Can Hamsters Eat Bananas? [4 Precautions Before Feeding!]

Have you ever asked yourself: “can hamsters eat bananas?” Asking yourself these questions before feeding is very important. While hamsters are omnivores and can eat many different kinds of foods there are some foods that are very dangerous to your hammy. Therefore, it’s important to do your research before introducing a new type of food to your hamster’s diet to prevent illness.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at whether or not hamsters can eat bananas and whether they should. To figure this out I will start by going over what exactly a banana contains. That way, we can discover if these fruits contain anything that’s toxic to our furry friends. Furthermore, we’ll go over the benefits that bananas provide for hamsters, the risks associated with feeding them this fruit, portion size, and much more!

can hamsters eat bananas

If you’re in need of a short answer, here it is: Any hamster breed can safely eat bananas but only in small quantities. Bananas contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy snack, but they also contain a lot of sugar which means that your hamster should not eat them too often.

I do recommend reading the rest of the article, not only the short answer because it contains important information on how to best feed this delicious fruit to your hamster.

Can hamsters eat bananas and are they good for them?

To find out whether or not bananas are harmful/beneficial to hamsters it’s a good idea to take a closer look at what exactly a banana contains. A medium-sized banana of about 100 grams contains the following macronutrients:

  • 89 calories
  • 75% water
  • 1.1 grams of protein
  • 22.8 grams of carbs
  • 12.2 grams of sugar
  • 2.6 grams of fiber
  • 0.3 grams of fat

As we can see from the numbers above, bananas contain are relatively low in fat and calories, while containing a good amount of fiber. However, they also contain quite a bit of sugar. But that’s not all, these yellow fruits also contain several important vitamins and minerals that your hamster can benefit from.

Potassium

Bananas are particularly rich in potassium. Research has shown that potassium can be beneficial to your hamster’s circulation.

Vitamin B6

Bananas are also very rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is very important for hamsters because it allows hamsters to grow properly. According to one study, hamsters that are deficient in vitamin B6 have an “arrest of growth after a depletion period of two to three weeks, diminished food and water intake, progressive malnutrition, muscular weakness and changes of the fur” which is why it’s so important to ensure that your hamster has adequate vitamin B6 in their diet.

Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, with a medium-sized banana containing about 0.43 milligrams of it.

Antioxidants

Bananas also contain several antioxidants which are important because they help protect your hamster’s cells against free radicals.

So, are bananas good for hamsters?

On the whole, bananas contain several vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial to your hamster’s health making them a healthy treat for your hamster. However, you have to make sure that you do not overfeed your hamster. These yellow fruits contain quite a bit of sugar, which can lead to rapid weight gain if fed in excess. Your hamster needs a balanced diet, which a small piece of a banana can occasionally be a part of.

Can hamsters eat banana peels?

banana peel

When humans eat bananas we usually discard the peels. But did you know that the peels are in fact edible? Hamsters can eat banana peels just fine but you do have to be a little careful here.

Non-organic bananas that come from the supermarket usually have a lot of pesticides on the peel so I do not recommend feeding those to your hamster unless you wash them thoroughly. Organic bananas usually do not contain pesticides so those are safe to feed to your hamster.

Precautions when feeding bananas to your hamster

Now that you know that hamsters can safely eat bananas you might be tempted to rush to your kitchen, grab a banana, and feed it to your hammy. I know it might be tempting, but wait a little longer, there are a few precautions that you must take into account before feeding:

  1. Do not overfeed. Hamsters are small animals and they do not need a whole lot of food. Make sure to always feed your hamster a balanced diet and do not overfeed them on singular foods, such as bananas.
  2. Introduce slowly. When feeding a new food to your hamster it’s always recommended to introduce them to it slowly. By giving them a very small piece of banana at first you get a chance to see how they react to this new food and it also gives their body a chance to adapt. Start slow, and gradually increase the amount you give if you notice that your hamster can tolerate bananas well.
  3. Check for parasites & freshness. Make sure that the banana you’re about to feed to your hamster is properly ripe (yellow, not brown or green), fresh, and does not contain parasites.
  4. Remove old food before it starts rotting. If you have placed a piece of banana in your hamster’s cage and they don’t seem interested in eating it then make sure that you remove it within 24 hours to prevent it from rotting.

How to feed bananas to your hamster

  1. Buy a banana from the supermarket. Organic is best if you plan on feeding the peel to your hamster. Make sure the banana you buy is properly ripe and has a nice yellow color, so not green or brown.
  2. Cut the fruit into small pieces before feeding.
  3. Offer a small piece of about 1 teaspoon to your hamster (less if it’s their first time eating a banana).
  4. See how they react. Everything should go smoothly, but if you do notice any problems stop feeding them bananas immediately and contact your vet.
  5. If they do not eat it, remove it from their cage within 24 hours to prevent rotting.

How much banana can hamsters eat?

Hamsters are very small, so what seems like an insignificant amount of food to you and me is a lot of food to them! Because hamsters are so small, it’s generally recommended that you feed them no more than 1 teaspoon of banana per serving no more than twice a week. If you have a smaller hamster, such as a dwarf hamster, the recommended amount is even lower at 1/2 a teaspoon once or twice a week.

Do hamsters like bananas?

Most hamsters absolutely like bananas. Bananas are quite sweet and hamsters are attracted to sweet foods so they’re kind of like candy for hamsters. However, no two hamsters are the same, so there’s a chance that your hammy is not a big fan of bananas.

Since bananas are safe for hamsters to eat, the best way to find out whether your hamster likes them or not is by simply offering them a small amount of it. If they like it, they will eat it, if they do not like it, they will not eat it.

If the latter is the case, don’t worry, there are plenty of other fruity snacks that your hamsters can safely enjoy.

Alternatives fruits that hamsters can eat:

Here are some other hamster-approved fruits that your hamster will love:

  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Apples (Remove seeds)
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Mangoes
  • Plums

Frequently asked questions

Can hamsters eat banana chips?

Technically hamsters can eat banana chips. If the chips you’re feeding them are simply dried bananas with no added sugar or preservatives then they’re fine for your hamster. Do keep in mind that dried fruits are higher in sugar so make sure that you’re only feeding them in very small quantities.

Can hamsters eat banana bread?

Banana bread is generally not recommended for hamsters. It’s too high in calories for them which can lead to rapid weight gain. However, a very, very small piece of homemade banana bread once in a while is fine and will not harm your hamster.

Final words

So, now you know everything there’s to know about safely feeding bananas to your pet hammy. To recap, hamsters can safely eat these fruits, and they can actually be beneficial for them but only in small quantities of about 1 teaspoon once or twice a week. They contain many important vitamins and minerals, making them a great occasional snack for your hamster!

I hope this article answered all your questions, and I’ll leave you with this video of 2 hamsters snacking on a banana:

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