You love apples, your hamster loves apples, but can hamsters eat apples safely every day? An apple a day will surely keep the vet away? How should you serve them?
Read the guide below to find out.
Are Apples Safe For My Hamster?
The short answer is yes; apples are safe for hamsters. As always, the golden rule is moderation. Don’t turn apples into a staple of your hamster’s diet because too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.
Apples can become unsafe if:
- They are offered in large quantities every day. In this case, the large amounts of sugar can lead to diabetes and weight gain, while the fibres can cause diarrhoea, dehydration, and ultimately, death.
- They aren’t served correctly so that they can become a choking risk. The seeds and apple cores are the main culprits here, so avoid offering them to your hamster.
- They are left to rot under your hamster’s bedding, so dangerous bacteria multiply and make your hamster ill.
Other than that, apples are a hypoallergenic, nutritious fruit that’s generally safe for hamsters.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Apples?
Apples have many health benefits as they’re packed with minerals, vitamins, and fibres. Apples:
- Abound in vitamin C that aids the hamsters’ immune system so that they can fight cancer. Besides, hamsters are prone to vitamin C deficiency, so they need to supplement this vitamin from food.
- Are packed with antioxidants, which fight free radicals and decrease the risk of cardiovascular issues and diabetes, to which hamsters are prone.
- Contain a lot of dietary fibre, which aids the digestive system and regulates your hamster’s bowel movements.
- Are low in calories, which is what you need for obesity-prone hamsters. Wild hamsters have to run for miles in search of food and to fend off predators, which domestic hamsters don’t do.
- They’re crunchy, so they prevent your hammie’s teeth from growing too big.
What Are The Possible Dangers Of Apples?
All the good things apples have to offer to turn into bad things if you give your hamster more than he should eat.
- The excess of vitamin C and fibre can lead to diarrhoea and other digestive issues, which provoke dehydration and possibly death.
- Apples are low in calories because they have a high water intake. Too much apple means a lot more water in your hamster’s digestive system. But hamsters have a dry diet, and an excess of water can lead to various health issues, including kidney failure.
How Many Apples Should My Hamster Eat?
Consider that a large Syrian hamster eats about two tablespoons of food per day. Smaller breeds like Dwarf hamsters require one tablespoon of food per day.
The RSPCA recommends that the daily allowance of snacks from fruits and veggies should be about 10% of the total amount of food they get.
- Can a Syrian hamster eat apples? Sure, but not more than 1-1.5 teaspoon three or four times per week.
- Can a Dwarf hamster eat apples? Yes, but 0.5-1 teaspoons a maximum of three times per week.
How Should I Give My Hamster His Apple?
To make sure you feed your hamster apples correctly, keep in mind the following advice:
- Start with a very small piece of apple, the size of his nose to make sure he can tolerate it.
- Don’t offer him apple cores, as they pose a choking risk.
- You can give him apple skin, as long as you wash the apples very well to remove potentially toxic pesticides.
- Cut the apples in smaller pieces or grate them to prevent choking.
- You can give your hamster fresh, steamed or baked apples, but fresh apples are best. Steamed or baked apples have less water and more sugar, which is dangerous for them.
- Do not feed your hamster applesauce, which is pure sugar and can trigger an insulin reaction which, in the long term, leads to diabetes. Besides, the applesauce’s smooth texture robs them of the beneficial effects of a crunchy snack for their teeth.
Apples have amazing health benefits for hamsters, as long as you respect the recommended portion sizes and prepare them correctly. And your hamster is sure to love the apple snacks you treat him to!