If you're the proud caretaker of a hamster, you're probably fully aware that the energetic animals possess some very specific nutritional requirements. Fresh fruits are key to a well-rounded hamster dietary plan, and juicy sweet cherries may make a very suitable addition to your pet's weekly menu.
The basic foundation of a hamster meal plan includes both commercial mix and fresh vegetables and fruits. Commercial mix is the easy part, as hamster mixes are generally easily accessible at pet shops. Opt for a quality mix that is designed exclusively for hamster consumption, and which includes key elements such as seeds, alfalfa pellets, cracked corn, oats, millet and wheat. Abstain from selecting mixes that include artificial coloring. A single tablespoon of mix every day is an appropriate amount to feed your pet.
Cherries and Other Fruits
Hamster mix isn't the only thing your hamster needs in his diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an absolute must. Make sure to give your pet fruits and veggies several times every week. As for the specific kinds of fruits that are safe for hamsters, cherries are definitely one of them, along with raspberries, apples, strawberries, cranberries, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, melons, blackberries and lychees.
The bottom line is, hamsters can eat cherries. As with any fruit, however, be sure to cut the cherries into small bits that are easy for your hamster to handle and eat. Lastly and extremely importantly, always make sure the cherry pits are removed. Never allow your hamster any access to the pits or seeds of any fruit. It can be hazardous if your pet nibbles on them, so beware.
Along with fruit, fresh veggies also can contribute to a balanced hamster meal plan. Some examples of appropriate vegetables are spinach, lettuce, squash, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, kale, endives, celery, broccoli, peas, beansprouts, parsnips and zucchini. Like fruit, slice all vegetables up into tiny pieces.
Whether you're feeding your hamster cherries or cauliflower as a healthy snack, keep the portions small. If you offer your hamster too much at one time, he may not eat all of it. Fresh food spoils very quickly, so make sure your hamster never hoards fruits or vegetables for later dining.
Remember, when you first offer your hamster a new food, start out slowly in very, very tiny amounts. By doing this, you minimize the chances of shocking his digestive system with something new -- along with the discomfort of an upset hamster stomach. Speak to your veterinarian before you add foods to your pet's diet.
cherries image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com