The smallest pets – hamsters – are residents of hot and arid deserts. In the wild, representatives of this family of rodents feed on seeds and roots and tolerate enormous temperature differences. But not everyone knows that hamsters prefer to drink fallen dew.
Therefore, often, the owners of these animals have a question: do hamsters drink at all?
Do hamsters need water?
Like any living organism, hamsters need water. When the animal eats dry food in food, which includes fiber, need to replenish the water balance for the full functioning of the digestive system. Coarse fibers of grains swell and fill the animal’s stomach. It is believed that water-rich vegetables compensate for the lack of water, but this is not the case.
Unlike hamsters living in the steppes, pets eat more vegetables and fruits. The demand for liquid is determined by the breed of the animal, gender and ambient temperature.
More active pets, pregnant and lactating females consume more moisture. In the summer, the need for water increases.
Important! Replacing water with succulent feeds, the pet’s body does not receive enough dry food, so replacing water with vegetables is unacceptable.
How long can a hamster live without water? It all depends on how active the individual is and what kind of food it eats. But, it is better not to conduct experiments, and assume that no more than 2 days. Individual hamsters can live up to a week without water, however, it is better not to leave the pet for such a long time without fluid.
Pure water is the key to a pet’s health
When choosing a drink for a pet, several factors must be taken into account:
Tap water is disinfected with chlorine dioxide. Even a minimal amount of bleach can damage the hamster’s health.
The best choice would be:
- Tap water passing through a specialized filter.
- Bottled water.
- Non-carbonated mineral water with a minimum level of salts and trace elements.
- Melt water, past deep freeze. The liquid thawed in a natural way does not contain harmful substances and is suitable for drinking.
Milk: benefit or harm?
Wanting to diversify the diet, many owners treat hamsters with milk. Experts say that pregnant and lactating females need to feed with a dairy product. During the period of gestation and feeding, the body gives off energy and requires renewal.
4-5 grams of dissolved milk powder should be given the first three weeks after the birth of the cubs.
In the case of the death of the mother, newborn hamsters are manually fed with infant formula. Also milk support needed for survivors.
It is recommended that healthy and active animals not be given milk more than once a week as a reward or treat:
- It is advisable to choose milk with a minimum percentage of fat content.
- Before treating, the dairy product must be boiled and cooled for better digestibility.
- Cream, kefir, butter and cottage cheese with a high percentage of fat should be completely excluded from the diet. Products with a high content of fat exacerbate diseases of the stomach and liver.
A bowl or a drinker?
Daily the drinking norm of a healthy rodent is 5-15 ml of water per 100 g of body weight. Using a bowl, one may encounter constant rollovers and puddles inside the cage. Filler, feces and food can also spoil the taste of water if you use the bowl as a reservoir. The best solution for the animal will be a car drinker.
A drinking bowl fixed to the walls of the enclosure saves space and easily trains the animal to drink. When you press a valve or ball at the end of the spout, water drips into the rodent’s oral cavity. Most animals themselves determine the source of moisture, but sometimes help is needed. It is enough to spray a drop of water on the nose of the pet.
Important! For uninterrupted access of the rodent to the liquid, the water in the drinking bowl should be replaced daily, and in the summer 2-3 times a day.
Why does a rodent drink a lot of fluids?
If the pet’s need for water has risen sharply, and the hamster began to drink a lot of fluids, then you need to think about a change in behavior.
- Change in temperature and humidity in the room. An ideal mode is considered to be temperatures up to 22 degrees. For a good wakefulness, it is better to rearrange the cage with the animal in a cool place.
- Damage to the drinker. Check the connection points for integrity and replace in the event of leaks.
- Change of diet or rapid introduction of a new feed. It is advisable to switch to a new type of food gradually. The addition of salty foods can also be a source of thirst.
If there was no change in the activity of the rodent, then possible kidney disease and diabetes. The main symptoms are:
- Eating more feed.
- Immediate weight loss or obesity.
- Frozen pose of the animal.
- Irritability and increased activity.
- Increased sleep duration.
- Frequent urine output, possibly with the smell of varnish.
When a hamster drinks a weekly norm of water, it is necessary to show the animal to the doctor and begin the course of treatment.
Why doesn’t the hamster drink water?
Sometimes the owner of the rodent is concerned about the constant level of fluid in the drinker. To exclude dehydration of the pet’s body, several reasons must be considered:
- The hamster is not used to using a drinker. It is necessary to bring the animal to the tip of the bowl and moisten the face with a drop of water.
- An abundance of succulent feed.
It happens that the animal is capricious and does not use the drinker. A sharp rejection can mean:
- The hamster does not like the quality of the water.
- There is no access. Other drinker configuration or malfunction.
- Musty moisture. Wash the tank and pour clean water.
Watch the video how to teach a hamster to drink from a drinker.
You can argue a lot about whether hamsters need to drink. The rodent is capable of balancing the level of fluid in the body, but even with low consumption, the animal cannot be denied free access to water. With timely care and care, a small pet can please the owner for more than one year.