Have you ever asked yourself can hamsters eat clementines or even any type of citrus fruit?
Well, they actually shouldn’t. They even run away when met with the smell of the named fruits.
But, you are not to worry. There are some healthy and equally tasty alternatives to feeding your hamster clementines. Many fruits are ok to feed to your hamsters, as long as they fit into certain categories.
Like with any pet, there are some things that are desirable, and some things you should avoid at any cost when feeding your hammy. Nevertheless, you’re in luck my friend, because it’s easy to distinguish between these two!
To find out what your hamster’s diet needs to look like, and pick up on some excellent alternatives to clementines, keep scrolling and keep your eyes peeled.
Hamsters Day-to-day Nutrition
In order to learn why you should avoid feeding your hamster clementines, I first need to tell you what hammys should eat every day. This is not intricate at all – you just need to understand what makes your little furballs full of energy throughout the day.
First and foremost, your hamster’s diet should revolve around pellets. It’s the ultimate way of making sure your pet is getting all the needed nutrients that it requires. Pellets are vet-approved and contain a healthy mix of everything your hammy craves.
Fibers dominate the mix in most of the pellets. This is precise because fibers regulate digestion and prevent tummy problems. Besides that, there’s a bit of protein, vitamins, and even low amounts of sugar in them.
Clementines, on the other hand, are very high in sugar and are too acidic which is a bad thing when it comes to hamsters’ diets. Regulating acidity in your pet’s diet is not an easy job, regardless of what pet is in question.
This is only one of many reasons why the answer is “no” when someone asks me the question “can hamsters eat clementines”.
Besides pellets (which are a crucial part of hamsters’ diet), there are some things your furry pet needs.
Hay is an excellent addition to a regular diet – it provides some fibers and behaves as a digestion regulator, preventing diarrhea and other unwanted dietary problems. It’s extremely low in calories – I’ve never had to worry about feeding it too much to my hamster, and neither should you.
Hay also serves as a perfect nibbling target, making hamsters much less likely to bite and chew on stuff they shouldn’t be biting and chewing on. It keeps them occupied and keeps you carefree.
See Also: Can Hamsters Eat Timothy Hay?
Vegetables are not only fine but desirable from time to time. You just have to know the caloric and nutritional values of those veggies. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to distinguish!
When you want to treat your hammy good, you should offer him some of these veggies:
If your hamster has a sweet tooth, you should consider:
All of these contain sugar, so they should not be fed to your hammy daily. Instead, they should represent occasional treats that will make your pet’s day!
How To Prepare Fruits & Veggies For Your Hamster?
There are some things you need to know before serving your hammy his favorite snack.
For example, when washing romaine lettuce, you should be extra careful how you wash the root, because it can contain residual pesticides which can seriously harm your hammy. This is imperative because even a small dose of pesticides can cause some serious problems.
This also applies to carrot tops and any other vegetable that you think of serving your pet. Even if they’re organically grown, it’s common to protect vegetables from pesticides and insecticides.
When talking about fruits, you should be extra careful with apples and pears. Their seeds contain cyanide which is extremely toxic for hamsters even in small amounts.
To make sure your pet does not suffer any consequences, you should carefully wash, peel and cut any fruit into small squares, making sure it’s almost bite-sized. This helps hamsters consume fruits and not store it.
Another thing to be extra careful about is excess fruits and veggies your hamster doesn’t eat. I always check if my hamster left something behind, and if it did, I immediately get rid of it. This means you gave your pet too much food and should decrease the amount next time.
Citrus Fruit And Reasons To Avoid Them
As I’ve mentioned earlier, clementines and other citrus fruits are very acidic, thus making them undesirable in hamsters’ diets. The high amount of sugar in these fruits is also concerning when asking yourself can hamsters eat clementines.
I’ve personally thought about feeding my hammy some clementine peel, but I assure you that’s not safe either. It’s bitter and also very acidic.
To put this into perception, the acidic concentration of most citrus fruits is between 0.65g and 1,4g of citric acid per 100g of juice.
That’s an extremely high concentration that’s dangerous even for some much bigger animals in comparison to hamsters.
Unwanted Effects Of Clementines
When talking about the health of your hamster, clementines can really mess up their tummy. This is the first and biggest thing you’ll have a problem with if you decide to give your hammy any type of citrus fruit regularly.
Sugar will cause diarrhea, bloating, and cramps. This is very unpleasant for your hamster, and regardless of the consequences being non-lethal, this can cause some long-term problems.
Another reason why that much sugar is bad is that it’ll make your hamster chubby, thus making it hard for it to move around. Hamsters are usually very active animals, and they crave physical activity.
Another thing to keep a close eye on is if your hamster:
- Sleep more than usual
- Pees excessively
- Drinks more water than it used to
- Loses or gains weight from nowhere
That means you should take your hamster to the vet because it probably has insulin resistance or even diabetes.
It’s easy to avoid this – just don’t base your hammies’ diet on sugar rather than fibers and protein.
To steer clear of this, I also stimulate my hamster to get on its wheel as much as possible and also let it run free from time to time (if you do this, make sure there’s no way for him to get outside).
Acidity is a close second (behind sugar), on the list of why clementines are a no-go.
This has much less, but far more complicated effects on your hamster. The acidic nature of the clementines can seriously affect your hamster’s health in the long term, and even shorten the lifespan of your pet. This alone is a good enough reason to always avoid these kinds of fruits.
Even if your hamster gets its paws on some clementines, to prevent diarrhea or any kind of indigestion, you should feed your hammy lots of hay and good pellets, because they have a digestion regulatory effect, meaning they keep your hammy healthy and happy.
There are some specific pellets found in veterinary pet stores that can help your pet if it has a tummy problem (regardless of the source of the problem).
There’s another thing you can run into if your hamster consumes a lot of sugar, and it’s sugar crashing. This is caused by a sudden energy boost your pet gets from a big amount of sugar, thus making it hyperactive and hard to control.
Sugar crashes last a short period (with hamsters it’s around 15 minutes), and after it passes, they feel tired and will most likely go to sleep. This isn’t recommended because it burns out their nervous system, shortening their lifespan.
Can Hamsters Eat Clementines? – Final Thoughts
I assume there’s no more dilemma when asking yourself this question:
Hamsters should absolutely stay away from clementines, and any citrus or acidic fruit in general.
Your hamster will be much happier if you feed it a healthy mix revolving around pellets and hay, with some veggies or fruits as an occasional snack.
All of the things your pet needs are extremely affordable and easy to find, so don’t feed it anything and everything, but pick the best for them and don’t hesitate to even spend a little extra on some high-quality pellets, or even some organically grown veggies.
This will extend your hamster’s lifespan and make it the healthy little furball full of energy that it should be.