Can hamsters eat chocolate? Chocolate is considered to be a bad option when it comes to feeding most of the pets. Especially dogs are prone to be affected instantly when offered chocolate. In case of hamsters, they love to have something sweet, but is chocolate an option to offer them in their diet? In all cases, it’s categorically mentioned that chocolates are not something which can be offered to hamsters.
Diet Tips For Your Hamster
A lot of care is needed when you adopt a hamster. Most of the care goes in searching and offering the right kind of diet that can make your hamster fit and fine. It is better to buy the best prepared foods which are available when it comes to offering a healthy diet. Supplementing the diet with fresh pieces of fruits and vegetables is definitely a treat. Moreover, adding cricket or mealworm occasionally would surely make your hamster happier. It is very important to offer a varied diet to your hamster to let it remain healthy and roam around happily.
Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate?
Now the question is if at all it’s advisable to offer your favorite chocolate and associated products to your loving pet. Well you might be disappointed but chocolates can be really harmful when offered to hamsters. They might also be lethal in many cases. Chocolates contains theobromine that has the characteristics of remaining in the system for a considerable time. It leads to a toxic effect and being a small animal, even a tiny quantity of chocolate would lead towards release of large proportions of theobromine per kilogram of the body weight.
A hamster surely loves things which are sweet to taste, but chocolate is not something they should ever be offered. There are a varied number of options in forms of fruits that could be supplemented but definitely not chocolates.
Important Facts About Chocolate
As mentioned, chocolate leads to a prolonged ingestion of theobromine that in turn would cause testicular damage. Theobromine is primarily an alkaloid of cacao bean. It’s extracted from bean husks and later used for the process of synthesizing caffeine. Theobromine gets consumed with chocolate beverages as well as different chocolate based products.
Caffeine forms the other dangerous elements that could affect the central nervous system. It also tends to increase the heart rate and arousal. The dark colored chocolate comprise 50% more theobromine in comparison to the milk chocolates. Hence, the darker a chocolate is, the more it is toxic in nature. Being a potent stimulant, it can lead to hyperactivity in animals. White chocolate comprises of about 6mg of theobromine per ounce when compared to dark chocolate which stands at 22 mg per ounce. If we take the case of Baker’s chocolate, it can go as high as 40 mg per ounce.
Hence, anything which constitutes of chocolate (from cakes to biscuits) should never be offered to the hamsters.
Threats Of Feeding Chocolate To Hamsters
By now, you must have understood that it is a clear NO when it comes to the question of offering chocolates to hamsters. Although, humans can reap in the benefits by consuming chocolates, it has a host of side effects for the hamsters. Consumption of chocolate could be DEADLY for the hamster or for that matter any other pet you may have.
As mentioned, the presence of theobromine within the chocolate is something which animals cannot metabolize. Its chemical remains in the bloodstream for over 24 hours and hamsters can succumb to theobromine poisoning. Even a small quantity of chocolate could be lethal. The symptoms of theobromine toxicity includes hyperactivity, seizures, heart attacks, or epilepcy which could eventually lead to death of the animal.
In cases of pregnant hamsters and babies, chocolate can be toxic and pass through placenta as well as breast milk to the babies.
What Should I Do When Hamster Has Consumed Chocolate?
First of all, this is a very serious condition and needs to be dealt instantly. It directly depends on the kind of chocolate your hamster has consumed. If it is a dark chocolate, the chances of causing hyperactivity due to toxicity is pretty high. You would need to closely observe his activities and make him eat a lot of fresh veggies. This would ensure that chocolate gets flushed from his system ASAP. In case you find something weird in terms of his activities and slow body movements, it’s advised to take him to a vet quickly.
On some occasions, hamsters tend to be slow and might be troubled with tummy ache. It is very important that they are offered a lot of water and food and definitely care until they seem to be fine. The other thing you should do is make sure this is something which is never repeated. Keep all your chocolates inside the fridge or at areas where your pet is unable to reach.