Although Hamsters need to keep themselves hydrated to remain healthy but what if my Hamsters start to drink a lot of water all of a sudden, then it could be a valid concern. But what does it mean? Why is your Hamster drinking so much? Are they ill?
As an inquisitive Hamster owner I did some research and here is what I found!
During summers, Hamsters tend to drink more water to keep themselves cool. A sudden change in their diet could also be the reason which increases their thirst. Apart from that, health complications like diabetes, urinary tract infection, and dental issues can also lead to excessive water consumption in Hamsters.
An adult Hamster drinks about 25ml water a day. However, the water intake may vary.
Observing in a close manner will help you find the exact reason behind such kind of behavior.
Let us learn more about this unusual behavior of water consumption of your Hamsters, their water requirements, and at what point we must be concerned about them!
How Much Water Should My Hamster Drink Per Day?
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An adult Hamster drinks anywhere between 20-25 ml 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.
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Is It Bad For My Hamster To Drink Too Much Water?
The condition of extreme thirst in Hamsters is referred to as ‘Polydipsia’. It is not a disease but rather a symptom of the underlying problem.
When Hamsters suddenly start to drink more water than what they usually used to, then it is probably a sign of warning.
However, if your Hamster drinks excess water right from the beginning, then it is entirely normal.
If you notice your Hamster drinking more water than usual, then you must observe them intently and look if they have any other health complications.
Excessive thirst is not critical in itself, but you must look out for other symptoms in your little one.
Some of the common signs you might notice alongside polydipsia are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sunken eyes
- Swollen tongue
- Aggression and other behavioral changes
If you see any such signs alongside polydipsia then it means they are suffering from an underlying health problem.
What Causes Excessive Thirst In Hamsters?
There can be a lot of factors leading to excessive thirst in Hamsters. We shall discuss some common causes of polydipsia in Hamsters. However, before that, you must keep somethings in mind.
Consumption of water depends on Hamster to Hamster. Many Hamsters consume 20ml water a day, while others consume 40ml a day.
Hamsters usually consume water 10% of their body weight. Some other factors such as age, sex, and size also plays an important role.
Here are eight major cause of excessive thirst in Hamsters that you should look out for:
Dehydration in Hamsters are often overlooked by the owners.
The reason your Hamster is drinking too much water is that they are thirsty.
Hamsters can easily get dehydrated due to various reasons, and under such circumstances, it is not unusual for them to drink too much water
Some of the common signs of dehydration in Hamsters include:
- Weight loss in Hamsters
- Foul smelling and dark colored urine
- Sunken eyes and swollen tongue
If you are suspicious about your Hamsters’ health, take them to a vet.
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.
Also Read: Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?
The ideal temperature for Hamsters ranges from 68°F-74°F (22°C- 24°C). If you live in a place where weather conditions are extreme, then you might need to look into some source or some other alternative method to stabilize the temperature around their enclosure.
Hamsters cannot tolerate summer heat very well. They need a stable environment to live healthily.
Thus, it is quite apparent that summer heat can overheat your Hamsters rather quickly as they have their thick fur coat.
Cool water helps them in maintaining their body temperature. It helps them cool their body temperature internally.
Overheating can be deadly; thus, you must provide some relief to your Hamsters.
Some common ideas to go for includes: misting of cold water, placing a chilled bottle wrapped in some towel or fleece, etc.
Being prey animals, Hamsters are excellent at hiding their pain. They do so to avoid looking week in front of their predators.
Still, there is some typical behavior to look out for that can help you understand their problem.
Change in eating and drinking habit is one common reason.
If you notice your Hamster is not eating properly or drinking a lot of water, then it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Change In Diet
Change is the diet of your Hamsters could be one of the major problems leading to polydipsia in them.
A severe change in the diet can trigger diarrhea, which can also lead to the loss of essential electrolytes from their body
Food plays the role of a keystone in your Hamster’s life, despite the age and breed. You should make sure that you are providing your Hamster a suitable amount of nutrition.
Here’s a list of some healthy food that your Hamster would love to munch on:
- Fresh Hay
- Commercially made Hamsters pellets
- Eggs(smalls pieces only-boiled, scrambled)
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Spinach, and Cucumber
- Fruits: Apple(without seeds), Banana, Strawberries, and Pears
Only a few are listed here, there are many others with your Hamster may enjoy. These are the top ones.
Adding excess salt to your Hamster’s diet can lead to dehydration in them. Salt can absorb water from the cells, leaving them completely dehydrated. This in turn makes them drink excess water.
Apart from that, you must also remember that Hamsters don’t require salt licks, so if you have added the same in their cage, then you must remove the same immediately.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is one of the most common reasons of excessive drinking in Hamsters.
These problems often lead to continuous leakage of urine. Urine is acidic, and constant contact with it can cause urine burn in the skin around those portions of the body.
Some other Urinary tract problems include Urinary tract infection, bladder stone, sludge, etc.
Although excess thirst is not a direct symptom of urinary tract problems, but if your Hamster is suffering from these problems, then they could end up consuming more water to ease out their pain and symptoms.
Diabetes is a common disease in obese Hamsters.
Some Hamster owners are quite careless and neglect the dietary need of their Hamsters. Sometimes they end up feeding treats in excess, which in turn makes their Hamsters obese and diabetic.
Although it is very rare, some Hamsters are diabetic by birth. An unbalanced diet is the major cause of diabetes in Hamsters.
Some of the common symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, increase in appetite, frequent urination, etc.
If your Hamster is diabetic, they need immediate medical attention.
Some of the digestive complications can often lead to dehydration in Hamsters. Digestive issues like diarrhea and bloating have a direct impact on the consumption of water of your Hamsters.
If your Hamster is suffering from any of the above problems then they will lose electrolytes quickly and will end up drinking more water.
Digestive issues are generally mild and can be treated with some extra care and proper diet. On the other hand, some digestive issues could be fatal and need immediate attention.
If you notice any other symptoms in your Hamsters alongside polydipsia, then you must consult a vet. Your Hamster’s health could deteriorate in no time if we don’t pay attention to the same.
If none of the above is the cause of excessive thirst in your Hamsters, then there is a possibility that nothing is wrong medically with your Hamsters.
However, there is a slight possibility that your Hamster has developed the habit of excessive drinking out of boredom or lack of mental stimulation.
Hamsters are active pets, they require mental stimulation to keep themselves healthy. A lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to depression in Hamsters.
Depression can also possibly be the reason behind excessive thirst in your Hamsters.
However, before coming to a conclusion, you must get your Hamster examined by a vet.
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Treatment Of Excessive Thirst In Hamsters
You should start the treatment of your Hamster by examining their diet.
Are they eating the right amount of hay and vegetables? How many treats have you been offering? Did you make any significant changes in their diet?
If you have just started serving dry pellets to your Hamster it may increase his amount of water intake.
Once done with the diet now come to their living environment. Pay attention to temperature and living conditions.
The temperature and weather conditions also affect the amount of water intake by your Hamster. The warmer the weather, the more the water intake.
I would advise you to move your Hamster’s enclosure to the central part of your home. Preferably at a cooler location. Try to keep your Hamster’s enclosure away from direct sunlight.
Prefer using bottles with marked with water level. This will help you to stay updated on your Hamsters water intake.
Don’t restrict their supply of food and water. However, do track their consumptions.
If you notice any other change in your Hamsters besides excessive drinking, then rush them to a vet immediately.
They can accurately diagnose your Hamsters to find the cause.
Once diagnosed, you can treat your Hamster for the specific problem, as suggested by the vet.