Hamsters can consume a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies, strawberries included. So, if you have some strawberries and you are wondering if they’re good for hamsters, we’ve got you covered in this article.
But can hamsters eat strawberries? Yes, dwarf hamsters can eat strawberries without any problem. But there are other critical things you need to know when it comes to feeding dwarf hamsters strawberries, which we will talk about below.
Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries?
Yes, strawberries are good for hamsters; however, strawberries contain a high amount of sugar and should be sparingly fed to a dwarf hamster. Feeding your dwarf hamsters food items that contain large amounts of sugar, including the natural saccharine could cause serious digestive problems for your pet.
What Are The Nutritional Values Of Strawberries?
Strawberry is a low-calorie fruit, but they also offer lots of satisfaction. Here’s the nutritional content of a one-cup serving of strawberries:
- 46 calories
- 1 g carbohydrates
- 9 g fiber
- 1 g protein
- .4 g fat
- 2 mg vitamin k
- .6 mg iron
- 220 mg potassium
- 6 mcg folate
- 7 mg vitamin c
- .1 mg vitamin b6
- .6 mg manganese
- 7 mg magnesium
- .1 mg copper
- 6 mg phosphorus
Even though strawberries are relatively low in calories, they are also filled with vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants which help to keep cells in optimum condition.
The 7 Benefits Of Feeding Hamsters Strawberries
1. Low-calorie content but high on fibers
Due to their small body mass, it’s imperative that you watch over your hamster diet because when they eat too much food, they can easily become overweight.
This makes strawberries a great snack for hamsters. Strawberries have low-calorie content and they are also an important source of fibers.
2. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Feeding your hamster a diet rich in fats not only leads to obesity but also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hamsters are sensitive animals and should be protected from shocks as much as possible.
By feeding your hamster strawberries it lowers the risk of them experiencing cardiovascular diseases it also helps to improve blood flow.
3. Improves eyesight
Hamsters are nocturnal animals so they are very sensitive to daylight. They also do not have the best eyesight, so they cannot see as clearly as we humans do.
This is why adding a serving of two to three strawberries at least 2 times a week is highly recommended as it will help to boost your hamster’s vision and keep its eyes healthy.
4. Helps with weight loss
As stated earlier, it’s very easy for hamsters to gain weight as they tend to be avid eaters. If you want your hamster to maintain a healthy weight, you need to be cautious of what you feed to them.
Strawberries are known to contain a nitrate compound that helps to maintain a good blood flow as well as a healthy oxygen level in your pet’s body, all of this helps them to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.
5. Contains anti-aging properties
Although signs of aging will not be present on your hamster in form of wrinkles, there are still lots of aging signs that will be present.
Strawberries contain natural antioxidants that help to maintain your hamster’s fur ensuring it stays shiny and thick.
6. Promote bone health
Hamsters usually have soft and small bones that are prone to breakage. Feeding your pet strawberries will help to boost its bone system as they are rich in potassium, vitamin k, and magnesium, all of which are important compounds for a healthy bone system.
7. Improves their digestive system
Offering too much solid food or dry seeds to your hamster can cause them to develop a temporary constipation problem.
This is why you need to occasionally feed them foods with high water content, like strawberries, grapes, or watermelon, this helps to increase their body’s natural hydration level and help to ensure a smooth bowel movement. Strawberries contain a high amount of fibers which helps to ease constipation in guinea pigs.
Dangers Of Feeding Dwarf Hamsters Strawberries
Too many strawberries can cause a hamster to suffer from diarrhea which can dehydrate the hamster’s body or even lead to other problems.
There are acids present in strawberries that irritates the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. This often causes gastritis or a stomach ulcer.
Strawberries may cause allergic reactions in hamsters. If your pet has suffered from an allergic reaction previously, it is recommended to not offer him strawberries.
3. Causes kidneys problems
Strawberries contain about 90% water and potassium, which has a diuretic effect on a hamster’s kidney. If the kidneys cannot cope with such a heavy load, it could be fatal for your hamster.
You should keep in mind that most of these side effects may not occur immediately, that is why portion control is very important when it comes to feeding hamsters strawberries.
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How Often Can You Feed Dwarf Hamster Strawberries?
You can feed a dwarf hamster strawberry up to three times a week, but they should not be fed on the same days as you offer other sweet treats. Unless you properly portion the serving so that the entire portion of fruit being offered consists of tiny amounts that combine to become just a single hamster-sized serving of fruit.
It is usually easier and safer to just create a timeline where the treats are rotated, this way your hamster has access to different nutrients throughout the entire week.
If you newly adopted your hamster and he hasn’t had fresh food before. Strawberries shouldn’t be among the first food choices for him. You need to make sure that your hamster gets off to a healthy start!
Instead of strawberry or other sugary fruit, you can offer your hamster “not-so-sweet” fruits and veggies like cucumber, but ensure you begin with a tiny portion, about ¼ of a cucumber slice is enough.
Over the next several days, you can continue offering your hamster veggies in tiny amounts – increasing the portion just a little bit every other day. This way, their digestive system has enough time to adjust.
By the second week, you can then try to introduce strawberry to your hamster but do so in a gradual process only if they like it and if it doesn’t upset their digestive system.
How To Feed Strawberries To Your Dwarf Hamster
Without following the appropriate feeding method, strawberries can be harmful to your hamster. When feeding your pet strawberries there are a couple of things to put into consideration. Here’s the right preparation process of strawberries for hamsters
1. Wash your hands
Before handling the strawberries you intend to offer your hamster you should ensure to thoroughly wash your hands. This reduces the risk of health problems that could be caused by feeding your pet dirty strawberries.
2. Put on gloves
Putting on gloves will ensure that your hands do not come in direct contact with the strawberries you are about to offer your pet. This might seem like a lot for a simple feeding process but it’s your responsibility to minimize any health risks that might make your hamster sick.
3. Thoroughly wash the strawberries
The next thing to do is thoroughly wash the strawberries in clean water. Ensure to do this properly so you can completely eliminate any harmful chemicals and pesticides that might be present on the strawberry’s skin as they can make your pet sick.
Strawberries are usually grown with pesticides and they can be harmful to your hamster if they ingest it. Therefore the importance of washing the strawberries before feeding them to your hamster cannot be overemphasized.
Alternatively, you can opt for organic strawberries, but you will still need to give it a quick rinse or wipe down to remove any dirt or debris.
4. Remove the seeds
It is very important that you take out the seeds of a strawberry before feeding it to your dwarf hamster.
Strawberry seeds can be a choking hazard and cause serious health problems, especially in dwarf hamsters, as they are very sensitive and have small body mass. So it is important you take out the strawberry seeds before feeding.
5. Peel the strawberry
Before feeding your hamster strawberries, it is important that you remove the green part and leaves. Studies suggested that they are toxic for the dwarf hamsters. So, it is recommended to remove them.
6. Slice up the strawberries into small pieces
You shouldn’t offer your dwarf hamsters whole strawberries, they are tiny animals, and won’t be able to engulf the whole strawberry.
Throwing an entire strawberry into your hamster’s cage will only result in a half-eaten strawberry with the remaining pieces throw about within the cage.
The leftover pieces can go bad and get contaminated when left in the cage, and if your hamster is to eat such food, it can pose a serious risk for the hamster’s health. To prevent this from happening you need to slice up the strawberry so that it is easy for your pet to eat.
Also, hamsters love to store food for later usually in their cheeks. Giving an entire strawberry to your hamster causes it to try and store some portion of it into the pouches of its cheek for a while.
It can cause dental problems for your hamsters if some pieces of strawberries stay in the mouth and teeth for a long period of time. These particles can start damaging the mouth of your hamster.
That’s why it is necessary for your hamster to be given strawberries in an appropriate manner to avoid all the above-mentioned problems.
Simply cut the strawberry into small pieces before feeding your hamster. You can also cut them into thin strips. This will prevent your hamster from eating rotten and contaminated pieces of strawberry.
Hamsters require a small number of supplemental food items every two to three days. You should offer a small amount of fresh food and fruits. You should supplement their diet by offering them different kinds of fruits.
Uneaten food should not be left in your hamster’s enclosure. Aside from strawberries, you can also offer your pet a few pieces of cucumber also.
You can usually find dwarf hamster food available in the hamster mixes form, but you can also offer your hamster fresh food occasionally.
7. Strawberry juice
If your hamster does not like eating pieces of strawberry, you can turn them into strawberry juice. Simply add some water to the strawberries and make some juice out of it.
You should also remove the seeds of the strawberry before making the juice. You can feed this juice to your hamster once every three weeks.
8. Strawberry milkshake
You can also make a milkshake out of strawberries to feed your hamster. But you need to take into consideration all the safety measures discussed in the article while making the strawberry milkshake.
Offer this milkshake in small quantities to your hamster. This is safe and will not be a choking hazard for your hamster.
9. Dried strawberries
You can offer strawberries to hamsters in different ways. You can offer strawberries in a dried form to your hamster. Dried strawberries help to boost the nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber intake of your hammy.
But always be cautious about offering dried strawberries to your dwarf hamsters because you need to feed them a lesser portion than if you were to give them fresh fruits. You should offer them less than a quarter teaspoon of dried strawberries every three to four weeks.
10. Adding strawberries to pellet food
Pellet food is a special diet that is meant for hamsters. Pellet usually includes a blend of seeds, grains, vegetables, and fruits. It contains the required levels of minerals, vitamins, fats, and proteins needed by hamsters.
You can add a small portion of strawberry into your hamster’s regular pellet food. This is best if your hamster does not like eating strawberries, this way your hamster gets to eat the strawberry with its regular meal.
11. Flavored strawberry extract treats
There are strawberry extract flavored treats that are also available in the market. You can also add these types of treats to your hamster’s diet. These are basically extracts of the strawberry mixed with other food.
These treats contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are required by your hamster. Therefore adding these types of treats to your pet’s diet is very beneficial to them.
Can hamsters eat strawberries? Yes, but it should be done in moderation to avoid causing digestive problems for your hamster.