Captive mice seem to nibble endlessly at the food bowl. The unexpected wild mouse can tear through your cupboards like a machine, consuming whatever is available. Making the right choice of food mixes for your pet mouse is a matter of knowing what's good for your tiny friend, and what you might want to avoid.
Corn for Good Nutrition
Mice in the wild often eat corn, as it is readily available to them. Your pet mouse will also benefit from dry corn as a staple in the diet. Dry corn is commonly found in mouse food available at pet stores, and is also a component of foods for rats, hamsters and gerbils. Commercial food made specifically for mice and hamsters is the best choice, as mice have different nutritional needs than other rodents. In addition to dry corn, a normal and healthy diet should include proteins, vegetables, grains and seeds.
Dry corn plays an important role in the nutritional needs of mice, but occasionally mice will develop a corn allergy. An allergy to corn may present as a flaking of the skin or itchy red patches. Remove corn from the mouse's diet for several days. If the condition improves, corn may be the culprit. If the condition doesn't improve, consult a veterinarian.
Too Much Corn
Corn is a common ingredient in most commercial mixes. The reason for this might be as simple as cost. An excessive amount of corn can be dangerous to your pet mouse, as high consumption may cause cancer and corn is often genetically modified. As far as vegetables go, corn is high in protein. To avoid overfeeding protein, corn should be served in moderation. If your commercial food mix has an overwhelming quantity of corn, consider removing some of it and replacing it with a low-sugar cereal, oatmeal or a few pieces of high-quality dog or cat food. The right mixture will include equal parts of corn, grains, seeds and dried vegetables.
To Treat or Not to Treat
Feeding the right food isn't difficult with a little information. Once you establish a healthy mixture complete with dry corn, grain, seeds and healthy additives such as cereal, you may be searching the cupboard for something to treat your little friend. After all, she's had a long day rearranging her bedding and running in her wheel.
Forget cheese. Cartoons portray mice consuming cheese in mass quantities, but in reality, cheese isn't the best treat for your pet mouse. An occasional scrambled egg or piece of lean meat is a better treat choice, as are vegetables such as carrots and turnips, and fruits such as bananas and blueberries. Mice have shorter life spans than many other furry captives. A proper diet will keep your mouse healthy and extend her days.
- Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images