If you start eating a banana near your hamster, you’ll see the funniest face as your little one tries to climb on it to steal a mouthful of the delicious yellow fruit.
Packed with natural sugars, potassium, iron, and fibres, bananas are nutritious fruits. But can hamsters eat bananas safely?
Read along to find out.
Are Bananas Safe For Hamsters?
The short answer is yes, but in moderation.
Wild hamsters all over the world, from Syria to Belgium or Greece, eat different foods, including seeds, grains, lizards, worms, and occasionally fruits and veggies to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need.
These little scavengers are omnivores, not herbivores, so they need a varied diet that includes pieces of fruit. Bananas are not an exception thanks to their high intake of nutrients.
Benefits Of Bananas For Hamsters
Bananas have many benefits for hamsters, thanks to their nutritional content high in:
- Vitamin C. Hamsters are prone to vitamin C deficiency, which leads to delayed collagen production and blood clots, bleeding, and swollen joints.
- Vitamin B6. Hamsters don’t make their vitamin B6, meaning they need to supplement it from food. A lack of vitamin B6 for hamsters stops their growth and leads to death.
- Natural fibres. Hamsters might face digestive issues like constipation, which is why it’s good for them to have a fibre-rich diet.
- Hamsters can develop various immunological disorders, so they need antioxidants to fight free radicals and strengthen their immune systems.
Risks of Bananas For Hamsters
Can your hamster eat bananas? Yes, but in small portions. Bananas are packed with carbs, which leads to unnecessary weight gain, which, in turn, causes serious illnesses and might lead to an untimely death.
The high sugar content of bananas raises your pet’s glycemic index and might lead to diabetes. Take into account that hamsters are already an at-risk species for this disease, so you shouldn’t push your luck.
Another health risk of bananas stems from an unclean cage. If your hamster stashed his banana pieces for later, these will rot and attract a whole series of germs and bacteria.
How Do I Feed My Hamster Bananas?
While bananas aren’t the perfect snack because of their high sugar intake, they’re the perfect occasional treat.
You should never feed bananas every day or make them the main ingredient of your hamster’s diet. Hamsters can eat 2-3 thin slices of banana each week, depending on their size.
For instance, a dwarf species of hamster would be better with 1.5-2 thin slices, while a bigger, Syrian hamster can get away with three slices per week.
Remember to chop the banana slices in pieces, to decrease the risk of choking as well as the tendency of your hamster to store the bananas for later.
You can also give your hamster:
- Fresh organic bananas.
- A small piece of the banana skin is fine, though most hamsters won’t like the taste.
- Dehydrated, dried bananas are easy to make, and their unique texture is thrilling for hamsters, but they have a huge sugar content because 90% of the water is removed.
- Banana chips are oven-baked and safe, but baking them in the oven removes even more of their water than dehydrating them, so they have more sugar.
Steer clear of store-bought banana chips and banana bread which can have toxic additives.
Hamsters can eat bananas, which have amazing nutritional properties. Remember that fresh bananas and banana skin are better than dried bananas or chips, but just a few pieces occasionally because of their high sugar intake.