We love our hamsters and we want them to have the best diet possible! A good diet allows your hamster to live a longer and happier life which means that we can spend more time with them! A diet is related to hamster treats especially as they need to be healthy due to a hamster’s poor digestive system. This leads to people asking if hamsters can drink milk! The answer is no, unfortunately.
We’ll be going through what milk is and why hamsters can’t drink it. We’ll be looking at the risks of feeding milk to your hamster and some alternatives that you can choose instead! We’ll also be looking at other types of milk and if your hamster can drink those.
What is Milk?
We all know what milk is! It’s a fantastic life-giving liquid that is packed with nutrients. It’s how infants get their nutrients before they can eat solid food. It contains plenty of protein and lactose. Baby hamsters will enjoy their mother’s milk at a young age! India is the biggest producer of milk, followed by the European Union and the USA. Overall, 842 million tons of milk is produced every year!
Why can’t hamsters drink milk
There are quite a few reasons why hamsters can’t drink milk. It may seem strange, after all, they drink it when they are babies! But it’s clear that they should be weaned off it and have solid food. Here are some of the reasons.
It goes off quickly
One of the main reasons that hamsters shouldn’t have milk is because milk goes off extremely quickly. As we all know, milk out of the fridge only lasts for a few hours and this means that your hamster could easily be ingesting off milk. Off milk contains bacteria, which can seriously endanger your pet’s health. It can lead to illness and pain for them.
Because our hamsters are nocturnal it may mean that we cannot monitor the milk to see if it has gone off. If you leave milk in the cage overnight it will go bad and create a horrible smell.
Hamsters can’t have too much liquid
It is dangerous for a hamster to ingest too much liquid. Too much liquid can hurt their digestive system and results in diarrhoea and dehydration. A dehydrated hamster’s health condition can deteriorate quickly and it can result in death, in extreme cases. Milk is obviously a liquid and this means that too much milk can easily result in diarrhoea occurring.
Water is better
When it comes to liquid, the gold standard is water. Water is the bringer of life for all animals on this planet and especially for hamsters. They need their water bottle filling up everyday and a constant supply of fresh water. Milk is another liquid which means that more milk means that a hamster may not be able to consume enough water. Milk is important for a baby hamster but food replaces the need for it!
It’s hard to feed it to them
So we know that hamsters can not drink milk, so why else? Well, It can be very hard to feed milk to hamsters, due to some of the things we have already said. You cannot leave it as it will go off and hurt your hamster. The amount of milk you can safely feed your hamster is extremely small which means that you will need a dripper of some form to give it to them. Simply put, it’s extremely impractical – especially when they don’t need milk in the first place!
Milk can also pose a problem if it spills over. Spilt milk in the cage is hard to clean up and will result in the cage smelling and the bedding becoming more and more mouldy. This will impact the health of your pet and could result in health conditions such as wet-tail. It’s not worth the risk!
It’s not as nutritious as you think
Although milk can be nutritious, the nutrition isn’t as good for hamsters. Cow milk is meant for cow nutrition and human milk is meant for human nutrition! This means that cow, goat and other animal’s milk won’t be as good for hamsters as you would think! It has the wrong minerals and vitamins and simply isn’t meant for them. The only milk they should be having is their mother’s at a young age!
High in calories
Most milk is high in calories and fat. This can result in your pet becoming obese and possibly getting diabetes which can have a massive impact on their lifespan. Low-fat milk does exist but it isn’t as nutritious, water is much better for them! It is harder to track calories in liquid as well, meaning that you could accidentally be fattening up your pet!
Can hamsters drink any type of milk?’
There are so many different types of milk, which is why people ask if hamsters can instead drink different types of it. There’s almond milk, cow milk, goat milk and lots more! The sad truth is that hamsters really shouldn’t drink any type of milk once they are older. It’s hard to feed it to them and water is ultimately much better at maintaining their health.
When should hamsters stop drinking milk?
Hamsters should stop drinking milk at around 4 weeks old. This is when they should be making the transition from milk onto more solid foods such as hamster pellets. Adult pets should be getting all of their nutrition from solid food!
Conclusion – Can Hamsters Drink Milk?
So in conclusion, can hamsters drink milk? No, your pet shouldn’t be drinking milk. It can go off quickly, has little nutrition and can fatten up your hamster. It’s also hard to feed it to them and can result in them drinking less water. Water is the ideal liquid for your hamster and this is what they should be having everyday. Almond milk, soy milk and other types of milk are also not desirably for your furry friend! Adult hams should only be having food and water after 4 weeks!
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