The ideal hamster diet consists of pellets formulated to meet their unique needs. They should also get a small amount of greens, root veggies, and fruit, as well as some animal protein like mealworms. But what fruit is safe for them to eat? Are blackberries a hamster-friendly food?
Your hamster can eat blackberries, but not too often or in too high a quantity. As with most fruit, blackberries are high in sugar, which can cause digestive upset for your little buddy if they eat too many or too often.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of blackberries for your hamster and learn how to feed them.
Benefits of Blackberries for Hamsters
Blackberries are considered a “superfood” for humans; full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. But hamsters have different nutritional needs than humans, so we must look at this tasty fruit through a hamster-focused lens.
For humans, blackberries are a much healthier alternative to many of the sweet things we tend to indulge in, but for hamsters, fruit is a little bit like junk food. Although they often contain beneficial nutrients and are high in fiber, they are also mostly water and sugar.
Compared to many other fruits, however, blackberries contain a lot less sugar; just under 5%, which makes them one of the healthiest fruit choices.
How to Offer Blackberries
Fruits fall under the ‘treats’ category, which should not exceed 10% of your hamsters normal diet. When introducing any new food into your tiny friend’s regime, you should always do so slowly. Start small, with half a blackberry, to see if your hamster likes the taste. If they enjoy this offering and have no digestive problems over the next 24 hours, you can offer them a little more next time.
How Often Can Hamsters Have Blackberries?
As we’ve discussed, blackberries are lower in sugar than most fruits, and, once you have made sure they can eat them safely, you can offer 3-4 blackberries, three times a week. Due to their high water content, feeding your hamster too many of these fruits could result in diarrhea, so it is best to stick to moderation.
What Other Fruits Can Hamsters Have?
Blackberries aren’t the only fruit that hamsters can eat. The following is a list of others you can add to your pet’s diet to add variety:
- Apples (no seeds)
- Cherries (no pit)
- Honeydew melons
What Fruits Shouldn’t Hamsters Have?
While many fruits are safe for hamsters, some can be toxic to the point of even being fatal. The following should be avoided at all costs:
- Rhubarb leaves
- Dried fruits
- Apple seeds
- Apple skin
Blackberries are a tasty and sweet treat your hamster is likely to love. High in fiber and lower in sugar than most fruit, they are one of the healthiest fruit options, but they are still a treat. Most hamsters should be able to enjoy 3-4 blackberries up to three times a week, but always start with a small portion to make sure they don’t cause any issues for your tiny friend, and if you have any questions or concerns about your hamster’s diet, speak with your vet.
Hamsters are omnivores, and should be fed a diet that consists primarily of pellets that have been formulated for their unique digestive needs, along with some seeds, leafy greens, and animal protein. 10% of their diet can be made up of treats, and blackberries are a great option that your hamster will love.