The Well-Fed Pet Mouse: Hold the Cheese, Please!

In popular cartoons, mice love cheese. In reality, though, your pet mouse shouldn't be eating cheese or any other dairy product for that matter. It contains no nutritional value for mice and the empty calories promote weight gain. Mice are omnivorous, meaning they eat meat and vegetables. For overall health and nutrition, they need a well-balanced blend of protein, fiber and carbohydrates.

Healthy Options for Your Pet Mouse

Mouse food purchased at your local pet shop generally comes in pellets or blocks and is made up of grains and proteins such as barley, millet, beans and soy. Added vitamins and minerals ensure optimum nutrition. You'll still want to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your mouse's diet, especially crunchy ones like apples, carrots and broccoli.

Because rodent teeth continually grow, the chewing action helps to keep their teeth in good shape. Depending on the size of your mouse, one to two teaspoons of food daily (4 to 8 grams), split into two meals, should be sufficient. Your vet can provide suggestions for a healthy diet based on your mouse's size and individual needs.

When it comes to treats and snacks, variety is important, but always in moderation. Small amounts of blueberries, bananas, cucumbers or peas are welcome treats but should only be provided a couple times a week to minimize stomach distress. Don't give your mouse raw meat or acidic fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, lemons, garlic or onion, as these can cause skin irritations or diarrhea.