Can Hamsters Eat Cheese? Read This Before Feeding Them | Kidadl


Can Hamsters Eat Cheese? Read This Before Feeding Them

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If you are wondering if hamsters eat cheese, then you have come to the right place.

For hamsters, cheese in moderation is certainly a good addition to their food. Apart from the taste which your pet might like, cheese also has a ton of nutritional benefits.

Hamsters have a high requirement of protein, and one of the main nutritional components of cheese is protein. In addition, cheese also contains calcium, carbohydrates, and various vitamins and minerals, all necessary for hamsters to lead a healthy life. However, hamsters can only tolerate a few types of low-fat cheese as occasional treats. This is because high-fat foods are not good for hamsters. You should also not feed your pet hamster cheese puffs or string cheese.

While cheese is good in the form of a snack, your hamster should have fruits, vegetables, seeds, and freshwater as the main types of food in its daily diet.

To know more about if hamsters eat cheese, keep reading!

Do hamsters like cheese?

Cheese is an incredibly popular food all around the world. Many people eat cheese as one of their favorite snacks. While most humans love cheese, there are some people who don't like to eat cheese or who have dietary issues when they eat dairy food. The same applies to hamsters. Most hamsters are known to like cheese, however there might be a few who don't like to eat it.

In general, cheese is a great addition to a hamster's diet but only when given in moderation. The nutritional value of cheese makes it a great snack from time to time. Cheese is filled with essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the proper growth and development of the body. For instance, as hamsters eat cheese, it becomes a great source of vitamins A and B 12. Vitamin A is an essential element that will not only improve your hamster's eyesight but also ensure good fur quality. In hamsters, vitamin A is also responsible for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. In addition to vitamin A, vitamin B 12 also aids in the maintenance of healthy nerve cells. Vitamin B 12 is also responsible for preventing certain forms of anemia in hamsters. Apart from these two vitamins, vitamins D and K are also essential components in cheese. While the former gives strong bones and teeth, vitamin K helps in developing good reproductive health in hamsters.

Minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc are present in most cheeses. Needless to say, the nutritional importance of these minerals is endless. Out of these minerals, calcium has the most prominent role in a hamster's body, as these tiny furry animals need a significant amount of calcium both in the wild and when domesticated. This is because calcium helps in maintaining the teeth and bone health of the hamster. In fact, most of the calcium consumed by hamsters is stored in their teeth and bones. In addition to stronger teeth and bones, calcium also regulates the various hormones and enzymes in the body.

Cheese is also a significant source of carbohydrates and protein. While carbohydrate is essential for providing energy, both dwarf and Syrian hamsters need about 16% protein in their diet to have a healthy and fully functioning body. Since most types of cheeses contain lots of protein, cheese is a fantastic addition to the diet of a hamster.

What types of cheese can your hamster eat?

The world of cheese is quite diverse. However, there are only certain types of cheese you can give your hamster. When you decide to feed your hamster cheese, keep in mind that hamsters do well with a low-fat diet, and hence, the cheeses you serve to them must also be low-fat. It's also important for the cheese to be low in sodium content. The best types of cheeses to give your hamster are mozzarella, cottage cheese, ricotta, mild cheddar, and provolone.

Mozzarella: Mozzarella, without a doubt, is one of the most popular cheeses made from buffalo milk. Usually, mozzarella has a soft texture and mildly sweet taste. Some of the essential nutrients in this type of cheese are calcium and phosphorous. It's also quite low in fat and saturated fat, making it a healthy cheese snack for both Syrian and dwarf hamsters.

Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is undoubtedly one of the healthiest treats for hamsters. This is because this type of cheese has very little fat, hardly any sugar but is filled with a good amount of protein. It is also a source of vitamin B, in addition to minerals like copper, choline, and zinc.

Ricotta: One of the best things about ricotta is that, despite being made from whole milk, this cheese is quite low in fat. To be precise, in ricotta, there is only 0.14 oz (4 g) of fat, with 0.1 oz (2.8 g) of that being saturated fat. It is also a really good source of protein and has low sodium content, making it a reliable treat for hamsters.

Mild cheddar: While hamsters mostly eat soft cheeses, you can feed your hamster mild cheddar, which has low-fat content. Additionally, it's also packed with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein.

Provolone: Out of the various types of cheeses mentioned here, provolone is perhaps the most flavorful, and hence, your hamster might really prefer this cheese as their snack. Additionally, provolone has a semi-hard texture and is often sold in slices, so it is easy to cut up into little pieces to give your hamster.

It's important to remember that cheese that is high in fat, like parmesan, should not be given to hamsters to eat. Additionally, blue cheese and stilton cheese should be avoided, as these might become toxic for hamsters, even if they only eat a small amount. You should also not feed your hamster cheese puffs. Cheese puffs might be a tasty snack for humans, but for hamsters, the excess salt and spices will most definitely cause digestive problems. Canned cheese should also be avoided.

Most hamsters eat cheese, along with fruit and vegetables.

How much cheese can hamsters have?

It is always a good idea to provide your hamster with any kind of food in moderation. This is particularly true for cheese. While hamsters can eat cheese, excessive cheese consumption can lead to health complications in your hamster.

Cheese should not be a part of a hamster's daily diet, meaning you should not give your hamster cheese every day. As a treat, it's best to limit cheese to only once or twice a week. Additionally, you need to ensure that the piece you give them as a treat is very small. If you're feeding your hamster cheese for the first time, give them a tiny piece of cheese and carefully observe their reaction. In case of any diarrhea, stop immediately. Hamsters tend to store foods in their mouth or hoard it in their cages, so if you give them too much cheese, they might store it away and feed on it later when the cheese is no longer fresh, causing stomach issues.

One of the main reasons why hamsters should not be given cheese more than once or twice a week is because cheese is very high in calories. Feeding on such a high calorific food will cause obesity in the hamster. Additionally, it might also cause diabetes. This is particularly true for dwarf hamsters, who are already prone to diabetes more than other species. Apart from fat, the high sodium in cheese could lead to a heart attack due to increased blood pressure. Cheese is also low in fiber, and hence, constipation is a common side effect of this food item when eaten in excess. On the contrary, feeding on too many milk products like cheese can cause diarrhea in your hamster.

So, even if your hamster likes cheese, the serving size should not be more than twice per week as a small treat. Make sure to provide a balanced diet to your hamster, which includes sufficient fresh fruits, vegetables, and store-bought hamster food. Furthermore, hamsters can eat food like boiled eggs and mealworms to fulfill the protein need in their diet.

How can I feed my hamster cheese?

Now that you know hamsters can eat cheese, you must be wondering what the best way to feed them this food is. Continue reading to understand how you can introduce cheese to your hamster's diet.

Firstly, it is important to buy fresh cheese from the store. Once brought home, keep it in the fridge to ensure that it stays fresh. You can either store the cheese in its box or take it out and put it in an air-tight container or cling film.

When giving your pet hamster this special treat, remember hamsters like small food materials that they can hold in their tiny hands. So, it's best to chop up the cheese in tiny pieces so that your hamster can hold it and chew on it quite easily. You can also mix in the cheese with other foods, like any fruit or vegetable that your hamster regularly eats.

Want to make life fun for your pet? Then, you could hide small cheese pieces in a cardboard box or paper bag. This is a nice form of play for hamsters, as they like to gnaw through surfaces.

Once your hamster has finished their special treat of cheese, make sure to check their cage for any remaining pieces of cheese that might be left behind. As cheese is a perishable item, it becomes moldy quite easily, so for the safety of your pet it's good idea to get rid of any leftover snacks.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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