Hamsters are small, cute creatures that many people enjoy keeping as pets. But what do hamsters eat? Can you feed blackberries to hamsters? Dr Elly answers.
Can hamsters eat blackberries?
The short answer is yes, blackberries are a healthy treat for hamsters and you can feed this delicious fruit in small amounts as the occasional treat. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins such as Vitamin C, and minerals that can help keep your hamster healthy. Additionally, blackberries have other health benefits such as they are a great source of fiber, which can help keep your hamster’s digestive system functioning properly.
If you want to give your hamster blackberries, like rabbits, start by giving them a small amount and watching for any signs of digestive upset. If your hamster does not have any problems digesting blackberries, you can gradually increase the amount that you give them but stick to small quantities. You can feed blackberries to your hamster either fresh, frozen, or dried. Be careful with dried blackberries and still stick with one as dried fruit is very calorie-dense.
How many blackberries can you give your pet hamster?
Blackberries are considered a treat and so you should only give them to your pet hamster one to two times per week in small amounts.
- Adult hamsters in the breeds listed below can have 1 small blackberry.
- Always wash the blackberries with plenty of water to remove any residual pesticides
- Choose dark, ripe blackberries and avoid the red (unripe ones) as they can cause upsets to your rabbit’s digestive system
- Don’t offer them to baby hamsters or to young hamsters (hamsters under 3 months) – their digestive tract is not mature enough yet – stick with hamster pellets and veggies.
- If you are introducing them as a new food to your hamster’s diet- start with one and see how they go.
- It’s essential to remove any uneaten blackberries or other fresh foods since hamsters adore storing leftovers. This may appear harsh, but it is actually in your furry friends best interests.
Which breeds of Hamster can eat Blackberries?
- Hamsters range quite dramatically in body size. Since hamsters are prone to obesity and diabetes stick to one small blackberry for larger breeds and 1/4 to 1/2 a blackberry for smaller dwarf breeds and little hamsters. Breeds that can eat blackberries include:
- Syrian hamsters
- Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster
- Campbell’s dwarf hamsters
- Chinese Dwarf Hamster / Chinese Hamsters
- Roborovski Hamsters
What is the nutritional value of blackberries?
Blackberries are delicious, nutritious fruit that is packed with antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins. Fresh blackberries are high in potassium and vitamin C as well as fiber.
Here are some of the key nutrients for this superfood: Each cup of blackberries contains:
- 62 calories per cup
- 14 grams of carbohydrates with 7g of this as fruit sugar
- 7.6 grams of dietary fibers which is pretty high for a fruit:
- 2 grams of protein
- 0.7 grams of fat
One cup also contains:
- 308 IU of Vitamin A: Vitamin A promotes immunity and is important for reproduction.
- 9 Milligrams of Manganese: Manganese promotes liver function and aids in the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
- 28.8 Milligrams of Magnesium: Magnesium assists in regulating muscle and nerve function.
- 31.68 mg of Phosphorus: Phosphorus is needed for strong bones and healthy teeth.
- 42 mg of Calcium: Blackberries are surprisingly high in calcium which is essential for bone health
- 233 Milligrams of Potassium: blackberries are a great source of Potassium which helps regulate fluid levels in your hamster’s body.
- 30.2 Milligrams of Vitamin C: Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and veggies, including blackberries. It is essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system.
- 28.5 Micrograms of Vitamin K: Vitamin K aids in blood clotting.
Healthy alternatives to blackberries.
Blackberries have a sadly very short growing period, so if your pet hamster has a sweet tooth, here are some alternative fresh fruits and fresh vegetables that you can serve as a treat 3-4 times per week as part of your hamster’s diet:
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries
- Apple (remove the apple seeds)
- Cherries (remove seeds)
- bell peppers
- romaine lettuce
- Sunflower seeds (only in moderation as they are high in fat)
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Green leafy veggies
Can hamsters eat blackberry leaves?
Yes, your adult hamster can eat blackberry leaves. A few nibbles of this leafy green is a great way to increase their fiber content and contribute to a balanced diet.
You should never feed your little cutie blackberries or blackberry leaves that have been sprayed with any pesticides and herbicides as these can be toxic. Make sure you thoroughly wash any fruits and veggies before giving them to your hamster.
Are wild blackberries safe for hamsters?
Yes, this I hope goes without saying. The same rules apply to washing them well before giving them to your hamster.
Can blackberries make my pet hamster sick?
While blackberries are an excellent treat and one of the best fruits you can feed your little hamster, too many can cause problems as hamsters’ digestive systems can be quite sensitive. The same goes for any fruit – too much of any fruit can cause negative side effects.
If your little hamster guzzles too many berries it could have diarrhea and digestive problems so watch them closely if someone in the family accidentally gives them too much of this treat.
Too many treats such as blackberries can lead to dental problems and may damage your hamster’s teeth. I also don’t recommend treats for obese or overweight hamsters as they are prone to developing diabetes.
A diet with too much sugar and sugary foods can lead to your little hamster developing diabetes so be careful of foods with a high sugar content such as fruits and only feed small amounts as little above.
Your hamster should be fed a healthy diet of good quality hamster food and fresh fruits, veggies, leafy greens, and the occasional treat of unsalted nuts or seeds. Fresh clean water must always be available at all times to your pet in a bottle with a sipper tube so they can drink whenever they want.
Hamsters love fresh fruit and berries, and blackberries are one of their favorites. Blackberries are high in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. While they make a great occasional treat for a healthy hamster. Avoid giving them if your furry friend is overweight and use caution when feeding this tasty treat to the dwarf breeds.
Dr. Elly has always loved animals, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying hard in veterinary school, she practiced in several different countries before moving to North Carolina with her husband and young family. She currently works part time as a veterinarian while caring for her 4 busy children and writing this blog. Dr. Elly genuinely cares about the welfare of her patients. She currently has three dogs, two cats, 5 chickens and 2 rabbits (yes a bit of a zoo!)