Crested Geckos, Diet and Food, Geckos

Can Crested Geckos Drink Milk Or Not?

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by The Pet Engineers

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As the pet owner of a crested gecko, you may be tempted to know if your crested gecko can drink milk.

Milk is a great source of calcium, and crested geckos, much like most other gecko species, are at risk of developing the metabolic bone disorder if they get deficient in calcium.

So, it is only natural for you to wonder if your crested gecko can drink milk.

While there have been documented experiences of many crested gecko owners seeing their pets drink milk, it is recommended that you do not give milk to your pet crested gecko.

Crested geckos, like all other gecko species, are lactose intolerant. Feeding milk to your pet crested gecko will do more harm than good.

It is therefore better to look for other sources of calcium to include in the diet of your crested gecko and avoid milk or any other dairy products.

Can Crested Geckos Drink Milk?

Crested geckos may drink milk, but they really shouldn’t.

If you give milk to your pet crested gecko, it may or may not drink it. Milk is not part of a crested gecko’s natural diet. In the wild, a crested gecko will eat insects, fruits, and seeds, but it will never drink milk.

Even when baby crested geckos are born, they are not fed milk by their mothers. This is because crested geckos are reptiles, not mammals.

So, naturally, the mother crested gecko does not have mammary glands to produce any milk.

And because a crested gecko never has to consume any milk at any stage of its life, it has not evolved into having lactase, the enzyme which is required to break down the lactose present in milk.

crested gecko on branch
Crested geckos are lactose intolerant

Crested geckos, however, have different personalities. Some owners of pet crested geckos have recorded their pets drinking and enjoying milk.

On the other hand, there have been crested geckos who did not accept milk as a part of their diet at all.

So, whether your crested gecko will or will not drink milk may be a matter of its personal preference. But, as a responsible pet owner, you should not give your crested gecko milk in the first place!

Why You Shouldn’t Allow Your Crested Gecko to Drink Milk

Crested geckos do not have lactase, which is the enzyme required to break down the lactose present in milk.

In simple words, crested geckos are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk or dairy products.

Drinking milk can negatively impact your crested gecko’s gastrointestinal health.

Much like lactose intolerant humans, when a crested gecko drinks milk, it may suffer from one or more of the following digestive issues:

  • Severe cramps in the abdomen and stomach
  • Diarrhea and runny droppings
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Painful bloating

Can Crested Geckos Eat Dairy Products?

No, crested geckos cannot eat dairy products.

There are many dairy products that have lactose in similar quantities as milk.

This will again become a reason for your lactose intolerant crested gecko to experience severe gastrointestinal health issues that are aforementioned.

However, even dairy products with low lactose aren’t necessarily good for your crested gecko.

Those dairy products which are low in lactose may have different nutritional imbalances. Some examples are given below:

1 – Butter

Butter has low lactose but it is very high in fats and pretty low in proteins.

Giving butter to your crested gecko will make it feel full, thereby reducing its appetite for other important foods such as gut-loaded or dusted insects, fruits, seeds, and nutritionally balanced meal preparation powders.

Your crested gecko may become obese due to butter’s high-fat content and malnourished due to butter’s nutritional imbalance, at the same time.

This will put your crested gecko at risk of several health diseases due to obesity and malnourishment.

2 – Cheese

Cheese has low lactose, but it has a very high content of sodium.

High contents of sodium could lead to your crested gecko becoming very bloated due to increased water retention.

This can further lead to severe abdominal cramps. Moreover, even cheese, much like butter, has low contents of other important nutrients that a crested gecko needs.

3 – Yogurt

Yogurt, especially flavored, has low lactose but high processed sugars. This will again become a snack of empty calories for your pet crested gecko.

Too much sugar can also lead to obesity and related health issues for your crested gecko.

can crested gecko eat yoghurt
Yogurt

4 – Vegan Dairy Products

Vegan dairy products do not have lactose at all. But even these may not be the right choice for your crested gecko.

This is mainly because the starting ingredients of vegan dairy products may not be suitable for your crested gecko.

5 Alternatives To Milk

The 2 major reasons why you may have considered giving milk or dairy products to your crested gecko are probiotics and calcium.

There are, however, better alternatives available to provide your crested gecko with the required level of probiotics for its gut health and calcium for its overall health.

5 Calcium Alternatives To Milk and Dairy For Crested Geckos

  1. Insects with a dusted coating of calcium powder.
  2. Commercial Diet Powders rich in calcium
  3. Prickly pear fruit – mashed or chopped into small pieces
  4. Insects gut-loaded with dark leafy greens like spinach and kale
  5. Human baby food high in calcium

5 Probiotic Alternatives To Milk and Dairy For Crested Geckos

Raspberries
Raspberries are a good alternative to milk

As for probiotics, you can give your crested gecko meal replacement powders that are high in probiotics.

  1. Commercial diet powders that are rich in probiotics.
  2. Moderate amounts of broccoli that has been mashed into a paste
  3. Moderate amounts of lettuce
  4. Apples mashed or chopped into little, digestible pieces
  5. Raspberries

Summary

Calcium is very important for your crested gecko, lack or deficiency of calcium can lead to problems like weakness, reduction of bone density, and worst of all, metabolic bone disease.

Owing to these concerns, it is only natural for you as a crested gecko pet owner to be on the lookout for the best source of calcium. And one of the best sources of calcium is indeed milk.

But giving milk to your crested gecko will do more harm than good. The benefits of calcium in milk will be outweighed by the harmful effects of lactose in milk.

Your crested gecko, who is lactose intolerant by birth, will experience painful symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and bloating.

It is thus advised that you do not give milk to your pet crested gecko, and instead go for non-dairy alternatives that are high in calcium and probiotics.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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