Hamster and its water requirement
Providing good water for hamsters is important for their survival. It would allow them to live long, and healthily as well. Once you provide water for hamsters it would make them hydrated which is a crucial factor to maintain good health.
However, if you were ever wondering how much water these hamsters need and other hamster water requirements, you can find the answer to that in this article. So, we have elaborated on how much water your hamsters would want and what the signs they would indicate when they need water and so on.
Is water good for hamsters?
Yes, hamsters need water for their survival. They prefer to have water to refresh them and to energize them as well. Besides, the consumption of water would make the hamster’s body cool down, especially on a summer day.
What kind of water is good for hamsters?
Soft water would be ideal for the hamster’s. Soft water means water that has a low concentration of minerals. For example, rainwater would be ideal here. But, soft water sometimes tastes salty. Hence some people opt to use bottled water. Ideally, you need to provide a fresh bowl of water every day for hamsters.
In addition to that, you need to refrain from providing cold water and hot water as much as you can. The best is to use room temperature water. Besides, you need to make sure that you clean the water bowl every day to remove unwanted microorganism growth. I am sure nobody would want their hamsters to get sick due to any contamination of the water bowls.
Can hamsters drink bottled water?
Hamsters can certainly drink bottled water. I must emphasize, they would not have any extra benefit from drinking bottled water. If you are sure that the tap water you are using is safe, you could keep using them. it would give the necessary hydration they required. On the other hand, if you are uncertain whether the tap water you are using is not safe, I suggest you use bottled water for your precious hamsters.
You should never give flavored water to the hamsters though. For instance, avoid giving strawberry-flavored bottled water or peach-flavored bottled water as it would be unhealthy for them. Those may contain chemicals that would be problematic for the hamsters and result in unnecessary troubles. Therefore, try to avoid them.
How much should hamsters drink?
Generally, Hamsters would require about 10-30ml of water every day on average. One might think that it is not a lot. However, it plays a crucial part in the hamsters’ survival. It is more like lifeblood for them. They will not survive without water for more than 2 days. If we look into this deeper, dwarf hamsters can survive with less water when compared with other hamsters. That said, you should not keep them deprived of water for the whole day.
To further elaborate on this, an average Syrian hamster’s weight would be around 140-200g and a dwarf hamster would weigh about 50g. So, a Syrian hamster would consume about 20 ml of water whereas a dwarf hamster would consume little less than 5 ml of water.
What does water do to hamsters?
In simple words, water is beneficial for the well-being and good health of the hamsters. For instance, water is crucial for the weight management of the hamsters. Additionally, it plays a major role in temperature control as well. Furthermore, it is essential for lubricating and cushioning joints. Moreover, it would protect the sensitive tissues of the hamsters as well.
it would further aid in digesting their food. Lastly, it is important for the proper function of the internal organs in their bodies. Adequate consumption of water would keep the hamsters hydrated. Besides, it should be clean and harmful chemical-free as well. if you skip providing water for the hamsters they would suffer from dehydration.
What can hamsters drink besides water?
Hamsters can drink milk besides water. Hamsters are omnivores which literally means they would consume meat and vegetables. This literally justifies the fact that they are drinking milk and eating cheese. Further milk is not toxic for the hamsters as well.
However, if you wish to introduce milk to the hamster’s diet, ensure that you do it gradually. If you happen to introduce it all of a sudden, chances are that it may even result in diarrhea and dehydration which may turn out to be fatal to them. Furthermore, if you have a baby hamster, the best would be to get an opinion from the veterinarian and give them the most appropriate milk formula.
Besides, hamsters are not allergic to alcohol either. They would not act drunk after they consume alcohol as well. As per some studies conducted, hamsters prefer alcohol over water as well. However, I don’t recommend using alcohol for hamsters since it would impact them in a negative manner. Besides, it would not be healthy for them as well.
Moreover, hamsters would not mind drinking flavored drinks as well. In fact, flavored drinks can stimulate the hamsters to drink more. However, when you use these, make sure that you use as little as you can. If you feed the hamsters with excess flavored drinks, it would increase their natural sugar levels in them. Ultimately it would result in issues in the digestive and metabolic systems.
How do I give water to my hamster?
First, you should arrange a hamster-size water bottle. Ensure that it is specifically designed for hamsters and not for any other larger animal. I suggest you avoid using water bowls as they may end up creating a mess. Hence water bottles would be the most appropriate thing to use to feed the hamsters. Secondly, take some hot water and submerge the bottle and the cap in the hot water for about two minutes. When you do this, ensure that the cap is removed from the bottle. Once it is complete, you can fill it with some fresh water right to the top.
Thirdly, ensure that the water flows out from the bottle once you hold the bottle whilst making its stem facing down. You may test this by simply running your finger over the ball bearing of the chosen water bottle. If the water doesn’t flow out from the bottle, there may be a too strong vacuum in the bottle. What you could ideally do is simply move the ball further towards the sipper whilst using either your fingers or a cotton bud. Next, let it drop back down. Again run your fingers over the bottle and see whether water is coming out.
Fourthly, select a spot that is not too bright in the cage. If you place the water bottle in a bright spot in the cage the light would penetrate the bottle and end up developing algae which is unnecessary here.
Fifthly, fix the bottle in the cage. The water bottle would anyway come with a ring and you could clip the water bottle to the cage using its clips. Next, have a closer look at your hamsters and see whether they can suck down any water. If the hamster can’t get water he will end up biting the tip of the sipper. On the other hand, if the bottle has a stem, you could consider placing a tiny honey dab on the stem. Hamsters are quite attractive to those and they would tend to push it. Eventually, they will learn that there is water available.
Hamster excessive drinking
If your hamster drinks excessive amounts of water throughout the day, this could also be a problem. it could be even a sign of an illness. It is very likely that kidney-related issues among the hamsters may force them to drink excess water.
Kidneys are a crucial organ for processing water and if they happen to consume excess water it means something is wrong with the hamster’s kidney. If you come across such a situation best would be to get an opinion from a veterinarian. Besides, there could be other illnesses such as wet tail and urinary tract infections which would tempt the hamsters to drink water. Once the veterinarian checks on them, they will prescribe the exact medication for the hamsters.
Why is my hamster not drinking water?
If you had changed the environment of the hamsters, they would want some time to settle in those conditions. So, they may skip drinking water and try to get used to the new conditions. Suppose that you have brought them home quite recently or changed their cages, then they may require some time to adjust to those conditions. While they adjust to the new conditions, they would reduce consuming the water they intake. However, once they adjust to the new conditions, they would start to drink water more often.
A stressed hamster may also tend to skip drinking water. Hamsters are timid creatures and if you make any loud noises or handle them in an improper way it is very likely that they become stressed. Consequently, they would tend to drink less water. As such make sure that you handle them with care and try to make them comfy at all times.
If your hamsters suffer from any illness, it would also force the hamsters to not drink water or drink less water. So, if your hamsters are not drinking water, they may probably suffer from sickness. If you suspect it, you could look for other signs of illnesses such as hair loss, wet tail, etc. Furthermore, if they have difficulties in breathing or have discharged in the nose quite often, the best would be to consult a vet doctor as promptly as you can.
If you happen to use a malfunctioning water bottle it could also be the key factor for the hamsters not to drink water. It is obvious that hamsters will not be able to drink water from a blocked water bottle. If it is the case, you need to check whether it has a defective nozzle. Hamsters would want the water to flow out from the water bottles quite easily and if they find it difficult to get the water they would start to drink less water.
If the water doesn’t taste good, it would also impact the hamsters to not drink water. Hence, always choose clean fresh water to feed them. if the water has a foul smell, it is very likely that your hamsters may not drink them. For example, if the water you are using contains addictive substances your hamsters may reject them. Further, if the water contains chemicals like fluoride it would also impact the taste of the water and make that undrinkable. Apart from that, if you had kept water in the bottle for too long without changing it, chances are that the water would become stale and no one likes stale water.
If the hamster is too old, they would not be as energetic as they used to be. Besides, they may also not drink the same amount of water that they used to drink.
Consider that you have fed the hamsters with high water content food, then you can expect them to drink less water. Many hamster owners tend to feed the hamsters with fruits and vegetables which have high water contents. Consequently, it would discourage the hamsters from drinking sufficient water. That being said, if you keep feeding the hamsters with dry food, you could see them drinking more and more water. So, these are the potential reasons which would impact the hamsters to drink less water.
What if you forgot to give my hamster water
If you forget to give water to the hamsters for two to three days consequently, chances are that they may die due to dehydration. Ideally, hamsters need to drink water every day and if you forget to give them water once or twice they can still survive, but as aforesaid not for too long. So you should not forget to give water to your hamster.
Can hamsters drink cold water?
Hamsters do not drink cold water. They do not like low temperature water. You can try and give them cold water but they will not drink that water until it comes to room temperature. That said you should not make the hamsters drink hot water too. Warm water would not be ideal for a sensitive hamster’s body. Furthermore, don’t give polluted water to your hamsters since it may also contain microorganisms such as bacteria. To sum up, avoid using cold water for hamster consumption and try to use soft water which is at room temperature.
Do hamsters like cold or hot water ?
Hamsters prefer to have water at room temperature. That said, they can also drink warm water which is not at a high temperature. However, they would not like to have cold water at all. If you happen to use boiled water or extremely cold water it can damage the tissues and the organs of the hamsters. Ultimately it would make the hamsters uncomfortable and kill them.
How to tell if your hamster is drinking water
If you have doubts about whether your hamsters are drinking water, you could simply use your hamster’s water bottle and fill it with water.. Thereafter, use a dry-erase marker and make a line at the highest point. Next, keep inspecting the bottle on a regular basis and see whether the water level goes down.
How to get a hamster to drink water
First, you could train your hamsters to use the water bottle.
If you have young hamsters at home, they may be probably unaware that water bottles have water in them. So, to make them come towards the water bottle, you could place some peanut butter on the ball of the water bottle. Once the hamsters reach those, they would tend to eat the peanut butter as well as plenty of water.
Consider placing a water bowl in their cage
There could be some hamsters who really don’t prefer to have water bottles. Instead, they would like to have water bowls. However, I encourage you to place the water bowl on a raised platform so that they would not make a mess out of it. That being said, make sure that you change the water on a daily basis too. if you happen to keep the same water for too long chances are that hamsters’ feces and urine may land up in the water bowl and contaminate it.
Give them cucumbers and skinned apples
If your hamsters keep rejecting the water, consider giving them some water-heavy fruits such as cucumbers and skinned apples. However, if you give apples to them. Make sure that you skin the apple and remove the seeds and then give it to the hamsters.
Wait it out
As aforesaid, hamsters may tend to skip drinking water if they have changed their surroundings. So, the best you could do is to just wait and see. Once you wait for a couple of days, they would come to their normal drinking pattern. However, don’t wait for too long. If you wait for too long they may die due to dehydration.
What do I do if my hamster is not drinking water?
If the hamsters keep refusing to consume water irrespective of the above tricks, it is very likely that something is wrong with them. As mentioned above, hamsters can survive without water only for a couple of days. So, ideally, you need to nurse the hamsters using an eyedropper or a syringe. This is not a permanent solution. However, it would help you to keep them hydrated until you find a proper solution.
To do that, you need to gently drop a couple of liquid drops into the hamster’s mouth every 30 minutes. You may also use electrolyte-rich fluid instead of water. Since now you have done some medication, it would be best to consult an exotic species expert and get their advice on how to remedy them.
How much water does a hamster drink in a day?
Usually, hamsters would drink about 10 mm per 100g of body weight. In simple words, it would be about two teaspoons of water. So assume your hamster weighs 500g they need 50 ml of water per day. This amount varies slightly with environmental conditions. On a hot day, hamsters drink slightly more water than on colder day (just like us)
Can hamsters drink tap water?
Hamsters can drink tap water given that it contain a lot of minerals in it. So, if you are drinking tap water in your region you can consider feeding your beloved hamsters also with tap water. Keep in mind that you should never give them dirty water as the organisms contained in the contaminated water would make the hamsters sick. Ultimately it would have a fatal impact on them.
How do you know if your hamster is thirsty?
If the hamsters tend to have sunken eyes, issues in respiration and dry mucous membranes in the eyes chances are that they are thirsty. Additionally, if they tend to be lethargic or less energetic, it is very likely that they are thirsty too. Lastly, loose skin is one more factor that you could use to identify if they need water. Hamsters require water on a daily basis and for not too long they can survive without water. So, if you come across these indications on your precious hamsters you need to act swiftly and treat them.
If you wish to ascertain whether they are dehydrated, you may gently pinch the loose skin of their neck. If your hamster is healthy and hydrated the skin would fall back into its initial place. If it doesn’t, that literally means the hamsters are dehydrated and you need to seek medical advice immediately. If the hamsters are severely dehydrated, a vet doctor would probably provide them with suitable medicine as soon as possible.
How long can hamsters live without water?
Hamsters can survive without water for only 2-3 days. As we explained above, water is the lifeblood of hamsters. However if by any chance they don’t get water for one day, they can still survive without it. But for more than one day it would be fatal for them. As they are very small animals and consume very small amounts of water and food at a time, they need a constant supply of food throughout the day. In the wild, they always go search for food for this reason.
In fact, once you skip providing them water for one or two days, they will slowly start to deteriorate their health. Thereafter they will perish due to lack of water. As such, try to provide water for them at all times without any interruptions. For instance, If you are going on vacation, get somebody else to check on them so that they will have a constant supply of water. Additionally, they will have some company too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Dwarf hamster water intake
Generally, Dwarf hamsters would also require about 10 ml per 100g of their body weight. If your dwarf hamster weighs 200g they need 20 ml of water per day. You might not think of this as a lot of water. But for these small animals that is what exactly they need.
How often do hamsters drink water?
Hamsters drink water every hour or every 30 minutes.
How long can Syrian hamsters go without water?
Syrian Hamsters can survive without water only for one or two days. However, if they tend to skip drinking water for two days they may start to suffer from dehydration.
Do hamsters need fresh water every day?
Hamsters only need fresh water every single day. You need to ideally replace the water with fresh water every single day even if you are using a water bottle for the hamsters. If you keep using the same water, chances are that the water bottle may tend to have leaks which would ruin the entire setup.
Can hamsters drink tap water in the UK?
Yes, certainly hamsters can drink tap water in the UK and they will have no ill effects from using that.
Why is my Syrian hamster not drinking water?
Syrian hamsters may not drink water if they have changed their usual surroundings. Further, if they are experiencing stress or sickness it would also impact their drinking water pattern. Besides if the water bottle malfunction it would also discourage the hamsters to drink water.
Can hamsters drink distilled water?
Hamsters can drink distilled water and it would be the most appropriate water source for them. Further, keep in mind that distilled water should be at room temperature.
So, to wind up we have now covered many areas on the hamsters’ water drinking behavioral patterns. We have covered the most appropriate water type, the right water amount they need to consume, the methods of encouraging them to drink water, etc. To conclude, trust now you are well equipped with all the knowledge you need to be aware of this aspect and that you were able to clear all the doubts if you had any.
Hello, my name is James and I’ve been caring for tiny pets for over 14 years with a passion. I enjoy passing on my expertise to other individuals in order for them to have the same amount of enjoyment as I do.