Hamsters are omnivorous animals which means that they benefit from foods of all types as long as they come from the wild. Cherries are a natural food that is not too acidic, and sugar levels are modest. The answer to the question ‘’can hamsters eat cherries’’ is YES.
Medical science is now discovering the many benefits of foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries belong to this class of foods and may help relieve the symptoms of existing inflammatory health issues and potentially reduce the likelihood of new illnesses of this type.
Why Is This Beneficial?
An ever-growing list of health problems, both temporary and permanent, is being attributed to the inflammatory response of our bodies rather than to the original disease that prompted that response.
There isn’t much research directly dealing with the effects of cherry consumption on hamsters. However, it may be appropriate to apply human studies as a guide (with care). This is because hamsters are also mammals like us.
Research studies concluded that professional athletes, who consumed cherries (especially tart cherries) before a workout, experienced less discomfort and swelling compared to athletes who had not eaten cherries. Recovery time after the workout was also shorter for the athletes who had eaten the fruit.
The Nutritional Properties of Cherries
Like all fruits, cherries contain carbohydrates, dietary fiber, fat and vitamin A. The fruit also packs thiamine, pantothenic acid, iron, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and salt. Regular consumption of these dietary components is essential to human health and performance. And their natural balance of water versus solids, like in all fruits, helps prevent problems with diarrhea.
It is appropriate to conclude that our tiny little friends would also benefit from taking in these same nutrients. Especially, phosphorus, carbohydrates, and calcium. They are also mammals as we are.
How Should I Introduce Cherries Into His diet?
It is necessary to be careful about adding new things to your pet’s diet. First, consult your veterinarian about adding cherries to your hamster’s diet. If he gives you the go-ahead, proceed to change your pet’s diet slowly to avoid upsetting his digestive system.
Start by washing the cherries thoroughly to remove all traces of pesticides and toxins. Better yet; avoid agricultural chemicals and pesticides by purchasing organic cherries.
Remove and discard the pits (unless you have purchased unpitted cherries) and any stem pieces that may be present. These items would be very tough on your pet’s digestive system just as they would be to yours. Be aware that your hamster may seem to want the pits if he sees them, and his teeth could undoubtedly make short work of them. However, do not allow him to have any of the pits.
What To Take Care Of The Most
Even though seeds and nut-based foods are available for hamsters, it is essential to know the hazards that this class of foods poses to your little pet. Some fruit seeds (aka “pits”) are outright toxic to both hamsters and humans.
Those that are not toxic in the immediate sense can still be toxic over the long run. This is due to the high content of fats and oils. Some veterinarians complain about cheap commercial food blocks that are compressed masses of nuts and seeds. According to them, these would be better for pet birds rather than hamsters as their labels indicate.
Fruit pits, such as the pit inside unprocessed cherries, do contain harmful toxins. However, avoid even putting them near your pet to prevent an opportunistic individual from sequestering one away while you are not looking.
The tough cherry pit is also a choking hazard for your pet due to the small size of its throat. The same holds for the edible portions that you give to your pet. Cut the flesh of the cherry into small pieces that can fit comfortably within its mouth. This way, you will be able to avoid the risk of choking. Use the physical size of pelletized master food pieces as a general guide.
How Many Cherries Can My Pet Eat?
Veterinarian recommendations regarding the daily amount to give your hamster vary from two cherries worth, to an entire tablespoon of pitted and cut cherries. Careful observations of your pet’s behavior can help you to avoid feeding him too much.
Remember that this is a special treat for your pet. Do not replace any portion of his regular food with this treat. Give cherries as a helpful supplement that can reduce inflammation and help eliminate constipation.
Use the same common sense portion control that you apply to your self with sweets but mind the size difference between you. The size of a single cherry to a hamster is roughly analogous to the size of a softball for you. If he consumes too much too quickly, your pet will likely suffer from indigestion and diarrhea. Just as you probably would too. Your pet would likely refuse to eat cherries from then on.
If you’re lucky enough, your little friend might have some self-control over the portions he eats. Even then, giving too much cherry to him could trigger his instinct to save and store extra food. This instinct would prompt him to stockpile cherry pieces in his cheeks and then later transfer them to a spot somewhere within his habitat.
What Of Stored Food?
Stored fresh food is likely to spoil very quickly in your pet’s habitat. As a result, this would expose him to the risks of food poisoning or fungal infections. Not to mention the bad smells that would result from that.
Even if your pet can stomach more than most without stashing it away, you still need to be careful with overfeeding him. This is because it may cause him to become overweight which could lead to various health problems including insulin resistance or diabetes.
One common way to avoid dietary excesses is to offer this treat on a limited number of days. Include them in his diet, as a treat only once or, at most, twice each week. This should deliver all of the benefits while minimizing the chances for problems of excess.
The sweet-tart taste of cherries should be as desirable for your hamster as it is for you. Feeding a small number of cherries to your hamster can also promote better health and less pain and discomfort from inflammatory processes.
However, it is vital to take steps to avoid hazards that are the result of the significant size difference between you and your little pet. Avoid also nutritional excesses which can be as bad for your hamster as it is for you.
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