The mouse is an adorable small pet, easy to care for, entertaining to watch, and not demanding to its owner. Mice and rats are intelligent and exciting pets with amazingly distinct personalities. They enjoy eating a variety of foods and love nibbling them. Mice are omnivorous rodents, and they eat vegetables as well as meat.
There is a minimal balanced good quality diet for mice, and most pet owners prefer an excellent rat or gerbil mix. The quality of food in a small body matters a lot; therefore, high-quality food items are optimal for your pet’s overall health.
What should a mouse mostly eat?
There is so much similarity between humans and mice (dairy and citrus fruits are not suitable for mice). Both suffer ill health with too much fat, sugar, and salt. A pet mouse should eat Carbohydrates, Fruits, meat, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and vegetables. According to some expert recommendations, mice offering pellets compose 80% of their diet while the remaining 20% is about fresh foods.
Can a mouse eat peanuts?
The answer to this question is a little tricky. Well, the mouse can eat peanuts, and you can serve this favorite food item to your pet rodent as a treat for them.
You may have seen that raw peanuts are usually included on the list of forbidden foods for mice and rats. But eating a minimum of peanuts is unlikely to cause any health issues to your mouse. Excess eating of peanuts can cause real health risks for your little furry friend.
Peanuts…is it actually about nuts?
Nuts are rich in healthy fat and protein, fiber, Vitamins (Vitamin B-complex except for B12 & vitamin E), and a sufficient quantity of minerals. Nuts are an excellent food for your pet mouse, but you should be fed your pet rodent in a small amount regularly.
Mice eat various nuts, including Brazil nuts, Almonds, Cashew nuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, etc.
But can we add peanuts also to this long list?
Here you need to make it clear that peanuts are not nuts. These are legumes like beans and peas that grow in seedpods of the leguminous plants. Pet mouse owners usually lump peanuts with other nuts for their furry friend, but it can be really risky.
Benefits of peanuts for mice:
Peanuts are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Limited and occasional consumption of raw peanuts provides few benefits to your pet mouse:
- Antioxidants slow down the natural aging process in pet mice.
- Antioxidants offer a complete and more robust defense system against oxidative stress and the damages it causes.
- An appropriate amount of dietary fiber improves stool quality, colon health, and reduces cholesterol.
Harms of peanuts for mice:
Peanuts are very fatty for pet mice and wild mice. Excess fat present in peanuts makes your mouse super cute, just like a fluffy ball. Your pet mouse requires about 5% of fat, but peanuts have a lot more than this recommended quantity, and that is why the excess of fats may lead your mouse to an early death.
According to recent research, peanuts in excess can cause real harm to rats and mice. Peanuts can destroy an essential vitamin (Vit A) in your mouse’s body. It can also redirect the healthy enzymes responsible for food breakdown in their body. Phytates and lectin present in peanuts can reduce the mineral absorption from food in mice. This deficiency of essential minerals due to their insufficient absorption can lead to serious health risks.
Excess consumption of peanuts by rats and mice can also cause the sticking of red blood cells together, which can cause a variety of potentially serious issues.
In addition to it, peanuts for human consumption are usually roasted, flavored with pepper, chili, etc. flavored and roasted nuts have no benefits for mice, and only plain peanuts have significant health benefits. You can serve salted peanuts occasionally to your pet mice, but these are not so beneficial. Sometimes molds appear on these roasted and preserved peanuts that are deadly toxins for rodents. Always prefer to serve fresh, raw, and red-skinned peanuts to your mice.
How many peanuts are enough for mice?
It is highly appreciated to avoid peanuts in your rodent’s diet. Feed raw peanuts with red skin to your pet rodent as this red skin is rich in nutrients. Give only one peanut to your pet mouse once a week. There are many other delicious and healthy treats available for your mouse, and it is far better to avoid giving peanuts to your lovely rodent pet mouse.
What about Peanut butter?
Pet mice are obsessed with peanut butter; even wild mice cannot resist it and actively seek it out. But peanut butter is undoubtedly one of the lists of food items that are extremely dangerous for mice. It is not part of a healthy diet, but it can kill your little furry pet.
You can allow your mouse to lick a little peanut butter thinly smeared on your finger or spread peanut butter on a bit of bread and give it to your rodent. Giving a chunk of peanut butter by itself can make it difficult to swallow, or it could cause choking.
Note: Mice and other rodents cannot vomit anything. They cannot even feel the need to vomit by experiencing nausea.
Mice can eat peanuts as an occasional treat in a minimal quantity (one peanut in a week). Still, there are much better treats with no side effects for your furry friend.
Peanuts are rich in fat that is not suitable for mice, and they can suffer from obesity. Destruction of vitamin A and sticking of red blood cells together are also the reasons to avoid peanuts for mice. There are also little benefits associated with peanuts for mice when eating in minimal quantities, but it is better to prevent it.
In other words, you should keep your pet mice well away from peanuts if you want them to be healthy and live long.