Cheese, drooling already? Ever wondered whether your little pet feels the same? By now you must know how choosy your Hamster might get when it comes to his eating habits. We must be very particular about the food which we provide to our little friend. It is equally essential for us to know the pros and cons of every food item. Today we will discuss about cheese and learn how it brings an impact to our Hamsters.
Hamsters can eat cheese, but serving it in moderation would be wise. Though it has a lot of nutritional value but looking at the larger picture it serves more as just another junk food. We must keep in mind that cheese should also be given as treats only. You may treat him with cheese at a maximum of once or twice a month.
Cheese is popular all around the world and most of us love it. Cheese is a great source of calcium, proteins, fats, and also a lot of other vitamins.
Hamsters have a fragile digestive system that cannot handle complex carbohydrates and sugar very well. Thus, serving incorrect types of cheese to a Hamster that is already having digestive problems can lead to a severe health problem in them.
Before we get into further details of how much cheese should, we feed to our Hamsters, how to prepare it & more. Let us have a quick look at the nutrients that cheese possesses and what benefits our Hamsters can get from it.
Nutrition In Cheese
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Source: USDA National Nutrient data base
|Energy||393||kcal||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Protein||25||g||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Fat||32.14||g||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||3.57||g||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Sodium, Na||454||mg||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||21.43||g||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
|Cholesterol||96||mg||Calculated from value per serving size measure|
Cheese contains some highly beneficial minerals such as:
Calcium and phosphorus present in cheese are essential for bone formation of the Hamsters. It strengthens their bones.
Potassium maintains the healthy hear of the Hamsters. It also helps in the development of the muscles.
Cheese can prove to be a great source of protein for your Hamster. On the other hand, cheese contains a huge amount of unsaturated fats and salts. This can be harmful to your Hamster and can lead to obesity.
We need to know everything about the food product before giving it to our Hamster. So, I would suggest you continue reading our article till the end.
Are Hamsters Allergic To Cheese?
No, Hamsters are not allergic to cheese, but cheese does not benefit them either. Some Hamsters might have an allergic reaction to a certain food, and so you must keep an eye out for the same.
Cheese should only be served as treats ( A maximum of once in two weeks ).
Excess cheese interrupts the bowel movements in Hamsters.
Why is Cheese Good/Bad For Our Hamsters?
The truth is Cheese does more harm than benefit to our Hamsters. Also, if overfed can be life-threatening for our Hamsters.
Hamsters are prone to obesity and diabetes. If we overfeed them with Cheese it may prove fatal. Even a little more than a fitting portion of cheese can cause dietary imbalances, especially to dwarf hamsters.
Cheese contains a very low amount of dietary fibers. This disrupts the bowel movements in Hamsters. This also causes difficulty for stool to pass.
Cheese alone does not provide a balanced diet which your hamsters need to live. The best way is to treat them with cheese once or twice a month only.
Note: Not all types of cheese are suitable for feeding. We must be very careful about the type of cheese we pick for our Hamsters. This topic is discussed briefly later in this article. So, I would suggest you to continue reading our article till the end.
Lactose Tolerance In Hamsters
It an enduring myth that Hamsters are lactose intolerant.
Lactose consumption in Hamsters depends upon its possession of a pregastric pouch, which helps in breaking down of ingested lactose into its constituent monosaccharides.
This helps to prevent the gastrointestinal symptoms that small animals usually face after lactose consumption.
In an experiment done by APA, it was also showed that Hamsters showed a clear preference for lactose solutions in comparision to water.
This shows Hamsters have an apparent tolerance to the effects of ingestion of substantial amounts of lactose.
What Kind Of Cheese Is Best For My Hamster?
We must be very careful while picking up cheese for our Hamsters. All kinds of cheese are not suitable for them.
The best and the most recommended cheese for our Hamsters is unflavoured cottage cheese. Cottage cheese contains very little amount of fat and has no added sugar. It also has an ample amount of protein.
You can also give your Hamsters mozzarella cheese. This type of cheese is also low in fat content. It is soft and has a pleasing texture.
Mild cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, and pasteurized goat cheese can also be given, although they are not highly recommended. Some of these have high salt content and can be harmful for your little ones.
Kinds Of Cheese That Should Be Avoided!
Do not give your Hamster any kind of cheese that has a smoky flavor. Types of cheese that contains chives, onions, or garlic should be completely avoided.
Blue cheese and parmesan cheese are toxic for your Hamster, and should never be fed to your little ones. Incorrect type or quantity of our cheese can be life-threatening for our Hamsters.
Correct Way To Feed Cheese To Your Hamsters!
Firstly, we must know that cheese is not something that you can feed your Hamster too often. We must ensure that it doesn’t make more than 4-8% of your little one’s diet.
Before introducing a new food or treat to your Hamster you must try a taste test. This can be done by feeding them the food in a very small proportion when doing it for the first time. Observe them closely and only if you do not notice any reactions you may increase the proportion.
Cheese should be fed for a maximum of once in two weeks. Unflavoured cottage cheese is the most preferred and recommended one amongst Hamsters.
The next step involves providing your Hamster with the correct quantity of the cheese. It is generally recommended to give only a teaspoon per feeding.
You should keep a check in your Hamster’s mouth and cheeks, and make sure that your little one is not hiding the cheese there for too long. It can lead to rotting of the mouth and teeth.
After a few hours, we must make sure that all the uneaten food is taken out of the cage. Also, check if your Hamster is hiding even the smallest portion of the food.
Leftover cheese can produce a filthy smell which can often cause stress in Hamsters.
Can Hamsters Eat Cheese Puffs?
No, you should never feed your Hamsters with cheese puffs. It is dangerous for them.
Cheese puffs contains a high quantity of salt and spices that are toxic to Hamsters. Also, they do not have any nutritional value.
Can Hamsters Eat Cream Cheese?
Although Hamsters can eat cream cheese, it is highly discouraged to feed it to them.
Cream cheese is pretty unhealthy and it is not suggested to give it to your Hamsters. It can lead to diarrhea and unhealthy bowel moments in your little ones.
A Quick Overview
- Do Hamsters eat cheese? Yes, they eat cheese. ( Not all Hamsters like it though )
- Cheese contains a decent amount of protein which may prove beneficial for your Hamster.
- The serving must be controlled so that your Hamster gets the best out of it. Should only be given as treats. (Once in two weeks)
- Overfeeding can lead to diarrhea and loosening of bowels in Hamsters.
- You should follow the correct procedure before feeding cheese to your hamster.
- Cream cheese should be avoided. Also, cheese puffs are toxic to them.
- Under no circumstances, it should replace the staple diet of your Hamster. Try feeding them with other healthy alternatives.