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Home > Hamsters > Can Hamsters Eat Blackberries? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Can Hamsters Eat Blackberries? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Can Hamsters Eat Blackberries

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Dr. Luqman Javed

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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A hamster is a popular choice for a small pet, especially for those living in small homes and apartments. Relatively easy to care for and considered a low-maintenance pet, the hamster has big cheeks and an appetite to match. While they love to eat fruit, it’s essential to understand what is safe and unsafe before feeding it to your hamster.

Thankfully, blackberries are safe and healthy fruits for your hamster to eat! Portion control is essential since fruit is sugary in general, but blackberries can be a great addition to your hamster’s diet. If you are considering adding blackberries to your hamster’s meals or as a snack, read on to know how many are safe, the benefits, and how to prepare them.


What Are Blackberries and Where Do They Come From?

Blackberries are the edible fruits from the blackberry flower, from the genus Rubus. They’re in the Rosaceae family, which has over 4,000 known species. Blackberries are related to raspberries, but they differ due to the middle core staying inside the fruit after being harvested, unlike their red berry cousins. Blackberries originated in multiple areas of the world and are still widely popular today, considered to be one of the healthiest fruits to eat.

blackberry fruit
Image By: FruitnMore, Pixabay

About Hamster Diets

Hamsters need a wide variety of nutrients in their diets, just like in the wild, so it’s vital that your hamster’s meals reflect this variety. A mixture of hamster pellets or a lab block, a seed mix that has pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fruits, vegetables, and hay are all crucial aspects of your hamster’s diet. Hamsters are opportunistic omnivores and will eat insects if the opportunity arises, so protein is also an important aspect of their diets.

Another thing to consider is your hamster’s breed, as this will change what they prefer and how much they eat. Syrian hamsters tend to have different preferences than dwarf hamsters, which will affect portion sizes and types of food. Identify your hamster’s breed to get a better sense of portion sizing and food preferences. When in doubt, consult with a small animal vet specialist about hamster diets and what to feed your hamster.

Are Blackberries Healthy for Hamsters?

Blackberries can be a healthy addition to your hamster’s diet since they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients are important for immune, bone, and gut health. Blackberries also have a low glycemic index, which means they will not spike your hamster’s blood sugar as much as other fruits might. The key is in portion control since blackberries are naturally sugary and acidic, so it’s crucial to balance your hamster’s diet1.

Key nutritional information of blackberries, per 100 grams (3.5 oz.)
  • Water: 88.2 grams (g)
  • Carbohydrates: 9.61 g
  • Fat: 0.49 g
  • Protein: 1.39 g
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Calcium: 29 milligrams (mg)
  • Phosphorus: 22 mg
  • Vitamin C: 21 mg

Like most berries, blackberries contain many antioxidants, which are beneficial for your pet. They contain other vitamins and minerals that may also offer benefits to your hamster. In addition, they are exceptionally low in oxalates and goitrogens, compounds that are sometimes quite high in other fruits and vegetables.

Please be mindful that while blackberries are a source of vitamin C, this vitamin isn’t essential for hamsters, as they do have the ability to make it themselves. However, in times of disease, stress, illness, or reproduction, they may benefit from additional vitamin C in their diet. Still, it should be noted that it isn’t essential in their diet.

guinea pig on grass eating blackberries from hands
Image Credit: Hurianova Olga, Shutterstock

Nutritional Risks of Overfeeding Blackberries

Like all fruits, blackberries contain naturally occurring sugars in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, and trace amounts of maltose. High levels of sugar are problematic for hamsters, and excess sugar consumption has been linked to mortality in hamsters.

In addition, most of a blackberry’s content is water, which makes it somewhat risky for hamsters, as excessive consumption can lead to diarrhea. This is due to the fact that during a diarrhea episode, hamsters quickly lose large amounts of valuable electrolytes, which can quickly snowball into other health issues.


If your hamster has diarrhea, you should not attempt to rehydrate them with plain water, as this will make things worse. You should seek a product made specifically for rehydrating hamsters, available from your pet store or veterinarian.

Diarrhea in hamsters should not be taken lightly, and if you notice diarrhea in your hamster, you should seek prompt professional care for them.

Can All Breeds of Hamsters Eat Blackberries?

Yes, all breeds of hamsters can safely eat blackberries, including dwarf hamsters. Blackberries are sweet yet tangy fruits that most hamsters will enjoy. However, portion control is important with small animals to prevent obesity and other health problems. Blackberries are acidic and contain sugar, which can cause digestive and weight issues, but they’re still great in moderation. Hamsters in general enjoy most fruits and will undoubtedly enjoy having blackberries once in a while.

European Common Hamster (Cricetus Cricetus) on the Vienna Central Cemetery
Image Credit: Lisa Stelzel, Shutterstock

How Many Blackberries Are Safe and How Should They Be Prepared?

While blackberries may seem small to humans, they’re huge in comparison to hamsters. A ½ teaspoon (which is about the size of one blackberry) once a week is considered safe. We recommend starting very slowly and cutting the blackberry into quarters, serving one quarter at a time to ensure that there are no bad reactions. Look for any signs of indigestion or allergic reactions, as these both can be fatal if not treated. Indigestion can lead to diarrhea, which causes severe dehydration in hamsters. Before feeding fruit to your hamster, make sure it has been thoroughly rinsed and dried.

A Note About Hoarding

Hamsters are instinctive hoarders and like to stuff food in their large cheeks to transport it back to their favorite hiding places or den to consume later. Wild hamsters instinctively do this because the ability to hoard food enables them to eat in peace without disturbances from predators or other threats. Pet hamsters may also demonstrate this habit.

Your hamster may take fresh produce to their favorite hoarding spots. You’ll need to thoroughly check these areas to remove food items that spoil quickly. Rotting food in your hamster’s cage can lead to health issues.


Final Thoughts

Hamsters enjoy eating and love to snack throughout the day, so it’s crucial to provide them with a complete and balanced diet. One component of their diet should be fruit, which can include blackberries. Not only are they healthy additions, but most hamsters also enjoy their sweet, tangy taste. Start with small pieces, sticking to no more than a ½ teaspoon’s worth per serving.

As long as your hamster enjoys them and isn’t showing any signs of a reaction, blackberries can be an excellent source of vitamins and a great treat for them to enjoy once in a while.

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