If you have a hamster at home or are thinking of bringing one home to join the family, you would need to know all there is about keeping them happy and healthy.
One of the most important parts of keeping a hamster is knowing how to keep them hydrated, and what the best drink for them is. Water is definitely the best drink to give your hamster, but you might be tempted to offer them something else as a treat now and then.
What can hamsters drink? Hamsters start life by drinking their mother’s milk, but once they have weaned off this, then water should really be the only thing they drink. Your hamster might happily drink some cow’s milk or juice if it is offered to them, but it isn’t healthy.
Water provides everything your hamster needs to stay hydrated and to survive, and there is no substitution for it. To find out more about what hamsters can drink, keep reading!
Everyone Needs Water
You should never substitute any other drink for water for your hamster. Water is the best drink for them, and it is all they need to stay hydrated. Hamsters have a very specific diet, and too much sugar, or not enough hydration, could make them very ill.
You might not notice your hamster drinking water too often, but this is because they only need a small amount of water a day, about 2-4 teaspoons daily. However, this small amount of water daily is vital for your hamster’s survival.
When giving your hamster water, you can either use a pet water bottle or a bowl, but make sure to rinse this daily and fill it with fresh water each day, even if there is only a small amount of water missing. Having access to fresh water is very important for your hamster.
Should I Give My Hamster Tap, Filtered Or Bottled Water?
Whether you give your hamster tap, filtered, or bottled water depends on the water supply you have.
If you have access to clean, safe tap water, then it would be safe enough to give this to your hamster, and many hamsters are perfectly fine drinking water from the tap daily.
However, if your tap water is polluted or contains a high level of chemicals, then you will need to look for an alternative source.
You could either boil the tap water or allow it to cool before giving it to your hamster. If you do not want to go through this process, then you can give your hamster filtered water or bottled water.
Whichever method you choose, just make sure that you are offering your hamster fresh, clean water, which is safe for them to drink.
This water should be changed daily, so that your hamster always has access to clean water, and the water isn’t left to become polluted or stagnant.
Can I Give My Hamster Sparkling Water?
You should not give your hamster sparkling water. While it won’t be fatal for them if they have a few drops of sparkling water, the carbonation could give them stomach aches and this could cause them to not want to eat, and it can be uncomfortable for them.
Avoid offering any sparkling water to your hamster, no matter how cute they might look taking a sip!
Can I Give My Hamster Milk?
Hamsters drink milk from their mother when they are born until they are weaned off. Hamsters’ milk is perfectly suited for newborn hamsters and contains all the vital nutrients and vitamins they need to survive and grow.
Chances are that you do not have a tub of hamsters milk sitting in the fridge, and would likely have cow’s milk, soy milk, or similar. As tempted as you might be to offer this milk to your hamster, you should not.
Other types of milk, such as cow or soy, contain varying levels of fat and protein and are not suited for a hamster’s diet and digestion. Giving them another type of milk could wreak havoc on their digestive system and could lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, and even dehydration.
Not only is milk not suitable for a hamster, but if milk spills in their enclosure, it could lead to bacteria growth and to their cage just smelling really bad. Bacteria growth and mold can be dangerous for your hamster’s health, and make them sick.
It is best to not offer your hamster any milk at all, and rather stick to safe, clean drinking water instead. There is too much risk involved with giving your hamster milk, both when they drink it, and if the milk spills and dirties their cage.
Can I Give My Hamster Juice?
Hamsters do enjoy eating some fruit and vegetables, which both contain their own amount of sugar. They are able to tolerate the amount of sugar in fruit and vegetables, even though they are sensitive to sugar and acid introduced to their diet.
While hamsters can eat fruit and vegetables, you should not offer them any fruit juice. Fruit juice contains too much added sugar and acidity, and this can be really harmful to a hamster’s digestive system, and cause some serious upset.
Too much sugar in a hamster’s diet could lead to obesity and diabetes in the long term, and short-term effects could be hyperactivity, lethargy, stomach upset, diarrhea, and even dehydration.
The acidity found in fruit juice can also cause irritation to a hamster’s stomach, which can lead them to become quite sick.
There is no reason to give your hamster any fruit juice, and even a few drops can cause them to become ill. Water is more than sufficient for them and is the safest option.
Can Hamsters Become Dehydrated?
Hamsters can become dehydrated, and dehydration can happen quite quickly. Hamsters can last 3 to 4 days without water, but after this amount of time, it can become very dangerous for them.
It is important to ensure that your hamster is getting ample fresh water daily, and you need to clean out their water bottle or bowl and fill it up with fresh water each day.
Signs to look for that your hamster is dehydrated include their eyes looking dull, their urine turning darker and smelling stronger, and their skin not returning to its regular shape quickly if you gently pull it.
If you think your hamster is dehydrated, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Below are some things to consider if you think your hamster is not getting enough water.
The Food They Ate
If you have fed your hamster food that has high water content, then they might not want to drink too much more. They only need 3-4 teaspoons of water a day, and they might get this from water-rich food such as cucumber.
Check Their Water Outlet
Something might be obstructing the water flow in their water bottle (this bottle is our favorite), and they might not be able to drink properly. Check the bottle to make sure that water is flowing correctly.
If you have just recently placed the water bottle in their cage, in place of a bowl, they might not even be aware that it is there. Try and get them to drink from the bottle by putting a treat on the ball of the bottle, which will entice them to try it out.
Your Hamster Is Stressed
Your hamster might be feeling stressed, and this could cause them to avoid drinking for a while. You might have just brought them home, or there could be other environmental factors that cause them to feel stressed or anxious.
It might take some time for your hamster to adjust to their new home, and try your best to make them comfortable and to remove anything that might cause them stress.
Hamsters should only drink water. Water provides them with all they need to survive and stay hydrated, and there really is no other substitute. Whether you give your hamster tap water or filtered bottled water depends on the quality of the tap water where you live.
Do not give your hamster other drinks such as milk or fruit juice, as this could cause stomach upset for them, and if given too often, can lead to some serious health issues down the line.
Offering fresh water to your hamster is so important to keep them hydrated and happy.
Can hamsters drink orange juice?
Hamsters should not drink orange juice. It is high in sugar and high in acidity, and this can lead to stomach distress for a hamster. Even some citrus fruits on their own can cause your hamster to have a sore stomach and even diarrhea, and are best avoided.
Can hamsters have honey?
Hamsters technically can have some honey, but they can only be given very small amounts. The sweetness of honey might be too much for some hamsters and could lead them to experience vomiting or diarrhea.
Overall it is best to avoid feeding them anything like honey.
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