Can dwarf hamsters eat cheese? Of course. Just like any rodent, hamsters can eat cheese but only in moderation.
Cheese has great calcium, fat, and protein qualities. It also contains substantial amounts of vitamins A and B-12, as well as zinc, riboflavin, and phosphorus. All these are needed for the healthy growth of your pets.
However, as healthy and rich in nutrients as cheese is, it should only be given to your dwarf hamster sparingly.
In today’s article, we will look at why you can feed your hamsters cheese, the types of cheese your hamsters can eat, etc.
Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat Cheese?
YES! As I mentioned earlier, dwarf hamsters eat cheese without any problem; however, moderation is necessary. As humans, cheese is something we all love on everything we eat – nachos, pizza, even broccoli, and animals are not an exception.
Cheese produced from the milk of 100% grass-fed animals has the highest nutrients and also contains vitamin K-2 and omega-3 fatty acids.
That said, the best type of cheese to feed your hamster would be cottage cheese and mild cheese.
What Kind of Cheese Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat?
Dwarf hamsters can eat a variety of cheeses such as;
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has very little fat, and most of its fat is unsaturated. It also contains a good amount of protein and no added sugar.
2. Mozzarella cheese
This variety of cheese is sweet with a light flavor. The texture is particularly pleasing. It has 9g of fat per serving. 4.5g of this fat is saturated, but that is a small amount and doesn’t make much difference.
The softness of the mozzarella cheese makes it easy to cut into small pieces for your hamster.
This is a low-fat soft cheese made with whole milk. Although the ricotta is made with whole milk, it contains just 4g of fat per human serving.
One human-sized serving of ricotta has 100 calories and gives you 3g of protein.
The provolone cheese has 12g of fat per adult human serving. 7.5g of this fat comes from saturated fat.
This cheese variety is more flavorful than other varieties, and most hamsters enjoy it more.
Other Low sodium cheeses are safe for your dwarf hamsters when limited to the recommended serving size.
You must stay away from salty cheeses such as;
- American cheese
These varieties of cheese are processed with a lot of sodium, and just like in humans, high sodium can put your dwarf hamster at risk of a plethora of diseases.
What is the Nutritional Benefit of Cheese for Dwarf Hamsters?
Like humans, we need to know the nutritional benefits of the food we give to our pets, such as dwarf hamsters.
We have already established the fact that dwarf hamsters can eat cheese varieties such as mozzarella. Now let us dig in to find out the benefits of eating mozzarella cheese.
For every 100g of mozzarella cheese, you get:
- 300 calories
- 2g of carbohydrates
- 372g of Omega-3-fatty acids
- 2g of protein
- 2g of saturated fat
Mozzarella, when compared with other popular cheese varieties such as cheddar, contains fewer calories. It has fewer carbohydrates and more protein.
It also contains some essential vitamins such as;
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
Mozzarella Cheese also contains highly beneficial minerals such as;
What Are the Negative Effects of Cheese on Dwarf Hamsters?
Cheese is suitable for hamsters, but in excess, it is very bad for them. Cheese contains a lot of sodium, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol.
These pose serious health risks, which will be discussed below.
1. High Sodium
It is a known fact that any diet high in sodium can spike your blood pressure, leaving you susceptible to heart attack and stroke, this is also applicable to hamsters.
High sodium can also increase your hamster’s risk of kidney disease.
2. Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is also an issue as a diet high in saturated fat raises blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol increases the risk of problems like stroke and heart attack.
Cheese is low in fiber; eating too much of it can have a negative impact on your hamster’s bowel movement.
Also, the saturated fats, when combined with the cholesterol in cheese, can lead to constipation. So, if your hamster already has issues passing stool, you may want to avoid cheese altogether.
it is argued that most animals are lactose intolerant, so eating large amounts of dairy can expose your hamster to diarrhea. This is a sharp contrast to constipation, but no one can tell how a particular animal will react to dairy products.
Cheese, like we already know, is high in sodium. Eating salty food without consuming a lot of water will likely lead to dehydration. This can pose health problems to your dwarf hamster.
Cheese as food contains an excess amount of saturated fats, and whether we like to believe it or not, it is highly processed and refined. This makes it high in calories, and consuming large amounts of it may lead to obesity.
According to research, obesity exposes one or, in this case, your hamster to the risk of diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
If your dwarf hamster must eat cheese, it must be in minimal quantities.
How Often Should Dwarf Hamsters Eat Cheese?
Hamsters should only eat minimal quantities of cheese, not more than once a week. Cheese is recommended as a special treat and must be highly restricted to the amount recommended.
It is imperative to note that hamsters store food in their cheeks, so ensure you give them just the quantity it can finish. Cheese stored in the cheeks may good bad before it eats it, causing a lot of problems for the hamster and you.
What Healthy Treats Can I give My Dwarf Hamster?
Feeding dwarf hamsters cheese as treats aren’t unsafe, but it is not necessary. I have asked many hamster owners if their pets liked cheese, and the answer is always negative.
If you want to give your pet hamster a treat, you can go for healthier options such as broccoli and sunflower seeds. Most cheeses are high in sodium, so you may want to replace that with unsalted peanut butter.
Hamsters love apples and fresh bananas. Another thing you can try giving them is walnut. Chip a small bit of the shell off to expose some of the nuts.
Leave the walnut in your hamster’s cage, and by morning you will find the shell empty. The hamster would have spent hours trying to remove the walnut from the shell.
The walnut treat keeps your pet’s mind active while providing the required nutrients.
Read Also: Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat Strawberries?
Can dwarf hamsters eat cheese? Yes, they can. Hamsters, like other rodents, can eat cheese. cheese provides a wide range of nutrients but should be limited.
If you must give dwarf hamsters cheese, make sure the cheese is not outdated and provide just the recommended quantity.