There are many dangerous pet rat food that you shouldn’t give your rat. But is yogurt safe for pet rats?
Yes, pet rats can have yogurt in small amounts. Yogurt is a great and healthy treat for pet rats, as long as it’s low-fat and low-sugar. However, it should be given sparingly as a treat.
Still, there are many yogurts available in the market, and you should pay close attention to what ingredients the yogurt has.
What’s The Best Yogurt For Rats?
Yogurt is a great snack to have at hand for your pet rats. Especially when it’s summertime, so they have a nice fresh treat.
You can even make some yogurt drops for them. This is very easy to do: just freeze small drops of yogurt. Once the drops are frozen you can keep them all in a zip lock bag or a container in your freezer.
Now you have a treat at the ready for those hot summer days!
Of course, there are many yogurts on the market and you want to make sure you choose the best for your pet rats.
Generally, it’s good to choose something that is low in fat and sugar.
For that reason, plain yogurt is your best choice!
Another option is to go for low-fat Greek yogurt since those tend to be creamier and easier to eat or to make your yogurt drops.
Pet rats can adapt themselves to dairy or lactose products. However in the beginning, if this is something they’re not used to, their droppings might change in consistency.
So if you want to avoid that, or play on the safe side, you can also get some lactose-free plain yogurt for them!
I admit, here at home we’re all pretty sensitive when it comes to lactose, so our ratties end up with the same treatment. The flavor is mostly the same, so it’s totally up to you!
One thing to have into consideration is that you shouldn’t give yogurt to your pet rats in large quantities.
This is supposed to be an occasional treat. Even though some yogurts are low-fat, they are still fatty snacks. Pet rats can very easily become overweight if we’re not careful!
Remember that your pet rats are already being delivered a good and balanced diet through their usual food mix. So the yogurt is just a special treat that they get to eat from time to time.
Can Rats Have Flavored Yogurt?
We often find flavored yogurt at the supermarket and even like to have it at home, to have some variety on the fridge.
However, you should avoid giving these to your pet rat. Flavored yogurt is filled with sugar!
Even if we’re giving small doses of yogurt to our pet rats, remember that the intake of sugar will still be pretty high.
Not only that, but those are usually artificial flavors, hence why they have so much sugar on them.
Now, if you do want to add flavor to your pet rat’s yogurt, I highly recommend adding fresh fruits!
There is a lot of fruit that is safe and healthy for pet rats. Apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries go very well with yogurt for example.
If you’re feeling like giving them something other than plain yogurt, cut some fruit into small pieces and mix them in the yogurt.
You can even do this for the yogurt drops as well. On each drop, add a small piece of strawberry, blueberry, or even raspberry.
Freeze them and now your pet rats have the freshest treat, along with some flavor!
In short, avoid flavored yogurts that you can buy at the supermarket. Be it either strawberry, banana, or the most simple such as vanilla. These are filled to the brim with sugar.
Having them in large quantities isn’t that good for us, so for pet rats, it’s even worse.
We want our ratties to grow up strong and healthy, so better stay on the safe side and give them safe, but tasty treats!
How Much Yogurt Should I Feed My Rat?
It really depends on the kind of yogurt you have at home. The best way to go about this is to put some yogurt on the tip of your finger and let your pet rats lick it.
Now depending on the number of rats you own, you can give them a bit more, so everyone can have a taste.
For example, if you own two pet rats, you can give them two servings, from the tip of your finger.
So if you have low-fat and non-sugar yogurt at home, this is the amount I would go for. Remember that pet rats might not take dairy well and might upset their stomachs a bit.
If you are giving your pet rats yogurt for the first time, give them a bit of yogurt from the tip of your finger once.
Then see how they handled it. If their droppings look normal, then you can give them more yogurt without worries.
If you are using lactose-free yogurt, then you can give them a bigger amount of yogurt.
I like to use a water bottle cap for special treats like these. They are fairly small and can fit the perfect quantity of special treats!
Remember that even though the yogurt has no lactose, it still has some fat, so it should be given to your pet rats in moderation.
Now, when it comes to yogurt drops, make sure you don’t make them too big.
They should be big enough for your pet rat to hold comfortably, while eating.
On particularly warm days, you can give one drop of yogurt to each of your pet rats. Then just watch them feast on them!
Finally, how often should you give them yogurt? Again, this is a special treat, so I’d say it’s the perfect snack to give our pet rats, once a month.
Lactose Intolerance In Pet Rats
As I mentioned above, pet rats tend to adapt themselves quite well to dairy.
However, this doesn’t mean they won’t have some trouble at first.
Pet rats aren’t meant to ingest dairy products prevenient from other animals.
This is true for most animals and even for us, humans. (you can even check some tasty human food that pet rats can eat here!)
So, just like us, some pet rats will digest yogurt more easily than others.
And sometimes, they’ll never be able to digest it properly at all.
Even low-fat and non-sugar yogurt has lactose.
So if you go that route with your pet rats, be sure to give it to them in small amounts at first.
See how they take it. If you notice some diarrhea, it’s probably due to the lactose.
You have two options now: you can test it out a few more times and see if your pet rat is handling the lactose better or, start buying lactose-free yogurt!
Generally, I’d say it’s better to just go with the lactose-free yogurt right away. Nowadays these products aren’t as difficult to find and the price isn’t much different either.
Alternatively, you can even buy soy yogurt. Soy is very nutritious for pet rats, so it makes for an excellent treat for them!
It’s lactose-free and nutritious, so it’s a win-win.
Just like before, be sure to avoid flavored soy yogurts, since those will have quite a lot of sugar added to them. Plain soy yogurt is the best choice and you can then add some fruit to it.
Can Pet Rats Have Yogurt Everyday?
It’s perfectly safe and even healthy to give your pet rats some yogurt once in a while.
The only thing to have into account is that this is not a meal substitute. Not only that but it should be given on occasion.
I usually recommend keeping the yogurt treats for the summer, since it’s when the weather is warmer.
It will taste especially good around that time since it’s a very fresh treat.
As for how often, I’d say it’s the kind of treat you should give once a month.
Although it’s a safe snack for your pet rats, it shouldn’t be given too often or in big quantities.
Fruits and vegetables are the kind of treat that should be given more often, say once a week. The yogurt is for special occasions!
Finally, pay attention to the kind of yogurt you’re giving your pet rats. Even though they can eat any kind, in the long run, the sugar and fat will be bad for them.
It’s a good idea to check if the yogurt you’re buying has no added sugar and is low on fat. Goat yogurt tends to be less fatty than cow yogurt for instance.
Alternatively, you can buy soy yogurt, since it’s a healthier option. They’re also lactose-free, meaning your pet rats will be able to digest the yogurt much easier!
If you want to add more flavor to their yogurt, be sure to add healthy and fresh fruit to them. Strawberries, apples, bananas, and blueberries go very well and your pet rats will love the addition.
Of course, it’s good to mix up their treats, so they don’t get bored of them. For that reason, don’t forget to check this list filled with the 13 best, healthy treats for your pet rats!