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Can Mice Eat Apples? What You Need to Know!
Mice have a wide-ranging diet. In the wild, mice eat various foods, including plant matter, seeds, and certain insects. They’re opportunistic eaters, so they’ll eat whatever they come across.
Many foods are perfectly okay for them to eat, including apples. Apples are a perfectly fine option for most mice. They provide nutrients that mice need, though they are a bit higher in sugar than some other options.
However, that doesn’t mean that mice can live off of apples alone. They need a varied diet to thrive, just like they would get in the wild.
Apples can be suitable snacks and can make up a small percentage of your mouse’s diet. We only recommend offering it a few times a week, pairing it with other fresh foods when you do. Don’t just offer apples, as they don’t provide your mouse with everything that they need.
Where Do Apples Fit in a Mouse’s Diet?
Apples aren’t toxic to mice, but that doesn’t mean you can feed your mouse only apples.
Instead, we recommend choosing a pelleted diet that is specifically designed for mice. You will find foods that are advertised as being appropriate for a wide variety of rodent species, including mice, hamsters, rats, and gerbils. Typically, these aren’t your best option. While rodents have some of the same nutritional needs, they do have a few differences. Therefore, these vague foods usually aren’t what you want to give your mouse.
Instead, we recommend pellets specifically designed for mice or rats. These two species are similar. These foods were originally designed for laboratory mice, so they contain all the nutrients that pet mice need to thrive.
These pellets also keep your mouse’s teeth trimmed down, a significant problem for many mice. Like all rodents, a mouse’s teeth will continuously grow. If they aren’t worn down, the mouse will develop periodontal problems.
Fruits and veggies should also be provided. These shouldn’t make up the bulk of your mouse’s diet, but they do provide extra nutrition. Many mice also love fresh foods, especially if they are consuming a mostly pelleted diet.
Apples can be included as one of these fruits. However, apples should only be offered occasionally. A varied diet is the best option, and that does not mean offering apples every day. Instead, switch it out with other fruits and veggies, perhaps offering apples only once a week or so.
It is essential to remember that the research on mouse nutrition is limited. We don’t have much information, despite the species’ use in the scientific field. We have only a few studies on a mouse’s nutritional needs, so even pelleted diets aren’t likely to be perfect.
- Related Read: Can Mice Eat Meat? What You Need to Know!
How Should You Offer Apples?
You should not mix apples (or any other fresh fruit) with your mouse’s normal food. Often, they will enjoy the fresh fruits more than their usual pellets. This leads to selective eating, where they will just pick out the foods that they like and leave everything else.
Instead, you should offer pellets sometime earlier in the day. Leave them available for a few hours, since they don’t go bad quickly.
Then, offer apples and other fresh foods later in the day, after the pellets have been available for a while. Be careful with portion sizes. Your mouse shouldn’t be able to get full off of apples alone.
The key is for them to eat their pellets and only snack on the apples.
Apples do provide hydration because they are extremely juicy. However, they should still be provided alongside a water bowl or bottle. You don’t want your mouse attempting to meet all their hydration needs with a few pieces of apples, but don’t be surprised if they seem to drink less when offered juicy fruits.
How Much Apple Can a Mouse Eat?
Typically, mice should only be provided with a small amount of fresh apple each day.
A few large mice food blocks or a handful of pellets should be provided at a regular time every day. On top of this, you can provide a few fruit and veggie pieces a few hours later. These foods should only make up about 20% of your mouse’s diet, while pellets should largely make up the other 80%.
Apples should not make up this whole 20%, however. When you offer fresh foods, you should offer various options, preferably at least three.
Apples are okay for mice to eat in small amounts. We recommend offering them occasionally as part of a mouse’s larger diet. Never just provide apples or even mostly apples. Instead, mice should be eating a wide variety of foods, most of which should be pellets.
In the short term, apples shouldn’t do anything to your mouse. They aren’t toxic and are often well-loved by these rodents.
Featured Image Credit: Ulrike Leone, Pixabay
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!