Grapes are great snacks for human beings, but what about hamsters? Can hamsters eat grapes?
After all, grapes are not suitable for many household pets like dogs, rats, and cats. The good news is, hamsters can eat them in small amounts. It makes an excellent treat for a hot summer day.
However, we want to stress the importance of moderation when it comes to giving your hamster buddy a grape. Too much of this fruit can lead to diarrhea and upset stomach in this small animal.
Keep reading to discover all you need to know about grapes and hamsters and how to serve them safely.
Are Grapes Safe for Hamsters?
People often wonder if grapes are toxic or dangerous in some way to hamsters.
The answer is no – not when they are served in small quantities. After all, grapes are one of nature's superfoods, being quite rich in antioxidants, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
But just like humans, hamsters have allergies. As a result, take caution in feeding your hamster grapes to make sure they A. like the fruit and B. don't have an allergic reaction to it.
Health Benefits: Are Grapes Good for Hamsters?
The answer is, yes! Grapes are absolutely okay for hamsters when served in moderation. They make for a fun and nutritious treat for hamsters.
Grapes are fat-free and contain no salt
After all, these fruits are fat-free and contain no salt. And if your hamster suffers from constipation, we encourage you to treat your hammy to a few pieces of grape once or twice a week, as this can help get things moving.
They contain a healthy dose of dietary fiber
These fruits contain a healthy dose of dietary fiber, which supports hamster's digestion by getting water to the intestines. If the stool is impacted, water will lubricate it and get it out of there.
Grapes can help hamsters stay hydrated
The fact that they've so much water helps with hydration, too. But by no means should grapes be the primary source of water for hamsters – make sure they have fresh water available in unlimited quantity around the clock. However, grapes do give them a bit of extra H20.
They contain Vitamin C
Another reason you can feed your hammy a few grape pieces is the vitamin C it contains. Hamsters need vitamin C as they cannot make it on their own, so they need it in their diets, usually in the forms of supplements or water drops. Fruits are an excellent way for hamsters to get their daily dose, and keep that scurvy away.
Nutritional Values: What's in A Grape?
Wondering what makes grapes so great? Here are some of the vitamins, minerals, and all-around great things about grapes.
In one cup of grapes:
- 62 calories
- 0g of fat
- 2mg sodium
- 1g fiber
- 15g sugar
Also, grapes are an excellent source of Vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin C is also packed into grapes, which boosts your immune system and helps heal wounds. Vitamin B is also present, which helps keep metabolism, hair, and nails in good repair.
Grapes also contain antioxidants, which can help bring down your risk of high blood pressure and blood clots. Antioxidants also help prevent cell damage and lower your hamster's cancer risk.
How Often Should I Feed My Hamster Grapes?
Fresh grapes should only be fed once or twice per week as a means of exercising moderation. It is thanks to the high sugar content of grapes, and the negative effects it can have on your hamster's digestive system.
Think of grapes as candy. Just as humans get sick from eating too much, so do hams. So, keep it to a minimum!
How to Prepare Grapes for Your Hamster?
- Good preparation for grapes begins at the grocery store. Choose grapes that are firm and juicy, not shriveled and moldy. And if you are ever curious about whether or not to buy the grapes, ask yourself, "Would I eat these?" If the answer is no, then your hamster shouldn't eat them, either.
- Once you have them home, make sure to rinse them off thoroughly under running water. Rub off any excess dirt. Now transfer them on a paper towel to dry them up.
- Once it is time to serve the grapes, use a small knife to cut a single grape into small pieces safely. A half grape cut up into two smaller pieces will be appropriate. Go with a smaller grape to ensure the hamster does not overeat.
- Store grapes safely by placing them in the fruit drawer of your fridge in their original bag.
Can Hamsters Eat Grapes with Seeds?
Grape seeds are non-toxic. However, they should be avoided. The seeds present a choking hazard to a hamster, and you should only buy and prepare seedless grapes for your rodent friend if possible.
Are Grapevine Leaves Safe for Hamsters?
Some people may wonder if the grapevine leaves are okay for hamsters to munch on. We advise NOT giving them to your hamster, because these can be harbingers of pesticides that could really harm your pet.
To give you an idea of how toxic these pesticides are, farmers are advised to use long sleeves, eye protection, and masks when using it. Some of these pesticides are designed to affect the central nervous system of insects adversely.
While hamsters and insects are two completely different animals, the point we're trying to make is this: pesticides on grape leaves are a threat. These pesticides could be harmful to your hamster, so it's best not to take the risk.
If you end up with grape leaves, the safe thing to do would be just to throw them out and, of course, thoroughly wash the grapes off before serving them to your hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Raisins (Dried Grapes)?
You might wonder if raisins are okay for hamsters. After all, raisins are just dried grapes, right?
Raisins are NOT known to have any negative effects on hamsters when eaten. However, it's best to exercise caution when feeding them to your hamster as raisins are high in sugar.
Just a half-cup of these fruits has 217 calories and 47 grams of sugar! It is more sugar than some soft drinks and way more sugar than an actual grape. In fact, high amounts of sugar are one of the drawbacks of dried fruit.
At the same time, raisins do have some benefits. For instance, raisins have healthy amounts of iron. One half-cup is packed with 1.3 mg. Recall that iron is critical in the creation of red blood cells and assisting with the carrying of oxygen to your body's cells.
In that half-cup serving, there is 45 mg of calcium. And calcium, as we know, is integral to bone and teeth health.
Antioxidants are also present in raisins. Antioxidants do an excellent job of guarding your body against free radicals and helping to prevent cancer, as we learned a little earlier.
The bottom line? A raisin here and there will not hurt your hammy, but it may be just better overall to stick with a different treat. After all, a hamster cannot eat a half cup of raisins, so even the benefits of this fruit cannot be thoroughly enjoyed!
Wrapping It Up
Let's sum up what we learned about hamsters and grapes.
- Hamsters can eat grapes but in moderation- once or twice a week.
- Half a grape is enough for most hamsters.
- Wash grapes thoroughly before serving.
- Avoid serving the leaves.
Enjoy a safe and healthy snack time with your pet!