So you are a fruit lover and came to your hamster holding an apricot in your hand. You noticed your pet become curious and wanted to munch on the fruit but you couldn’t allow it because you didn’t know whether or not it was safe for him. That kept you wondering if apricots are safe for hamsters.
Now, if that’s the question you’ve been asking yourself, then you’re in luck. This article will not only answer that question but it’ll also provide you with more information about the fruit, its nutritional value, benefits, risks, and more.
So, Can hamsters Eat Apricot?
Yes, some hamsters can eat apricots in small quantities. Apricots are beneficial to hamsters as they contain lots of essential nutrients and minerals. Only beware that they have a high sugar content and that can cause some health complications when eaten in large quantities.
So yes, the next time you notice your hammy eyeing your apricot, you can give it to him without any guilt (if among the breeds that can eat the fruit). Just remember that other than its benefits, the fruit should be given in moderation.
All About Apricots
Apricots are small orange-reddish fruits with a pit inside and smooth skin. They are fruits from the rose family and it belongs to the genus Prunus (which includes plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines) which is why they look like smaller versions of those fruits.
Apricots come in many different sizes and colors such as yellowish-orange, white, and red. They are native to Asia but now they can be found in the US and other parts of the world as well.
The tasty fruits have soft, smooth flesh. In addition, there’s a single large seed inside that has a stony endosperm surrounded by a thin inner skin which is the part of the fruit we eat.
Apricots have lots of nutritive value and can be consumed raw, dried, canned, and cooked. It all depends on the form you decided to take.
What Hamster Breeds Can Eat Apricot?
The hamster breeds that can eat apricot are simply those with a low chance of developing diabetes. That means Apricots are only safe for Syrian hamsters and Roborovski hamsters.
What Hamster Breeds Can’t Eat Apricots?
The hamster breeds that can’t eat apricots are those prone to diabetes. That includes dwarf hamsters such as Chinese hamsters, Campbell hamsters, and the majority of the Winter white dwarf hamsters.
Therefore, if your hamster belongs to either of these kinds, ensure that you don’t feed them apricots. Doing so can cause more harm than good so it’s best you avoid it.
Nutrition In Apricots
The nutritional value of apricots is diverse, making them an essential fruit to humans and pets alike. Apricots are an excellent source of vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E) and minerals essential to the hamster’s body such as niacin, iron, calcium, copper, and magnesium.
Additionally, apricots have beta carotene (giving them their orange color) and other carotenoids, enzymes, pectin, fiber, malic acid, citric acid, gallic acid.
All these are beneficial to the hamster’s health in small amounts. Everything creates a divine synergy of flavors which is why apricots are so delicious and nutritious at the same time.
Benefits of Apricots
As mentioned earlier, apricots have lots of benefits for hamsters. Some of the benefits are more obvious than others but they include:
Helps In Eye Health
One of the most important health benefits is that Apricots promotes eye health in hammies. The tasty fruits are rich in Vitamin A which is needed by hamsters for better health.
Apricots are filled with antioxidants that can prevent cancer. Antioxidants work to balance out the damage caused by free radicals, which are very dangerous to hamsters.
Prevents Bones Degeneration
These delicious hamster treats also maintain healthy bones because of their calcium content. It can also strengthen bones and help in keeping them much healthier for longer.
Good For Digestion
As you read above, apricots have lots of fiber. Fiber is the best friend to hamsters who suffer from constipation as it makes passing stool much easier and gives your hamster a more comfortable experience.
Prevents Heart Disease
Another important benefit that comes out of apricots is their ability to keep heart disease at bay. They are great anti-inflammatory agents, which means less chance for your hamster to suffer from any cardiovascular disease.
Are There Any Risks Of Eating Apricots?
Yes, eating apricots may be beneficial for your hamster, but just like any other thing you place into his food bowl, it comes with risks.
Some of the common health complications of Apricots include;
The same risk factor goes for diabetes. While apricots are nutritious they also contain lots of sugar which can make your hamster suffer from low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
One of the risks you put your hammy in when giving it apricots is obesity. As mentioned above, they are nutritious but also have very high levels of sugar. That’s why you can’t afford to exceed the recommended amounts.
Apricots have lots of malic acid. That means that after eating them, your little friend’s breath may not smell so fresh. Malic acid is commonly used in toothpaste and mouthwash so the smell isn’t totally unbearable.
Just like other strong-smelling fruits, apricots may cause allergies to sensitive hamsters. That’s why it’s important to know if this fruit affects your hamster before you introduce it into his diet.
So yes, apricots also have their dark side. just like any other food. However, unless your hamster is allergic to this fruit, Apricots remain safe for these little furry friends until consumed in large amounts.
With that said, sticking to the correct serving size is of absolute necessity if at all you want to see your pet healthy and happy, and now that takes us to the next question:
How Many Apricots Can a Hamster Eat?
The number of apricots you should offer your hamster depends on the breed you have. Keep in mind we’ve already said that only Syrian hamsters and the Robo breed can eat apricots.
Of the two, Syrian hamsters are the largest, so they have heavier eating needs than their smaller Robo cousins. That means they will need more Apricots than their smaller counterparts.
How Many Apricots Can Syrian Hamsters Eat?
If you have a Syrian hamster, only offer a small amount of this tasty fruit. The size you offer needs not exceed the size of your pet’s paw. Giving Syrian hamsters apricots in right correct amounts will improve your pet health with minimal health risks.
Sure, the tiny, paw-sized amount doesn’t look like much and if not careful you are likely to surpass the recommended amount. However, when you exceed that amount, it will be more harmful than beneficial to your furry friend. Hence, it’s not a good idea to do so.
How Many Apricots Can Robo Hamsters Eat?
If your hamster is a Robo breed, it’s recommended that you also offer them a small portion-size of apricots. Again, like with the Syrian breed, that should be no more than the size of your hamster’s paw.
When it comes to Robo breeds because they are so much smaller than their cousins, they have smaller paws so recommended serving amount is also smaller than that of their larger counterparts.
Now, it’s worth noting that the amount you give to your hamster isn’t only dependent on the breed but also on the health condition of your pet hamster. You need to know if the little fellow suffers from any chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, or high blood pressure (hypertension).
If your hamster suffers from any of the above conditions you need to keep a close eye on its eating habits. The same goes for if it is pregnant or lactating. In all these instances, feed your little buddy with apricots in smaller amounts.
If not sure of the safe amount to give, we advise that you consult with your vet. The doctor will use his/her understanding of your hamster’s condition to advise you on the right amount to give.
How Often Should Hamsters Eat Apricots?
Hamsters should only eat apricots as an occasional treat. The excess sugar in these delightful fruits can cause a series of health issues when consumed back to back.
If you choose to feed your hamster apricots, it should come only once a week, just like any other sweet fruit. The small portion of apricot will go a long way to improve the health of your hamster without leaving any regrets.
Can My Hamster Eat Apricot Pit?
No, you should never feed your hamster with an apricot pit. The stony part you find inside those healthy fruits contains cyanide which is poisonous to animals and humans alike.
If your hamster eats this part, you may notice the following signs;
- Lethargy or general body weakness
- Painful joints
- Increased thirst
- Nervousness, and more.
Other than cyanide poisoning, the apricot stone is a potential choking hazard. The same applies to the Apricot seeds within the pit. And with all these, there really isn’t any reason for you to let your hamster try out the apricot pit.
Can I Give My Hamster the Skin of the Apricot?
No, we do not advise feeding your hamster with apricot skin. That’s because raw and unpeeled fruits contain a compound called oxalate that can cause kidney stones or even kidney failure if your pet eats a lot of it.
The apricot skin is especially dangerous for hamsters. They often think the outer part of this fruit is something edible, and they will try to eat it without letting you know what’s going on.
So, as much as possible you need to keep the skin of the apricots away from your furry friend. And if you really want to offer apricot, peel off this part first and then serve it to your pet.
Can Hamsters Eat Apricot Tree Leaves?
Much more like with the pits and the skin, hamsters should neither eat nor chew the leaves from any apricot tree.
Apricot leaves contain a compound called amygdalin which can turn into cyanide when it comes in contact with saliva or stomach acids.
Even though only a really high level of the compound will make your hamster sick, there still is no reason to take a chance and offer this fruit to your pet.
Can Hamsters Drink Apricot Juice?
Unfortunately, you can’t share your apricot juice with your hamster. That’s because juice contains more concentrated sugars that can cause trouble when taken by hamsters, even in small quantities.
Actually, that doesn’t apply to apricot alone. That’s why vets recommend that you should never give your hamster pet any type of fruit juice.
Can Hamsters Eat Canned Apricots?
No, never serve canned apricots to hamsters. That’s because they contain preservatives, which pose several health risks to hamsters.
On top of that, most canned fruits contain added sugar. Adding that to the natural sugar already in the apricots is simply attracting trouble for your little furry friend. Actually, there is no reason for you to feed your hamster with such processed food.
Can Hamsters Eat Dried Apricots?
No! Dried apricots do not make a healthy and safe snack for your pet hamster.
That’s because dried apricots contain five times as much sugar as you will find in fresh fruits. That means they can result in serious health issues even when given in small amounts to your pet.
So again, as with the canned apricots, never give dried apricots to your lovely hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Frozen Apricots?
Yes, you can give frozen apricots to your hamster. However, ensure that you first defrost them to the normal temperature before you offer them to your hamster pet.
Without defrosting, frozen apricots can cause stomach upsets and other digestive issues for your pet.
Frozen apricots contain just as many nutrients and minerals as fresh ones, so give them to your hamster
I believe you now know whether it’s okay for your hamster to eat apricot or not. So, the answer is that it depends on your furry friend’s breed and health condition. And if your hamster is among those that can eat this tasty treat, only offer it in the correct quantity. Always remember that any hamster can become diabetic and obese.