Apples are such a healthy fruit that there is even a saying about them: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
But are apples good for hamsters? And if you can give apples to a hamster as a treat, how much should you give them?
The good news is that it’s perfectly fine for a hamster to eat apples, but there are definitely a few things you need to keep in mind before giving it this sweet and crunchy snack.
Apples are at the top of the list of “good for you” fruits for a reason: They are high in fiber, relatively low in sugar, and quite low in calories, but they are very good at calming your hunger.
An average apple provides:
Like us, hamsters need a lot of vitamins and minerals, preferably from natural sources.
Apples are an excellent source of nutrients; a medium-sized fruit offers:
Yes, hamsters can eat apples and they will probably love every moment spent eating this juicy fruit. You will need to take special care when offering the apple to your hamster – wash and rub it thoroughly before cutting it.
Do this even if you give it organic apples, as traces of dirt could still be on the peel.
Be sure to remove the stem and seeds from the piece of apple you give your hamster. They contain traces of cyanide; not enough to harm you, but enough to potentially hurt your hamster.
In addition, they can be very sharp and you don’t want them to accidentally end up sticking into your hamster’s pouches.
Since they are such a good source of nutrients, apples are very good for your hamster. However, if you have recently brought your pet home, you will want to pay attention to the introduction of fruits and vegetables, as rapid dietary changes can cause diarrhea, leaving your pet uncomfortable and dehydrated.
After your hamster gets used to apples, however, you can make them part of their regular diet!
If you have a fluffy hamster, a dwarf hamster, or an entirely different breed, your pet will probably be crazy about apples. Make sure you don’t give them too many at once.
So, is there too much when it comes to apples? This is a definite yes – although your pet might disagree.
Here’s how much apple you can offer your hamster:
If your hamster eats too many sugary foods, there is a risk of diarrhea and stomach upset. If your hamster normally eats fruit, it’s okay to immediately it give a whole apple. If it’s the first time, however, you’ll want to introduce it gradually.
Start by giving a ½-inch apple square. This is basically a small piece of apple, enough for a quick, but enjoyable, crunch. Don’t give it more, even if your little one is begging for it!
Pay attention to any signs of digestive problems, including diarrhea. If everything is normal, go ahead and give your hamster another ½-inch apple square next time the feeding program asks for fruit or vegetables.
You can double the amount the third time you give it, if you want. Be sure to read the following section carefully, as this determines how often you need to feed your hamster with apples.
Your pet might like to eat apples every day, and eventually you can go ahead and give it some fruits every day.
Apples are a good choice, but it is best to offer it a variety of fruits!
If your hamster just came home from the pet store, this is probably its first introduction to fresh food and you’ll want to take things slowly. Give it only a small amount of fruit, including apples, and/or vegetables every two days in the first week. You can gradually grow from there, as long as there are no signs of diarrhea.
If your hamster is already eating vegetables and fruits, it’s okay to give it a small piece of apple every day if it tolerates it well the first time. Just don’t give apples on the same day you give other fruits, unless you give it a small amount of different items to form a single full portion.
Apples may cause diarrhea if your hamster is not used to fresh foods and sweet fruits, but it is not very likely, as long as you are careful when you introduce the apple into your hamster’s diet.
Keep in mind that too many fruits can lead to obesity and diabetes. Apples and other natural sweets are best offered in very small quantities and should not make up a large part of your pet’s daily intake.
In conclusion, your hamster can eat apples and it is safe to make them part of their diet. As long as you remove the stems and seeds, and as long as you wash the apple thoroughly, it is okay to give them to a hamster.