Can Hamsters Eat Yogurt?


We are sure that, at least for some time, yogurt has served as the main addition to your breakfast. Now, since there is a pet hamster in your company, can it consume it?

On the one hand, yogurt is just one of the dozens of dairy products that fill our daily meals. On the other hand, yogurts are pretty strong, thick juices that make us feel full only after a couple of sips. What is the situation with your hamster? Can hamsters eat yogurt?

I would say that your furry little friend can consume yogurt, but there are still certain limits that must be respected.

If you are wondering whether and how much your pet friend hamster is allowed to consume yogurt on a daily basis, continue reading this article carefully.

Can Hamsters Eat Yogurt? Following The Rules!

As we already mentioned, yogurt is a dairy product made from milk, and it is incredibly healthy for humans. We’ve concluded that your hamster can have some of it as well. 

But that’s not all. If you want to give your hamster some yogurt, you need to know the exact measurements and intervals at which they are allowed to consume this dairy product. 

Remember, hamsters are tiny animals, and giving them too much food that is strong can be extremely risky. This includes different types of yogurt, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  

Now, the critical part – types of hamsters and yogurt measurements. 

We have the 3 most common types people buy as pets – Syrian, Roborovski, and the Dwarf hamster. So, what sets these breeds apart? Their sizes.

  1. If you have a Syrian hamster at home, you are allowed to give them 1 teaspoon a week. This type of hamster is the largest, and it’s completely domesticated, so it will probably get used to yogurt very soon.
  2. If you have a Roborovski hamster at home, you are allowed to give them 1 teaspoon, but every other week. These hamsters are a bit smaller, and it would be best if you provide them with something alongside yogurt. 
  3. If you have a Dwarf hamster at home, you are allowed to give them ¼ teaspoon every other week. Their size influences the amount, and this also works for Chinese hamsters and Winter White Russian hamsters. 

Your hamster will undoubtedly like the taste of yogurt, but that doesn’t mean that you should fall for their cuteness and “award” them with more yogurt. 

Moreover, serving this ingredient is essential as well. 

Some people choose to feed this to their pets right from the teaspoon. I don’t recommend doing this because it might take time until they finish eating it, and your hand will go numb.

The best way to give your hamster yogurt is to pour it into their food bowl and fill up their water supply – this can make them thirsty.

I think it’s crucial to mention that yogurt should in no way be considered a staple food for hamsters. This is merely a treat that you can give your hamster from time to time, and crossing that line can be detrimental to their health.

Yogurt Facts 101

Although you’ve been consuming this dairy product for years, it won’t hurt to update the information a bit. It can happen that you forgot something, and you should be reminded of that now since you’re sharing it with your pet.

To get the yogurt topic going here’s what 100 gr plain milk-based yogurt contains. 

Calories61
Water88%
Protein3.5 g
Carbs4.7 g
Sugar4.7 g
Fiber0 g
Fat3.3 g

As for the vitamin compound, yogurt is rich in:

  • Vitamin B12: found in most animal foods
  • Calcium: the most important vitamin in dairy food
  • Phosphorus: important for biological processes
  • Riboflavin: present in modern diets

As you can see from the table, yogurt has a relatively high dose of calories, and this is why it is essential to measure the amount well before giving it to your hamster.

However, what makes the average of this delicacy, apart from vitamins, is the amount of water it contains – as much as 88%.

Types Of Yogurt

We are familiar with different types of yogurt. However, our pets are not allowed to consume particular types. So, let’s list the most common ones and decide which ones are pro and which anti-hamster.

REGULAR YOGURTS:

  • Whole-milk yogurt: This type of yogurt is also called farm-style, and it contains 8 grams of fat per cup. 
  • Low-fat yogurt: Contains a maximum of 5 grams of fat in one serving.
  • Non-fat yogurt: This contains less than 1% of milk fat, and it’s one of the healthiest.
  • Greek yogurt: One of the most popular yogurts out there now. 
  • Whipped yogurt: This yogurt has a lighter consistency and lower-calorie levels.
  • Soy yogurt: It has the right consistency, and it’s a bit stronger in taste.
  • Kefir yogurt: This is a lighter and easily pourable type of yogurt. 

FLAVORED YOGURTS:

  • Banana and pumpkin: Contains mashed bananas and pumpkin seeds.
  • Classic coffee: Although coffee is not usually connected to yogurt, it can contain coffee-flavored additives.
  • Avocado and lemon frozen yogurt: This type of yogurt contains flavorful bits of avocado and lemon juice. 
  • Russian fudge: This type contains caramel flavors with a bit of salt

We have listed the most commonly consumed types of yogurt and divided them into two groups: regular and flavored. 

Now is the time to answer the question. Can hamsters consume both types?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. As for yogurt, you should not give your pet flavored yogurt because of its too strong composition. This treat should never be taken for granted. Even when it comes to the regular type, you should consult your veterinarian first.

You never know. Maybe the yogurt composition is different, or your hamster is allergic to something in the original composition. So, in order to prevent harmful effects, visit a specialist first.

The Good & The Bad

Like any other ingredient, this dairy treat has its good and bad sides, and without further ado, let’s get right to listing them. Let’s focus on the good sides first. Consuming yogurt is beneficial for your hamster because:

  • It promotes good digestion – The probiotics contained in yogurt are connected with good and regular digestion. It also helps that this nutrient is 88% water.
  • It’s good for bone development – We are familiar with the benefits dairy products have on bone health. The calcium in yogurt makes sure that your hamster’s bones are strong and properly developed.
  • It boosts the immune system – The vitamins contained in whole-milk yogurts are pure, and they can boost your pet’s immune system, especially during the winter. 
  • Protects your hamster from diarrhea – If you give your hamster the right amount of yogurt, it can serve as a cure for stomach problems. However, if you overdo it – the opposite effect happens. 

Now, what happens if your hamster has too much yogurt? Well, here are some drawbacks.

  • Too much yogurt can cause bloating – If you don’t stick to the 1 teaspoon measurement or give your hamster yogurt more than 2 times a week, its stomach might start to bloat, and you could be looking at some severe stomach aches. 
  • It can cause diabetes – Although the 4.7 g of sugar contained in yogurt doesn’t seem that much for you, for your little hamster, this is the limit. Too much sugar and your hamster could develop diabetes. 
  • It can go bad very fast – Unfortunately, yogurt is among those dairy products that go bad pretty quickly. And if you don’t pay attention to the shelf life, you could give your hamster expired yogurt. The side effects of this are stomach aches or even food poisoning.
  • It can cause diarrhea – Just like the right amount can promote good digestion, too much yogurt can cause diarrhea.

Homemade Yogurt In 7 Steps

The internet is full of useful and up-to-date tips on how to make your favorite dishes by yourself. Here’s a quick guide on how to make yogurt and enjoy it with your hamster friend. The process is quick, and it includes only 7 steps:

  1. Choose the milk – You need to choose the right milk before you start preparing the yogurt. You can choose from whole-milk, low-fat, nonfat, etc. You will need about half a gallon of milk for this.
  2. Heat the milk – Once you pour the milk into the pan, heat it up to 180F. Stir it for a couple of minutes.
  3. Cool off the milk – Pour the milk into jars, close the lid and let it cool at 115F. 
  4. Add the starter – Now, you need to add the yogurt starter. Pour it into the jar and mix it well. 
  5. Incubate the milk – You don’t have to do this with a machine. You can use your oven instead.
  6. Cool the yogurt – After 8-10 hours of incubating the yogurt, it’s time to bring it out from the machine and let it cool. 
  7. Refrigerate the yogurt – After the yogurt is cooled, put it into the refrigerator and let it gain consistency. Like that, it can stay for two weeks, but not any longer. 

Read Also: What Can Hamsters Eat? A Complete Food List For Hamsters

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