Like any other living creature, hamster also needs to drink something. As expected in most of the cases that drink would be water.
Water is the best and most suitable drink for hamsters. It contains all minerals and vitamins hamsters need to stay healthy and properly hydrated. Of course, hamsters can drink other fluids as well like mother’s milk or a few drops of 100% natural fruit juice but basically, adult hamsters really don’t need anything else but freshwater.
Do you think you should give your hammy tap or bottled ( branded ) water? Is there any alternative to water, what else hamster can drink ? If you would like to find out more this matter keep reading our post.
Can Hamster Drink Water?
Absolutely! It is the only 100% right drink for your pet. You can give him/her tap water, as long as it is safe for drinking ( not polluted ). If not, you can boil it first or put some bottled water or even distilled or mineral water in its bowl or bottle.
Pay special attention to your pet’s water bottle. Wash it every day and pour fresh water daily. Do not worry if it seems that your hammy does not drink anything. Hamsters drink a really small amount of water ( 2-4 teaspoons on a daily basis, depends on hamster’s breed and size). You can mark the level of water you poured and then check if it changes after one day.
What If My Hamster doesn’t Drink Water?
Hamsters can live without food and water for let’s say 3-4 days but if you notice that your hamster doesn’t drink water, don’t ignore that.
- First, make sure that he/she really has not taken any water for 24h, then think about the food he/she took. Maybe you gave him/her food rich in water ( some kind of fruit, vegetables).
- Maybe your pet is not sick at all but stressed. It can happen if you have just brought him/her home and he /she is now trying to adapt to the environment. It can also happen if you change its diet or cage.
- Also, check its bottle for water. Maybe it is not appropriate or doesn’t work well or maybe your young hamster is not aware of it in its cage. First, check if everything is ok with the stream of water. If yes then maybe you should train your hamster to use the bottle. I read that you can put a lump of peanut butter on the ball of the bottle. Your little furry pal will eat the treat but also end up with water in its mouth. Hopefully becoming aware of the existence of freshwater source in its cage.
- If the trick with peanut butter does not help, you can give your pet some fresh fruits and vegetables loaded with water such as apples and cucumbers. Just bear in mind to peel off the skin from the apples and to remove the seeds as they are not good for your pet’s health.
If your hammy is well trained to use its bottle, he is not new in the neighborhood neither you changed anything around him lately than maybe he/she could stop drinking water if he/she is sick. This can also lead to dangerous dehydration, so do not ignore the signs if any :
- Check his /her skin in order to look for signs of dehydration. If you pinch the skin gently and pull it slightly and it does not return to its regular shape than maybe your hammy has the problem.
- Check its urine. If it is dark and has a stronger smell that could be a sign of dehydration. Also, if your pet is peeing less often than usual that can also indicate that there is some health problem.
- Look at its eyes, if they look dull it could be a sign of the problem.
- If you notice any of that, visit the vet and do not try to force him/her to drink water by yourself. Maybe something else is wrong with your pet( Wet tail illness) or some special solution ( rich in salts and sugars ) is necessary and not just plain water.
Can Hamster Drink Milk?
Since hamsters are mammals, they are familiar with milk, but with hamster’s milk. Cow, goat or soy milk have totally different levels of proteins and fats which could affect your pet’s digestive tract. Although milk is not toxic to hamsters you should not feed your hammy with it.
Further on, milk is liquid so if you pour some to a bowl and give it to your pet, it can easily be knocked over. Spilled milk can make your pet’s bedding wet and we all know that hamsters prefer a clean and dry environment.
If milk remains on the room temperature it can go bad and make sick your little furry friend. Milk drops all over the cage will produce bad smell.
So if you still want to give some small portion of the milk to your pet, do it with your finger. Put some on your finger and give to your hammy, better than to pour it in some bowl. You can also use a teaspoon, your pet can drink from it.
Avoid any other type then plain milk, especially chocolate milk or some other sweetened alternative such as strawberry or any other fruit flavored milk
Can Hamster Drink Juices?
Do you think that hamsters in the wild could find juice somewhere? Hardly ever! People like to share their food and drinks with their pets but animals are not humans.
In the case of juice, it is ok to give the small amount of juice left from the melted fruits or if you make 100% fresh juice of the fruits ( avoid citrus fruits, they are too acidic for your little furry friends ) but any other juice, especially those you can buy in the supermarket are not suitable for hamsters. They are full of sugar, additives and other elements hamsters fragile systems cannot tolerate. Avoid them completely.
The only thing from the store you can give to your pet is the juice for babies but still, I do not think it is necessary at all.
Can Hamster Drink Coffee & Tea?
One big NO for both of them. Sorry, but human’s favorite hot drinks are not suitable for hamsters. Mainly because of caffeine which may increase your hamster’s heart rate. This may end up fatal for your tiny friend.
Do not let your hamster chew on coffee beans not tea leaves. These are not good for him due to caffeine content.
Can Hamster Drink Alcoholic Beverages ?
Better not! You might read somewhere that hamster’s system can tolerate 10 times alcohol better then our system can but this doesn’t mean you should have drink on Friday night with your hammy.
Hamsters do not need alcohol to be healthy so do not share your beer with your furry pal.
There are several studies on this topic. Professor Gwen Lupfer ( department of Psychology ) UAA says that the hamsters from the lab had 7,5g/kg of alcohol in their systems and showed no signs impairment while humans are not able to drive if they have 1g/kg of alcohol in their blood.
Hamsters are natural hoarders. Collecting different type of food and keeping it for later. What can happen to fruit or seed such as rye if kept for longer period? In one moment they start to rot and ferment. So hamster’s tolerance to alcohol is pretty natural but that still does not mean you should give him/her any.
As you can see only water is the right drink for your furry pal. He will not get bored with it, do not worry. Hamsters do not need a variety of drinks while food should be diversified.
Follow the main steps of good care but do not panic if you spill a glass of wine and your furry pal takes a drop of it. That is ok, nothing bad will happen. But do not give him alcohol in purpose as it would be the case of animal abuse. Same with juices and other drinks. Simply do not give your pet anything that could harm its sensitive system.