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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Owning hamsters can be a very good experience overall. When you don’t have enough space for a large pet, it’s nice to have a pet hamster that you can care for.
If you’re new to caring for hamsters, you might be a bit worried about certain things. You want your new pet to thrive under your care.
When the hamster appears to be drinking a lot more than usual, it’s going to make you feel uneasy. Is it bad for hamsters to drink excessive amounts of water?
Keep reading to learn about why hamsters might start drinking too much water. This will give you the information that you need to help your hamster out if something is wrong.
How Much Water Should Hamsters Drink in One Day?
Before going further, it’ll be good to know how much water hamsters normally drink. These furry pets do drink a fair bit of water on a daily basis under normal circumstances.
You might be worried despite the hamster only drinking a normal amount of water each day. On average, hamsters will consume between 15 and 25 ml of water daily.
Typically, hamsters are more likely to drink water during the night. These pets are more active at night and they like to play a lot during this time.
When hamsters do physical things, they’re going to get thirsty. You’ll often see them going for a drink after playing or exercising.
1 – Depression and Stress
Hamsters might become depressed or stressed for various reasons. For example, a hamster that is kept in a cage that is too small might become highly stressed.
When hamsters experience stress or depression issues, it’ll cause them to drink more water than normal. Many hamster owners have noted this.
What causes hamsters to become depressed? Generally, a lack of physical activity and mental stimulation will cause hamsters to become depressed.
To avoid issues such as this, it’s important to give your hamsters toys to play with. Do your best to keep your hamster from getting bored.
2 – Digestive Problems
Even digestive problems can cause hamsters to drink water excessively. Sometimes hamsters might have to deal with digestive issues such as diarrhea or bloating.
During this time, hamsters are going to become weakened due to losing electrolytes. To combat this issue, the hamster will drink more water than usual.
It isn’t likely that the hamster is in rough shape if it just has normal digestive issues. This is a normal thing that happens from time to time.
Keep an eye on the hamster’s diet and things should improve. If the digestive issues seem severe or if they last for a long time, it’ll be best to consult the local veterinarian since it could be an indication of a medical issue.
3 – Dietary Changes
Have you recently changed the type of food that you’re giving to your hamster? It’s normal for hamsters to start drinking more water when you switch up their diet.
Nutritional changes have been known to cause hamsters to experience diarrhea. As noted above, digestive issues make hamsters need to drink more water than normal.
It’s also possible that the hamster’s food might be too salty. Too much salt in the food will make hamsters excessively thirsty.
Always ensure that your hamster is getting the right nutrition. Feed it well and be mindful if the hamster doesn’t react well to certain foods.
4 – Diabetes
Sadly, some hamsters might drink a lot of water when they’ve become diabetic. Diabetic hamsters get really thirsty and they also want to eat more than normal.
You might notice signs such as excessive urination. If you suspect that your hamster is diabetic, you’ll want to reach out to get help from a veterinarian as soon as you can.
Hamsters can develop diabetes when they gain too much weight. This will occur when owners feed them too many treats.
You might not be feeding your hamster healthy foods. It might also not be exercising enough, which is causing it to gain weight.
5 – General Dehydration
Dehydration is the most common reason why hamsters will drink more than they should. Hamsters can become dehydrated for many normal reasons.
For instance, hamsters will get dehydrated when they’re moving around a lot. A hamster that plays really hard might wind up needing to drink more water.
This likely isn’t anything to worry about. If you know that your hamster has been moving around a lot, you should expect it to drink a lot of water once it’s done.
You usually only need to worry about hamsters drinking a lot of water if it happens all the time. Just keep an eye on the hamster to see if excessive drinking might be a sign of diabetes or severe digestive issues as mentioned earlier.
6 – Urinary Tract Infections
Could it be that your hamster has a urinary tract infection? It’s pretty common for hamsters to get UTIs and then start drinking a lot of water.
Occasionally, urine leakage might cause hamsters to get UTIs. The skin being exposed to urine can contribute to developing problems such as this.
Drinking water is a way for a hamster to try to make itself feel more comfortable. So it could be that your hamster has a UTI even if you don’t know it.
That doesn’t mean that this is the cause of what’s happening to your hamster. It can be hard to tell if a hamster has a UTI, but if it seems uncomfortable that could be what is going on.
7 – Overheated Hamsters Drink More
When it’s really hot, it’s going to make things rather uncomfortable for your furry hamster friend. These pets prefer moderate temperatures between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have air conditioning, it might get a lot hotter than that during the summer months. The heat could cause the hamster to start drinking more water in an effort to stay cool.
You should really keep your hamster in a temperature-controlled environment. It’s important to help your hamsters cool down when it’s hot because otherwise, they could die.
The easiest thing to do is use air conditioning to keep the entire house in the recommended temperature range. It’ll make things more comfortable for you as well.
Tips for Hamster Care
Caring for your hamster will mostly be about making sure that you give it a good environment. Before buying a hamster, you want to ensure that you have enough room for a cage that will suit the hamster’s needs.
There are several different types of hamsters on the market. Some of them grow to be a bit bigger than others.
You want to get a hamster cage or habitat that will be spacious enough for the hamster to enjoy. Hamsters that live in cramped environments often become overweight and suffer from various health complications.
If you give the hamster a large enough cage, that’ll be a step in the right direction. The hamster will be able to exercise a lot and will be that much less likely to become diabetic.
Of course, it’s also imperative to give the hamster toys that it can enjoy. Hamsters need both physical and mental stimulation.
When hamsters get bored in their cages, they will wind up becoming depressed. Depression and stress can make them drink more water than they should.
Feeding the hamster well is another crucial element to keep in mind. Hamsters should be fed healthy diets that give them all of the necessary nutrients.
Avoid giving hamsters too many treats since those can be bad. Treats are fine in moderation, but they can cause diabetes if hamsters eat treats all the time.
When you’re doing your job as a hamster owner, it’ll be easier to keep your pet safe. It should be less likely that the hamster will drink excessively on a regular basis.
Hamsters Need Constant Access to Water
Don’t think about limiting the hamster’s access to water. You might think that keeping the hamster from drinking too much will help, but it really won’t.
You should give the hamster access to as much water as it needs. Even if your hamster is drinking more water than average, there’s likely a good reason for it.
Remember that hamsters can become dehydrated. If a hamster is dehydrated and doesn’t have access to water, it’ll be bad for its health.
Always keep the water bottle filled with water for the hamster. Even if drinking water makes the hamster urinate a lot, you’ll just have to clean the cage regularly to compensate.
Also, you should worry more about solving problems that might be making the hamster thirstier than normal. Ensure that the hamster isn’t experiencing digestive issues due to something that you’ve been feeding it.
After learning about hamsters and why they might drink too much sometimes, it should be easier to know what to do. It could be that nothing is wrong with your hamster at all, but it could also indicate some type of health issue.
It’s important to keep an eye on your pet hamster. Ensure that it’s eating well and that it’s living in an appropriate environment.
If you’re doing a good job feeding the hamster and keeping it happy, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to worry. You can always ask for the assistance of a veterinarian if you’re concerned about your hamster, though.