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Can Hamsters Eat Yogurt? What You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Yogurt is considered a healthy snack for humans. In fact, its capability to promote good gut health means that many of us are encouraged to eat more of this treat. It is often combined with fresh fruit, but may also incorporate chocolate flakes and other sweet additions, but it is still considered a healthier alternative to other sweet treats.

Yogurt is considered safe for hamsters, but you should only offer natural yogurt without fruit or other ingredients added to it. While the yogurt may not do your hammy any harm, the fruit and the added sugar could do him considerably more harm than good. You will also find that a lot of hamster treats are actually coated in yogurt, while some treats are made almost entirely of this ingredient. As such, it is safe to give your little rodent friend a small amount of yogurt to see if he likes it, but there are some precautions you should take first.

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Health Benefits Of Yogurt

There are plenty of health benefits for humans to eat yogurts, but the primary one is that it helps to promote good gut health. Hamsters can benefit from prebiotics and probiotics, and yogurt firmly falls into this category. However, it is worth noting that you should limit the amount of yogurt you feed your hammy.

Other health benefits include:

  • Yogurt contains protein, which is essential for the growth of muscle and for your hamster’s general health.
  • Calcium serves to strengthen your hamster’s teeth, which is essential in this small breed of animal, and yogurt is a known source of the mineral.
  • Vitamin B, also found in yogurt, helps your hamster maintain good condition and it keeps him active and healthy.

Another potential benefit of yogurt is that, if your hamster enjoys eating it, you can use it as a treat to encourage bonding between the two of you. You should get your hamster out of the cage as often as possible to handle him and ensure that he is well socialized. Consider putting a blob of yogurt on your finger and feeding it to him this way. It will encourage him to approach and sit on your hand more easily.

hamster on human hand
Image Credit: Vilde Lauritzen, Flickr

How To Prepare Yogurt

Yogurt doesn’t need any special preparation to feed your hamster, but you should ensure that you choose the right kind of yogurt. Ensure it’s natural yogurt and that it does not contain additional ingredients.

It is commonplace for yogurts to include ingredients like fruit. Even if the fruit itself is considered safe for your hamster, the manufacturer may have included extra ingredients like artificial preservatives, sugar, or sweeteners, and these are not considered healthy for your little one. Yogurts that contain chocolate, chocolate flakes, or other sweet ingredients should also be avoided.

How Much And How Often

Yogurt can cause bloating, does contain a moderate amount of sugar, and it can be dangerous to your hamster if it has gone bad. Too much yogurt is also likely to cause diarrhea. These potential problems mean that you should only feed a limited amount of yogurt to your hamster. Use the following as a guideline.

You can feed anywhere from a quarter of a teaspoon to a whole teaspoon every week, depending on the size and appetite of your hamster, as well as whether you give him any other treats. The breed of hamster makes a difference, too.

  • A Syrian hamster can be fed anywhere from half a teaspoon, if he has other treats, to a full teaspoon a week, if yogurt is his only treat.
  • As the smallest of the hamster breeds, the Dwarf hamster should be given the smallest amount of this food. Give them a quarter of a teaspoon every other week. This isn’t much, and you may choose to give other treats instead.

You will also find yogurt treats in a lot of pet shops. These should be sized perfectly for hamsters. While you should follow the guidelines on the packet, remember to take into account any other treats that you give.

Alternatives To Yogurt

In general, dairy is considered safe for your hamster, but you must always check for additional ingredients and preservatives. You should also determine the fat and sugar content before giving any dairy products to your hammy.

Is Greek Yogurt Safe For Hamsters?

Not only is Greek yogurt considered safe, it has an especially high level of calcium and protein, and it is also higher in good gut bacteria, so it can be considered even healthier for your hammy than standard yogurt. You still need to ensure that it is pure yogurt and does not contain additional sweeteners or other additional ingredients.

Can Hamsters Have Milk?

Most dairy products are considered safe for hamsters, including milk. While your hamster might prefer whole milk, you should only give skimmed milk, and you should only give a very small amount infrequently.

homemade yogurt
Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer, Flickr

Can You Feed A Hamster Pancakes?

Some people enjoy yogurt with pancakes and if this includes you, then it is also safe to give your hamster a very small amount of pancake. It should be plain and it should only be served cold to avoid injury to your hamster’s mouth.

Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is considered toxic to hamsters. Any chocolate is dangerous, but dark chocolate is especially toxic, especially to the sweet-toothed hamster, who will certainly not turn his nose up at this ingredient.

Can Hamsters Eat Bananas?

Another ingredient that is often included with yogurt is fruit, and the banana is one of the most popular. Fortunately, it is also one of the safest for your hamster, and one that he is likely to really appreciate because it will feed his sweet tooth, too. You can feed approximately a quarter of a teaspoon every week.

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Is Yogurt Safe For Hamsters?

Hamsters can enjoy a wide variety of meals and foods, as well as additional treats and other items. Yogurt is not only safe but offers several health benefits for your hamster, but you will need to ensure that you only feed plain yogurt and that it does not have unhealthy, additional ingredients or additives.


Featured Image: Katherine Lim, Flickr

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.