Hamsters are rodents and they are described as short bodies with short tails and furry ears. Their short tail distinct them from other rodents such as mice, rats, squirrels e.t.c. Hamsters are very wide in variety as they are said to come in different colors, which include: black, grey, brown, white, yellow, red, and also a mixture of several colors.
According to the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare, they are 24 species of hamsters, five of which are mostly kept as pets. These five species include Dwarf Roborovski, the Campbell’s dwarf Russian, The Syrian Hamster, Dwarf winter white Russian, and The Chinese Hamster. The Syrian hamster is the most popular.
" Syrian hamster "
Hamsters are known to be omnivorous, that is, they feed on a wide variety of food of both plant and animal origin. Hamsters like to feed on things like seeds, grains, nuts, corn, fruit, vegetables, and a lot more. Despite Hamster being omnivorous, whether or not they can eat bananas has been a commonly asked question.
Can Hamsters Eat Bananas?
Hamsters can eat bananas but it is not so healthy for them if taken in large quantities because of the high content of sugar in it. If you decide to feed your hamster with bananas, you might want to be careful with how many bananas you feed them as too much consumption of bananas can lead to negative side effects such as diarrhea, and digestive problems, in your hamster.
Hamsters and Banana
Though banana does not contain everything a hamster needs for healthy living, it still contains many of the nutrients they require
Banana like any other fruit has many nutritional benefits, some of which include:
Vitamins and Minerals
Bananas contain a lot of vitamins C, A, and B6. Hamsters do not produce these vitamins, they only get them by consuming food that contains them. These vitamins help maintain the hamster’s immune system, growth system, and reproductive system. Lack of vitamin C in a hamster diet is said to cause Scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease.
Bananas are also packed with essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and a lot more. These minerals help in the growth and development of the body. They also help strengthen the hamsters’ bones and teeth.
Bananas contain exclusively carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are one of the key nutrients for hamsters. Studies have shown that hamsters should consume around 62% of carbohydrates to be as healthy as possible. Carbohydrates also help hamsters feel fuller faster and for a longer period.
Banana contains antioxidants, that may help repair damaged cells or help prevent cell damage. Antibodies in bananas also prevent certain diseases and cancer.
Bananas like other fruit contain natural sugar. This natural sugar has their benefit but too much of it might cause health-related issues for your hamsters. Just as it is not good for us to have too much sugar, neither is it good to feed your hamster with loads of sugar. This is something to be very careful of.
At this juncture, after learning both the risk and benefits of banana consumption for hamsters, it has been concluded that hamsters can indeed eat bananas but only in moderation (emphasis on moderation), with a limit of one teaspoon for adults hamsters and a quarter to half a teaspoon for smaller sized hamsters at a time.
overfeeding your hamster with bananas might lead to side effects like stomach upset, bloating, obesity, and diarrhea.
Bananas are better given as a treat or snack after another meal or before another meal instead of it being the main meal. Banana treats also help control hamsters' appetite and prevent them from eating more. Some banana treats that can be fed to hamsters include dried banana chips, fruit salad with bananas e.t.c
Can hamsters eat banana peel?
Aside from banana fruit, hamsters can also consume banana peel. The peel like the banana fruit is safe for consumption.
The peel contains lesser sugar compared to the fruit itself and it is also totally safe.
Banana peel also contains some nutrients that can benefit hamsters.
Here are some tips on how you can serve bananas to your hamster in moderation
Bananas should firstly be introduced slowly as any other new food. The slow introduction of food into your hamster’s diet makes it easier to detect any negative side effects of such food. When your hamster starts showing signs of digestive discomfort and stooling, stop feeding them such food. Whereas, if no negative sign is noticed, and you decide to feed them with bananas, do so in moderation.
Also, before feeding your hamster with a banana, the banana should be thoroughly checked for any sign of irregularities. Any negative concerns with the banana should not be fed to them.
Bananas should also not be fed to hamsters daily. Feeding them in moderation twice a week or thrice a week is ideal.
It is also advisable to contact your veterinarian before implementing any change in your hamster’s diet.
In summary, before tossing that piece of banana to your hamster, weigh its negative and positive effects of it. Introduce the banana slowly into their diet and observe them for any negative reactions. If you decide to feed your hamster with bananas, remember to do so in moderation.