Can Hamsters Eat Watermelon?
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Watermelon is easily one of the most refreshing fruits around. Juicy, sweet, and satisfying, it’s probably one of your favorites!
But can you share this natural treat with your pet? Is it OK to give watermelon to a hamster, and if so, how much can they have? Can they eat the rind and seeds, or are these dangerous?
The short answer to the question of whether hamsters can have watermelon is “yes.”
But there’s a whole lot more to the story. Our quick guide to watermelon for hamsters answers all of your questions and covers a few things you might not have considered.
Watermelon Nutrition Stats
Even though it’s sweet and tasty, watermelon is pretty low in calories, which is good news for you when you’re looking for a satisfying summertime snack!
A one-cup serving of cut watermelon provides approximately:
- 47 calories
- 5 g carbohydrates
- .6 g fiber
- 1 g protein
- .2 g fat
Watermelon Nutritional Facts
Even though it’s a low-calorie fruit when compared side by side with some others like bananas and grapes, watermelon is brimming with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help you and your hammy stay healthy.
That one-cup serving of watermelon contains about:
- 865 iu vitamin A
- 170 mg potassium
- 3 mg vitamin C
- .1 mg vitamin B6
- .1 mg manganese
- 2 mg magnesium
- .1 mg thiamine
- .3 mg pantothenic acid
- .1 mg copper
Can Hamsters Have Watermelon?
Yes, it’s OK for hamsters to have watermelon, but you’ll need to be careful not to give them too much.
Is Watermelon Good For Hamsters?
Even though it’s higher in sugar than some other natural hamster treats, watermelon’s nutritional content makes it a fairly healthy choice. Again, you don’t want to overdo it! (Are you sensing a theme here?)
Do Hamsters Like Watermelon?
While we can’t speak for all hamsters, we do know that we’ve never met a hamster that didn’t like watermelon! So it’s safe to say that yes, most hamsters love watermelon.
How Much Watermelon Can A Hamster Eat?
Your hamster might not be very happy with this answer: Not much.
Here’s how much watermelon to feed a hamster:
|Adult hamster||1 teaspoon|
A teaspoon of watermelon might sound like a tease to you – after all, it’s not even a very big bite!
But for a hamster, a teaspoon of watermelon is quite a bit – and any more than that might cause some upsetting side effects.
If your hamster already eats fruit, it’s fine to give them the full teaspoon the very first time they try watermelon. Like always, you’ll want to watch for signs of diarrhea for the next 12 hours, and you’ll want to watch your hammy to make sure that they don’t show signs of painful gas or bloating.
So long as all’s well, you can continue to feed your hamster watermelon every now and then. Be sure to take photos, because hamsters eating watermelon are downright adorable!
How Often Can A Hamster Eat Watermelon?
You can give your hamster watermelon once a week. Don’t offer it on the same day as you provide other fruits!
- If your hamster is a new arrival and you’re not sure if they ever had fruit or vegetables before, do not give them watermelon just yet. Offer something milder with low sugar – a tiny piece of celery or cucumber is a better introduction to fresh food. Give them another tiny piece every other day for the first week and over the course of the next week, you can gradually increase their serving size.
- So long as your hamster doesn’t have any adverse side effects from the gentle veggie treats you’re offering, you can provide a tiny sliver of watermelon around the beginning of the third week. About a quarter of a teaspoon is plenty! You can increase to half a teaspoon the next week and a full teaspoon the week after that, or you can gradually try other fruits like strawberries or blueberries.
The Correct Diet Is Important
Why the emphasis on a low sugar diet, and why worry about which treats you’re giving your hamster?
As it turns out, a hamster’s natural diet doesn’t include much sugar at all. Wild hamsters will certainly eat fruit if they find it but for the most part, these omnivorous little animals nibble on a variety of plants and occasionally eat insects, worms, and other small creatures.
Besides occasional fruit and veggie treats, here’s what to feed a hamster every day:
- Hamster pellets – Quality hamster food has all the nutrients your hamster needs. Check the package to see how much you should be offering each day.
- Fresh hay – Timothy hay gives your pet something to nibble, plus it’s a ton of fun for building tunnels and making nests that make their hamster habitat feel more like home.
- Water – Clean, fresh water is essential for your pet’s health. Be sure to rinse and refill your little buddy’s drinking bottle every day.
- Birdseed – Natural birdseed contains some healthy fats to round out your hamster’s diet. A teaspoon per week is plenty!
- Protein treats – Dried mealworms are ideal as they’re easy to feed and you can keep them fresh inside a sealed container. If you like, you can offer your hamster a bit of hard-boiled egg or even a tiny bit of cooked chicken.
- Chewable “dental” treats – Hamster teeth grow constantly and chewing helps prevent the from becoming overgrown and painful. Your hamster should have unlimited access to chewable items such as hamster toys, untreated softwood sticks, coconut shell, unbleached loofah, and hay cubes.
Hamsters are famous for stashing extra food away for later enjoyment. Unfortunately, fresh treats like watermelon are prone to spoiling and developing mold, so you’ll want to remove uneaten portions immediately to prevent your hamster from hiding them in their bedding.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Watermelon In A Hamster’s Diet?
Just like us humans, hamsters really enjoy variety. Sure, hamster pellets offer complete nutrition but they’re not terribly exciting.
When it’s time to switch things up, consider offering treats from our list of foods hamsters like:
- green beans
- red lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- winter squash
- bibb lettuce
- summer squash
- sweet potato
- baby corn
- beet tops
- potato (cooked only)
- swiss chard
- bell pepper
- yu choy
- bok choy
- sweet corn
- carrot tops
The veggies on this list are just the tip of the iceberg: There are lots of healthy treats for hamsters and very few toxic foods.
Even so, you’ll want to conduct a little bit of research before you offer anything new, so you know how much to give your hamster as well as any tips for safety and preparation.
For now, giving your hamster watermelon is a nice way to make life a little more interesting – and more delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is watermelon safe for hamsters?
Yes! It’s safe to give your hamster watermelon but only in very small amounts, and only when they’re accustomed to eating fresh foods.
Can watermelon make my hamster sick?
Too much watermelon can cause diarrhea, bloating, an upset tummy, and even vomiting. Your hamster might be tempted to overeat if you offer too much – so keep quantities small! Remember that fruit in general needs to be offered in small quantities as too much can lead to serious issues including obesity and diabetes.
Can hamsters have watermelon rind?
Yes, so long as you wash it very well before offering it to them, and give only a tiny ½ inch square. Don’t be surprised if your hamster doesn’t seem very interested in watermelon rind as it has a bitter flavor.
Can hamsters have watermelon seeds?
Don’t worry if you miss the occasional seed when prepping watermelon for your hamster, but don’t go out of your way to offer them watermelon seeds, either. Just like other large seeds, watermelon seeds might injure your hamster’s pouch. The small white undeveloped seeds in watermelon are OK for your hamster to eat.