Watermelon is almost universally loved as fruits go, and if you’re enjoying a refreshing slice or two yourself, you might wonder whether your hamster can join you. Well, the great news is that yes, they can! Watermelon contains potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C.
Watermelon’s also a very refreshing treat with plenty of liquid, but you should be careful how much you offer to your hamster.
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Why Do Hamsters Like Watermelon?
Most hamsters are very keen on fruit and view little pieces as big treats. That goes for watermelon too, and although wild hamsters are unlikely to encounter watermelon, we’re pretty sure they’d be munching straight away if they could! Your pet hamster is probably going to be equally keen. Watermelon includes lots of good nutrients, and the high sugar content appeals to hamsters that are burning lots of energy with their busy lives.
Why Should I Be Careful About Quantities Of Watermelon?
Because hamsters are so small, it is exceptionally easy to accidentally overfeed them on any food. What looks like a reasonable portion to you could be excessive to something so tiny, so bear this in mind whenever you portion up your hamster’s food.
You aren’t being mean by keeping treats small; hamsters are prone to illnesses like diabetes and fatty liver, so it’s very important not to let them overeat, particularly on certain foods – like fruit.
Keep watermelon as a treat, and don’t offer it too often, especially not in large amounts. While a little bit of watermelon will be welcomed and can give your hamster a boost in terms of vitamins, large amounts are likely to make it very sick.
What Happens If My Hamster Eats Too Much Watermelon?
Unfortunately, many of the signs that your hamster is eating too much watermelon are invisible, so you need to keep an eye on quantities yourself. Don’t depend on your hamster’s instincts when it comes to food rationing; they don’t have a sense of portion control, and are as susceptible to eating too much “junk food” as we are!
One of the visible signs that you can look out for is weight gain. If your hamster is getting fat and heavy, it’s eating too many treats and you need to cut back quickly. This isn’t easy, especially when hamsters are so cute nibbling away, but it’s crucial for keeping your pet healthy.
Diabetes is one of the invisible risks, and with the high sugar content of watermelon, it’s a big risk. While a small quantity will be fine, bear this in mind and keep track of how much you’re letting your pet eat.
Too much watermelon can also cause diarrhea, and this in turn can lead to dehydration, so don’t assume that because the fruit is wet, it’s a good treat for midsummer. Keep quantities low and your hamster can enjoy the fruit right along with you, but don’t let it overindulge.
Can Hamsters Have Watermelon Juice?
No, feeding a hamster watermelon juice is not a good idea. Juice lacks the fiber which helps the hamster digest the fruit and deal with the sugar, and it’s also low in nutrients. Don’t give your hamster watermelon juice on its own.
Can Hamsters Have Watermelon Seeds?
What about those delicious-looking shiny black seeds? Well, they aren’t likely to hurt your hamster, but hamsters could choke on them, especially the smaller breeds. It is probably best not to feed them the seeds; remove any pips before you offer the hamster the fruit.
Can Hamsters Have Watermelon Rind?
The rind of a watermelon shouldn’t hurt your hamster, but it’s best to give it a thorough wash first. The hamster will probably enjoy gnawing at it, though they may decide not to eat it fully. If they don’t, remember to remove it from the cage once they’ve finished; there’s no point leaving it around to go moldy.
How Much Watermelon Is Okay?
You need to think about quantities as a whole, not in terms of individual foods. That means if you’re giving your hamster lots of other sugary fruits, you need to cut its watermelon ration. Equally, you can increase it a bit if the little critter isn’t eating much other fruit.
Limit the amount of watermelon to about a quarter of a teaspoon once a week. Cut this into small chunks so your hamster can manage it easily, and reduce the chance of them eating too much at once.
Don’t give them a huge amount of watermelon in one day, but space it out and make it a rare treat for them to enjoy.