Hamsters as a pet can be a fun and exciting choice. However, like any pet, they require care and maintenance to ensure their health and happiness. One question often asked by potential hamster owners is whether or not these rodents can drink tap water; the answer is no.
Given that hamsters are desert animals, their bodies are set up for surviving on less moisture than most other mammals. The result of this evolutionary adaptation causes them to be unable to process liquids with the same efficiency as many other animals; in fact, it’s estimated that they can only derive 10 percent of the water they need from food alone. It makes them susceptible to dehydration and the side effects of illness when drinking too much water, such as kidney problems.
So, Can Hamsters Drink Tap Water?
Hamsters are not very keen on drinking tap water. Most hamsters don’t drink it as a habit, some may only drink it occasionally, and some hamsters may have never been offered some water from a dish or sipper bottle. Most hamster owners fill food dishes with fresh bottled or filtered water instead of regular tap water. The reason for this is that the quality of the tap isn’t regulated as well as bottled and filtered waters are. Tap-water quality varies depending on the region, and even a slight location change can create a drastic difference in what’s found in the pipes leading to your house. Tap water can also contain substances harmful to hamsters.
Hamsters can be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in tap water; however, hamsters can significantly reduce their water consumption by providing them with access to rainwater or other natural water forms. If you consider adding a hamster to your family, remember that it’s vital that they not drink tap water unless it is expressly provided for them.
How Much Water Do Hamsters Need?
The amount of water a hamster needs will depend on several factors, such as the hamster’s size and the temperature. Smaller hamsters, such as Syrian Hamsters and Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters, require approximately two teaspoons of water per day which is roughly the same as their food intake. More giant hamsters may need even more water.
The best way to ensure your hamster gets enough water is to check its water bottle daily and replace it if it’s empty. Tangs and other sipper bottles may need to be cleaned regularly to prevent mold or mildew from growing in them, mainly if they’re not used often.
How Can Hamsters Get More Water?
While hamsters don’t need much water, they can benefit from additional sources of water. One way is by soaking in a shallow sink or bathtub of lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes at a time, twice a week, or as needed. To keep the bathroom clean and dry, put down towels before adding the soaking pan and upon removal. Also, keep the drain plugged to avoid leaks.
Another way to give your hamster additional water is by adding a few teaspoons of boiled water to their food each day. This method will provide them with the extra moisture they need without taking too much room in their stomach. Hamsters are also fond of drinking warm water, so be sure to have a bowl of lukewarm water nearby for them at all times.
Do Hamsters Need Baths?
Hamsters can be bathed as often as desired. They always prefer baths to be given in a low-moisture environment, such as a plastic tub with a lid; it is essential not to use soap on their fur and only use non-toxic cleaners and moisturizing shampoos.
Hamster owners should wash their hamsters’ food dishes and litter boxes daily, preferably with disinfectant spray, to prevent bacteria from building up. If not taken care of, hamsters can catch fleas from other hamsters, humans, cats, or any other animal they come into contact with. Fleas are more of an issue in areas where there are many rodents or stray pets.
Caring for a Pet Hamster
Hamsters are fun, easy to take care of, and small enough to be held in the palm of one’s hand. They also do not require much space. As long as they have a place for exercise and food, they are happy. They require regular food and water; however, they do not need too much human contact. They can live happily alone or with other hamsters if properly introduced. Their cages should be changed at least once a week to avoid ammonia buildup from their urine and feces.
Hamsters will live anywhere from 3 to 7 years and live longer depending on their environment and how well they are taken care of. Syrian hamsters, for example, have been known to live up to 10 years. Syrian hamsters should be housed in cages that are large enough to accommodate them comfortably. The best pet is one that allows the hamster room to move around and climb vertically (without falling out). Hamsters can also be housed in a large container or tank if their cage isn’t big enough. The cage must have a secure lid with a wiring compartment where the tray can be stored when not in use.
Hamsters and water are not an ordinary match. However, if they are in a cage with water, they may take to it fairly quickly. It is best to provide them with fresh water when in the cell. This way, they can regulate themselves according to their needs and remain healthy. With hamsters, you must keep the humidity levels high for them to stay healthy inside their cages. Hamsters are arboreal animals which means that when hot, humid conditions are present, they will tend to prefer these conditions when escaping or trying to cool themselves down when they are hot. When hamsters have access to humid environments, it can lead their skin infections and dehydration, which can be fatal if not taken care of immediately.