Can Hamsters Eat Bananas & Banana Peels? Find Out The Safe Quantities

LAST MODIFIED: Monday, April 1, 2019
hamster-holding-a-old-banana

Bananas are considered a superfood among fruits. They are packed with nutrients and fiber, and have a reputation of soothing an upset stomach.

While not all foods that are good for humans are also safe for our pets, bananas are actually a wonderful and well-liked addition to your hamster’s diet, and here’s why hamsters can eat bananas.

 

Are Bananas Safe For Hamsters?

While there aren’t many studies on bananas conducted specifically in hamsters, it is safe to assume that the benefits bananas offer to humans also apply to our furry friends.

Here are some – but not all – of the healthy nutrients bananas are packed with[1]:

  • Magnesium, which is known to aid in muscle recovery and promote brain health
  • Vitamin B6, vital component of many metabolic reactions in the body
  • Serotonin and tryptophan, known to improve brain function and mood[2]
  • Phytosterols, suspected of having a positive effect on the heart and circulation
  • Polyphenols that have been shown to reduce inflammation[3]
  • Antioxidants, which can counteract cell aging processes
  • Insoluble fiber, to help with bowel movements and as a remedy for constipation.

 

How Often Can I Feed My Hamster Banana?

First off, anything that helps with constipation can also potentially cause diarrhea, if consumed in large amounts.

Start with very small pieces (maximum half a slice) of banana and keep an eye on your hamster’s poop – reduce the quantities if your pet shows signs of diarrhea.

It is a good rule of thumb to feed bananas – and fruits in general – only every 2 to 3 days.

Hamsters can have bananas but fruits should not make up more than 10% of your hamster’s diet[4], as they contain high amounts of fructose. This is a type of sugar that could potentially cause diabetes in your hamster, if fed too often.

 

Can Hamsters Eat Banana Peels?

Yes, banana peel is safe for Hamsters.

Even though humans generally discard the banana peel as inedible, this is far from true!

Banana peels are good and contain more healthy fiber and less sugar than the fruit itself. You can offer your hamster small, bite size pieces of the peel and see if he or she likes them as much as they love the banana itself.

We recommend to only use peel from organic bananas (conventionally grown fruit peels can contain pesticide residues) and wash it well before serving.

Make sure to remove any uneaten fruit pieces in you hamster’s cage within a day, as rotting fruit breeds unwelcome bacteria.

 

To Conclude

Bananas make a safe and healthy snack for your hamster, in moderate amounts.

Experiment with portion sizes and see if your hamster also likes banana peel to provide him or her with tons of nutrients and less sugar!

 

Related Articles

 

[1] Bioactive compounds in banana and their associated health benefits – A review. Singh et al. 2016. Food chemistry, ISSN: 1873-7072, Vol: 206, Page: 1-11
[2] Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Jenkins et. al. 2016. Nutrients, 8(1), 56.
[3] Protective effects of tea polyphenols on exhaustive exercise-induced fatigue, inflammation and tissue damage. Liu, Lixia et al. 2017. Food & nutrition research vol. 61,1 1333390.
[4] https://www.msdvetmanual.com/all-other-pets/hamsters/providing-a-home-for-a-hamster