Hamsters are common pets kept in most households.
They are small and furry and feed mostly on plant material.
It could have crossed your mind if it is beneficial to your little furry friend if you got some raisins for them. You are definitely in the right place. Let us dive into it!
What are raisins anyway?
Raisins are dried grapes. They can be eaten in their raw form or thrown into a baking pastry.
Many people like raisins in their cakes and pies because they are sweet.
They are also used in brewing. Many alcoholic drinks actually have them listed as part of their ingredients.
They are produced almost everywhere in the world in places like Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others.
Many animals love them because of their sweet taste, but are they beneficial for hamsters?
Pet owners and several experts would say hamsters can eat raisins. We are here to know exactly how much is healthy for them and if it is an acceptable diet choice for those planning to get a hamster in the future.
What nutrients do Raisins contain?
They contain a high content of sugar; about 60% of their weight is fructose.
Raisins also contain:
It is also important to note that they have high-calorie content because of the sugar in them. As pointed out earlier, raisins are dried grapes.
The process of drying them uses a colorless gas called Sulphur dioxide, which is composed of many toxic gases.
It is advisable to refrain from giving your pet dried fruits, with some exceptions.
For dogs, for example, raisins are a huge threat because they are toxic in nature. For a hamster, it
could not be as toxic as to a dog. Yet, on the other hand, it is not entirely healthy for a hamster.
What do Hamsters need in their diet?
Hamsters are omnivores. This means they eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts as well as seeds. Wild hamsters hunt as a group.
A pet hamster needs the right diet from its owner.
Make sure you do your research well before settling on a specific diet for your pet.
It is also necessary to know what sort of hamster you have. Dwarf hamsters, for example, are more prone to diabetes.
They should not be fed on food with high sugar content. Fruits like melon, papaya, and berries are beneficial to hamsters.
They are also known to love pear, figs, cherries, and honeydew.
These are a great variety to be fed to the hamsters instead of raisins.
Are Raisins good for hamsters?
Being a sugary food, hamsters would love raisins. Just the smell of it would make it excited to have it.
However, the nature of a dried grape being sweet and sticky makes it not so beneficial for the hamster.
A single raisin a day should be enough for a hamster.
For the Dwarf type of hamster, avoid all food that has high sugar content.
The Syrian Breed, however, can have a raisin mixed in a trail mix.
However, do not make this a regular meal. You may use it as a treat only once in a while.
You may find that your hamster really loves raisins and jump when they smell them.
Make sure you do due diligence and keep off from raisins regularly. Rarely though, some hamsters may not show similar excitement to the dried grape.
This is no cause for alarm as a lot of sugar is not adequate for hamsters anyway.
They do not have to depend on raisins alone.
These are good and healthier alternatives to dried fruit.
What are the effects of raisins on hamsters?
As highlighted before, they are only safe in limited quantities.
A hamster fed on raisins daily could suffer the following;
Acute renal failure – this appears all of a sudden and is quite dangerous.
Raisins can stick in their mouth and belly – making it hard for digestion.
Developing diabetes, especially for the Dwarf Hamster
Raisins are not daily food for your hamster because of their high sugar content and stickiness.
Stick to other veggies and fruits as the main diet.
Experts have advised that tests should be done first to identify the toxic substance within raisins to your pet.
Once this is done, pet owners are free to make the decision concerning their hamster’s diet.
Even with this, they should be given only in limited quantities.
Use it as a treat only once in a while.
Best Hamster Feeding Practices
Feed your hamster on a variety of vegetables and fruits
Use raisins as treats only once in a while
Mix raisins with trail mix for the Syrian hamster
Avoid feeding raisins to a Dwarf hamster
Some History and Facts about Your Favorite Hammy
Now that you know everything there is about raisins being acceptable to your hamster’s diet (only in a limited quantity), it is time for you to learn more.
Here are some fascinating stories and tidbits about your little furry friend. It might even help you get closer to it and understand more about its needs.
*A Brief Hamster History
The Syrian hamster (or the golden hamster) came to prominence in 1839, when it was described in detail by English naturalist G. R. Waterhouse.
Yet in 1930, a horde of hamsters was caught by a zoologist named Professor I Aharoni in Jerusalem.
He spotted the horde near Aleppo in the Syrian Desert. A mother and twelve pups were found in a deep crevice under the ground. When they were brought to captivity, only three survived.
Scientists then took them to England and France. In 1938, they took them to the United States.
Over the years the hamsters multiplied and became popular domestic pets.
Currently, the world has many hamster breeds to choose from like Chinese, Russian, Dwarfs, and Albinos.
All present-day Golden hamsters in the entire world are the descendants of the first tiny family found underground in the Syrian Desert.
*Interesting Hamster Facts
Hamsters have varying moods. Based on a study, a hamster with many toys and cozy living quarters made more positive choices.
The word “hamster” came from the German word “hamstern,” meaning “hoard.” Your hamster is a packrat and a hoarder.
The hamster’s scientific name is “Cricetinae.” It is a kind of rodent, which has eighteen other species that include lemmings and mice.
Hamsters are comparatively healthy animals. However, occasional veterinary visits are still recommended.
The most popular pet hamster is the Syrian hamster. It is also called the Teddy Bear hamster. It is a docile and calm breed and enjoys being held.
They use their front paws like humans use their hands for clasping toys and food.
If you take proper care of your hamster, it can live up to two to three years old.
A typical hamster would not eat food just because it’s in their living space. It doesn’t overeat, so extra food might be scattered around untouched. Remove uneaten food daily and replace it with fresh produce.
The hamster originally came from Syria. However, they have lived all over the world in countries like China, Belgium, and Greece.
Your hamster is a solitary creature. You should provide an exclusive space for it alone.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep during the day and become active at twilight. Arrange your interactions late in the afternoon after they had slept.
Your hamster has cheek pouches that they use for storing food. It is called displostomes. It sometimes looks like it is eating a lot, but it is merely storing food. The bulgy cheeks can make it look like the hamster’s head has doubled in size.
Hamsters enjoy the companionship of their owners. Increase its playtime by getting it a hamster ball, provide toys, and create a fun maze.
The sense of smell is your hamster’s most important sense. Smelling is the way for your hamster to get to know you and also navigate its surroundings. Don’t put on strong perfume if you plan to play with it.
Hamsters can only see a few inches from their nose and are born blind.
Hamsters are smart animals and can even learn their names. If you talk to your hamster and often say its name, it will learn to go to you when called.
Hamsters like to keep themselves clean and are fastidious creatures. Provide your hamster with a small dish of small animal dust to take a dust bath. It will roll around in it to remove oils from its fur.
Your hamster is excitable and easily startled. Always call out its name first and don’t approach it at its front.
Hamsters naturally want to burrow and hide. Provide them with lots of substrates so it can burrow under and make a hideaway to relax.
Your hamster’s teeth are always growing. Provide it with chew toys and chew sticks to wear down its teeth.