We all know the health benefits of watermelon to our bodies. At times all we want is to bring our furry friends on board to share in the benefits of this healthy fruit. However, more often than not one thing makes us hesitate at least for a moment- are watermelons safe for pets? Well, that’s one of the questions most pet parents ask. Just below is a quick answer to whether it’s alright to feed your hamster watermelon.
Watermelon is one of the best foods you can give your hamster, they love it so much in fact that they would probably even thank you for it. Why? Well because watermelons have a lot of health benefits and will allow them to fight off diseases or illnesses.
Therefore, if you were wondering whether it makes a healthy treat for your hamster or not, we would say that watermelon is perfectly fine to feed your pet. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the amount, how, and when to give this refreshing treat to your pet should be done responsibly. In this article, we will be examining some of these aspects.
How Much Watermelon Should You Feed Your Hamster?
The high water content means watermelon isn’t one of the calorie-rich fruits. However, keeping your hamster watermelon consumption within limits is still important.
Watermelon is safe and healthy for hamsters, but eating too much of it can cause some digestive issues. While we won’t go into the specifics of how many calories the fruit has, we will talk about enough vs. too much watermelon instead.
Most vets agree that the amount to give depends on the breed of hamster you have. Syrian hamsters, being the largest of all breeds of hamsters can eat more than all other kinds.
How Much Watermelon Should Syrian Hamsters Eat?
If you have this type of hamster, approximately a teaspoon’s worth of watermelon is all they will need per week. While they may easily take more, anything more than that can health issues so it’s wise you avoid giving them excess.
How Much Watermelon Should Roborovski Hamsters Eat?
This breed of hamster is smaller than the Syrian breed. Therefore, they won’t be able to eat more of the watermelon than their smaller counterparts. You can give this type around half a teaspoon’s worth of watermelon per week.
YES, As small as it may appear, they will still reap the benefits without attracting any health risk.
How Much Watermelon Should Dwarf Hamsters Eat?
The Dwarf variety is the smallest of all hamster breeds. They include the Chinese, Campbell’s, and Russian breeds.
And as the smallest, whatever you give them must be smaller than what you feed the Syrian or Roborovski varieties. a quarter of a teaspoon’s worth of watermelon every week will do for this type as well.
It is important to note that some hamsters enjoy the fruit more while some don’t really care about it. It is, therefore, necessary for you to be cautious when feeding your hamster watermelon.
In addition, keep in mind is that regardless of what breed your hamster belongs to, it should only eat a little watermelon each week. Again, ensure that you don’t give this treat more than once per week. Also, the days shouldn’t be in a row.
What Happens When You Exceed The Limit?
So what do you think would happen if you give your hamster a lot of watermelon to eat? Well, for one thing, they would get a stomach ache and be in pain. If this is done again and again, chances are that their digestive system will not be able to take it and can lead to other serious conditions such as bloat which can cause ruptures in the stomach lining.
As a result, no matter how much your hamster friend seems to be loving it, always ensure that you keep their intake levels within the recommended amounts. Too many treats can bring your hamster diabetes, especially for the dwarf variety. Again, intakes above recommended levels can make your furry friend obese, so it’s always good to keep the amounts in check.
Can Baby Hamsters Eat Watermelons?
It’s normal for any hamster parent to wonder whether their baby hamsters can eat watermelons. Like most treats, giving your baby hamster this fruit is something you need to avoid. It can make the little hamster sick.
These young ones should depend on their mother’s milk for them to grow healthy. Therefore, always ensure that you give watermelon only to an adult hamster.
How To Give Your Hamster Watermelon
Now that you know the perfect amount to give your hamster per week, you also want to know how to feed it. This is a very simple process actually.
All you have to do is just cut a slice of the recommended size from the fruit. Always ensure that you are close to the pet as mealtimes are the best opportunities for you to bond with them.
After cutting the slice, give a small bit of it to your pet friend. This will help you know whether they like the fruit, especially if you are offering it for the first time. It makes no sense at all to give the whole amount only for you to come back and find it untouched.
Again, if your pet friend doesn’t seem to enjoy the fruit, don’t try to force them on this one by increasing their intake levels. Try something else that they would find enjoyable.
One thing to keep in mind is that watermelon should be given as a treat and not as their regular food. You can even have it form part of the diet during your furry friend’s special occasions like Easter or Christmas.
And since it’s a treat, avoid giving your hamster other treats after you feed them watermelon. Keep in mind that when you overfeed your hamster, especially with treats with high amounts of sugar, you can make them put on extra weight in no time!
Benefits of Watermelon
Now that we know hamsters can eat watermelons, have you ever wondered what are the benefits? Well, there are quite a number of them actually.
Watermelon is very low in saturated fats which makes it an ideal snack for your pet friend to enjoy.
It can also help regulate their blood sugar levels by giving them good amounts of Vitamin B6. This helps promote healthy nerve function and has antioxidants that strengthen the immune system.
There is also the fact that watermelon consists of Vitamins A and C which can help improve your hamster’s vision and boost their immune system! It will also promote healthy skin and hair growth, so you can see why they find it so tasty!
Since this fruit has a high water content, it will keep your pet friend hydrated and help prevent bladder infections. It can also help them feel full for a longer period of time, so you will need to give them less of their usual food intake.
Can Hamsters Eat Watermelon Seeds?
You may wonder if watermelon seeds are safe for your hamster friend to consume as well. Well, it is not advisable to eat them. Seeds are a choking hazard, so ensure that you feed them the seedless melons.
Again, seeds can cause intestinal blockage if ingested by your pet friend, so it is best to remove them completely before feeding them to your furry friend!
Can Hamsters Eat Watermelon Rind?
While we all love watermelons, we never eat the rind. It doesn’t have a sweet taste like the fleshy part. And while there’s no harm about feeding your hamster this part, chances are they will not like it as well.
However, you can still try to give them a bit and see how they react. And like the meaty part, ensure that you give smaller bits of the rind to your hamster to avoid any possible choking hazard.
Risks of Watermelon
While there are a plethora of benefits your hamster gets from eating watermelon as an occasional treat, it’s good that you also know about the risks.
In hamsters, some of the risks of feeding your hamsters watermelon include;
- Obesity: This is only likely to happen when you feed your hamster too much of this fruit or when they are fed with it all the time. This is especially true when talking about treats with high sugar content like melons.
- Diarrhea: If your hamster friend consumes too much watermelon in a short period, you may see them suffering from diarrhea. This is not necessarily something to worry about, but you should monitor their stool for any complications.
- Dehydration: Too much diarrhea can cause dehydration in your pet friend. This can be prevented if you ensure to give them plenty of fluids in the form of water, not more fruit!
- Choking: Watermelon can be a choking hazard if you are not careful about cutting it. Always ensure you cut the fruit in small enough pieces to feed them, and never hand-feed them whole slices of watermelon. As stated earlier, seeds are a huge choking hazard for hamsters, so you should cut them out of the fruit completely before feeding them to your small friend.
Tips When Feeding Your Hamster Watermelon
Before you run out to the store and get a watermelon for your hamster, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are a few tips;
- Always wash give your hamster fresh watermelon: Remember that watermelon can harbor a lot of bacteria. This is especially true for fruits grown near the ground, so make sure you always give your hamsters fresh fruit and not ones that have been on the shelf for a while.
- Wash the fruit with clean, fresh water: Again, watermelon can have pesticides. Hence, before you give it to your furry friend, wash the fruit with clean water.
- Do not overfeed your hamster: As with all fruits and veggies, ensure that you do not feed them more than is required in a day.
- Always provide fresh water for your hamster
Can hamsters eat watermelon? Yes! And keep in mind that they can eat it as an occasional treat. Ensure to give them smaller bits of the fruit, and never overwhelm them with overfeeding. They will enjoy it like they do most fruits!