If you’ve got a hamster or have ever looked after one, you’re probably already aware of how much they love fruit, but what about apples? Fortunately, apples are safe to feed to your hamster in small quantities, but you should always remove any pips first.
Hamsters have evolved to be omnivorous, so they like both fruit and veggies, as well as some animal proteins. In moderation, apples are a valuable addition to a hamster’s diet, and you should be looking to give your hamster a small portion 2-3 times a week of apples and fresh fruits and vegetables.
They can get lots of valuable nutrition from fruits, just like we can, and offering a variety is a great way to keep their diets complete and keep them interested.
Introducing Apple Pieces To A Hamster
Whenever you trial a new food with your little hamster, go for a slow and gradual introduction. While apples are safe for hamsters, your hamster is very individual, and may not find that apple agrees with its digestive system very well.
The best way to introduce apple to your hamster’s diet is to offer your hamster just a little bit to begin with. Wait a couple of days and see how the hamster responds, and then offer a little more. If you want to make apple a regular part of the hamster’s diet, increase the quantity gradually and watch out for any bad effects.
Usually, you can tell if a hamster has eaten something which it doesn’t like from its droppings. Take a look and see if your hamster’s poop is loose or runny, and if it is, stop feeding the hamster apple as it is upsetting its digestive system.
This should cease quickly once you stop providing apple; if it doesn’t, your hamster may need to see a vet.
Other side effects of eating food that doesn’t agree could include lethargy and a lack of interest in food, so watch your hamster’s behavior as well. If they seem lacking in energy, cut the apple out of their diet and see how they respond.
It’s always good to introduce new foods one at a time so you can quickly identify and eliminate any which cause problems. If you introduce lots of new foods at once, you won’t know which is the root of the issue.
Apple Nutrition Facts
Here are the nutrition facts for one raw, unpeeled, medium-sized apple (100 grams):
- Calories: 52
- Water: 86%
- Protein: 0.3 grams
- Carbs: 13.8 grams
- Sugar: 10.4 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
How Often Can My Hamster Have Apple And How Much?
Apples seem like they should be a healthy addition to your hamster’s diet – after all, we’re always being told to eat our fruit and veggies – but remember that fruits are high in sugars, and your hamster is only a little creature.
Fresh fruit should only be fed in small quantities, and if you’re feeding your hamster other kinds of fruit, you’ll need to reduce the amount of apple accordingly so that overall, it isn’t eating too much fruit.
Depending on what else you offer, apple should be fed in quantities around the size of a raisin or a little bit bigger. Always remove pips before giving the apple to your hamster, just feeding your hamster the soft flesh of the apple.
Hamsters can eat apple skin, which is where a lot of the vitamins and nutrients reside, so you don’t need to peel apples before you give them to your pet, but it’s a good idea to give them a thorough wash first.
Don’t give your hamster fruit every day, but offer it two or three times a week in small amounts. Fruit is healthy, but it’s high in sugar and could cause issues if eaten too often or in big quantities.
Remember To Clean The Cage
Hamsters are known hoarders, and they don’t always keep the food in their cheeks. Remember to check your hamster’s cage for its “treasure troves” of food, and remove anything which is going stale or moldy.
Hamsters should be encouraged to only eat fresh fruit and veggies, so don’t feel bad about removing any treats which have gone past their best. If you find a lot of treats stored away rather than devoured, it might be a sign you need to cut back a little and reduce the amount of fruit your hamster is getting.
Apples make a great addition to a hamster’s weekly (or bi-weekly) “fruit salad,” or as a treat given on their own. However, don’t give your hamster too much apple, especially if you feed them other fruity snacks, or you may find they put on a lot of weight and suffer from health problems