Nutrition is one of the main concerns of all pet owners. Even for the smallest ones, the questions are the same. Does my pet have a balanced diet? Does he take all the vitamins and minerals from the food I give him? We all know that a proper diet contributes fundamentally to the health of all pets, from their first day of life. But also, some foods can be surprisingly dangerous, so worries are natural.
Among small pets, hamsters are the most popular choice for most families as they are easy to handle and take care of, and also less demanding. But when it comes to nutrition, hamster owners often wonder about all kinds of things, because a small pet doesn’t mean fewer concerns when it comes to health.
According to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, a pelleted diet, such as rodent lab blocs, is the best for hamsters. They will always prefer the seeds over the pellets from mixtures, which are not that nutritious. They also state that hamsters may enjoy fresh vegetables but cannot tolerate high-sugar items, due to a sensitive digestive tract.
If you are curious if hamsters can eat strawberries, the answer is yes, but not excessive. Nutritionally, strawberries are high in fiber and contain less sugar. Usually, hamsters are prone to diabetes, so fruits with a high content of sugar should be avoided or served in minimal portions. Also, always seek the advice of your veterinarian before introducing something new into your pet’s diet.
Like any other new food, strawberries should be introduced progressively into the hamster’s diet; otherwise, it can cause stomach problems, such as diarrhea or vomiting. Before serving, wash the fruit with cold water, as it may be sprayed with pesticides or may have various parasites that can affect the health of the hamster.
A characteristic behavior of small rodents is food hoarding. They hide food to make provisions, so there is a risk that the fruit will spoil until they eat it. Therefore, it’s better to serve a small piece of fruit and check if consumed in a few hours and, if not, clean your hamster’s cage immediately to avoid the formation of bacteria.
How to safely serve strawberries to your hamster?
- Wash the fruit before feeding
- Serve strawberries in small bites
- Clean the cage and remove the waste after a few hours because rotten fruits may form bacteria
According to MSD Veterinary Manual, serving “a few healthy treats – such as hay, fruits or vegetables, or chewy treats sold in pet stores – may be given but should be limited to not more than 10% of the total diet.”
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