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Can Hamsters Eat Watermelon? Everything You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

February 16, 2021

Watermelon is a refreshing, ripe fruit, err, veggie, that is the perfect summer treat for us humans. But is it safe to feed it to your hamster? Yes, it is! All kinds of hamsters, including Dwarf, Robo, and Syrian hamsters can safely consume watermelon in moderation.

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of watermelon for your hamster, how much you should feed him, and what parts of a watermelon he can safely eat, keep reading to learn more.

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Watermelon Health Benefits

The watermelon truly lives up to its name because it’s nearly 100% water! As expected, this veggie is also low in fat and only contains around 43 calories per cup.

Not only can eating watermelon help you to stay adequately hydrated, but it is also a great source of vitamin C and carotenoids. Eating watermelon can help boost collagen production, enhance circulatory system health, combat heart disease, lower blood pressure, and aid against infections.

watermelon
Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay

How to Feed Your Hamster Watermelon

To feed your hamster this healthy and yummy treat, you should always first wash the watermelon to get rid of any pesticides. Only give your hamster fresh, organic pieces of watermelon. Never serve watermelon to your pet in yogurt or juices. Only give him plain pieces of watermelon by itself.

If your hamster is not used to eating fresh veggies, start by giving him a very tiny piece. You can either hand-feed your hamster the watermelon or mix the piece in with his regular food.

Never give your Syrian hamster more than one teaspoon of watermelon per week. Roborovski and Dwarf hamsters, which are smaller, should be fed less.

Possible Risks of Feeding Watermelon to Your Hamster

 Despite having tons of healthy perks for your pet, there are some risks to feeding watermelon to your hamster. These can include:

  • Obesity: Hamsters are easily prone to obesity. This is why you always need to feed them treats in moderation.
  • Choking: Hamsters may choke on large pieces of watermelon. Always cut the watermelon into tiny, bite-sized pieces for your furry friend.
  • Diabetes: Since watermelon contains a lot of sugar, feeding your pet too much of it can lead to diabetes.
  • Dehydration: As we stated before, watermelon contains a LOT of water. Too much of this juicy veggie can cause dehydration and diarrhea in your hamster.

Can Hamster Eat Watermelon Seeds and Rind?

While hamsters will adore feasting on the fragrant flesh of the watermelon, they may be turned off by the rind. This is because it contains a sharply-flavored amino acid called citrulline, which may not be pleasant to the palate.

As for the seeds, it depends. Syrian hamsters can probably eat seeds without any issues. The smaller breeds of hamsters, including Dwarf and Robo hammies, may choke on the seeds, so avoid giving this part to them.

Never offer your hamster watermelon juice or any kind of juice for that matter. Juice contains a high amount of sugar and can easily dehydrate your little pet.

Sliced watermelon
Image Credit: P-fotography, Shutterstock

The Proper Hamster Diet

Never feed your hamster a diet of just watermelon. It should be given as the occasional treat.

A proper hamster diet includes:
  • Hamster pellets
  • Birdseed
  • Fresh Timothy hay
  • Protein and chewable treats that promote dental health
  • Fresh, clean water

What Are Healthy Alternatives to Watermelon for Hamsters?

 

When you want to switch things up, try offering your hamster these following treats:
  • Celery
  • Red lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Basil
  • Summer or winter squash
  • Baby corn
  • Mint
  • Beets
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

As with watermelon, all of these options should only be fed to your hamster as the occasional treat.

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The Bottom Line

Fresh, pre-rinsed, organic watermelon, when given in moderation, is perfectly safe, and even beneficial, for your hammie to consume. Never give your hamster large quantities of watermelon or watermelon juice.

If you want to treat your pet to a yummy and healthy goodie, try giving your hamster a tiny piece of watermelon today!

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.