed this delicious fruit to your pet?
Occasionally, Syrian hamsters can eat bananas in small quantities. Bananas are a good source of vitamins, fiber and minerals, which are essential for a healthy Syrian hamster. Because bananas have high sugar content, you should only feed this fruit as a treat to your hamster.
In the following you can find out how often and how much bananas can you offer to your Syrian hamster, and what are the potential risks with bananas, so please continue reading:
Feeding Bananas to Syrian Hamster
Hamsters have a really good sense of smell, and they often wake up during the day when you prepare food because they can smell it from distance.
Hamsters are attracted to various foods with a strong smell and especially to fruits with high sugar content such as bananas.
Natural sugars from fruits or vegetables can cause problems for your hamster.
From too much sugar, your Syrian hamster can have teeth problems. Also, sugar can cause your pet to become fat, which can cause other problems.
Too much sugary food can also cause diabetes in your hamster, and shorten its lifespan significantly.
So, how often and how much banana can a Syrian hamster eat?
As mentioned above, bananas should be used occasionally only as a treat.
An adult Syrian hamster can eat 10-15 grams of food a day, including normal hamster food and treats as well.
Taking this into consideration, you should never feed your hamster more than 1-2 grams of banana at once, which is about 10-20% of their daily food. Offering your Syrian hamster bananas twice a week is more than enough.
This way you can be sure, that your pet will enjoy the taste but will not cause any health problems.
Banana Peels for Syrian Hamsters
According to Wikipedia, 100 grams of bananas contain 12 grams of sugar, but the peel has significantly less sugar. So, from this standpoint, it is much safer for hamsters to eat banana peels.
Even though organic banana peels are safe for your hamster, from my experience it is not very tasty for them. So, there is no point in offering banana peels to your Syrian hamster, because most likely it will be ignored.
Non-organic banana peels can contain pesticides or other chemicals which are used to make bananas last longer during transport, which should not get into your hamster’s digestive system.
So avoid feeding your hamster non-organic banana slices with the peel.
Dried Banana Chips
Are dried banana chips good treats for Syrian hamsters? No, and I will tell you why.
Dried banana chips are made for humans, and contain lots of additives, and extra sugar, which is not safe for hamsters.
Most banana chips contain double the amount of sugar that a normal banana. While 100 grams of banana will contain 12 grams of sugar, dried banana chips can have up to 35 grams of sugar / 100 grams.
So, never feed your hamsters dried banana chips.
Should Syrian Hamsters Eat Banana?
Bananas are not considered an essential food for hamsters. In the wild, hamsters will most likely never eat bananas.
Occasionally it is safe for Syrian hamsters to eat a few grams of bananas, but there is no point in feeding them this fruit, because there is no health benefit for them, but poses potential health risks.
Instead of feeding them bananas, choose other fruits and veggies that are safe for them.
Safe Food for Syrian Hamsters
Syrian hamsters enjoy eating veggies. Fruits generally are not essential in their diet, but you can feed them apples, pears, peaches, blueberries, blackberries or plums.
Avoid feeding your hamster citrus fruits, because these can cause them diarrhea.
You can also feed them vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, cress or carrots.
Make sure you diversify their food and never overfeed them.
Can Hamsters Choke from Banana?
I’ve never heard and didn’t experience any choking problem in hamsters from bananas.
Hamsters can choke from stringy textured food, but bananas don’t have such texture.
Can Syrian Hamsters Have Banana Shake?
I love banana shakes, and most of us do. I bet, hamsters also would love drinking a good-tasting banana shake.
Banana shakes are usually made with milk or some fruit juice. None of these are good for hamsters and will cause them diarrhea. Never offer your pet such drinks.
Your hamster will be fine with just freshwater.
I really hope that this article was helpful for you to decide whether you want to feed bananas to your Syrian hamster or not.
In my opinion, there is no point in feeding bananas to your hamster.