From pudding to cake to brownies, chocolate is a decadent and delicious treat for people. But what about hamsters? Can your little pal safely consume chocolate? They are omnivores and like to feast on all types of food. However, you should never feed your hamster chocolate. Chocolate, in any form, is not safe for hamsters to consume.
To learn more about why chocolate is bad for your pet, let’s dig a little further into this topic.
Is Chocolate Safe for Hamsters to Eat?
Chocolate is extremely harmful to hamsters. In fact, your beloved pet could even die from consuming it. This is because chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine. This alkaloid is a bitter compound that is obtained from the husk of cocoa beans. Hamsters are unable to properly digest theobromine because of their tiny bodies and slow metabolism rates.
Humans can metabolize theobromine rapidly, however, most animals, including hamsters, do not metabolize it efficiently. Though hamsters are more resistant to theobromine than rats, it is nonetheless toxic for them 1.
Another dangerous ingredient for hamsters found in chocolate is caffeine. This component can adversely affect the central nervous system, leading to stress and even death.
Signs to Watch Out For
If you find your pet lying on her side, you must seek medical attention from a vet right away. Call your nearest emergency veterinary clinic if you have any suspicions.
Is Dark Chocolate Safe for Hamsters?
Dark chocolate is extremely dangerous for hamsters to consume. This is because it is a highly concentrated type of chocolate and contains a lot more cacao per square inch than milk chocolate. This means that there is more theobromine in dark chocolate, making it extremely toxic for hamsters to eat.
Is Milk Chocolate Safe for Hamsters to Eat?
While milk chocolate is bad for hamsters to eat, it is safer than if your pet consumes dark chocolate. Regardless, it is also considered toxic.
What About White Chocolate?
As with milk chocolate, white chocolate is a lot less toxic to hamsters (but not safer) than dark chocolate. It contains about 10% to 50% solid cacao while dark chocolate is made of up to 90% cacao.
Can Hamsters Consume Nutella?
No, you should not feed your hamster Nutella. Though this product is advertised as a hazelnut cream, it still contains 58% processed sugar, cocoa solids, and 10% saturated fat. This all can expose your hamster to caffeine, theobromine, and high-fat contents.
How to Protect Your Hamster from Chocolate
There are some preventative steps you can take in order to keep chocolate away from your hamster.
- Related Read: Can Rats Eat Chocolate? What You Need to Know!
Any kind of chocolate, be it dark, milk, or white, is toxic and potentially deadly to hamsters. Never feed chocolate to your hamster and always ensure it is stored in a safe spot and out of reach of your pet.
If your hamster does eat chocolate and shows signs of distress, take her to the vet immediately.
While hamsters can enjoy a variety of human foods, chocolate should never be one of them.