Many people love having oranges and sharing them with their pets. But it won’t suit all your furry friends. This is a common concern for most hamster owners as not everyone knows which fruit suits them. So, can hamsters have oranges?
The short answer is – no, oranges are not suitable for hamsters. Whether the hamster is a baby or an adult, this should not be on the diet plan of hamsters. But you may give oranges to your hamsters in very small amounts occasionally.
Nutritional Values in Oranges
Oranges are an important source of several vital nutrients. There are many benefits of eating oranges. The nutritional values in 100gm of oranges are as follows:
- Carbohydrates: 11.75g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 0.94g
- Thiamin: 0.087mg
- Folate: 30mcg
- Potassium: 181mg
- Calcium: 40mg
- Vitamin C: 53.2mg
- Vitamin A: 225 IU
- Fat: 0.12g
- Calories: 47 kcal
Oranges are a great vitamin C and fiber source and contain several other important vitamins and minerals. Having oranges daily with a balanced diet can provide various kinds of health benefits. But these fruits are not safe for hamsters in large amounts.
Why Hamsters Can Not Have Oranges?
Hamsters can eat various fruits, but oranges are not the best choice. Though oranges are a very good source of vitamin C and other nutrients, there is a lot of sugar and acid in oranges, which may harm the health of hamsters. The stomachs of hamsters are very small, so they do not need much food. Rather they need a balanced diet with nutritious foods to stay healthy and happy. Having too much sugar can create dental problems for hamsters. Because of this, oranges and other citrus fruits are usually not recommended for hamsters. Instead, they should eat mostly pellets, fresh vegetables, and small amounts of fruits. To find out what fruits can hamsters eat, you should talk to a vet or a qualified animal nutritionist.
Impact of Giving Oranges to Hamsters
Now, let’s look closer and find out what happens if a hamster eats orange.
1. Upset Stomach
Hamsters can get sick from citrus fruits. They contain high amounts of citric acid. This can upset the stomach of the hamster. So, it would be better to keep oranges away from hamsters.
2. Acid Content
Since oranges contain natural acids, the pH level of oranges is about 3.69 – 4.34. It may not seem like much, but it is significant for little pets like hamsters. It can make them sick and create health issues like stomach distress and diarrhea.
3. Sugar Content
Oranges contain natural sugars. An average-sized orange generally contains about 9 -12 gm of sugar. Though it’s not very high in quantity compared to the others, hamsters can not tolerate this. Giving oranges to hamsters can cause diabetes, which might harm this little animal.
4. Amount Of Water
Oranges are juicy because of their high water content. However, a lot of water can be hard on your little hammy’s stomach and make him feel sick.
Since oranges are rich in sugar, it can cause your hamster to gain weight if they eat too much. Hence, feeding them in moderation is important as too much of it can disrupt their diets and lead to nutritional deficiencies.
What To Do if Your Hamster Accidentally Eats an Orange
If your hamster accidentally eats a small amount of orange, it’s likely not gonna cause any harm to them. But if your hamster eats a lot of oranges and starts showing signs of health problems, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Some Healthy Substitutes for Oranges
There are other options you can add to the dietary menu of your hamsters in place of oranges, such as basil, parsley, sage, apple peels, chicken, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, chicory, pear, peach melon, hazelnuts, cucumbers, courgette, blueberries, cauliflower, cress, cabbage, sweet peppers, etc.
You can slowly give these items to your pet in small amounts, so they don’t get sick. And remember to wash the fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your hamster.
Can Hamsters Eat Mandarin Oranges?
Mandarin oranges are also not recommended for hamsters. You can not give this fruit to your pet. Compared to other oranges, mandarin oranges contain low amounts of phosphorus and calcium and a high amount of acid and sugar. However, it is possible to give mandarin oranges to hamsters as a treat sometimes but not often. It’s important to ensure that most of a hamster’s diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Can Hamsters Eat Orange Peels?
Many hamster owners provide their pets with dried orange peels as a nutritious snack. Dried peels are better than actual oranges because of their lower acid content. But make sure to take out the white pith of the peels beforehand. Otherwise, it may create problems in the digestive system of your pet.
Foods that are Not Recommended for Hamsters
Some foods are not safe for hamsters. Here are some examples of what you should avoid:
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, limes, and oranges, are way too acidic for little hamsters and can cause digestive problems.
- Sugary foods: Foods high in sugar or fat, like chocolate, candy, and fast food, can make hamsters fat and cause other health problems.
- Garlic and onions: These foods can make hamsters sick.
- Raw beans: They may harm your hamster because they may be toxic to your pet’s health.
- Avocado: Persin, found in avocados, is unsuitable for hamsters.
- Almonds: Almonds have a lot of fat, making them hard to digest for hamsters.
- Processed foods: Processed food like chips, crackers, and cereals contain a lot of salt and sugar, which can harm hamsters.
Feeding Guidelines For Hamsters
- Provide a balanced diet: Hamsters need a well-balanced diet that includes pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, etc. The best course of action would be to make organic hamster food.
- Feed in small amounts: Providing your hamster with too much food can cause obesity and other health issues. Giving them a small amount of food throughout the day is ideal.
- Fresh water: Always provide them with fresh water in a water bottle or bowl. Change the water daily to ensure it stays clean and fresh. Also, clean the bottle every day.
- Signs of illness: If you notice any symptoms of illness after giving any food, contact your veterinarian.
- Over-feeding of vegetables: Though vegetables are good for the health of hamsters, you should not give them a lot of it. Overfeeding vegetables can cause digestive issues.
Following these guidelines, you can ensure your hamster stays healthy and happy. Remember to monitor their diet and health regularly.
You should avoid giving some fruits to hamsters, and oranges are one of them. Giving your pet a well-balanced diet is important if you want them to live a happy and healthy life. There are many other foods that your hamster can eat to get the same vitamins and minerals that oranges have. If you are confused about any foods, you should contact your veterinarian.