If you are keeping a pet hamster, then you would want to know everything about caring for your pet – from taking care of them when they are sick to feeding them. So you start asking questions like what do hamsters eat and can hamsters drink out of a bowl?
Can Hamsters Drink Out of a Bowl?
Hamsters can drink out of a bowl. So if you are having issues getting your pet hamster to drink from a bottle, you can consider using a bowl.
Everyone who keeps hamsters as a pet knows hamsters can drink from cage-attached water bottles, but not everyone knows they can drink out of a bowl.
This article will guide you through the best way to provide water for your hamster.
Why You May Consider Using A Bowl
You may be considering using a bowl to give your hamster water instead of the typical bottle set up for several reasons.
- You don’t have the typical water bottle, or the one you have is malfunctioning.
- Your pet has refused to drink from a bottle for reasons best known to it. The nozzle of the bottle might be too big for your hamster’s mouth, or maybe it just does not like using it.
- Your pet makes a lot of noise when drinking from the bottle. This noise can be a big issue if your hamster lives close to your bedroom or in your bedroom and continually wakes you up at night.
Whatever the reason is, there are a few things you should know before you set up your hamster’s water bowl.
Why You Should Consider Using A Bowl
Although, a cage-mouthed bottle is a preferred method of giving hamsters water, giving them water with bowl also comes with unique benefits.
Firstly, these bottles are not as durable as people might want it to be.
The water-dispensing nozzle of the bottle can break. Also, some hamsters can create holes in plastic bottles by chewing them. You can avoid the chewing problem by using a glass or metal bottle, but those are more expensive than the standard plastic ones.
Water bottles are also harder to clean than water bowls. While water bottles will need far less cleaning than the bowls will, they are tough to clean when they do get dirty enough to require cleaning. This is because some of the dirt that builds up inside the water bottle will warrant physical scrubbing, and the small opening of the bottle makes it almost impossible to remove the dirt with a sponge or rag.
There is also the fact that some hamsters don’t like drinking water from bottles. For unknown reasons, these hamsters refuse to drink from water bottles.
How To Set Up The Bowl
If you have decided that you want to use a bowl for your hamster, take the steps below to set the bowl up.
- Ensure that the water bowl is on the shallow side. It is not likely that your hamster will drown in water bowls that are not too deep.
- Also, make sure the water bowl is not too shallow because your hamster needs enough water. You should make sure they can get it anytime they want.
- Look for a bowl that is heavy enough to support your pet climbing on the sides without tipping it over. Although originally made for hermit crabs, rock bowls can be a perfect bowl for your hamster.
- Place the water bowl on a raised platform. The platform can have a ramp or steps leading up to it. Doing this will help reduce the amount of stuff that gets into the water, which will prevent your pet from getting sick from drinking the water.
- Make sure you change the water every day. One downside of using a water bowl is how dirty the bowls can get. Changing the water daily is very important, especially if you have multiple hamsters because the high foot traffic will cause more dirt, bedding, urine, and fecal matter contaminating the water.
- Clean the water bowl every day. Changing the water only won’t eliminate dirt and bacteria-ridden objects.
Why You May Want To Stick To Water Bottle
Although using bowls may seem easier and less stressful, you should try to get your pet to drink water from a cage-mouthed water bottle. Here are the reasons why;
- Firstly, dirty bedding, hair, fecal matter, urine, soggy food pellets, and wayward vegetables can find their way into your hamster’s water bowl. This is not the case with a water bottle. So, a water bottle is more hygienic. If your pet hamster drinks water contaminated by these,n they may get sick.
- Asides being more hygienic, a bottle is also a more effective way to provide water for your hamster. Water bottles cannot be tipped over like a bowl can.
- Water bottles can also hold more water than water bowls. That means you can face your daily activity for much longer periods without worrying about whether your pet needs more water or not.
- If you have several hamsters in a single cage, then you should go for a water bottle. It is a smarter choice. The more pet hamsters you have in a single cage, the higher the possibility your water bowl getting tipped over or seriously contaminated. This is bound to happen if your hamsters are like to fight each other, as arguments are most likely to occur over the only water source in the cage.
Giving Your Hamster Water Using Both A Bottle And A Bowl
Some hamster owners have found out that using both water bowl and water bottle for their pet is a good idea. Doing this can be a perfect middle ground of you have a cage that is large enough to change in the bowl and bottle regularly.
Here are a few reasons you might want to use water bowl and water bottle:
- If you have more than one pet hamsters, having more than one water source is an excellent way to reduce arguments and ensure they are all properly hydrated.
- If one water source runs dry or malfunctions, your hamster will have a backup. If you leave the house for the day, your hamster will not become dehydrated. If your pets get a bit rowdy and tips the bowl over and it is their only water source, they will have to wait till you return home to start drinking again. The distress and adverse effects on the health caused by this dehydration make having more than one water source the best thing to do.
- It is not impossible for water bottles to break. If the water bottle breaks, your hamster won’t be able to drink water until you replace the bottle unless there is a water bowl in the cage to drink from. Of course, you can use a bowl from your kitchen and put water in it for your pet. But most kitchen bowls aren’t heavy enough, and they are easy to tip over. This is why you should use it as a water bowl for your pet. It is best to get a weighted bowl for this purpose.
Importance Of Water To Your Hamster
A good hamster owner should provide their pet with fresh water every day. Even if your pet has a water bottle that can hold enough water to last a long time, he can become dehydrated if the water bottle malfunctions or leaks, which usually happens. The best way to ensure your pet is dehydrated is to freshen your hamster’s water.
Supplying Your Hamster With Water
Your pet has to have access water within his living environment. Most pet owners supply their pets with a vacuum-action inverted water bottle that releases water only when your pet actively drinks from it.
You can place your hamster’s water bowl within the cage, too; some hamster experts recommend having both water bowl and bottle, and they need to be checked and refilled every day. You should refill them even when they are not empty.
Checking your pet hamster every day will make it easier for you to know when something is not right, like a leaking bottle or contaminated or tipped water bowl.
If you find out your hamster is not drinking, you should take it to the vet. According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, hamsters should drink about 10 millilitres of water per 100 grams of body weight.
How Long Can A Hamster Live Without Water?
Nobody can guess the specific number of days these creatures can live without water and food. It depends on the hamster’s health and the care its owner gives it.
Generally, a healthy hamster can survive without access to water and food for 3 to 4 days. However, if it is not healthy or it did not receive adequate care from its owner, and it wasn’t kept in ideal temperature while it was growing up, then it will find it very difficult to survive for more than two days.