Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is something that makes all humans excited. In fact, they come in various forms of food, such as puddings, cakes,  chocolate brownies, etc. It’s a delicious food for all humans, and kids are big fans of it in particular. So, what about these little furry friends?

Have you ever wondered whether they can eat chocolate or not? Hamsters are omnivores, and they tend to eat all types of food. However, chocolate is not for hamsters. You should never feed chocolate to hamsters, irrespective of what form it comes in. In other words, they are not safe for the hamsters. So, in this article, we are going to address why chocolate is not safe for the hamsters.

Do hamsters like chocolate?

Do hamsters like chocolate

Hamsters like chocolate. In fact, hamsters would tend to eat whatever food was around them. So, they would not hesitate to eat whatever you ate. They would keep eating them as they liked the flavor of those foods. In a nutshell, hamsters would like chocolate, but it would not be healthy for them.

What ingredients are in chocolate?

Chocolate liqueur: Shelled cocoa beans that have been fermented, roasted, and crushed until liquefied. This liquid is composed of cocoa butter and cocoa solids; both are naturally present in beans.

  • Cocoa butter: Natural fat from the cocoa bean; the additional cocoa butter improves the taste and mouthfeel of the chocolate.
  • Sugar
  • Lecithin: An emulsifier, often soy-based, that causes ingredients to blend.
  • Vanilla or vanillin and other flavors.
  • Milk: For milk chocolate.
  • Fruits, nuts, and other accessories: for special chocolates.

What ingredients are poisonous to hamsters ?

Chocolate has two poisonous ingredients in it. To name them, they include theobromine, caffeine, etc. You might wonder as to why chocolate is safe for us but not for the hamsters. In fact, it is these two elements that result in the toxicity of the hamsters. One element is a stimulant, and the other is an alkaloid. So, let’s dig deep into this and see why these ingredients are toxic for hamsters.

Theobromine

Theobromine is a harmful ingredient contained in chocolate. In fact, this is the most harmful ingredient in chocolate. It is more like an alkaloid compound, which would usually arise from the cacao plant itself. Chocolate is made from the cacao plant. However, theobromine will not have any negative impact on humans as long as you consume it in moderation. For example, it would help reduce blood pressure levels among humans.

Additionally, it would help humans sleep better as well. Apart from that, it would also be effective on lung function as well. Furthermore, it can also function as a mild stimulant, which would help humans improve their focus and concentration. Suppose that you consume too much chocolate, then the worst repercussion you may come across would only be a headache. Further chances are that you may experience some trembling and sweating. The human liver has a high metabolism towards theobromine. So, it is very unlikely that it will do any harm even if you consume them in excess.

On the other hand, hamsters’ livers are small when you compare them with a human’s liver. As such, they will have a slower metabolism compared to humans. This is exactly why even a smaller amount of chocolate would turn out  to be unhealthy and toxic for the hamsters.

If your hamster suffers from theobromine poisoning, you could see them urinating quite often. It is one of the most frequently spotted symptoms of theobromine poisoning. As time passes, you can see how they develop irregular heartbeats and seizures too. Further chances are that they may also suffer from internal bleedings. Lastly, it may also result in heart attacks.

Caffeine

Caffeine is also a harmful substance for hamsters. However, it won’t be as harmful as theobromine. Caffeine is a stimulant that you can find in chocolate. Caffeine is very beneficial for the nervous system, as it helps us stay focused and be more productive. Having said that, if we happen to have too much caffeine, it will make us suffer from insomnia and anxiety. Further chances are that it could also cause digestive related issues.

If we consider the hamsters, a little amount of caffeine would cause changes in the pulses, which would sometimes turn out to be life threatening. The combination of theobromine and caffeine can do greater damage to the hamsters. It is noteworthy that they would turn out to be fatal as well. To sum up, the two ingredients that would cause the toxicity of the chocolate for hamsters are theobromine and caffeine.

Why can’t hamsters eat chocolate?

The simple answer to this question is that chocolate is not healthy for hamsters. For example, if they happen to eat chocolate by chance, it will make them lethargic. Besides, it would cause diarrhea in them as well. Furthermore, they will lose their appetite for eating and tend to behave in a different manner as well. In addition to that, you could see them urinating quite often too.

Lastly, chocolate would result in irregular heartbeats as well. So, if you suspect that your beloved hamster has eaten chocolate, or if you see them lying on the side, ensure that you take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Do Chocolates Have Any Nutrients for Hamsters?

No, chocolate doesn’t contain any nutrients. Besides, it would be quite unhealthy for the hamsters. Chocolate doesn’t contain any of the nutrients that hamsters require. In addition to that , chocolate contains a lot of sugar, too. Sugar could be quite harmful for the hamsters. For example, it would cause obesity in the hamsters. In a nutshell, chocolate contains a lot of sugar and not the beneficial nutrients that hamsters want. So I don’t  recommend feeding chocolate to hamsters.

What to do if your hamster ate chocolate?

Home Remedies

There could be situations where the hamsters would end up eating chicken late by mistake. In fact, you cannot keep the hamsters under your observation all the time. They are mischievous, and it is very likely that they will taste chocolate if they come across it. So, first and foremost, whenever you let the hamsters go out, ensure that you remove whatever chocolate wrappers are around their area.

The smell of chocolate would be quite attractive to the hamsters. So, even if your hamsters end up tasting a few crumbs of chocolate , do not panic. First, put them back in their cage and monitor them to see how they behave. Make sure that there is no disturbance for the hamsters unless they get stressed out. Ensure that their surrounding area is quiet, and dim the lights to make them comfortable.

Thereafter, feed them with plain food and cut off any other snacks. If the hamsters don’t seem to be well, it would be best to take them to a vet as fast as you can. A veterinarian would do the appropriate skin tests on the hamsters and do the necessary remedies.

Can chocolate kill a hamster?

Yes, chocolate can kill a hamster. In fact, even small quantities of chocolate can turn out to be lethal to the hamsters. There could be chemicals present even in those small doses of chocolate, and hamsters would respond to those quite quickly. Ultimately, it would even kill the hamsters.

Which is worse for a hamster – milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

To briefly answer this question, dark chocolate would be worse than milk chocolate for hamsters. Before we dig deep into this, we should first determine the difference between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has a significantly higher concentration of cacao when compared with milk chocolate.

To be more precise, it has about 65 % cacao in comparison with milk chocolate. Furthermore, milk would also be added to dilute the cacao. However, there will be a lesser amount of fat and sugar due to this process. When there is a larger component of cacao, it literally means there will be more theobromine and caffeine. This is what makes dark chocolate lethal for the hamsters.

What chocolate is good for hamsters?

Generally, white chocolate is less toxic for hamsters when compared with dark chocolate. So, you can consider white chocolate to be safer and less toxic. Usually, white chocolate contains about 10%–50 %.

How do I make sure your hamster doesn’t eat chocolate

First, make sure that you don’t leave chocolate where your hamsters can get hold of it. So, be careful, especially with your kids, as they may tend to leave chocolate at random places in your home. Try having a designated place to keep chocolate. The best would be to choose a place in your cabinet or even in your refrigerator. If you have both hamsters and kids at home, educate them on the risks of leaving chocolate in random places.

Can hamsters eat chocolate biscuits?

Chocolate biscuits

Hamsters can eat digestive biscuits, but not chocolate biscuits. Some hamster owners tend to share their biscuits with their hamsters. In fact, a nibble of digestive biscuit would not badly impact the hamster’s health. Having said that, you should always keep in mind to feed them occasionally and not often.

However, if you happen to feed chocolate flavored biscuits, it will result in the deterioration of the hamsters. In addition to the chocolate, the added sugar contained in chocolate biscuits would also be unhealthy for the hamsters. So, overall, I don’t recommend letting hamsters eat biscuits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can hamsters eat chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies

Hamsters cannot eat chocolate chip cookies as they may contain high sugar levels. Those sugar levels would be too much for the hamsters to handle. As such, I suggest you avoid using them on the hamsters. Unless it would result in unnecessary trouble for the hamsters.

Chocolate drops for hamsters

Chocolate drops

Hamsters can handle some chocolate drops. You would have come across chocolate drops in pet stores. However, when you feed them, ensure that you feed them moderately and do not overfeed them.

Can hamsters eat chocolate cereal?

Chocolate cereal

No, hamsters cannot have chocolate cereal. However, they can have plain, unflavored cereals. That said, you could provide those plain, unflavored cereals only as an occasional treat. So, if someone has an idea to try feeding chocolate cereal to your beloved hamsters, I strongly discourage that idea. Cereals anyway have a low nutritional value, so ensure that you feed the hamsters only if it is necessary.

Can hamsters eat chocolate cake?

Chocolate cake

Anything containing chocolate is not good for the hamsters, and chocolate cake is no exception to that. So, do not ever think of providing chocolate cake for the hamsters. You could give a small slice of cake once in a while. However, ensure that it doesn’t contain any chocolate.

Can hamsters eat chocolate ice cream?

Chocolate ice cream

I don’t recommend feeding chocolate ice cream to hamsters, even though they like having bites of those. If you let them have ice cream, chances are that it would have adverse effects on the hamster’s health. Ice cream is something that contains high levels of both fat and sugar. Needless to say, it contains a lot of calories as well. All these elements are unhealthy for the hamsters. So, it would be best to avoid feeding hamsters chocolate ice cream.

Can hamsters eat cacao beans?

Cacao beans

It is a no for this question, as hamsters cannot eat cacao beans. In fact, this is what contains the toxin called theobromine that causes the toxicity in the hamsters. If the hamsters end up eating cacao beans, it would cause seizures, which would be fatal for the hamsters.

Can hamsters have chocolate milk?

Chocolate milk

Hamsters cannot have chocolate milk, as it contains both chocolate and sugar. These two are unhealthy factors for hamsters. In fact, the flavored milk does not suit the hamster’s health.

Conclusion

So, I hope now you are aware of why you should refrain from feeding chocolate to hamsters. I am sure you will find chocolate a yummy and safe treat. However, it would not be the same for the hamsters. So, avoid providing milk for the hamsters. The high content of sugar and fat would make the hamsters sick. If, by any chance, hamsters consume chocolate, make sure that you take them to the vet as promptly as you can.

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