Fruits are among the food groups that are needed by hamsters to survive. Hamsters need lots of vitamin C. Lack of it can lead to a condition known as scurvy. Luckily, fruits are a great source of vitamin C.
However, there is a limit as to the kinds of fruits a hamster may take into its system. Citrus fruits are among those to be avoided because they contain citric acid and the high acidity can greatly upset your pet’s digestive system – leading to a serious case of diarrhea. But, what about hamsters eating grapes?
Hamsters CAN Eat Grapes!
While citrus fruits should be avoided, grapes, however, are safe for hamsters to eat. Dogs, cats, and other mammals are often dissuaded from eating grapes due to the fruit’s association with kidney damage. With hamsters, however, no such complications have been known to occur.
Grapes are often recommended by most experienced vets as a treat for the exotic pet hamster. Regardless, you shouldn’t just offer your hamster a bowl of grapes. It is important that you first discuss with your veterinarian just how much of this fruit you can give to your pet.
How Much Grapes Can Your Hamster Take?
Despite Grapes being a great source of vitamins for your pet hamster, you should only give them in moderate amounts. Grapes should be given only as an occasional treat for your pet because too much of this fruit can cause your hamster to develop diabetes.
An interview made by PetMD with Advanced Critical Care and Emergency Specialty Services (ACCESS) avian and exotics specialist, Olivia Petriz, DVM, DACZM, reveals just how much grapes pet hamsters should take.
According to her, grape consumption would have to depend on the overall size of the hamster itself. Small hamsters may not be able to eat too many grapes but those of the larger variety would definitely have no problem consuming bigger amounts.
Nevertheless, caution should be taken when feeding grapes to hamsters because aside from diabetes, too much sugar can also upset the little animal’s digestive tract.
Grape Nutrient Composition
Grapes are a great source of vitamins and minerals that your pet hamster can surely take advantage of. First of all, grapes are rich in antioxidants that are responsible for the prevention of free radical damage – fighting against the development of cancer. They are also abundant in polyphenols that are great at fighting against degenerative diseases.
Hamsters can also benefit from a small amount of dietary fiber when you add grapes to their diet. There may not be much but the little dietary fiber can help with your pet’s digestion as well as its heart. Grapes are also rich in vitamin K to help build strong bones, blood clotting, and prevent all sorts of diseases.
Lastly, this fruit contains vitamin C which your pet hamster greatly needs. This vitamin is necessary for growth and tissue repair and helps keep the teeth, as well as the gums healthy.
Choosing Between Grape Colors
Grapes come in a variety of colors. While most people think of the plump red clusters of the berry family, this fruit actually comes in shades of purple, blue, red, and white.
White grapes are actually the green-colored ones you often see but are called such due to the lack of the phytochemical anthocyanin which is responsible for the purplish, reddish, and bluish pigment found in grapes.
If you’re wondering if there are any particular colors you should avoid when it comes to hamsters, rest assured that all varieties are safe for them to eat. However, if there is one thing about grapes that you should be wary of, it would have to be the seeds as they could be quite the choking hazard.
Grapes Are Not For All Hamsters
Certain precautions should be taken when feeding grapes to certain species of hamsters. In fact, it is advised that grapes are not to be given to Chinese dwarf hamsters because they are 85 percent more prone to diabetes than other hamster breeds.
Roborovski dwarfs and Syrian hamsters could eat up to two pieces of grapes but for the Campbell’s and the Winter White dwarf hamsters, a single piece would be enough. This is because, like the Chinese, they are also prone to diabetes.
Grapes contain 15.48 grams of sugar per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). This means that a cup of grapes will have as much sugar as a cup of soda.
Furthermore, some hamsters react negatively toward grapes. If it’s not an allergic reaction, there are hamsters that just don’t grow to like grapes at all.
If you want to make sure your pet hamster would react positively towards the fruit, you can offer it a smaller piece at first. If things go well and the hamster eats the grape without any complications, then you can offer more. But if it shows signs of illness, then grapes are definitely not for your pet.