It’s tempting to give your Hamsters whatever leftovers you might have. After all, anything healthy for you is also beneficial for Hamsters. But what about treats? Can Hamsters eat leftover chocolate?
Chocolate isn’t exactly healthy, but it sure is delicious. Would Hamsters like to eat a small sweet treat? Let’s talk about this a little more to answer the question, Can Hamsters eat chocolate?
Hamsters must not eat chocolate, even in small amounts. If your Hamster does eat chocolate, even accidentally, treat it as an emergency. Chocolate naturally contains caffeine and theobromine, two substances that can prove toxic to your Hamster, even in low doses.
Let us now take a closer look at the topic, answering some of the most common questions which you may have about Hamsters and chocolates.
Can Hamsters Eat Chocolates?
You might have understood that your Hamster will probably eat anything you give them without much thought. They will even eat things that are unsafe for them.
You must be careful about what you feed your Hamsters. Your Hamster seems to eat chocolates does not mean that they should.
Chocolates are extremely unhealthy for our Hamsters, even in small amounts. Also, it happens to be on the list of most toxic foods that you can feed your Hamsters.
Chocolates contain high amounts of theobromine and caffeine. Therefore, your Hamsters should never be exposed to chocolates.
If you were hoping that your Hamsters would appreciate a sweet treat, chocolate isn’t the way to go.
What Happens When Hamsters Eat Chocolate?
Before discussing what happens to Hamsters who eat chocolate, we need to discuss the toxic ingredients. Theobromine is a stimulant that can relax humans and stimulate the mind.
While it is beneficial to humans, it is also highly toxic to all pets. The other ingredient to be concerned about is caffeine which raises blood pressure. When you combine these two compounds, disaster strikes.
Chocolate can cause terrible side effects in your Hamsters.
The most common side effects are irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest caused by the caffeine and theobromine combination mentioned before.
These effects suddenly come on with no warnings. If your Hamsters have a small amount of chocolate, you need to keep them under watch for at least 24 hours.
Besides this, chocolate can cause lots of other issues. You might notice that your Hamsters will have diarrhea after eating chocolate because caffeine is a natural diuretic.
Other symptoms of chocolate poisoning are seizures. Also, not to mention if your Hamsters have too much sugar, they will become overweight.
If Hamsters eat too much chocolate, it will ultimately lead to death.
Can Baby Hamsters Eat Chocolate?
Baby Hamsters are at their most crucial development point in the early months. Baby Hamsters do best when fed a high-quality diet that supports their rapid growth.
Giving treats to young Hamsters fills them with empty calories that can stunt growth. On top of this, giving treats like chocolate could prove fatal to babies.
Hamsters have serious side effects in adults and manifest quicker in baby Hamsters.
Chocolate, even in the smallest amounts, can kill a baby Hamster within a few hours. The combination of increased heart rate and weak kidneys makes it impossible for a baby Hamster to recover.
Is There A Safe Type of Chocolate?
We eat chocolate in so many forms that you might be wondering if one type of chocolate is safer than the rest. Most recipes use either dark, milk, or white chocolates to discuss them.
Dark chocolate is concentrated cocoa with higher amounts of theobromine than any other chocolate. Small amounts of dark chocolate can prove fatal for our Hamsters, even if it is only once.
Most sweets use milk chocolate. It is sweet and versatile and likely the type of chocolate you have on hand. While small amounts of milk chocolate have less theobromine than dark, it is still dangerous. The amount of dairy and sugar used in milk chocolate can even cause the same symptoms.
And finally, white chocolate. While the white chocolate is not made from cocoa powder, it is still just as bad. You don’t have to worry about caffeine or theobromine. But you do have to worry about fat, sugar, and butter.
White chocolate also has more calories and higher fat than any other type of chocolate. Feeding white chocolate to your Hamsters will ultimately lead to obesity and kidney failure.
What About Chocolate Treats?
But what about specific chocolate-flavored treats? Can Hamsters eat chocolate cake, for instance? Chocolate cake is usually flavored with a small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. The rest of the cake is mainly flour, eggs, and sugar.
If your Hamsters have a small amount of chocolate cake by accident, they should be fine, but there are no guarantees.
But other chocolaty treats like brownies have more cocoa powder in them than cake. Brownies could cause chocolate poisoning much faster than cake and are not good treats for Hamsters.
Can Hamsters eat chocolate chips? Chocolate chips can come in many varieties, including white, milk, and dark chocolates. None of these are safe to give to your Hamsters directly.
Chocolate chips have concentrated amounts of cocoa, which means massive amounts of theobromine. Many Hamsters will start showing symptoms within just a few hours of eating chocolate chips.
Can Hamsters eat chocolate chip cookies then? It’s probably not a good idea since there are quite a few chocolate chips. And chocolate chip cookies usually use semi-sweet dark chocolate to offset the sweet cookie. And dark chocolate is the most deadly form of chocolate you can give Hamsters.
How Much Is Too Much?
Can Hamsters eat chocolate? Even just the tiniest amount? When should you start to worry? A toxic amount of chocolate for a Hamster is hard to pinpoint. What might be okay for one Hamster proves too much to handle for another? Between the size, breed, age, and overall health, there are too many variables to say.
And since there is no science to figure out the perfect amount of chocolate a Hamster can have, it is better to stay away.
Another thing to consider is that most things have different cocoa concentrations. It can be challenging to say that some chocolate-flavored treats are safer than others.
What To Do If Accidentally Eaten?
Now that you know not to give chocolate to your Hamsters, we should talk about first aid. If you accidentally gave your Hamsters some chocolate, you need to know what to do. The first thing you should do is call your vet.
They will ask you questions like what type of chocolate was it, how much your Hamster weighs, and how much they ate. With this information, they will decide if you need to bring them in or wait for symptoms at home.
If your vet doesn’t think it is an emergency, you will need to keep watch on your Hamster for 24 hours. It would be best to watch for symptoms such as diarrhea, seizures, and low energy.
If your Hamster starts showing any of these signs, you should take your bird to the vet.
You should also provide plenty of fresh water to help flush their systems. But don’t force them to drink if they don’t want to. If, after 24 hours, your Hamster seems to be okay, then your Hamster is safe.
Other than this, there isn’t much you can do. Chocolate can be very deadly, and the symptoms come on quickly. There isn’t anything you can do to make them throw up or flush them quickly.
And even if they are okay the first time they eat it, it’s not guaranteed that they won’t develop heart conditions later. Chocolate is one of those foods that you should avoid at all costs.
The Final Verdict
Can Hamsters eat chocolate? While chocolate is a special treat for humans, you should never give it to animals. Though your Hamsters might be okay after eating a small amount of chocolate, it shouldn’t be a part of their regular diets.
And there is no guarantee that they will be alright every time you give it to them.