Dehydration In Hamsters: Signs, Causes & Treatment

Dehydration can be a major concern if you have got yourself a Hamster. Water is an essential component for all living beings, be it you or your Hamster.

Proper intake of water is very essential for the survival of your little one. It can be a matter of great concern if your Hamsters have not sipped any water for a long period. But why is your Hamster not drinking water? Is he unwell? Is there a problem with the water? Or is he just ignoring his water bottle?

Health issues like wet tail, diabetes, vomiting, loosing of stools are one of the major reasons for dehydration in Hamsters. Change in environmental conditions and temperature also affects the consumption of water in Hamsters. If you are suspicious about your Hamsters’ health, take them to a vet.

Every Hamster owner needs to provide fresh and clean water to their little friend at least every 24 hours.

Keep track of your Hamster’s daily water intake, especially in summers. Observe your Hamster closely if you suspect any unusual behavior. Take it to a vet if necessary.

Now, let us learn more about dehydration in Hamsters and at what point you should be concerned about your Hamster.

Do Hamsters Drink Water?

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Water is essential for the survival of Hamsters.

If they have not sipped water for a long time, their life may be at risk.

There are high chances that your Hamster is undergoing some physical or mental trauma. Some health issues may be bothering them.

Being a responsible Hamster owner we must try to find out the possible cause, or make a visit to a vet is needed.

Water plays a crucial role in the life of Hamsters. Some of the functions of water are as follows:

  • Water is important for the digestion process. It helps in the elimination of waste products and helps Hamsters to stay healthy.
  • Water helps to regulate the body temperature of your Hamster ensuring that your Hamsters’ organs continue to function in the best way. It prevents the overheating of their body.
  • Water helps in the lubrication of joints. A major component of synovial fluid is water. Synovial fluid is directly responsible for the lubrication of joints.

Dehydration can often lead to organ failure and can be life-threatening.

Sometimes due to stress, the water intake of Hamsters falls drastically. Try to calm down your Hamster in such situations.

It is always suggested to visit the pet if you have any suspicions.

Here are some of my favorites leak-proof water bottles from Amazon. Check them out!

How Much Water Should My Hamster Drink Per Day?

An adult Hamster drinks anywhere between 20-25ml water per day. If you leave in a humid region the amount of water intake may vary.

The consumption of water is dependent on a variety of factors, including the age, size, diet of your Hamsters.

The diet of your Hamster plays an integral part in determining their water intake. If you regularly feed your Hamsters with watery fruits and vegetables he may drink less water.

On the other hand, if his daily diet has more dry pellets and grain, he would drink more water.

Also, the level of activity your Hamsters perform decides the amount of water intake by your Hamster. If your Hamster stays active all the time, it is sure to drink more water compared to other Hamsters.

Here are some of my favorites water bowls from Amazon. Check them out!

Is It Normal For My Hamster To Not Drink Water?

No, it is not normal for Hamsters to not drink any water.

Water is essential for the survival of all living beings. There might be a lot of reasons due to which your Hamster might not be drinking water.

It may be due to health complications like difficulty in breathing, dental pain, and urinary tract infections.

Sometimes due to stress, the water intake of Hamsters falls drastically. Try to calm down your Hamster in such situations.

If your Hamster has not sipped any water for a long time there will be a reason behind it.

Observe your pet closely and look for any negative reactions. See if your Hamster has unusual behavior.

It is always suggested to visit the pet if you have any suspicions.

What Is Dehydration?

According to News Medical, dehydration is a condition that results when the body loses more water than it takes in. This imbalance disrupts the usual levels of salts and sugars present in the blood, which can interfere with the way the body functions.

Extensive loss of water through urine, vomiting, sweating, drooling or diarrhea may result in dehydration in Hamsters.

Many health complications like wet tail, diabetes, vomiting, loosing of stools are one of the major reasons for dehydration in Hamsters.

If your Hamsters go more than 24-48 hours without water, they would probably like to dehydrate themselves.

Overgrown teeth often make Hamsters drool. Excessive drooling may result in a fall in the water level in your little friend’s body.

If you are using a bowl to serve them water keep a regular check on them. Hamsters often spill the water when given in a bowl.

As a responsible Hamster owner, you must provide your little friend with fresh water every 24 hours.

Signs Of Dehydration In Hamsters?

Dehydration can be life-threatening for your Hamster and can often lead to organ failure.

As an inquisitive Hamster owner, you must learn to pick out the signs of dehydration in your little friend.

Some of the signs of dehydration in Hamsters are:

Weight Loss In Hamsters

If you notice a sudden fall in the weight of your Hamster, there are high chances that your Hamster did not drink enough water in the past 48 hours. They will have a loss of appetite and will barely eat. Dehydrated Hamsters even shed a lot of fur.

Foul-Smelling And Dark-Colored Urine

If your Hamster is dehydrated you will notice that there is a change in the color of his urine. The color has darkened a bit. Also, his urine will have a foul stinky kind of smell.

Lethargy

Your Hamster will become lethargic if he is dehydrated. He will just stay curled up in a corner of his enclosure. He will not show any activity. You will notice that his energy level has degraded. He will stop grooming himself.

Sunken Eyes And Swollen Tongue

Your Hamster’s eyes will sink and tongue will swell if he is dehydrated. This is one of the significant signs that tell you that your Hamster is dehydrated.

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How Do I Rehydrate My Hamster?

As a responsible Hamster owner, you must take the necessary steps if you suspect that your Hamster is dehydrated.

Immediately, take your Hamster to the vet if you feel that the situation is not under your control.

Rehydration is a slow process. So, do not stress your Hamster by forcing him to drink water.

Here are a few things you can do to rehydrate your Hamster:

  • Try to increase their water intake. Regular water will not help much, try to add electrolyte water. Place a water bottle as well as a water bowl in their enclosure.
  • If you cannot trick your Hamster directly to drink water, try to feed them with cucumber and apple slices. Apples and cucumbers have high water content. Do not feed in excess, it may make your Hamster diabetic.
  • Purchase rehydration solutions specially made from Hamsters from your local pet store. If you do not find it there, you can look for it on any online website.
  • Take it to a vet if you are still concerned about your pet.

Also Read: Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?

Quick Way To Check If Your Hamster Is Dehydrated:

Pinch your Hamster gently. Make sure you do not hurt your Hamster. If the skin takes time to get to its normal position, then there is a high chance that your Hamster is dehydrated.

How To Prevent Dehydration In Hamsters?

Keeping a check on your Hamster’s water intake is very important. Especially, during summers you must keep a keen eye on your Hamster.

Your Hamster might not be drinking water if it is dirty or stinky. So, provide fresh and clean water to your Hamster every 24 hours.

You may keep a water bottle as well as a water bowl in your Hamster enclosure. This may help to increase his water intake.

Try to buy a water bottle with level markings, it will help you track your Hamster’s water intake.

Another important step is to make a balanced diet for your Hamster. Make sure that you make a perfect and balanced diet for you Hamster that may include dry pellets, fruits, vegetables, and his favorite treat.

Try to keep your Hamster’s enclosure away from direct sunlight.

Do Not Wash Your Hamster!

It is advisable to not use water to clean your Hamster except in unusual circumstances. Even in such exceptional cases, it is better to consult a vet first.

You should always use a sand bath whenever you feel the need to clean your Hamster.

Hamsters are very sensitive animals. They can easily catch a cold. This can in turn lead to other health issues. It can be life-threatening for your Hamster.

Use A Sand Bath

Hamsters love sandbaths. They use sand baths to keep themselves clean.

Picture Credits: Capuccino, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: @capuccino_the_hamster

You can get a sand bath for your Hamster from any local pet store or online website. Before purchasing make sure that the sand you buy is completely safe for Hamsters.

How To Prepare A Sand Bath

Take a medium-sized container and fill it halfway with sand. You can find sand prepared specially for Hamsters in a nearby pet store. Remember never force your Hamster to take a bath.

Also Read: Hamsters And Sand Baths

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How Long Can My Hamsters Go Without Water?

Hamsters cannot live for more than a day or two without water.

If you feed your Hamster only with dry pellets or seeds then the time reduces. Even in extremely hot temperatures, they need to drink water frequently.

Always leave your Hamster with a family member or a trusted neighbor whenever you have to stay away from your house for a few days.

If your Hamster is not drinking water for a long time then something might be wrong with him. It is always advisable to visit the vet in such situations.

Water Bowl Vs. Water Bottle?

Choosing one between bowls and bottles depends on you and your Hamster.

Many Hamsters do not drink water from bottles while others tip off the water bowl placed in their enclosure.

Water bowls and bottles, both have their pros and cons.

Bottles make sure that Hamsters do not spill the water, on the other hand, in bowls, there are high chances that your little one will spill the water.

Bowls are easily accessible by your Hamsters whereas water bottles may be difficult to reach and access.

And the list goes on. Give your Hamster the one which you think will be the best or just give both(hahaha).

How To Prevent Water Bottles From Freezing?

Try to keep the enclosure of your Hamster in a warm place. This is one of the best methods to prevent your little friend’s bottle from freezing.

You can also use smaller containers or bowls instead of bottles. You just have to make sure that your Hamster does not spill the water or ruin it.

You can also buy heated bottles or use some insulation to prevent water from freezing.

It is recommended to keep a regular check on your little ones. Check it at least once in 24 hours.

How To Prevent Water Bottles From Leaking?

Mostly all Hamsters face difficulties related to their Hamster’s water bottles.

Use can use a water-absorbent mat to soak the dripping water. Also, make sure the water bottle is filled with water before you place it in your Hamsters cage.

Half filled bottles will not create an adequate vacuum, therefore they are sure to leak as soon as you put them inside the cage.

I have experienced that glass bottles are better than plastic bottles.

Source: Science Direct, Dehydration in Hamster, Biology and Diseases of Hamsters, Journal of Nutrition

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am currently studying Animal Nutrition. I have a pet hamster. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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