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Pet owners rely on treats to reward good behavior and incentivize new activities or behavior of their pets. It is also a nice way to add a little pizza to your pet’s diet now and then. Because of this, some pet owners will often wonder if chocolate is safe for their pet hamster as an occasional treat. Can hamsters eat chocolate? The answer is NO. Chocolate can be fatal to your hamster. No type of chocolate is safe for your hamster.
Hamsters should not eat any foods or substances that contain cocoa, including chocolate. Pets may be attracted to chocolate drinks because of the great taste and smell, so you must not leave anything lying around.
Why Can’t Hamsters Eat Chocolate?
Your hamster can not eat chocolate because chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine, a naturally occurring bitter-tasting alkaloid found in cocoa plants. The substance is also found in kola nuts and tea leaves (no tea and kola nuts for your hamster). If your hamster consumes Theobromine, its liver and kidneys would not be able to break down the compound and expel it from the body.
Theobromine keeps getting pumped back into the body, keeping your hamster’s circulatory system making it work twice as hard. Your hamster is not the only animal that can’t eat chocolate; the same goes for cats and dogs. Some possible abnormal signs associated with hamsters eating chocolates are;
- Irregular heartbeat
- Decreased appetite
- Increased urination
It sounds like a lot to keep track of, but you must keep a close eye on what your pet hamster eats every day so they can stay happy and healthy.
Does My Hamster Like Chocolate?
If you leave any food around your hamster, chances are that they will eat it. Your hamster will eat anything that you will eat. They may like the taste, but it is detrimental to their health which is why you should keep your food away from pets.
Any Other Food My Pet Hamster Should Not Eat?
Your pet hamsters’ health should be prioritized by only feeding them foods recommended by the vet. Keep your hamster away from sugar because it can cause diabetes, tooth decay and obesity. You should also avoid feeding your pet your food because you may not know what compounds they contain.
How Much Chocolate is Lethal for My Pet Hamster?
Because your hamster is small, just a few grams of chocolate can cause health issues or even death. The exact amount depends on how healthy your pet hamster was in the first place. If your hamster is healthy, it may survive a few more ounces of chocolate compared to a less healthy hamster.
If you suspect your hamster has eaten chocolate, you need to rush them to the vet’s office as soon as possible. The sooner you get them to the vets, the higher their chances of surviving chocolate consumption. Feed your hamster fruits to keep them healthy instead of processed foods.
Can My Hamster Eat Peanut Butter?
Feeding your pet hamster your favorite Nutella spread might seem like a good idea because you enjoy it, but it is not a good idea. Peanut butter contains 50 to 70% theobromine which is harmful to your hamster. Your hamster may want to eat your Nutella, but you should not let them eat it if you do not want a trip to the vet.
What about Milk Chocolate?
Milk chocolate does not contain the same amount of Theobromine as chocolate, but it is still unhealthy for your pet hamster. On the other hand, if your milk chocolate has dark chocolate, you should keep your hamster away from it.
How Can You Tell That Your Hamster Has Eaten Chocolate?
If you do not find chocolate crumbs around your hamster, how can you tell they have ingested chocolate? You may notice lethargy, diarrhea and a loss of appetite. Any drastic changes in behavior should be taken seriously and reported to the vet.
Some hamsters will change appearance and experience seizures and irregular heartbeats. Your hamster may also urinate more frequently than usual. So what can you feed your pet hamster instead? Try feeding your hamster foods like peaches, chicken, and carrots. These foods are good for your hamster and contain good nutrients.
Keep a close eye on your pet hamsters’ daily food intake to ensure they have a balanced diet to keep them healthy. A healthy hamster is more likely to live a longer, healthier life. So can hamsters eat chocolate? No, they cannot eat any kind of chocolate.