Blackberries are something which it’s easy to imagine wild hamsters coming across, and the good news is that these tasty fruits are safe for hamsters to eat in small quantities.
Blackberries are nutritious and have lots of fiber in them, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants.
Are Blackberries Healthy For Hamsters?
As with all foods, you should give blackberries in moderation, but yes, they are good for your hamster! They can improve blood circulation, give them a good hit of vitamins, and help with your hamster’s digestion.
Blackberries are also good for lowering bad LDL cholesterol. This is important, as many hamsters are prone to diabetes, so foods which can reduce their risk are good to be aware of. Offering your hamster blackberries on a fairly regular basis can help them handle bad cholesterol.
However, that doesn’t mean you should feed your hamster huge amounts of blackberries, as that could cause other health issues.
What Happens If They Eat Too Many Blackberries?
Whenever you’re judging food quantities for your little furry friend, remember to think about how much smaller they are than you. Scale yourself down to mini-hamster-size and think about how absolutely gigantic a single blackberry would seem! Next, imagine being faced with a whole pile of them.
That might sound like a dream if you love blackberries (and as a hamster, you probably would), but it’s still not a good thing.
Eating too many blackberries could cause diarrhea. That may not sound very serious, but if your hamster gets very dehydrated as a result, it could die. Eating excessive blackberries can also cause vomiting.
Your hamster might try and stash blackberry pieces away for later, but you should avoid leaving bits of blackberry in their cage – no matter how cute it is to watch them bury it. Blackberries are a particularly wet fruit, and will quickly go moldy, which is a health risk for your little friend.
Take blackberry remnants away once your hamster has finished eating.
How Much Blackberry Should They Have?
If you feed your hamster a lot of fruit, you should be even more stringent about how much blackberry you allow them. Half a berry is probably plenty – less if your hamster is one of the smaller breeds or eats plenty of other fruit.
You might want to cut the berry into small segments and feed them to your hamster a little at a time. This will reduce the chance of it carrying pieces off to bury; as soon as it loses interest in eating, you can stop feeding it, and you won’t have to go hunting for the leftovers.
That said, don’t keep feeding the hamster blackberry until it loses interest; most hamsters will eat a lot more blackberry than they should in a single sitting. Determine how much they should have in relation to how much other fruit you feed them.
As a rough guideline, hamsters should have approximately a teaspoon of fruit a couple of times a week. Count your blackberries into this amount, but be sure to provide a mixture, and don’t just give them teaspoons of blackberry!
Blackberry Nutritional Data
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Nutrients per Serving
A one-cup serving of raw blackberries contains:
- Calories: 62
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Sugar: 7 grams
Will My Hamster Like Blackberries?
Most hamsters like blackberries very much, but you may find that your hamster isn’t very keen. When you’re first introducing any food, offer just a small amount first and observe how the hamster responds.
If the hamster eats the treat straight away, give it a couple of days before you offer the hamster any more. Once you’ve established your hamster enjoys blackberries and is not suffering any negative reaction to them, you can include blackberries in their fruit mix from time to time.
If your hamster doesn’t eat the blackberry or if you notice any change in its droppings or behavior once it has eaten it, there’s a good chance it either doesn’t like blackberries or that blackberries don’t agree with its digestive system. In either case, it’s best not to carry on feeding your hamster blackberries; find another fruit instead.
What About Blackberry-Flavored Foods?
If your hamster enjoys blackberries, it makes sense you might want to try offering your little buddy blackberry-flavored foods that you’re eating. In general, however, this isn’t a good idea. While your hamster may like the fresh fruits, it may not benefit much from eating other foods which contain blackberry.
Remember that fruits are good for hamsters, but foods such as muffins are unlikely to do much for them. Stick with fresh foods that they are likely to find in the wild, and your hamster will probably live a longer, healthier, and happier life.