Can Hamsters Eat Oranges  – Is It A Safe Winter Treat?

Hamsters are adorable little pets and they will eat just about anything you serve them. However, not all fruits and veggies are safe for them. Talking of treats, oranges may be a good treat but can hamsters eat oranges?

This might come as a shock, but unfortunately, hamsters cannot eat oranges. They are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients but at the same time, they are highly acidic for your little one’s digestive system. Tiny amounts will do no harm, but it is best to steer away from oranges.

As shocking as this might be, the acidic content of oranges is not safe for your pet’s health. It will lead to a number of digestive complications and is certainly not worth the risk. Continue reading to find out more about this.

How Do Oranges And Hamsters Get Along? – The Complete Answer

Most animals like guinea pigs love oranges, due to their sweet and unique flavor. Hamsters would have loved them too if they weren’t too acidic for them.

The acid content is the only reason why hamsters and oranges cannot get along well. This might make you think whether your pet is missing out on the nutritional content of oranges, or if they would even like oranges.

Don’t worry, we have got your back. We’ll answer all of your questions along with a safe way to introduce your pet hamster to treats. This will help you figure out a perfect diet for your little one and also ensure its safety.

Without any further ado, let’s dive into this.

1) Do Hamsters Like Oranges?

If you have ever given a small piece of orange to a hamster, he or she will most probably love its sweet-tart taste. But, unfortunately, they cannot have anything more than to taste.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges  - Is It A Safe Winter Treat?

Keep in mind, not all hamsters are alike and some may like oranges whereas some may simply refuse to eat any.

As mentioned earlier, if you’re thinking of feeding your pet oranges, you should stop. Not only will it lead to digestive complications but it will also take a toll on the teeth of your furry little one.

2) Can Hamsters Eat Mandarin Oranges?

Yes, in very small amounts just to taste and not too often. Mandarin oranges are a class of oranges, but they are usually found in a reddish-orange color.

They are also smaller than any other type of oranges which may make you think whether they are safe for your pet friend. But before we get to that, let’s look at the nutritional values of mandarin oranges.

Energy 223 kJ (53 kcal)Carbohydrates 13.34 gSugars 10.58 gBeta-carotene (4%) 34 μg
Thiamine (B1) (5%) 0.058 mgRiboflavin (B2) (3%) 0.036 mgNiacin (B3) (3%) 0.376 mgPantothenic acid (B5) (4%) 0.216 mg
Vitamin B6 (6%) 0.078 mgVitamin C (32%) 26.7 mgVitamin E (1%) 0.2 mgCalcium (4%) 37 mg
Iron (1%) 0.15 mgMagnesium (3%) 12 mgManganese (2%) 0.039 mgPhosphorus (3%) 20 mg
Potassium (4%) 166 mgSodium (0%) 2 mgZinc (1%) 0.07 mg

As you can already see from the list, mandarin oranges contain a significant amount of sugar, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, its acidic content is also high like any other type of oranges.

So, apart from just tasting, you cannot feed your pet hamster mandarin oranges.

3) Can Hamsters Eat Orange Peels?

Orange peels are perfectly safe for your hamster and they can eat them just fine. However, they must be dried and not fresh. Dried peels contain way less acidity compared to fresh and raw oranges.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges  - Is It A Safe Winter Treat?

They contain good amounts of fibers and your little one will certainly get to enjoy munching on orange peels. However, since citrus fruits are not recommended for hamsters, you cannot overfeed them orange peels.

Feed them in moderation and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Once your pet is done enjoying the white pith of the peel, you need to remove the skin part.

4) What Happens If Your Hamster Eats A Little Bit Of Orange?

If your pet eats a small piece or just a little bit of an orange, you shouldn’t worry. Oranges may not be suitable for your little one but as mentioned earlier, small amounts do them no harm if they have them just one time.

However, you should still keep an eye out for any adverse reactions. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Signs of digestive discomfort
  • Diarrhea

If you notice any such signs, you should reach out to your local vet immediately and get professional advice from your vet.

Nutritional Facts Of Oranges For Your Hamster

If you are worried about your pet missing out on the nutritional content of oranges, you shouldn’t worry. Here’s what an orange contains. Keep in mind, these are for half of a big orange (100 g).

Calories: 47Water: 87%
Protein: 0.9 gramsCarbs: 11.8 grams
Sugar: 9.4 gramsFiber: 2.4 grams
Fat: 0.1 grams

That same one-cup serving provides about:

8 mg vitamin C405 IU vitamin A
326 mg potassium72 mg calcium
18 mg magnesium2 mg iron
3 mg vitamin E54 mc folate
2 mg phosphorus

Oranges are a rich source of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin C. But, your pet can get the same nutrients from other fruits as well. Scroll down to the alternatives section to find out healthy treats for your pet.

5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Feeding Hamsters Oranges

By now you probably know oranges aren’t safe for your hamster but if you’re still having doubts, here are 5 reasons to avoid feeding your pet oranges.

Keep in mind, your pet’s health is certainly not worth risking just for some oranges. Another thing you should know that vets too recommend staying away from citrus fruits including oranges.

1) They Are Highly Acidic For Your Little One:

The acidic content of oranges is the number one reason why you should always stay away from feeding oranges to hamsters.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges

It may not do much harm for us, but for your hamster’s little body and sensitive digestive system, it is a major health concern. Their digestive system may be fine with just a teeny tiny amount of orange.

But when it comes to large amounts or, frequent servings, you’re only risking your pet’s health.

2) Oranges Contain Too Much Sugar:

If you’ve read the nutritional facts of oranges, you should know that oranges contain way too much sugar for your pet’s little body.

Excess of anything is bad for your pet’s sensitive digestive system and sugar is no exception. When your pet has too much sugar in its diet, he or she will put on excess weight and become hyperactive.

Obesity will also increase the chances of your pet suffering from severe health complications such as cardiovascular issues and diabetes.

3) A Hamster’s Diet Cannot Have Citrus Fruits:

Citrus fruits include a variety of fruits. These include:

  • Sweet oranges: Blood Orange, Kumquat, Navel, Caracara
  • Mandarins: Clementine, Tangerine, Tangelo, Calamondin
  • Limes: Key lime, Persian, Kaffir
  • Grapefruit: White, Ruby Red, Oroblanco
  • Lemons: Meyer, Eureka
  • Other kinds: Citron, Yuzu, Ugli, Rangpur, Pomelo, Buddha’s Hand, Kinnow

Citrus fruits are widely known for their high acidic content. Since oranges too are a class of citrus fruits, they are not recommended to be added to a hamster’s diet.

4) Oranges Contain A Severely High Amount Of Water:

Water is a crucial requirement for your hamster but at the same time, it can make your pet sick if he or she has high amounts of water.

A hamster’s diet already has plenty of water and the high amounts of water in oranges will only hurt your pet’s digestive system. It will lead to diarrhea which can be quite uncomfortable for a little pet like hamsters.

So, to avoid all of this from happening, you should steer away from feeding your pet any oranges.

5) Oranges Aren’t Recommended By Vets:

When looking for treats for hamsters, it is always best to ask the vet and lookup for answers in the hamster community. Unfortunately, oranges are widely rejected due to the safety concern for hamsters.

Due to this, it is wise to avoid feeding a hamster oranges. Besides, there are plenty of other treats that are perfectly safe for your pet so don’t worry about not having too many options.

What Is The Correct Diet For Hamsters?

To keep your pet hamster in the best of its health and ensure he or she lives a long, healthy, and active life, you need to know the correct diet for your little one.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges

It isn’t any rocket science and hamsters do not require much from you. They require basic foods like hay, water, and pellets. Here’s a detailed insight into the correct diet for a hamster.

  • Fresh And Clean Water Every Day: Hamsters, like any other animal, require fresh and clean water to stay hydrated.
    Refill your pet’s water bottle every day and make sure you wash it thoroughly to ensure there are no germs in the water bottle.
  • Feed Your Pet Hamster Pellets: Hamsters require specific nutrients from their diet every day. Unfortunately, if you stick to feeding them fruits and veggies, you might miss out on certain nutrients that your pet needs.
    This is why you need to feed your pet hamster pellets to offer your pet a complete diet and ensure he or she receives all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
  • Feed Your Pet Fresh Timothy Hay: Hay is a crucial part of a hamster’s diet since it serves many purposes. Keep in mind, hay’s nutritional content isn’t the goal here.
    Feeding your pet hay as part of a balanced diet will ensure your pet’s teeth stay within normal limits and do not overgrow. Overgrown teeth may hurt your pet when they’re eating something.
    Additionally, it keeps your pet entertained and they can also use it for building tunnels that they love.
  • Add Plenty Of Birdseed To Your Pet’s Diet: Hamsters require good fats to stay healthy. Birdseed is the perfect choice for this. Give your little one a teaspoon of birdseed once a week and it will be enough to fulfill their dietary requirements.
  • Offer Your Pet Fresh Fruits And Veggies: Your dear hamster needs fresh fruits and veggies as part of a balanced diet every day. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that you can give your pet.
    But, keep in mind, all of them have a different serving size and you cannot just feed your pet unlimited amounts. You need to feed them in moderation to ensure your pet gets benefits from them.
    Apart from this, when feeding your pet fruits and veggies, make sure to remove any leftovers. Hamsters tend to hide leftover foods in their bedding and since fruits and veggies can get mold, it will make your pet sick if he or she decides to eat some.
    Besides, it will also prevent your hamster from smelling.
  • Give Your Pet Chewable Treats: Chewable treats including hamster-specific toys, softwood (must be untreated), and hay cubes, etc are ideal to keep your pet entertained and its teeth from overgrowing.

48 Healthy Alternatives Of Oranges For Hamsters

Luckily, when it comes to food choices for hamsters, there are plenty of good ones. We understand the list can get quite long which can complicate things for you when choosing foods to add to your pet’s diet.

This is why we have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that are perfectly safe for your adorable little hamster. These include:

Green beansRed lettuceParsnipPeanut butterCelery
Buttercrunch lettuceBibb lettuceParsnipCucumberWinter squash
WatercressSummer squashBasilSweet potatoParsley
Baby cornAsparagusBeetsBeet topsPotato (cooked only)
RocketMintSwiss chardEscaroleBell pepper
ZucchiniYu ChoyBok choySweet cornArtichoke
CabbageCilantroCarrotCarrot topsArugula

Other Foods:

  1. Spinach
  2. Watermelon
  3. Blueberries
  4. Bananas
  5. Strawberries

As mentioned earlier, you can only feed your pet these fruits and veggies in moderation. These are only meant to be served as treats only. Although, it might not seem like much but serving them as treats is more than enough.

Doing this will keep your pet healthy, and protected from a number of health complications, including obesity, diabetes, kidney stones, bladder stones, and cardiovascular issues.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges

Another thing that you need to remember is that you should wash fruits and veggies before serving them to your hamster. They are often sprayed with chemicals and pesticides to keep them safe from pest attacks.

Washing them will ensure they’re safe for your pet’s consumption and prevent your pet from eating foods with pesticide or chemical residue.

1) 3-Steps To Safely Introduce Hamsters To New Treats:

When introducing your pet to new hamster treats from the list of alternatives above, you should follow our 3-step system to ensure your pet’s safety.

  1. Always feed your pet fresh and raw foods, and make sure you wash them thoroughly. Or, you can also get organic foods for your little one to avoid the risk of feeding your pet pesticide-infested treats.
  2. Give your pet hamster a small piece of the food you intend to introduce him or her to. Afterward, keep an eye out for symptoms of digestive discomfort for the next 12 hours.
  3. If you don’t see any adverse reactions, you can gradually increase the amount to the recommended serving size. However, if you do notice adverse reactions and signs of discomfort, you need to stop feeding your pet that food.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are Oranges Safe For Hamsters?

Oranges are not safe for hamsters. This is due to their acidic content, high concentration of water and sugar. It will make your pet uncomfortable and lead to a number of health complications including digestive issues.

So, you should not give your hamster oranges. 

2) Can Oranges Make My Hamster Sick?

In case of accidental feeding of small amounts, you shouldn’t worry. However, if your pet eats large amounts of oranges and more frequently, he or she will get severely sick.

Small amounts will do no harm, but you still cannot feed them to your pet.

Can Hamsters Eat Oranges – Conclusion:

Oranges belong to the group of citrus fruits. These are highly acidic for your little one’s sensitive digestive system and he/she cannot simply process oranges.

If you’re interested in feeding your pet oranges, you can simply give them small amounts of dried orange peels to munch on. Other than that, you should refrain from feeding your pet oranges since they can make him sick.

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