We all know that chocolate is delicious and, in moderation, it’s healthy. It has a rich flavor and is full of antioxidants. But can chipmunks eat chocolate? The short answer is yes, chipmunks can eat chocolate. However, as is the case with humans, chipmunks shouldn’t eat too much chocolate.
So, whether you’re thinking of giving your pet chipmunk a special treat or you’re trying to attract wild chipmunks to your garden, chocolate is perfectly safe for them to eat.
However, it needs to be done with caution. Below, we’ll look at some of the benefits and dangers that can come from feeding chocolate to chipmunks.
The Benefits of Feeding Chocolate to Chipmunks
Let’s start with the benefits. Chocolate is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals that a chipmunk needs to live a long, happy, healthy life. These include:
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
Chocolate may even heighten your chipmunk’s mood! It contains Phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a chemical that stimulates dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our emotions and behaviors. In other words, PEA makes us feel good when we eat chocolate.
So, while they can’t verbally tell us, there’s a chance that a little nibble of chocolate from time to time may improve your chipmunk’s mental health.
The Dangers of Feeding Chocolate to Chipmunks
Of course, not everyone thinks that giving chocolate to a chipmunk is a great idea, and these fears aren’t unwarranted. The biggest potential danger associated with feeding your chipmunk chocolate is the high sugar content.
This is dangerous in two ways.
First of all, it could lead to a rapid weight gain. This will also be the wrong type of weight (fat rather than lean muscle) which, in turn, can cause some real health issues.
Secondly, the high sugar content in chocolate could cause dental problems for chipmunks. Just as it does with humans, too much sugar can create cavities and rot the teeth. And, since chipmunks depend on their sharp teeth for so many things, any damage caused to them could impact their quality of life.
Another danger associated with feeding chocolate to a chipmunk is that if they eat too much, they may suffer from digestive issues. This could be stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea. All of which aren’t pleasant at all for your furry little friend to deal with.
While these are serious concerns, the fact remains that chocolate is one of the best treats available for chipmunks. So, if you want to give your chipmunk a special gift, then by all means go ahead and indulge him. Just make sure to keep the amount of chocolate they consume small and controlled.
How Much Chocolate Should You Feed a Chipmunk?
If you’ve decided to feed your chipmunk chocolate, then how much should you give them each day? Well, this depends on several factors.
First of all, what kind of chocolate do you have? Put simply, you need to make sure that it doesn’t contain high levels of sugar. This includes anything labeled “chocolate” or “cocoa”. You should also avoid any type of candy bar that contains more than 10% sugar.
Also, consider the size of your chipmunk. A smaller chipmunk might only require 1-2 pieces every couple of days. But, a larger chipmunk may require more to provide them with the energy needed to power through the day.
Finally, consider the age of your chipmunk – young chipmunks tend to enjoy chocolate more than older ones. They also seem to like it more frequently. So, if you plan to give your chipmunk a daily treat, make sure to adjust the amount accordingly.
What Animals Should Not Eat Chocolate?
While chocolate is perfectly harmless for chipmunks to eat in moderation, there are some animals that you should never feed chocolate to. This includes:
As you can see, it is safe to give your chipmunk chocolate. In fact, doing so can help improve his overall well-being. This is especially true if they are eating a balanced diet already. In this instance, you shouldn’t have any trouble providing him with a few tasty morsels of chocolate every now and again.
However, as with all good things, it’s important to exercise moderation. Take note of the advice we’ve outlined above and keep your chipmunks age, weight, and activity level in mind. And, most importantly, remember that chocolate should make up a small percentage of their weekly diet – it certainly shouldn’t be given to your chipmunk every day.