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Top Ten Most Toxic Human Foods to Rodents

Updated on March 5, 2015


Welcome to my hub on the top ten most toxic foods for rodents. These include a variety of human foods your little friends should never consume.

Suitable for: mice, rats, hamsters of all descriptions, gerbils, etc

If you have concerns your pet may have ingested some of these or are displaying any worrying symptoms such as diarrhoea, shaking, rumpled fur, hunched over, dehydration, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, difficulty breathing, etc you should take them to a vet IMMEDIATELY.

1. Cheese

Cheese?! don't mice love cheese?!

No. Cheese is one of the biggest killers for all types of rodents and is only used in cartoons and mouse/rodent traps due to the association of traps=cheese and cheese=food. Cheese gives off a strong odour which attracts rodents which is why it is used. It isn't something that can be snatched away quickly and can be hard to move, thus, springing the trap.

Like cats and dogs, rodents are lactose intolerant. It can cause severe diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, discomfort, problems with the respiratory system, problems with their kidneys and other organs and can kill them very quickly. Their bodies are so fragile. Cheese may also be linked to a bacterial infection called wet tail which causes all the water in the body of hamsters in particular to come out of their bottom, it is nearly always fatal, smells foul and is extremely distressing to the animal.

There is no reason why your pet should come into contact with cheese or any other forms of dairy. Milk, cream, etc are also just as toxic.

2. Chocolate

This isn't one people typically think of, but chocolate can be equally as poisonous to small animals as it can to dogs.

Human chocolate often contains lactose which as stated above, rodents can't digest. The chocolate itself causes problems with the organs and can even kill them. Respiratory problems, diarrhoea, organ paralysis are all common issues when animals ingest human chocolate.

You may feed your rodent special hamster/rodent chocolate drops in pet shops that do not contain real dairy or cocoa. Always read the labels and buy well known brands. These ones marketed for your pets are non-toxic and are not made from real chocolate.

3. Lemons

Lemons contain citric acid which is too harsh for a rodent's stomach. It can make them very sick, give them terrible diarrhoea, make them lethargic, distressed and in higher doses it can even kill them. Some people rub lemon juice on cage bars to prevent bar chewing, this is not a good idea. Your rodent's are too sensitive to handle something as strong as lemon. If it makes you sour up and cringe, imagine what it does to them.

Other toxic citrus fruits: Oranges, clementines, tangerines, limes, pineapple. Anything with citrus/citric acid.

4. Junk Food

Crisps, chips, sweets, candies, chocolates, fast foods, fried foods, etc are toxic to rodents. They contain far too much fat, far too much salt, far too many chemicals, far too much grease and often far too much dairy for your little friend to digest.

They can cause: Diarrhoea, bloating, lethargy, respiratory problems, intestinal issues, wet tail, infections, poisoning, blockages and can even kill them.

Their bodies just cannot handle the sugar, the lactose, the grease. They can't process foods half as well as we can and despite being typically scavengers, this does not include your burger or just one crisp. Even just one can swell in their stomach and kill them e.g. marshmallow or certain sweets.

5. Coffee

Caffeine is a big no-go for small pets. It can cause serious complications with larger animals. You might be getting a theme here that their little bodies can't handle it.

Caffeine can cause: heart attacks, heart failure, rapid heart beat, diarrhoea, bloating, problems with the lungs, intestinal issues, hyper activity and can even kill your furry friend.

If the coffee contains lactose, we already know they are completely intolerant to it.

6. Tomato Leaves

These are just plain toxic. Toxic. They poison your pet through and through with no questions asked. Symptoms include: diarrhoea, lethargy, respiratory issues, a dead pet.

They react to their whole nervous system and contain substances which are rapidly absorbed into the animal's system.

7. Alcohol

This may seem obvious, but don't allow any rodent to get hold of alcohol. It is absorbed rapidly into their system and even a small amount can cause serious complications or can kill them. Rodents have a very high metabolism and can get sick and die within hours so always be sure that you keep alcohol away from them. It takes only a drop for them to have symptoms and kill them. Their bodies just can't handle it! Dehydration is another big issue here.

Not only is the alcohol itself bad, but the chemical content, often the high yeast, fat, etc is very serious by itself.

8. Unwashed Vegetables

These are very bad for your animals for several reasons.

1. Pesticides can have a toxic effect on rodents causing them to become very sick, lethargic, bad tummy, generally unwell. They are not a problem in organic foods. Foods that have been exposed to pesticides should be fed in very small quantities as a treat and should be washed VERY thoroughly before giving to a pet.

2. They can carry Salmonella which can make your pet sick. Not always fatal, but the dehydration is the big scare. It will cause very bad runs in your pet which can do damage in itself, but the dehydration is the biggest scare. Make sure all vegetables have been cut to a small quantity and have been very thoroughly washed before giving to a pet. Dried vegetables may be a better solution.

3. Lettuce is poisonous. It works by damaging their red blood cells and can even in some causes cause liver problems.

9. Kidney Beans

Are another toxic product, especially raw. These contain chemicals and substances that cause much similar symptoms to the above toxic foods; diarrhoea, organ failure, kidney problems, respiratory problems, intestinal problems and can kill your poor furry friend very quickly. Their bodies just can't handle it!

10. Potato Tops

For similar reasons to kidney beans, they pose the same sick symptoms and can kill your fluffy little comrade. They are highly toxic, especially unwashed, regardless whether they are cooked or uncooked. They may also be thick with pesticides.

Their bodies just can't handle it!

Did you learn something new about toxic foods to rodents today?

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