can guinea pigs drink milk

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk?

As responsible pet owners, we want to ensure that our pets never go hungry and that they eat nutritious and healthy food. Here are a few things to consider when asking the question: “Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk?”

As Pets, Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk?

Because milk is a byproduct of animals, and your little furry pet is a strict herbivore, or “eater of plant-based food”, this means that they can not drink milk or any other dairy products. As babies, juvenile guinea pigs depend on their mothers’ milk for sustenance, nutrition, and growth. However, as they mature into adulthood, their bodies become lactose-intolerant, rejecting milk and all other dairy products as potential food sources.

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Harmful Effects of Milk on Guinea Pigs

Because of the fact that Guinea Pigs are Lactose-intolerant, Milk (and all other dairy-based food and drinks) is definitely harmful to your little furry ones. However, this is not the only reason why Milk is bad for your Guinea Pigs. Below is a list of other risks to consider when feeding yogurt to your pet:

  1. DIFFICULT TO DIGEST – Because they do not have the right enzymes to process any animal-based products, Milk would just take up space in your little pets’ gut. Not being able to digest properly would mean blockage and buildup of milk (especially when curdled), which would eventually be lethal to your little furry ones.
  2. URINARY COMPLICATIONS – Because Milk contains a lot of calcium (just as all other dairy-based products) this means that it could also eventually lead to the buildup of stones in their kidneys and bladders,  which makes it hard for your pet to process waste through the urinary system.
  3. BLOATING – In relation to the first two points, gut problems may further develop into bloating, where the guinea pig’s stomach is filled with gasses that make it difficult to pass waste and move around.
  4. LACK OF ABSORBED NUTRIENTS – Although humans enjoy the health benefits of Milk, it doesn’t hold the same for Guinea Pigs. Because the guinea pigs can not process milk and dairy into proper energy and sustenance, then it would just fill up your pets’ belly and gut, taking up space until it is expelled by their bodies.

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Some Better Alternatives for Milk to Guinea Pigs

Given the number of complications from the lactose intolerance of your little furry ones to their diet, it is best to find alternative food and beverage options to sustain your pets. Of course, your pets’ bodies need good ol’ H2O (so this goes without saying), but if you are searching for a milky replacement drink, here are some of the better ones out there:

  1. Soy Milk – The most common replacement to animal-based milk is the processed liquid from soya beans. With its high protein content, this gives your little pet a double benefit. Though chalky and beanie in taste, it gives your pet something nutritious to take in.
  2. Almond Milk – It may be a bit expensive and tedious to prepare just to feed a guinea pig, but most owners consider their little furry pets family, so they will go through the trouble of finding and making this for their little furry ones. At only 30 calories per serving, this also helps your little pet shed off unwanted weight. 
  3. Rice Milk – This tends to be sweeter than other options, having a thin and watery consistency. It is naturally sweet, given the carbohydrate-based plant source. Rice Milk is low in protein (1 gram per serving) but still contains the same calories as milk (120 calories).

In Summary: Milk is a NO, but many alternatives are a GO

Again, Milk is a big N-O for your Guinea Pig mainly because they cannot digest dairy, as they are lactose-intolerant. The abundant calcium in the dairy also poses a risk because of the potential buildup of bladder stones in the digestive system.

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