If cartoons have taught us anything, it’s that all rodents lose their minds over cheese. But what about hamsters? Is it safe for them to eat cheese?
As a matter of fact, yes, it is. There’s nothing about cheese that should be dangerous to your pet, so feel free to share your brie.
That doesn’t mean that you can just start giving them cheese constantly, though. There are a few things that you need to know before you begin offering your pet cheese regularly, and we’ll cover the most pressing issues below.
Is Cheese Good for Hamsters?
Cheese can be safe for hamsters in small quantities, but it is not an essential part of their diet.
Hamsters are omnivores that can enjoy a variety of foods. In the wild, hamsters tend to eat seeds, grain, grasses, and occasionally insects. Fortunately, complete and balanced commercial diets are available to ensure pet hamsters get everything they need.
Hamster food usually comes in pellets or mixes and typically contains grains, seeds, vitamins, and minerals.
In general, hamsters should eat at least 50% commercial hamster food and up to 50% raw vegetables in order to remain healthy. Many fresh raw vegetables are good for hamsters, including kale, spinach, dandelion greens, and broccoli.
They can eat small quantities of fruit like apples and bananas. Other healthy treats include pasta, rice, and seeds. Small quantities of unsalted nuts can be given as well. Hamsters do not need high amounts of fat, sugar, or salt in their diets, so foods with these should be avoided.
They do not require any dairy products in their diets, so there is technically no need to ever offer cheese to a hamster.
Many hamsters love the taste of cheese, but its high fat and sodium content is not especially healthy for hamsters. If your hamster enjoys cheese and seems to tolerate it well, you can offer it occasionally in small amounts. Hamsters should get no more than a pea-sized amount of cheese just once or twice a week.
Choose a cheese that is low in fat and salt, like low-fat cottage cheese or mozzarella. Avoid fatty or salty cheeses like aged cheddar, parmesan, and processed cheese products. Never offer your hamster “moldy” types of cheese such as Stilton or blue cheese as these may be harmful.
If your hamster loves cheese, it can be a great option for training and giving oral medications. Just remember to feed it sparingly.
Can hamsters eat cheese every day?
Cheese can be a safe snack for hamsters, but hamster diet sheets don’t tend to recommend it. That’s because cheese is also highly calorific.
So alternate giving your hamster cheese with other protein sources such as boiled egg and mealworms from the pet store. And remember that hamster portions are truly tiny – a couple of pieces of cheese each the size of a raisin is plenty!
Can Syrian Hamsters Eat Cheese?
Syrian hamsters can eat cheese, but only in small quantities every now and again. A lot of cheeses are high in salt and saturated fat, so it’s best to feed types that are low in fat. Unflavored cottage cheese is a good option, as it’s mild, low-fat, but packed with calcium and protein
Can Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters Eat Cheese?
You can feed cheese to Campbell’s dwarf hamsters but use great caution. Dwarf species may be predisposed to diabetes, so it’s best to avoid fatty and salty cheeses. If you want to feed your Campbell’s dwarf hamster cheese, then choose a low-fat variety like cottage cheese.
Can Winter White Hamsters Eat Cheese?
As Winter White hamsters are a dwarf species, cheeses that are high in fat and sugar could increase their risk of developing diabetes. Only feed your Winter White dwarf hamster cheese occasionally and select low-fat cheeses.
Can Roborovski Hamsters Eat Cheese?
Like with other dwarf species, it’s best not feed Roborovski hamsters cheese very often. Refrain from feeding your Roborovksi cheeses that contain a lot of fat and salt.
Can Chinese Hamsters Eat Cheese?
Chinese hamsters can safely eat cheese, but it should not make up a large portion of their diet. Avoid feeding cheeses that are high in fat, salt, and strong flavorings.
How Much Cheese Can Hamsters Eat?
Cheese should only be an occasional treat for your hamster. We suggest giving your hamster cheese no more than once a week, and only offering them a pea-sized serving. Cheese can be high in sodium and fat, so any more than a pea-sized amount can upset your hamster’s stomach.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all hamsters can tolerate cheese, even if it is technically safe in small servings. Keep a close eye on your hamster the first time you offer him cheese and monitoring him closely for any sign of upset stomach.
Some common symptoms of an upset stomach in hamsters include diarrhea on their tail, excessive sleeping, lethargy, and walking with a hunched back.
Keep in mind that cheese is only safe for your hamster if he eats the serving within a 12-hour period. If your hamster leaves a piece of cheese untouched for more than 12 hours, then we suggest throwing it away. This will prevent him from eating any cheese that has grown dangerous bacteria.