Milk, surely, is a power bank of important nutrients, like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. It is packed with proteins, which gives us the energy to run our day to day activities.
But, Is milk beneficial for the Hamster the same way as it is for us? Do Hamsters like milk? Can baby Hamsters drink milk? If Yes, Is it safe?
Hamsters can drink milk but only in small quantities. Even though milk is not toxic to Hamster, there are several risks associated with feeding milk. However, if you do not have a choice, you may give your Hamster low-fat Goat Milk. Goat milk is easier to digest as compared to other milks. Serving in moderation is the key.
It is very important to set a balanced diet for Hamsters, that contains all the essential minerals and vitamins to strengthen their immune system.
You can offer milk to your Hamster when he has a cold. Milk will help them relieve their cold till the time you take them to a vet.
So, stay with me till the end and I ensure you would be clear with your thoughts.
Benefits/Hazards Of Drinking Milk
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Milk is high in fat and has excess calories, this can make your diabetic.
Milk can also cause diarrhea in Hamsters. Your Hamster will also show signs of lethargy or inactiveness.
Your Hamster may even turn aggressive and deny to eat its food.
On the other hand, Milk comes handy when your Hamster has a cold. Milk will help your Hamster to ease the cold, till you take them to a vet.
As we all know, the teeth of Hamsters grow throughout their lifetime, milk helps to take care care of their dental hygiene.
Milk is rich in calcium, which strengthens Hamsters’ bones. But, there are various calcium sources for Hamsters besides dairy such as soy products. As fas as possible, we must stick to these other sources.
Lactose Tolerance In Hamsters
It an enduring myth that Hamsters are lactose intolerant.
Lactose consumption in Hamsters depends upon its possession of a pregastric pouch, which helps in breaking down of ingested lactose into its constituent monosaccharides.
This helps to prevent the gastrointestinal symptoms that small animals usually face after lactose consumption.
In an experiment done by APA, it was also showed that Hamsters showed a clear preference for lactose solutions in comparision to water.
This shows Hamsters have an apparent tolerance to the effects of ingestion of substantial amounts of lactose.
What Milk Can Hamsters Drink?
Low fat milk works wonder for Hamsters.
Hamsters are sensitive animals and are susceptible to various infections and allergies.
You can also treat your Hamster with non-dairy alternatives I have listed in this article, but even they should be served occasionally and in tiny portions.
Now, let us look at the different types of milk that you can or cannot feed your Hamsters.
Can Hamsters Drink Goat Milk?
Goat milk is easier to digest as compared to other milks.
Also, goat milk has less amount of fats and protein, therefore this becomes less harmful than other milks.
Goat milk thus could be dealt with only during emergencies to Hamster kids. Try to feed the kids their mother’s milk only, if possible.
Can Hamsters Drink Soy Milk?
Soy Milk is a great non-animal source of protein.
Soy milk is lactose-free, it is plant-based. So Hamsters can digest it easily without hurting their stomach.
However, soy milk has excess calories. Therefore, feeding in moderation is the key.
Can Hamsters Drink Coconut Milk?
Though Hamsters can drink coconut milk in small quantities, it should be avoided.
Coconut Milk helps to strengthen the immune system. It also helps in heart ailments.
Excess coconut milk can cause diarrhea in Hamsters.
It is best to serve in moderation.
Can Hamsters Drink Cow Milk?
Yes, you can serve cow milk to your Hamsters but only in small quantities.
As cow milk can upset the stomach of your Hamster, it is best to avoid it.
Can Baby Hamsters Drink Milk?
Like every other mammal, even baby Hamsters need their mother’s milk for survival. In such cases, when the mother Hamster dies or just denies it’s babies, we will have to look after them.
However, this does not mean we can feed baby Hamsters with milk.
The best substitute for milk for baby Hamsters are Lactol. You may get in your nearby stores or even get it online.
All types of milk, be it goat milk, cow milk, or soy milk is harmful for Hamsters.
You can even feed your Hamster with kitten formula, in these cases.
Milk products can even make your Hamster dehydrated, it will impact their long term growth and development. It can be life-threatening for your Hamster.
In such cases, it is advisable to take the baby Hamster to a vet. They will suggest you the best milk formula for your Hamster.
Dehydration Due To Milk
Milk will do more potential harm than good to Hamsters if feed them regularly. Any milk which suits the Hamster perfectly is their mother’s milk.
Continuously feeding of milk to Hamsters can lead to dehydration. In the long run, it can be fatal to your little friend and can even take his life.
If your Hamsters look unusually lethargic, passes foul-smelling urine, has sunken eyes and swollen tongues, it may be a sign that he is dehydrated.
It is always suggested to visit the pet if you have any suspicions.
Quick way to check if your Hamster is dehydrated
Pinch your Hamster gently. Make sure you do not hurt your Hamster. If the skin takes time to get to its normal position, then there is a high chance that your Hamster is dehydrated.
What Can Hamsters Drink Besides Water?
It is suggested to not feed any other liquid to your Hamster other than water.
Any other drink than water tends to make your Hamster fat. It can further lead to health complications in them.
However, occasionally, you can serve them with unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice. Serve it in a moderate quantity. Never give them packaged juices or canned drinks.
Recommended Reading: Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?
Healthy Alternatives To Milk
By now, you must have learned by now that milk should be avoided as much as possible. So, here’s a list of healthy alternatives that your Hamster would love to munch on:
- Fresh Hay
- Commercially made Hamsters pellets
- Eggs(smalls pieces only-boiled, scrambled)
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Spinach, and Cucumber
- Fruits: Apple(without seeds), Banana, Strawberries, and Pears
Only a few are listed here, there are many others with your Hamster may enjoy. These are the top ones.
Although milk is not toxic to Hamster, it should be avoided as much as possible.
Continuous feeding of milk to your Hamster can cause diarrhea and even dehydrate them.
Milk works wonders if your Hamster has a cold. Baby Hamsters can be fed with lactol if they are an orphan.
Also, goat milk is the best alternative to any other milk, as it is easier to digest.