Believe it or not, hamsters notice if we are eating and can appear to beg! It’s OK to give a hamster some of the foods we eat but bear in mind there are many that have no place in their daily diet.
If you’ve ever wondered if hamsters can eat bananas, the short answer is yes. But should they?
Before you celebrate by feeding a banana to your hamster, make sure you read the rest of this article to discover exactly how much of this sweet, starchy fruit is actually safe for any type of hamster to eat and whether the health implications outweigh the benefits.
Feeding a hamster banana
Syrian, Dwarf, Chinese: you’ll find all types of hamsters like to eat bananas even though they are a fruit they would not naturally consume. Bananas might be a good source of certain vitamins and fiber that hamsters require for a balanced diet. As banana is soft, there is no danger of it damaging a hamster’s delicate cheek pouches.
The amount of banana a hamster can safely eat
A hamster-sized banana portion should be no more than half a teaspoon and should only be offered twice a week maximum.
Banana should rare a treat and not a hamster diet staple, and if we’re honest, hamsters don’t actually need treats at all! More about this can be found further down.
Give it any more than the tiniest slice of banana and your hamster will be consuming far too much sugar.
Hamsters have a tendency to overeat and become overweight which in turn leads to various health problems.
Because bananas contain naturally-occurring sugars, too much can lead to tooth decay.
Hamster teeth are continually growing and so they need to eat food that will naturally grind them down. Bananas are of no use at all on this front.
The amount of banana a hamster can safely eat depends on its size. We’ll look at the sizes of popular hamsters in a moment but first, here are a few banana facts you’ll find helpful.
The average peeled banana:
- weighs 4 ounces (100 grams)
- provides 90 calories
- has 1 gram of protein
- contains 12 grams of sugar
- holds 2.5 grams of fiber
Feeding banana to Syrian hamsters
The Syrian or golden hamster is the largest and most popular as a pet.
It can be 6 to 8 inches in length and weigh approximately 1 ounce per inch. This means one will weigh on average 6 to 8 ounces.
A Syrian hamster can eat a small amount of banana as an occasional treat.
This hamster only needs approximately 2 tablespoons of food every 24 hours and this should ideally comprise foods from the list below.
The amount of banana a Dwarf hamsters should eat
The dwarf hamster is another popular pet. One can range from 2 to 4 inches long and usually weighs, on average, 1.5 to 2 ounces. They need just 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of food per day.
A dwarf hamster can eat banana, but just a quarter teaspoon and only once per week ideally. You’ll see some healthier treat options in a moment
The ideal banana portion for a Chinese hamster
The Chinese hamster is the one that has a long tail. It is usually about 4 inches long and weighs a maximum of 2 ounces, with the tail accounting for some of this.
Like other hamsters, a Chinese hamster can eat banana but would probably prefer something from the following list of perfect hamster treats.
Perfect treats for hamsters to eat
Hamsters are often thought to be herbivores when, in fact, they are omnivores. This means their ideal diet consists of meat protein and vegetables.
In their natural habitat, hamsters eat plants and insects. They definitely do not eat bananas.
Because we love treats ourselves, we seem obsessed with giving them to our pets too.
The longing for treats is a very human emotion and, as much as we like to spoil them, hamsters really don’t need treats in their daily diets – at least not the sort of thing we call treats.
The main food of a hamster’s daily diet should be a high-quality hamster pellet from your local pet store.
If you want to spoil your hamster, don’t give it banana, or muesli-type foods. Instead, offer it a little of the following safe foods:
Most hamsters will really enjoy a mealworm. It’s safe to offer one small mealworm two or three times per week. Don’t worry, you can buy dried mealworms instead of living ones!
2. Green vegetables
Hamsters really benefit from eating crunchy vegetables as they help to keep their teeth from growing too long. Any of the following are fine as part of their daily allowance:
Fruit is not really necessary but if you really want to give it to your hamster these are best:
Hamsters can eat bananas – but should they?
Though hamsters will eat bananas, and a little won’t have any drastic effect on their health, there really is no point in feeding it to them.
I promise your hamster won’t feel deprived or like you any less if you eat a banana in front of it and don’t offer it a piece.
If you really feel the urge to give your hamster a treat alongside its regular hamster food, pick one from our safe list and you can feel happy that you’ve given it a little variety in its daily food.
Most importantly, feed your hamster the amount it requires daily and watch out for those little hoards of food that it might secret around its living quarters. Keep an eye on its waistline too.