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What Milk Can Hamsters Drink?

Hamsters are omnivores, so you’d assume they’d enjoy drinking milk. However, hamsters are lactose-tolerant, so too much milk can cause digestive discomfort, like diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

Plant-based milk, such as almond and oat milk, are healthy alternatives, as they contain protein, calcium, and essential vitamins and minerals that hamsters need to thrive.

Hamsters mustn’t be given evaporated milk, as it’s higher in calories. Baby hamsters should only consume their mother’s milk, as it contains everything they need.

Lactol is a suitable milk replacement, but cow’s and goat’s milk should be avoided.

Can Hamsters Have Milk?

Hamsters can only drink a small amount of milk because they’re lactose intolerant. Lactose is a disaccharide (sugar) consisting of two monosaccharides (glucose and galactose).

The Journal of Comparative Psychology explains how hamsters’ intolerance for lactose could be due to the fermentative capacity of their pregastric pouch.

However, hamsters are weaned earlier than other mammals and stop drinking milk once they reach three. Milk is also not something they naturally encounter in the wild.

Milk spoils quickly, so you can’t leave it in a bottle or dish like water.

what kind of milk can hamsters drink?

Is Milk Good for Hamsters?

Milk contains various nutrients that hamsters need to thrive, including:

  • Calcium.
  • Protein.
  • Vitamins A, B12, and D.
  • Potassium.
  • Magnesium.

Hamsters need calcium for strong bones and their ever-growing teeth. It’s also essential for muscle contraction and a healthy nervous system.

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, regulates hormones, and keeps the immune system robust.

Protein is a vital macronutrient for hamsters because it provides energy, builds muscle mass, repairs body tissue, and keeps their organs healthy.

Vitamin A (also known as retinol) is needed for healthy skin, bones, and vision. It also staves off infections and is essential for reproductive health if you breed your hamster.

Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) regulates the nervous system and keeps red blood cells healthy. It’s also essential for brain and liver function, converting carbs into a ready source of energy.

Milk can make bedding wet and moldy if it drips or spills onto it. Gone-off milk can’t be left in the cage and must be removed after a couple of hours.

Can Hamsters Drink Cow’s Milk?

Cow’s milk is the most popular type, but it can cause digestive problems for hamsters.

While it’s a good source of protein and contains several essential vitamins and minerals, hamsters risk getting diarrhea, bloating, and gas due to their intolerance to a sugar called lactose.

Cows milk isn’t a natural part of a hamster’s diet in the wild. It also has fat and protein levels that differ significantly from what a hamster needs, providing suboptimal nutrition.

Milk is also calorific and can cause a hamster to gain weight if over-consumed.

A small amount shouldn’t cause harm but don’t feed a hamster cow’s milk often as it’s hard to process.

Can Hamsters Drink Goat’s Milk?

Goat’s milk is the easiest animal-based milk for hamsters to digest because it contains smaller fat molecules and less lactose.

Hamsters are also slightly less likely to develop allergies to goat’s milk as it contains less alpha S1 casein protein. Similarly, goat’s milk contains more nutrients than cow’s milk, including the following:

  • 13% more calcium.
  • 25% more vitamin B-6.
  • 47% more vitamin A.
  • 134% more potassium.
  • 350% more niacin.

However, goat’s milk should only be part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Can Hamsters Drink Powdered Milk?

Powdered milk has the same nutritional content as fresh cow’s milk.

Even though it’s a good source of protein, it contains oxidized cholesterol. More clinical studies are needed, but this substance can cause inflammation, cell damage, and oxidative stress.

Can Hamsters Drink Evaporated Milk?

Hamsters shouldn’t drink evaporated milk because it’s not like fresh milk.

About 50-60% of the water is removed, giving it a thicker consistency. Many hamsters find it too thick to consume and will avoid it, although some are happy to lick it.

As most of the water has been removed, evaporated milk is more concentrated. This means it contains more nutrients, but it’s also more calorific than fresh cow’s milk.

Can Hamsters Drink Almond Milk?

If you want a milk alternative for hamsters, almond milk is recommended because it contains no lactose and is much lower in fat and sugar than cow’s milk.

Since hamsters eat almonds, they can drink small amounts of almond milk. It’s a good source of protein and calcium and is useful for keeping hamsters hydrated during hot weather.

Almond milk is high in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects against free radical damage. It’s also a source of unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, for a healthy heart.

Only give hamsters unsweetened almond milk in moderation.

is milk ok for hamsters?

Can Hamsters Drink Soy Milk?

Soy milk is plant-based milk made by soaking and grinding soybeans. It’s lower in calories and fat than standard animal-based milk but doesn’t contain as much protein.

That said, soy milk fermented with kefir is a healthy option. According to the British Journal of Nutrition, male hamsters fed soya milk kefir experienced a reduction of cholesterol accumulation in the liver.

These findings suggest that soya milk kefir could play a part in treating cardiovascular disease.

Can Hamsters Drink Oat Milk?

Hamsters can drink oat milk because it’s dairy-free, low in fat, and contains beneficial nutrients.

Another positive is that oat milk is high in fiber. Hamsters can drink oat milk for a healthy gut and digestive system, but too much causes digestive discomfort.

You can feed a hamster a teaspoon of oat milk a couple of times a week.

What Kind of Milk Can Baby Hamsters Drink?

Baby hamsters must only drink their mother’s milk because it provides a full spectrum of nutrients.

Unfortunately, there are times when the mother isn’t around, and pups require replacement milk. So, you can feed baby hamsters Lactol, which is as pure as a mother’s milk and a suitable replacement.

Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and other kinds of milk are unsuitable for baby hamsters because they don’t match a mother’s milk closely enough and lack the nutrients they need.

Milk can be a part of a balanced diet, but it’s not the healthiest thing to give a hamster. Although they can drink milk, the hydration needs of hamsters should be satisfied by drinking water.