Why doesn't my hamster drink water?

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Hamsters are one of the most popular pets in many homes for the ease of care and characteristics. They are animals that, despite being delicate, are also quite strong and do not require specialized care very often..

However, we must pay attention to different aspects in their care. If we have a hamster we have to be attentive to its feeding, exercise and hydration. Many owners doubt whether their hamster drinks enough water. But ¿what if a hamster doesn't drink water? ¿Why does a hamster not drink water? If these doubts arise or have arisen, we recommend you read this AnimalWised article where we tell you why a hamster can stop drinking.

You may also be interested in: Why doesn't my cat drink water? Index
  1. Why won't my hamster drink water? - Causes
  2. What if my hamster does not drink water?
  3. How to teach a hamster to drink water?
  4. What to do if my hamster does not drink water?

Why won't my hamster drink water? - Causes

If our hamster does not drink water, we must try to understand the reasons, as these can be quite varied:

  • The water is dirty: One of the easiest problems to solve is the one related to the daily change of the drinking water, as hamsters tend to be very scrupulous and if the water is not clean and fresh they can refuse to drink it. Therefore, it is recommended to change the water daily, using filtered water or water that has been boiled and cooled..
  • No water comes out of the hamster's drinking bowl: in the same way, it is essential to make sure that the water comes out of the bottle normally, as the tube may be clogged.
  • Oral problems: It can also be due to oral problems, such as malocclusions or dental abscesses, which cause pain in the animal's mouth, making drinking annoying and painful, so they avoid it. In these cases there are also usually changes in diet. In this other article we talk about the care of a hamster's teeth.
  • Can't drink from the troughAlthough the drinker is the most recommended and hygienic, since it is closed and cannot spill, some hamsters take a while to learn to drink from the nozzle. If your hamster has not drunk from this type of bottle before, it may be that what is happening is that he has to learn to do so.

If, in addition to not drinking, you have noticed that your hamster does not eat, we encourage you to read this other AnimalWised article about ¿Why is my hamster not eating?

What if my hamster does not drink water?

If a hamster is not hydrated properly they start to appear different organic alterations that can lead to really severe conditions, even being fatal. One of the first signs of lack of hydration in the hamster is a patent restlessness and nervousness, which in severe cases leads to stress, Of which we can read the symptoms in this interesting article: 10 symptoms of stress in hamsters. Another consequence of the lack of water is that its digestive rhythm is altered, causing constipation, what causes serious houses intestinal obstructions.

Dehydration leads to the appearance of problems, since it leaves the animal more exposed to heat stroke, that can be really fatal if not detected in time.

¿How much water does a hamster need to drink?

If we want to know if our hamster is meeting its daily water needs, the first thing is to know what precisely those needs are. Experts emphasize that hamsters are not a species that drink too much, as their body is prepared to obtain water from foods rich in liquid that they consume (such as vegetables or fruit). Specifically, it is estimated that they need to consume 10 milliliters of water per 100 grams of body weight, so a common hamster, whose weight ranges between 80 and 120 grams on average, needs about 8-12 milliliters per day. This implies that in smaller animals, such as the dwarf hamster, the quantity is even lower, the change in volume in the drinker being sometimes imperceptible.

How to teach a hamster to drink water?

If you have detected that the problem is that your hamster does not know how to drink water from the drinking fountain, there are some ways to teach him to drink water:

Option 1

Normally, to teach them to drink from the hamster waterer, it is best to show them that there they can find water. To do this, we can do the following:

  1. Bring your hamster closer to the waterer.
  2. Tap the sprue nozzle lightly so that water comes out.
  3. Bring the water droplets from your finger to the hamster's mouth.
  4. Gently bring your hamster's mouth closer to the waterer, if he hasn't already done so when he feels the water on your finger.

Option 2

If the first option has not taken effect, we will try this time with the food help:

  1. Cover the nozzle of the hamster drinker with some food that he likes.
  2. Bring the hamster closer to the drinker.
  3. Wait for the food to be licked and water to come out.

What to do if my hamster does not drink water?

If you have made sure that your hamster does not really drink any water or his consumption has dropped significantly, you can try the following:

  • Give him fruit and vegetables: if your hamster does not drink water, you can give it a higher proportion of food that provides that hydration. To do this, it is best to use vegetables rich in water, which will ensure good hydration of the animal. Some examples are zucchini or peach. Nor can we go overboard, because excess fluid affects your digestive process, triggering diarrhea, which ironically will cause serious dehydration.
  • Change the container: we can resort to changing the container for another that is more accessible, perhaps it is that it cannot reach the water well. Although we must bear in mind that the most recommended drinkers are the bottle type, since hamsters tend to overturn the bowl type. This must be avoided, as the sawdust gets wet and a wet bed makes the animal sick in a short time, as they are very sensitive to humidity..
  • Go to the vet: finally, if the animal does not want to eat food and other symptoms such as aggressiveness, apathy, decay appear or not, if it is immobile or goes to a corner of the cage, it is best that we go to the vet as soon as possible , as you may be developing a disease.

For more information, in this other article we talk about the care and feeding of the hamster.

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