Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate?

Hamster Jun 23, 2021
Written by | Updated Oct 3, 2021
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Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate?

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Nibble on a piece of chocolate, and for a little while, all’s right with the world. Chocolate is one of the most popular foods on the planet, so it’s not surprising that you’re curious about sharing it with your pet.

We often hear questions like: Can hamsters have chocolate? If so, how much can they eat, and how often should can they have it? So, we decided to reply!

The quick answer is “No, hamsters can’t eat chocolate.” Some pet parents disagree and give their hamsters chocolate in small amounts. Since there’s a lot to learn about this subject including why chocolate is dangerous to hamsters, we’ve curated a complete guide.

Keep reading and in a matter of minutes, you’ll know all about chocolate for hamsters – and you’ll be able to make up your own mind.

Chocolate Nutrition Stats

Your hamster isn’t supposed to have it – but that doesn’t mean chocolate should be off your personal menu!

If you have a taste for dark chocolate varieties that are low in sugar, you can safely enjoy them in moderation and perhaps get some health benefits in the process.

The average 1.4-ounce bar of dark chocolate contains:

  • 216 calories
  • 25 g carbohydrates
  • 6 g fiber
  • 8 g protein
  • 6 g fat

Chocolate Nutritional Facts

Chocolate’s Nutritional profile varies depending on the brand and formula. The lower the sugar content and the higher the percentage of antioxidant-rich cacao the chocolate contains, the more it’s likely to benefit you.

Be sure to look for specific nutrition information as you enjoy your favorite treats. In general though, the darker the chocolate the more nutrient-dense it is.

Dark chocolate usually offers the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

Can Hamsters Have Chocolate?

No! You should never give a hamster chocolate. Even though some hamster parents say that they have given their pets chocolate without problems, we have to disagree with this idea.

Here’s why: Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which is toxic to hamsters and can harm or even kill your pet even in small amounts.

Is Chocolate Good For Hamsters?

Even though certain types of chocolate are good for you, this treat does not benefit your hamster at all. There are far better treats to offer your pet!

In case you’re on the fence about giving your hamster chocolate, there are some other reasons to avoid this treat.

Not only is chocolate toxic to hamsters, it contains high levels of fat and sugar, which are also harmful to your pet. In addition, chocolate can be very sticky as it melts. Sticky foods aren’t safe for hamsters, as they can become stuck in the hamster’s pouch and cause irritation or infection.

Do Hamsters Like Chocolate?

Since we know that chocolate is dangerous for hamsters, we haven’t tested it with our own pets. And, even if hamsters do like chocolate, it’s not a good reason to put this dangerous item on their menu.

How Much Chocolate Can A Hamster Eat?

We’re pretty sure you already know the answer, but here’s how much chocolate to feed a hamster:

Age Amount
Baby hamster None
Adult hamster None

That’s right, zilch, nada, none. Hamsters can’t have chocolate – not even in small amounts.

How Often Can A Hamster Eat Chocolate?

We’ll make this one quick: Your hamster should never eat chocolate. Not even once.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Now that you know the truth about chocolate for hamsters, let’s burrow into a more pleasant topic: what hamsters can eat and enjoy safely. Believe it or not, these adorable, cuddly creatures are omnivores, meaning that they are able to eat animal products as well as fruits and veggies. Don’t worry if you aren’t interested in offering your hamster freeze dried crickets or mealworms, because properly formulated hamster pellets contain all the nutrients needed for a healthy life.

Besides a delicious serving of good-quality hamster food, here’s what to feed your hamster on a daily basis:

  • Fresh hay gives your hamster something to nibble on and tunnel in, so consider offering your pet an unlimited supply. Just put a little handful on top of their absorbent hamster bedding, and they’ll use it in various projects throughout their habitat.
  • Clean, fresh water is as important for your hamster’s well-being as it is for your own. Keep them healthy by rinsing and refilling their drinking bottle at least once each day.
  • Birdseed is a great source of healthy fat and it’s a fun treat that your hamster can hide for on-the-go snacking. Offer your little buddy about a teaspoon per week.
  • Tiny amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables make safe, natural treats hamsters almost always appreciate. One daily serving is enough, since too much moisture rich food can lead to digestive issues.
  • Chewable items need to be available 24/7 since they keep your hamster’s teeth from becoming overgrown, which in turn can lead to pain and infections. Besides, fun hamster toys, natural coconut shell, hay cubes, untreated softwood sticks, and unbleached loofah give your hammy something to do with their time.

Because hamsters have a natural urge to save some of their food for later enjoyment, it’s important to clear any leftover fruit and veg from their habitat as soon as they finish nibbling. This is the easiest way to prevent spoilage, mold, and nasty smells while keeping your fluffball safe.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Chocolate In A Hamster’s Diet?

Chocolate isn’t appropriate for hamsters, but there are plenty of other treats to try!

Here’s a quick list of veggies hamsters like to eat:

  • artichoke
  • basil
  • spinach
  • red lettuce
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • baby corn
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • bibb lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • escarole
  • green beans
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • parsnip
  • summer squash
  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • sweet potato
  • okra
  • watercress
  • cauliflower
  • sweet corn
  • asparagus
  • cabbage
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • yu choy
  • bok choy
  • romaine
  • potato (cooked only)
  • sprouts
  • arugula
  • rocket
  • endive
  • swiss chard

These and many other fruits and vegetables are safe to feed hamsters, but remember to spend a few minutes researching new items before you offer them to your pet. In a matter of moments, you’ll be reassured that new treats are safe, you’ll see if there are any cautions, and you’ll find out how much to offer!

Now that you know about the hazards of giving your hamster chocolate, how about a safe, natural treat like cucumber or a green bean, or maybe even a fresh blueberry? Your hammy will appreciate your efforts!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chocolate safe for hamsters?

No! It’s not safe to give chocolate to a hamster – not even a little bit.

Can chocolate make my hamster sick?

Chocolate is toxic to hamsters. It is likely to make your pet very sick – in fact, it could even kill them. Never give chocolate to a hamster.

My hamster ate chocolate and now I’m worried. What should I do?

Even if your hamster ate only a tiny bit of chocolate, we recommend that you give your vet a call and tell them what happened. They’ll be able to advise you on next steps and tell you what to watch out for.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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