To ensure your hamster stays healthy, you should change its water daily. As a hamster owner, you must ensure that your hamster has fresh water to drink. Also, clean your hamster’s water drinking utensil properly before re-filling it with water.
Hamsters can get dehydrated very quickly without access to safe and clean water. As a responsible hamster owner, it’s your responsibility your hamster does not to reach that point. You can either feed your hamster water in a bowl, dish, or a hamster water bottle.
If feeding in a bowl or dish, make sure to wash it thoroughly every day when you are changing the water. If you use a hamster water bottle, you can wash the bottle every two to three days. Also, check the bottle’s dripper to ensure it’s not clogged. A clogged dripper can also deprive a hamster of water.
Amount of Water Hamsters Drink
So how much water do hamsters drink? Hamsters usually consume about 3.5 ounces of water daily. This applies to both Dwarf hamsters and Syrian hamsters. However, the amount of water your hamster drinks also depends on the food it eats.
If your hamster is eating food with high water content, such as vegetables or fruits, it will drink less water. Also, hamsters who exercise naturally drink more water than those who live sedentary lifestyles.
Why is Clean Water Important for your Hamster?
Like all living things, hamsters also need clean water to live a healthy life. If they don’t drink enough water, they can get dehydrated.
Always give your hamster fresh, clean tap water. Make sure the tap water you use is not contaminated or polluted. The water should not be too hot or cold; room temperature water is the best option.
Hamsters need fresh, clean water to drink to stay hydrated. Hydration ensures maximum organ functionality and blood circulation in your hamster’s body. Changing your hamster’s water every day will ensure it has clean drinking water all the time.
Regularly changing your hamster’s water reduces the chances of bacterial contamination and buildup. It also reduces the chance of your hamster’s bottle clogging up, thus depriving your hamster of water.
Other reasons for changing your Hamsters water daily:
- It’s imperative to change your hamster’s water daily because the water utensil can develop biofilm if left dirty for too long. Biofilm is a slimy layer of coating that forms through accumulated bacteria. This bacteria thrives inside the water as well as on the surface of the water utensil.
- Biofilm also has a bad smell to it. This can be inconvenient as hamsters have a compassionate sense of smell. It can also translate to numerous health problems. You can keep your hamster’s water utensil free of biofilm by washing it with soapy water daily.
- Rinse the utensil thoroughly and let it dry. This will ensure cleanliness. Do this every day to ensure this gross buildup does not form.
- Water can become stale if it is not changed every day. Stale water can develop a bad taste that makes it disgusting to drink. A hamster will not drink stagnant water. If it gets very thirsty and is forced to drink the water, it will drink a very small quantity. This increases its chance of getting dehydrated.
- If water is left unchanged for too long harmful bacteria grow and contaminate it. If you feed your hamster water in an uncovered bowl, it increases the risk of contaminants. This is because the water is uncovered and exposed to cage litter, urine, and feces.
- At times contaminants can also enter a water bottle through the hamster’s mouth as it licks the bottle’s dripper. This can cause foreign materials to enter the water and contaminate it.
- If you are feeding your hamster water from a water bottle with a dripper, remember the bottle can get clogged. Clogging happens when the bottle is not cleaned frequently or properly. Water tubes can also get clogged, halting water flow into the hamster’s mouth when it is thirsty.
Best Choice of Utensils to Feed Your Hamster Water
You can give your hamster water in a bowl or a bottle. Usually, specially-created water bottles or tubes work best to keep the water fresh and clean. If you give water in a bowl or dish, your hamster can knock the utensil over and spill the water.
If you use a bowl, make sure it’s not made of plastic, as hamsters tend to chew on plastic. Metal or ceramic bowls are a better option.
Plastic containers are most likely to get contaminated with bacteria and algae. This can easily give the water a bad taste, thus decreasing your hamster’s desire for it.
Containers with many corners or crannies must also be washed more as algae and bacteria grow quickly in such spaces.
It’s possible for owners sometimes to forget to change their hamster’s water. If you have a routine, you can always remember this important task.
If you feed your hamster water from an open dish or bowl, remember to change the water and wash the utensil. You can wash it with soapy water with a mixture of vinegar and water. Try sticking to basic dish soap instead of harsh cleaning liquids.
If you have a hamster water bottle, ensure it has enough water for the hamster to drink. Also, squeeze the bottle to see if the dropper is working correctly and not clogged. It’s safe to wash water bottles every three days.
Empty the bottle, wash it thoroughly, and then re-fill it. Wash the dripper as well and double-check for any clogs.
Diseases Caused by Drinking Contaminated Water
Contaminated water can also expose hamsters to other harmful microorganisms and bacteria. This exposure may cause other harmful diseases such as Gastritis, Ecoli, or Staphylococcus.
Hamsters can also get dehydrated very easily. There are plenty of signs of dehydration. These signs include a passive attitude and sunken eyes. Your hamster will also have dry skin and a ruffled coat. It might also show signs of constipation.
If you notice any symptoms of dehydration in your hamster, contact your veterinary doctor immediately. Dehydration in hamsters is a serious issue that can quickly become fatal. Also, investigate the underlying issues that caused your hamster to become dehydrated.
A hamster cannot live more than one to two days without drinking water. If your hamster is very active, it can get dehydrated even more easily due to a lack of water. So make sure it always has an adequate supply of water.
Dehydration is a primary reason hamster owners are advised not to leave hamsters in a hamster wheel for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
If your hamster has diarrhea, it can also get dehydrated quickly due to a lack of fluids in its body.
You can check if your hamster is dehydrated by pulling on the loose skin near its neck. If the skin returns to normal immediately, your hamster is fine. If the skin remains out of shape for a few moments and returns slowly, it is dehydrated.
How to Rehydrate Your Hamster?
It can get mildly dehydrated if your hamster doesn’t have water for a few hours. If this happens, you can re-fill its water dish or bottle and allow it to drink as much water as it wants. This will allow your hamster to replenish itself and recover.
If your hamster is mildly dehydrated, feed it fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, peaches, apples, and other fruits have high water content. This will help replenish the hamster.
However, if your hamster has been without water for a long time and becomes seriously dehydrated, visit the vet immediately. The vet can give your hamster fluids to rehydrate it. These fluids may include mineral supplements or other intravenous liquids.
Also, don’t ever make the mistake of washing your hamster. If a hamster is washed with water, it can easily catch a cold. This can easily result in its death. Hamsters are known to self-clean themselves with the help of their paws and saliva. Hence these creatures take care of their cleanliness.
As a hamster owner, you must be alert about your little pet’s needs. Always ensure your hamster has access to safe and clean water and is never deprived of it. Hamsters are small and fragile creatures. They need access to clean food and water to live a healthy and happy life. If they are neglected, their health can plummet very quickly.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more