If you have a pet hamster, you’re probably always on the lookout for hamster-approved treats to enrich his or her diet.
While hamsters are generally classified as omnivorous (meaning they can eat a large variety of different foods), not everything that is safe for human consumption is also good for your little friend.
Grapes are known to be toxic to dogs and cats; however, they are a completely safe and delicious snack for your hamster to eat, in small amounts.
How Much Fruit is Good?
While they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, fruits naturally contain fructose, which is a form of sugar (the refined sugar that you use every day is half fructose, too).
Just like humans, hamsters – especially dwarf hamster species – can develop diabetes from eating too much sugar, so you’ll want to keep this ingredient to a minimum.
To be on the safe side, veterinarians recommend that you offer fruit to your hamster only every 2-3 days, making sure that it does not make up more than 10% of his or her diet.
Keep an eye on you hamster’s poop when you introduce new fruits or vegetables and reduce the amounts if you notice any diarrhea.
All the Good in Grapes
So now that we have established the precautions, let’s have a look at all the health benefits that grapes can offer.
Like most fruits, grapes are packed with antioxidants and are thought to specifically promote cardiovascular health. As opposed to other sugary snacks, grapes have actually been shown to have a positive effect on oral health and teeth mineralization, although there are no studies that show this specifically in hamsters (yet).
Grape juice might even boost the immune system! Overall, it appears that grapes are the perfect choice of fruit for your hamster.
Preparing Grapes for your Hamster
When you offer grapes to your hamster, make sure to remove the peel and seeds, as they can be a choking hazard or even cause intestinal blockage (yes, your hamster’s bowels are that tiny!).
Cut the grapes into small, hamster-bite size pieces before feeding. Last but not least, make sure to remove any uneaten leftovers the day after – rotten fruit is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Your hamster will be grapeful!
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 Gustafson, G., E. M. Stelling, E. Abramson, and E. Brunius. 1955. The cariogenic effect of different carbohydrates in dry and moist diets. Odont. Tid. 63:506–523.
 Pezzuto, J. M., Venkatasubramanian, V., Hamad, M., & Morris, K. R. 2009. Unraveling the relationship between grapes and health. The Journal of nutrition, 139(9), 1783S-7S.
 Wu CD. Grape products and oral health. J Nutr. 2009;139:1818–23.
 Percival SS. Grape consumption supports immunity in animals and humans. J Nutr. 2009;139:1801–5.