Can Hamsters Eat Strawberries? Are They Safe For Your Furry Friend, Bad For Her Or Even Good For Her? Let’s Find Out!
We’re always told that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a big part of maintaining a healthy diet for people.
But is this the same for our pet hamsters?
Specifically, are strawberries safe and actively good for hamsters?
Strawberries are popular for their bright red color and juicy, sweet flavor, which could tempt many people into giving the fruit to their pets!
They are a great source of vitamin C and contain lots of antioxidants, which means they are thought to be good at combatting heart disease, cancer and inflammation in humans.
However, whilst strawberries may be a healthy, beneficial part of our diet, we need to find out whether they have the same positive effects on our hamsters.
Are strawberries safe for hamsters?
Strawberries are safe to feed your hamster, but with a major proviso.
They need to be given in small doses and introduced to your hamster’s diet gradually, to avoid upsetting their digestive system.
Like many other fruits and vegetables, strawberries can be part of a healthy, balanced diet for your hamster.
However, strawberries can become unsafe for your hamster if they are used as a supplement for other vital nutrients that your pet needs in its diet.
Your hamster’s normal mixed grain should contain all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. So it is important to keep providing your hamster with this instead of just a variety of fruits and vegetables.
If you aren’t sure whether your hamster is getting a fully balanced diet, check with your vet so that you can achieve this before introducing any new fruits or vegetables.
Are strawberries good for hamsters?
Strawberries are certainly safe for your hamster in small amounts, but are strawberries actively good for your hamster?
In some studies, strawberries have been associated with the inhibition of oral cancer and tumor development in hamster cheek pouches. As the fruit suppresses cell proliferation and the development of new blood cells (angiogenesis).
Another study has suggested that moderate consumption of strawberry (and other berry) juices can aid prevention of the early development of atherosclerosis in hamsters. A disease in which fatty material builds up inside arteries – as well as improving neuronal function and behavior.
These studies suggest that strawberries can be actively good for our hamsters! And can potentially help with preventing certain diseases.
Of course, eating strawberries doesn’t guarantee your hamster will never suffer from these and other diseases. Which means it is still important to have regular check ups with your vet, especially if something seems wrong.
And, as said earlier in the article, strawberries are only good for your hamster in small, controlled doses.
Are strawberries bad for hamsters?
So now we know that strawberries can be good for the health of our hamsters, but are there any cases in which strawberries can be bad for hamsters?
Like any other fruit, strawberries must be given to your hamster in moderation. Especially if you’re only just starting to introduce it to your pet’s diet.
Giving your hamster too much of any fruit, including strawberries, can lead to problems like diarrhea. If your hamster experiences this you should cut out the new addition to its diet and may need to consult your vet.
Also, hamsters – especially dwarf hamsters – can suffer from diabetes. This means that feeding them sugary fruits should be a relatively rare treat, to ensure your hamster stays in top shape.
Strawberries will always need to be washed before you give them to your hamster, this is to get rid of any pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to your little pet.
Additionally, due to hamsters’ tendencies to store their food, you need to be especially alert when giving your hamsters fresh fruits. As storing these items can quickly lead to mold in your hamster’s home.
The best way to give them a tiny bit is while you are handling them. Make sure they have emptied their pouches and eaten it all before you pop them back to bed. Then check their bed a couple of hours later to make sure you haven’t missed any.
Can dwarf hamsters eat strawberries?
Dwarf hamsters are a lot smaller than syrian hamsters, meaning that they don’t require as much food.
Also, dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes, which means you need to be really careful not to overfeed them.
Strawberries don’t contain as much sugar as some other fruits, but they may not be the best choice for your dwarf hamster as a snack.
To reduce the risk of diabetes, you can check with your vet to confirm the healthiest snacks to give your dwarf hamster.
If you do decide to give your dwarf hamster strawberries as an occasional treat, make sure it’s in small amounts, and monitor your pet for any signs of a change in health.
Can syrian hamsters eat strawberries?
Syrian hamsters can eat strawberries as part of a balanced diet, but we still need to be careful that they aren’t consuming too much.
Syrian hamsters are bigger than dwarf hamsters, so they are able to eat more, but this extra food should first come from your hamster’s normal food, rather than from fruity treats.
If you decide to give your syrian hamster strawberries, you should monitor its health as you introduce the fruit, to make sure that it is not eating too much.
If you aren’t sure about how much to feed your syrian hamster, your vet will be able to advise you.
Do hamsters like strawberries?
Whilst we have determined that strawberries are safe for your hamster to eat and could even be good for their health, this does not mean that your hamster will automatically love strawberries.
Just like humans, different animals like different foods, and if your hamster doesn’t like strawberries, you don’t need to panic!
Strawberries are not an essential part of a hamster’s diet, so if your hamster does not like them, you can just stick to other foods that it does like. You shouldn’t try and force this new food on your little pet.
Whilst it is important to make sure your hamster gets a balanced diet, there are many different ways to achieve this.
Hamster treats designed especially for hamsters are very enjoyable, healthy in moderation. And won’t have the potential to rot in her home!
Your vet can also advise you on different ways, and different substitutes to strawberries that can also have good effects on your hamster.
Can hamsters eat strawberries?
Strawberries are a perfectly healthy, safe snack for hamsters and can be a good part of their balanced diet.
Many hamsters will love these tasty treats, but you should always control the amount that they are eating. Especially for dwarf hamsters.
Give them the fruit after they have eaten their normal food, so that they get all of the nutrients they need from their main meal.
Make sure your hamster doesn’t store the fruit, as it will quickly rot and become unhealthy.
However, if your hamster does not like strawberries, you don’t need to panic. You can experiment with many of the other fruits and vegetables that are safe for hamsters until you find something your pet likes more!
Are strawberries a part of your hamster’s diet? Tell us what your pets think of strawberries below!
- Xiaoru Zhu, Linfei Xiong, Xinyan Zhang, Ni Shi, Yuntao Zhang, Jie Ke, Zheng Sun and Tong Chen, ‘Lyophilized strawberries prevent 7, 12-dimethylbenz[α]anthracene (DMBA)-induced oral squamous cell carcinogenesis in hamsters’, Journal of Functional Foods, Vol. 15 (2015), pp. 476-486
- Jean-Max Rouanet, Kelly Décordé, Daniele Del Rio, Cyril Auger, Gina Borges, Jean-Paul Cristol, Michael E. J. Lean and Alan Crozier, ‘Berry juices, teas, antioxidants and the prevention of atherosclerosis in hamsters’, Food Chemistry, Vol. 118: Issue 2 (2010), pp. 266-271
- Bruce C. Casto, Thomas J. Knobloch, Rebecca L. Galioto, Zhangsheng Yu, Brent T. Accurso and Blake M. Warner, ‘Chemoprevention of Oral Cancer by Lyophilized Strawberries’, Anticancer Research, Vol. 33: Issue 11 (2013), pp. 4757-4766