Most hamster owners are well aware that Hamsters love fruits and fresh vegetables. Strawberries are a very popular fruit that’s sweet, summery, and delicious. While hamster owners go out to get some strawberries when the fruit is in season, they wonder if they can get this delicious fruit for their Hamsters as well.
‘Can a hamster eat strawberries?’ is one of the most common questions hamster owners ask. You should know that it’s very important to control your pets’ diet as while they love and adore many fruits, they stay away from some. And son fruits are not even supposed to be given in large quantities.
To know whether strawberries are good for your hamsters or not, you need to first understand the nutritional value of this fruit.
Strawberries Nutritional Information
Strawberries are blessed with several nutrients that are good for your hamster and helps it maintain a balanced diet. A one-cup serving of strawberries contains the following nutrients:
- 2 mg vitamin K
- 220 mg potassium
- .6 mg iron
- 6 mg phosphorus
- 6 mcg folate
- .1 mg vitamin B6
- 7 mg vitamin C
- .1 mg copper
- .6 mg manganese
- 7 mg magnesium
These nutrients are very good for your hamster as they have several health benefits. They improve the eyesight of your hamster, cardiovascular activity, increase appetite, liver function, and have a positive effect on the genitourinary system.
It must also be mentioned that strawberries help prevent arthritis, a disease that’s common among small rodents. The fruit also has anti-cancer effects and helps prevent colds as well.
Should Hamsters eat Strawberries?
From the nutritional benefits of strawberries explained above, you can see why they are good for your hamster. So be rest assured, strawberries are a healthy snack for your pet.
However, there are a few things you should put in mind when considering feeding your hamster strawberries. The first is that you should only give fresh strawberries to your hamster. In fact, don’t feed your hamster any strawberries you wouldn’t eat yourself. The fruit must be fresh and ripe and free from rot or any damage.
It’s important you feed your hamster strawberries when the fruit is in the season as those treated with preservatives in the store aren’t good for your pets. Instead, use strawberries from your garden or buy from local farmers when the fruit is in season. Also, don’t feed your pet frozen strawberries with added sugar.
Strawberries should be properly washed and cleaned before being fed to hamsters. Hamsters love strawberries, like a lot. There might be a few hamsters that aren’t fond of the fruit but I’m yet to meet them.
How Many Strawberries can a Hamster eat?
This is another question many hamster owners ask. They want to know how many strawberries to feed their pets. And it’s a very good question to ask as strawberries should be fed to hamsters despite their health benefits. The key here is moderation.
Baby hamsters should not be given strawberries at all. An adult hamster should be fed one small strawberry or half of a medium strawberry or a quarter of a large strawberry.
Having said this, you shouldn’t rush to your refrigerator yet to get a small strawberry for your hamster. It’s important to properly introduce the fruit to your hamster if it has never eaten it before.
If you’ve never fed your hamster a strawberry before, start with offering your pet a very small portion, about a quarter of a small strawberry. After that, wait for 12 hours and be on the lookout for signs of diarrhea. If your hamster reacts well to the strawberry i.e no sign of diarrhea, you can then feed your hamster half of a small strawberry the next time.
If your hamster seems fine after this, you can feed your pet a whole small strawberry the next time. If your hamster is already used to a number of fruits and vegetables, you can go ahead and feed your pet a whole small strawberry the first time. You’ll have to watch for signs of diarrhea for the next 12 hours though.
Should your hamster tolerate the fruit and seems fine, you can then add strawberries to its regular food rotation.
How Often can a Hamster eat Strawberries?
This is a very important question that hamster owners including strawberries in their pet’s food rotation should be able to answer. You may already know that hamsters are prone to diabetes and as a result, should not consume a lot of sugar. This means you have to be careful about how often you feed your hamster strawberries to prevent diabetes. Also, your hamster may develop a taste for strawberries and start to prefer it over other fruits.
Hamsters can be fed strawberries about three times a week. However, you should not feed them strawberries on the same day you offer other sweet treats except you are offering it small portions of fruits that amount to a single hamster-sized serving of fruit. It’s best you rotate strawberries with other food to give your pet access to a wide range of nutrients.
If you’ve just got your hamster, then you shouldn’t feed it a strawberry right away. Yes, you want the little guy to enjoy the juicy fruits as you do but you have to put its health first. Feed your new hamster with a mild fruit like cucumber and even it should first be a small portion, a quarter of a cucumber slice. You can gradually increase this over the next several days while introducing a small number of veggies into the diet as well. The reason for this is to give your hamster’s digestive system time to adjust to these foods.
You can start introducing your hamster to strawberries in the second week, albeit gradually. Remember how I explained how to introduce strawberries to hamsters above? Follow the instructions.
Types of hamsters that should completely avoid Strawberries
While hamsters are generally prone to diabetes, some breeds are more prone to the disease than others. It’s better to not feed strawberries to these susceptible breeds which include Chinese hamsters, Russian Dwarf, and Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster.