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Do Hedgehogs Drink Water? (And How Much Is Too Much?)

Do Hedgehogs Drink Water? (And How Much Is Too Much?)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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As is true of most animals, hedgehogs do drink water. In fact, they need to have it available to them all the time so that they can stay hydrated and healthy.

In general, hedgehogs aren’t usually particular about the type of water they drink, but you shouldn’t offer them flavored water or water with additives, as they can cause health issues. Water is an essential part of their diet, as it keeps them hydrated and helps keep food moving through their digestive systems.

In the wild, hedgehogs spend time in places where water is available, and they drink from different sources. They aren’t particular about how clean it is, and when it has bacteria, they build immunity.

However, pet hedgehogs don’t have the same robust immune system, so you may need to filter the water if you are concerned that it contains pollutants. Continue reading to learn all about hedgehogs’ water needs.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Milk?

Whether you are leaving food out for wild hedgehogs in your garden or you have a few as pets, it is important to know that they cannot drink milk. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, and they aren’t able to produce the lactase enzyme that is necessary to break down the lactose in milk.

The end result is that hedgehogs aren’t capable of digesting milk, so it causes several problems, such as an upset stomach, bloating, diarrhea, and general discomfort.

Some people question this because baby hedgehogs feed on milk from their mothers. However, the nutritional content of hedgehog milk is completely different from cow milk.

Hedgehogs move on to a diet of bugs and other insects rather quickly, and they never look back. Even if you could make hedgehog milk to leave out for them, they wouldn’t drink it because they prefer their natural diet.

When most people think of milk, they think of cow’s milk. It contains lactose, and because hedgehogs can’t break it down, they could die if they drink enough of it.

Hedgehogs shouldn’t drink dairy free milk or other milk substitutes either. Nut milks, grain milks, and other forms are not part of their diet.

Hedgehogs need specific vitamins and minerals to be healthy, and by drinking these milks, they may get synthetic forms that are toxic to them.

The only exception to this rule is baby hedgehogs that can’t access their mother’s milk. In this case, you can feed a milk substitute called Esbilac. This is only for baby hedgehogs that are sick or abandoned and need it.

The only thing that hedgehogs should drink is water. Expect your hedgehog to drink between 25 and 40 ml of water each day, and young hedgehogs will drink more.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Out of Water Bottles?

There is a common debate as to whether or not hedgehogs can drink out of water bottles, and if so, whether they should. Most hedgehogs can safely drink from water bottles, and there are some good reasons for using them.

First of all, the water stays cleaner in a water bottle because the hedgehog isn’t able to kick food and bedding into it. Additionally, it is easy to see exactly how much water your hedgehog has and whether you need to refill the bottle.

They are space savers in the cage because they hang on the wall from the outside, so you won’t need a large water dish taking up space.

You may have heard some people say that water bottles are dangerous, as some say that they can get their tongues stuck on the ball bearing or that they can chip their teeth on the metal spout. Hedgehogs can grow frustrated if they lick the spout and aren’t able to get any water, and they might bite the metal spout.

You will find two different kinds of water bottles on the market for hedgehogs. One has a spring loaded mechanism that sits behind the ball, and the other doesn’t.

You can take the water bottle and put it back to see if the ball stays in place. If it does, this is a spring loaded water bottle, which is more difficult for the hedgehogs to drink from.

It is more likely that the spring loaded version will cause the hedgehog to get its tongue stuck than the other, but there shouldn’t be any tension or suction on a standard water bottle.

Should Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles or Bowls?

You can choose either water bottles or bowls for your hedgehog. The important thing is to make sure that it has fresh, clean water available at all times so that it never runs the risk of becoming dehydrated.

People opt for bottles because they are more convenient, and they don’t take up space. They are neater because the hedgehog can’t spill the water.

If you use a water bowl, you should choose ceramic as it is heavy enough to stay upright when your hedgehog is playing around. If it does spill, you need to clean the bedding because it needs to stay dry and clean.

Your hedgehog is likely to get bedding and food in the water bowl, so you need to be prepared to change it as necessary. You also need to pay closer attention to make sure that your hedgehog is drinking enough water.

For most hedgehogs, it is easy to change from a water bowl to a water bottle. You should keep both in the cage until you are certain that the hedgehog understands how the water bottle works.

Some people find that the water bottles without a spring can drip from time to time, and there are reasons that this happens.

First of all, if you use very cold or very warm water, then the changing temperatures will prevent a vacuum from forming, and it can cause it to leak.

Another cause is that the angle could be off. If you place the bottle horizontally, the nozzle won’t keep the correct pressure, and this will cause it to drip.

You need to lean the bottle back to create the correct angle. In addition, if you don’t fill the water bottle enough, it will have an impact on the vacuum effect.

A dirty nozzle can cause the ball bearing to get clogged, which can make it drip. If you have air stuck in the spout, it can cause bubbles of air to get stuck behind the metal bead and prevent the seal from forming.

You can choose either a ceramic water bowl or a water bottle, and the best choice is the only one that works best for you.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Tap Water?

When hedgehogs live in the wild, they adapt to drink whatever water they can find. They may find water in river banks, lakes, or streams, and they can use ponds or puddles as well.

The quality of the water varies, but the hedgehogs are able to drink whatever water they find because they have adapted to this lifestyle. When you keep hedgehogs as pets, they can drink tap water.

Your tap water should be processed and filtered by the water company, which makes it safe. Even if you have hard water with extra calcium and magnesium, it is okay and will assist the hedgehog in bone and teeth development.

You need to change the water daily so that your hedgehog always has fresh, clean water, and if you have the water in a bowl, you may need to change it more frequently.

Your hedgehog also needs water for bathing, and they will avoid using dirty water that is salty or cold. You can use tap water, but it should be clean and warm.

A good rule of thumb is that if the water is safe for people and other pets, it is also safe for the hedgehog.

Can a Hedgehog Drink Too Much Water?

Normally, an adult hedgehog drinks around 40 milliliters of water each day, and a juvenile hedgehog will drink around 60. They don’t drink a lot, so if you notice that your hedgehog is drinking more than this, it is likely that something is wrong.

If your hedgehog is drinking too much water, it may be suffering from an illness or disease. It could have diabetes, cancer, or another serious illness that is making it drink too much.

You will want to take your hedgehog to a vet to make sure that everything is okay. Hedgehogs with diabetes drink a lot to help increase their glucose levels. Illnesses can come on suddenly and change your hedgehog’s behavior, so you should pay attention and take it to the vet.

On the other hand, if you notice that your hedgehog isn’t drinking water and this continues for 24 hours, this is another sign that something is wrong. If it doesn’t have access to water for more than 24 hours, it will start getting dehydrated and fall ill.

Do Hedgehogs Swim in Water?

Hedgehogs like water, and they enjoy swimming. This isn’t something that they do as a survival skill, but, rather, they do it because they like it.

If you have a pet hedgehog, this is an activity that you can let it enjoy. Although a hedgehog could never swim a day in its life and be fine, it will enjoy it if you let it.

If you decide to let your hedgehog swim, you should be sure to watch it to make sure that it is safe. One thing to keep in mind is that hedgehogs are small, and they can tire easily.

If the hedgehog grows tired and the surfaces are slippery, it can struggle and even possibly drown. You should make sure that there is a safe ramp for your hedgehog to exit the water in an emergency, and stay there in case it needs your help.

You can get a small plastic tub and fill it with a small amount of water. Create a step at a ramp for the hedgehog to step out of the water if it wants to.

Make sure that the water isn’t too cold because it will be unsafe for them. Hedgehogs need to be between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, so don’t use water that is colder than this.

If your hedgehog is reluctant to enter the water, you should let it take its time and never force it into the water. You don’t want to do anything that could cause the hedgehog to panic because this could be dangerous.

When it first enters the water, it might float around first and get used to it. Then, it will probably start dog paddling around.

Stay there as long as your hedgehog is in the water, as it will grow tired quickly if it isn’t used to swimming. Some people also let their hedgehogs swim in their pools, but it is important that you wash the hedgehog right away if you do this because the chlorine can cause a reaction in their skin.

When you set the little tub up, you should make the water just deep enough for the hedgehog to swim but not so deep that they must swim. You should also make sure that they can get out of the water if they want to.

Hedgehogs float well because their quills have air-filled chambers that hold them up. You may see your hedgehog floating around while it is swimming.

However, don’t get caught thinking that you can leave the hedgehog because if it panics, it won’t float. They float when they are relaxed, but not when they are panicking.

Final Thoughts

Hedgehogs do drink water, and it is essential to their survival. It is very important to make sure that your hedgehog always has fresh, clean water available to drink.

You don’t need to offer another drink to the hedgehog; for example, they should never drink milk. You can give them water in a bottle or a bowl, and you should choose the one that is best for your setup.

You can give your hedgehog tap water, as long as it is safe for people to drink.

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