Hamsters are fun pets that people of all ages tend to adore. Not only are they cute, but they are also small and generally easy to take care of, especially compared to dogs and cats. Luckily, there are a variety of nutritionally balanced commercial foods on the market that are made just for critters like hamsters. But hamsters are not limited to foods that come out of a package.
They can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables like we humans can, just in much smaller quantities. Apples are a great snack choice for hamsters, but a few caveats are involved. Here is everything there is to know about feeding your hamster apples. We talk about the health benefits of apples, concerns to keep in mind, and more.
The Health Benefits of Apples for Hamsters
The first thing to be aware of is that apples are full of vitamin C, which is important for hamsters because it helps promote proper healing and minimizes the risk of these animals developing scurvy. Vitamin C also helps optimize the hamster’s immune system and ensure healthy skin. Like most fruits and vegetables, apples are an excellent source of antioxidants that will help your hamster better fight off disease and illness.
Fiber is another thing that apples have and is essential for a hamster’s digestive system. Being low in calories, apples are a healthy snack option for hamsters that will not contribute to problems such as weight gain and diabetes. A plus is that hamsters seem to love the texture and flavor of apples, both green and red.
Concerns to Keep in Mind
While apples are a great snack option for hamsters, there are a few concerns that hamster owners should be aware of. First and foremost, hamsters can easily choke on apple seeds, so they should never be fed a piece that still has a seed intact. Seeds should always be carefully checked for and removed before any part of an apple is fed to a hamster.
Also, apple peels are fine to feed hamsters, but large pieces can be tough for them to tear apart with their teeth, which creates the possibility of choking. Therefore, even a quarter of an apple with a peel could cause problems. To avoid the risk of any danger, it is a good idea to remove the peel altogether or cut an unpeeled apple into small, dice-sized chunks before offering any to a hamster.
If you do decide to feed your hamster an apple with the peel intact, it is important to scrub the apple clean under clean water to remove as many pesticides and chemicals as possible. These toxins can quickly build up in a small hamster’s body and lead to serious health issues. The best option is to choose organic apples for your hamster and yourself.
Apples can be fed to hamsters as-is if they are cut into manageable chunks. However, this is not the only serving option available. To make snack time fun for you and your hamster, consider the following serving options.
Make a Shake. Create a tasty shake for your hamster by blending a banana, an apple, oats, and Greek yogurt, and then serving it in a small bowl or cup. This is an easily customizable recipe that can be stored in a resealable jar in the fridge for a couple of days between servings. Humans are also likely to enjoy this shake, which can make breakfast time fun for those who love to wake up with their hamsters.
Create Truffles. Just as humans like chocolate truffles, hamsters love them when they are made from fruit, nuts, and grains. All that is necessary to create hamster truffles is to put half a seeded apple, a date, and a tablespoon of nuts, seeds, or oats in a food processor. Blend the mixture until it is coarsely ground, then scoop small amounts of the mixture out of the processor with hands and roll the mixture into small truffle balls. Freeze leftovers until they are ready for use — hamsters love to eat them frozen!
Shred It. An easy but interesting way to serve an apple to your hamster is to shred it up when you are ready to feed it to them. Just grate a small portion of apple up, then feed it to your hamster as-is or mix it in with their commercial food at mealtime.
Feeding hamsters apples can be beneficial to their health, but they can also pose a danger if too much of a hamster’s diet is made up of them. Apples should be fed occasionally in conjunction with other fruits and vegetables throughout the week. Are you interested in feeding apples to your hamster? Why or why not? Let us know what your thoughts are in our comments section.