Can Hamsters Eat Blueberries?
Hamsters are small, loveable animals that we often keep as house pets. They are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinea, which contains about 25 species. The best thing about having hamsters as pets is that they’re small, furry, and cute. Not to mention, friendly and safe for children to get chummy with. People often keep these furry little balls as pets because of the affection they show and also the minimal stress over upkeep. However, our concern for this article is related to their diet and specifically, to the more commonly asked question, can hamsters eat blueberries?
What are Blueberries?
Blueberries (Vacciniummyrtillus) are a member of the Ericaceae family, classified along many other berries, like huckleberries and bilberries. Varieties of blueberry are native to North America and Europe. Blueberries grow in clusters and range in any size; from that of a small pea to a large marble. They are quite deep in color, from blue to maroon to purple-black.
Blueberries also boast a white-grey waxy “bloom” that covers the berry’s surface, aiding as a protective coat. The skin surrounds its semi-transparent flesh that envelopes tiny seeds. The difference between the North American blueberry and the European bilberry is that the second has a purple flesh. Cultivated blueberries are mildly sweet, while those that grow wild have a tarter yet tangy flavor.
Our real question still remains – what effects will it have on the system of a hamster?
Blueberries and Hamsters
Studies have shown that feeding fruits to your hamster will benefit him nutritionally as well as make him healthier. Another study conducted specifically on berries also urged owners to feed these berries to their furry friends without any cause for alarm. Therefore, yes, hamsters can eat blueberries. The real concern should be to decide how much blueberries you can feed to your hamster per serving. Blueberries are small in size, and 1 or 2 berries may be a minimal amount for a human being. However, the same is a whole meal for a hamster. A hamster can have 1-3 blueberries twice per week, and that should be enough for their health.
I cannot stress enough on the need to ensure you do not over-feed your hamster. Also, the freshness of the blueberry must also be checked before feeding it to the hamster. Make sure the berries you are feeding are not rotten. Eating rotten fruits can severely affect a hamster’s system and could lead to many diseases. Always feed the hamster yourself, and when you feel that he has had enough, remove the food from his cage. Never leave any food remains in the cage as this can lead him to consume rotten, spoilt food.
Benefits of Blueberries to Hamsters
Blueberries are incredibly sweet, highly nutritious and widely popular. They are a superfood for your little hamster. Also, they are remarkably low in calories, but also high in nutrients.
Blueberries are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. They fall on the high end of antioxidant foods, according to many nutritionists. This means that they can flush out any harmful bacteria or toxins out of a hamster’s body.
Flavonoids in blueberries appear to be the critical antioxidant compounds. It is also observed that blueberries may reduce DNA damage which will further protect your pet hamster from lots of diseases and keep his reproductive system healthy. The antioxidants in blueberries have also shown to prevent extensive oxidative damage, which is a crucial step in maintaining the cardiac health of your pet. These berries even lower blood pressure which again, is essential for the better health of the hamster.
How To Feed Blueberries To Hamsters
As mentioned above, you must feed blueberries to the hamster in moderate amounts. 1-3 blueberries are enough to fill a hamster’s stomach. Always break the blueberries into small pieces or crush them to make an easy-to-swallow paste. Keep in mind never to crush the berries with your hands as they might get infected by germs and bacteria. Instead, use a clean spoon, mash the berries and serve them to the hamster.
Never overdose the berries just because they carry lots of nutritious benefits. Always remember that overdosing any food will bring about adverse changes in the hamster’s body and some of them might not even be curable. Start by giving a small number of blueberries to your hamster. This will make him adapt to the new diet, and you can also check if he shows any symptoms of discomfort after taking the fruit. If your hamster likes it, increase the dose, but always be careful with it.
What Happens If You Feed Too Many Blueberries To Hamsters?
Blueberries are the best kind of berries available almost everywhere in the market. However, if you give too much of them to your hamster, it can bring a lot of health problems for them. Firstly, if you feed an overdose of blueberries regularly to a pregnant hamster, it can create health issues for the baby hamster. It can also weaken the reproductive system of the future mother hamster which could even lead to the death of both the mother and baby.
Secondly, too many blueberries can create a surge in blood sugar level. This could subsequently lead to several health issues for the animal. Obesity is a notable condition associated with increased blood sugar level. As you may be aware, this condition can be harsh to get rid of when it finally gets into your pet’s system.
What To Remember
Blueberries possess lots of benefits and feeding them to your hamster is very beneficial. It will make him healthier and more energetic. You will also have a great time with your little buddy when he is full of energy and ready to play with you. However, be careful never to overdose the berries. Just because they have lots of potential benefits does not mean they are right for your pet in every quantity.
Always be smart when giving meals for your hamster. Any kind of food delivered in a large amount will lead to health problems for your pets. Once you get a pet for yourself, its health is your responsibility, and you must take care of that by, among other things, serving foods to it in moderation. Therefore, we recommend blueberries as long as you serve it clean and in small doses.
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