Can hamsters eat chocolate?
This article will answer the question “Can hamsters eat chocolate?”, and what foods should and what foods shouldn’t be fed to hamsters?
Can hamsters eat chocolate?
No, hamsters cannot eat chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and a bitter alkaloid compound known as theobromine.
The former has harmful effects on the CNS of hamsters that cause stress. While the latter remains undigested due to its slow metabolism in the tiny hamster stomach. Severe cases may lead to death.
If your pet hamster accidentally ingested chocolate, it may experience symptoms like fatigue, diarrhea, diminished appetite, change in behavior, increased urination, accelerated heartbeat, etc.
Dark chocolate contains more cocoa, thus, more theobromine and it is even more dangerous for your pet hamster. On average, dark chocolate provides 10 times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Moreover, semi-sweet chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, and cocoa powder are more than dark chocolate.
Any type of chocolate is dangerous for hamsters. Since milk chocolate has a low cocoa content, it is slightly less toxic than dark chocolate for hamsters.
White chocolate is also less toxic than dark chocolate which is attributed to its low cocoa content that is about 10-50%.
Can hamsters consume Nutella?
Nutella contains about 58% processed sugar, cocoa solids, and 10% saturated weight. The theobromine and caffeine present in cocoa solids are harmful to hamsters. Moreover, hamsters should not be fed such high-fat treats.
How to prevent my hamster from eating chocolate?
- Designate a specific jar, counter, or cabinet to store chocolate and related products. This will help confine the chocolate away from the reach of your hamster.
- Educate your children on how chocolate in any form, especially chocolate-coated fruits, can be lethal to their pet hamster. This shall keep them from throwing chocolate at random places in the houses particularly around the hamster cage.
- Keep a check on your children when they are playing with the hamster. This is important for both the well-being of your kids and hamster safety.
What should you do If your hamster eats chocolate?
Diarrhea and neurotic behavior of your hamster is a common indication that It ate something suspicious. If you suspect It has ingested chocolate, it is recommended to contact your vet immediately to avoid further complications.
To counter mild symptoms, feed fresh veggies, water, and other foods to help empty the hamster’s stomach of chocolate.
The severity of the symptoms depends upon what kind of chocolate and how much of it did your hamster consume.
Why is Theobromine poisonous to hamsters?
The theobromine in chocolate is handled very easily by humans. All thanks to the high-functioning liver that flushes out any toxicants that find their way into the human body.
The worst that humans may experience from overconsuming chocolate is sweat, temples, or headaches.
It is because humans are massive unlike the hamsters with a tiny mass and a much slower acting metabolic system. Hamsters cannot metabolize such high levels of theobromine.
This results in increased urination, accelerated heartbeat, tremors, heart attack internal bleeding that inevitably leads to death.
Why is caffeine poisonous to hamsters?
Caffeine has stimulating effects on the CNS. While these effects elicit a beneficial response in humans like increased focus and improved functioning, the same is not true for hamsters.
The high caffeine levels are the cause of accelerated and irregular heartbeat in hamsters. The increased stress on the heart in addition to the destructive effects of theobromine eventually prove to be lethal for your hamster.
What type of foods should be fed to your hamster?
Treats should only comprise 10% of the daily caloric intake of hamsters. It is recommended to feed 10g of dry and fresh food twice per day to your pet hamster. Refrain from feeding rotten food to your hamster. Hamsters should be fed freshwater.
The ideal diet of hamsters consists of 12-24% protein and 3-6% fat. The larger portion of a hamster diet should consist of carbs since they provide energy. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain and health issues.
The ideal treats for hamsters include foods such as barley, whole-wheat bread, sugar-free cereals, cooked pasta, and cooked potatoes.
Moreover, fresh fruits and veggies also make for a great treat food. These include de-seeded apples, broccoli, bananas, celery, cucumber, grapes, carrots, plantains, etc.
Foods that you should not feed to your hamster
Acidic foods like citric fruits distraught the hamster’s stomach causing diarrhea. Similarly, foods like corn and alfalfa cause cancer. Other risky foods include acorns, apricots, avocados, cabbage, onions, leeks, spinach, horse chestnuts, raspberries, etc.
Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.
This article answered the question “Can hamsters eat chocolate?”, and what foods should and what foods shouldn’t be fed to hamsters?