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Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate? Good or Harmful

Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate? Good or Harmful

Can hamsters eat chocolate? Chocolate is seen as a bad choice when it comes to offering it to animals. Especially for dogs. In the case of hamsters, they love to eat something sweet, but is chocolate a good ingredient to offer them?

Tips for Feeding your hamster

You need to take great care of your hamster once you adopt it. Most of the attention is for a balanced diet that can keep your hamster fit and healthy. It’s best to buy the best ready-made food available to ensure the hamster a healthy diet, you can add portions of fresh fruit and vegetables to the diet.

Also, giving It crickets and worms occasionally will make your hamster happier. It’s very important to offer a varied diet to your hamster to keep It healthy and to run around happily.

So can hamsters eat chocolate?

Now the question is whether it is advisable to offer your favorite chocolate and similar products to your beloved pet. Well, you might be disappointed, but chocolate can be really harmful to give to hamsters.

It can be lethal in some cases. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is known to stay in the digestive system for a long time. This leads to a toxic effect and being a small animal, even a small amount of chocolate leads to the release of a large amount of theobromine per pound of body weight.

A hamster will surely love foods that are sweet in taste, but chocolate is not something they should ever eat. There are numerous fruit alternatives that can be offered, but definitely not chocolate.

Important facts about chocolate

As mentioned earlier, chocolate involves large ingestion of theobromine which can result in damage to the testicular level. Theobromine is essentially a cocoa bean alkaloid. It’s extracted from the shell of the seed and subsequently used for the process of caffeine synthesis.

Theobromine is present in chocolate drinks as well as in chocolate products. Caffeine makes up other harmful elements that can affect the nervous system. It can also increase heart rate and arousal.

Dark chocolate contains 50% more theobromine, compared to milk chocolate. Therefore, dark chocolate is the most toxic. Being a powerful stimulant, it can lead to hyperactivity in animals. White chocolate contains approximately 6mg of theobromine per ounce, while dark chocolate has 22mg per ounce.

If we take the case of Baker chocolate as an example, it can go up to 44mg per ounce. Therefore, any product that contains chocolate (from cakes to cookies) must never be given to hamsters.

Risk offering chocolate to hamsters

By now you should have understood that NO is the answer to the question of whether it is possible to offer chocolate to hamsters.

While humans may benefit from consuming chocolate, it has a number of negative effects on hamsters. Consuming chocolate can be DEADLY to your hamster or whatever your pet is.

As mentioned earlier, the presence of theobromine in chocolate is something that animals cannot metabolize. This substance remains in the bloodstream for more than 24 hours and hamsters can die from theobromine poisoning.

Even a small amount of chocolate can be lethal. Symptoms of theobromine toxicity include hyperactivity, convulsions, heart attacks, epilepsy, which can eventually lead to the death of the animal.

In the case of pregnant hamsters and young hamsters, chocolate can be toxic and passes through the placenta as well as into breast milk.

What should I do when my hamster has eaten some chocolate?

First, this is a serious situation and must be resolved immediately.  It depends on the type of chocolate the hamster ate. If it’s dark chocolate, the chances of causing hyperactivity due to food toxicity are quite high.

You need to watch Its movements carefully and make It eat lots of fresh vegetables. This will allow the chocolate to be digested as soon as possible.

In case you notice something strange in Its activities or that It’s moving slowly, it is advisable to take It to the vet immediately.

Sometimes hamsters tend to be sluggish and this can be due to stomach aches. It is very important that they drink lots of water, fresh food, and lots of treats until they feel well.

Another thing you need to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again. Keep the chocolate in the fridge or in places your hamster can’t reach.

This article is purely informative, at Shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case It any kind of discomfort or discomfort.

Written by Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, canine behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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