Watching hamsters eat has got to be one of the cutest activities you can have as a pet hamster owner. They are absolutely adorable when they puff their cheeks out!
What do hamsters need to eat to stay healthy though, and what kinds of snacks are best for them? Are there any fruits and veggies they shouldn’t be eating?
Today we’ll be looking at apples and how much (if any) hamsters can eat.
Can Hamsters Eat Apples?
Yes, hamsters can eat apples, but in moderation. Half a teaspoon a couple of times a week is all they need of this fruit, as it’s high in sugar and can cause diarrhea when eaten in excess, not to mention weight gain.
Apples are full of vitamins and minerals, so they do make a healthy snack for your pet hamster. However, their sugar content also means hamsters shouldn’t eat too much in one go, nor too often, as they can easily put on weight, even develop diabetes.
You can give any kind of apple to your hamster. They should eat the flesh and the skin, but definitely not the seeds. Not only are they a choking hazard, they also contain cyanide, which is of course toxic.
Don’t forget to check your hamster’s cage and mouth for any leftover apple. If it starts to go bad, it can upset their stomach, or damage their teeth.
Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat Apples?
Dwarf hamsters can eat apples, but in very small quantities and on very rare occasions, as they are particularly prone to diabetes.
The size of dwarf hamsters does not mean you have to take apples off the list: just that you have to be extra mindful about the amount of sugar they have access to. Give them the smallest of apple bites, and only do so about once or twice a month.
Can Hamsters Eat Apples With Skins?
Yes, hamsters can eat the skin of all kinds of apples. You don’t have to peel them, but do make sure to wash them thoroughly, especially if the apples are not organic.
Apples skins are very healthy and packed with vitamins. You can even give your hamster just the skin to munch on. All you need to do is wash the apple before sharing it with your pet. If you are unsure if it’s been treated with pesticides, you can also use some baking soda to wash the apple, just to make sure no toxic materials have the slightest chance of entering your pet’s digestive system.
Can Hamsters Eat Apple Seeds?
Hamsters can’t eat apples seeds. Not only are they a choking hazard, they also contain cyanide, which is toxic in larger quantities.
Since hamsters are so small, even a little bit of cyanide can prove to be fatal. And since hamsters are perfectly capable of choking on the unlikeliest of bites, make sure they never go near an apple seed.
Can Hamsters Eat Apple Cores?
Hamsters can technically eat apple cores, as long as you remove the seeds, but they are definitely not the best part to give them. Flesh and skin will be tastier.
Apple cores tend to be less juicy than the fleshy part, so there really is no need to give this part of an apple to your hamster. They will appreciate the flesh and the skin much more.
Can Hamsters Eat Apple Tree Branches?
Yes, hamsters can munch on apple tree branches. They are actually quite good for their teeth.
Since hamster teeth never stop growing, they need to keep biting on something to keep them in check. Apple tree branches are a good choice, as long as there are no sharp bits on the branch, and you know it hasn’t been treated with any pesticides.
How Often Can Hamsters Eat Apples?
Hamsters should only eat apples once or twice a week, as they are high in sugar which can make them sick if eaten in excess.
Don’t be afraid to give your hamster a bite of apple, just bear in mind that this should be a rare snack. Once a week will be just enough for them.
How Many Apples Can I Give My Hamster?
Half a teaspoon is all the apple you should be giving your hamster. This will be the best balance between the high sugar content and the beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Never give your hamster the entire apple. Only give them the appropriate bite, with or without its skin.
What Kinds of Apples Can Hamsters Eat?
Hamsters can eat all kinds of apples, but you should aim to give them the sweeter, red kinds of apples, as they will be kinder on your pet’s digestive system.
While hamsters are able to eat green apples too, they tend to be more sour, which can cause an upset stomach. The sweeter the apple, the higher in natural sugars it will also be, so remember to aim for that very small quantity.
Can Apples Kill Hamsters?
In theory, apples can kill hamsters, but only if they either eat too many apple seeds, or if they regularly eat a large quantity of apples and develop diabetes and obesity.
Don’t be afraid to give your hamster the occasional bite of apple. As long as you have washed it properly and removed all the seeds, it will be perfectly safe. The only dangers are posed by the seeds and the chemicals an apple may have been treated with.
Can Apples Make My Hamster Sick?
Theoretically, apples can make a hamster sick, which is why it’s important to introduce every new food very gradually and in small amounts.
Monitor how your hamster responds when you first give them apples. If they have an upset stomach, seem bloated, have diarrhea or vomit, refrain from giving them apples in future.
Also be sure to give them small amounts, as too much sugar can also make them sick.
Health Benefits of Apples for Hamsters
Apples are high in vitamin C and fiber, so they will be good for your hamster’s immune system, gut health and will lower their risk of developing diabetes and high cholesterol.
Hamsters need vitamin C, as without it they can develop scurvy. That same vitamin is also good for their immune system, and it helps them better combat diseases.
The fiber apples are high in is great for lowering cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and obesity and diabetes. It’s also good for hamster digestion and overall gut health.
Risks of Giving Your Hamster Apples
While apples are generally very healthy, they are high in sugar, which can lead to diabetes when consumed in excess, and the seeds of apples are toxic.
Hamsters are prone to developing diabetes, so you want to be extra careful when giving your hamster any fruit that is high in natural sugars, apples included. You should also be careful about the apple seeds, as they contain cyanide, a highly toxic compound.
As long as you give your hamster moderate amounts of apple, there are practically zero risks involved.
How to Give Your Hamster Apples?
All you need to do is cut your hamster manageable chunks of a washed apple. Make sure they get no seeds, and that the apple is clean.
This is all you really need to do. You can of course shred the apple, or mix it with a banana and some oats, or nuts, seeds and oats.
Remember that you need to check your hamster’s cage and mouth for any leftover apple. Since they are hoarders, you may discover they have stashed some of it in a corner for later. Apples can go off easily, so make sure there are no rotting pieces anywhere. The mere fact that there is no apple in sight does not mean all of it has been eaten!
Wrapping It Up
Apples are a good snack for hamsters, as long as you don’t give it to them too often. Guinea pigs can also eat apples, in case you were wondering.
And if you are curious if hamsters can eat cheese, or perhaps if hamsters can eat carrots, take a look at some of our other guides!