Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:31 pm
Hamsters regularly eat and drink water, which is a sign of a healthy hamster.
But sometimes it happens that hamsters drink too much water, which immediately worries us about the health of the hamster and we wonder if everything is okay with it.
Why does my hamster drink so much water?
Hamsters drink too much water due to their diet or if they are very active, as well as dehydration, a warm environment, and lack of mental stimulation. But drinking a lot of water can also mean that the hamster is sick, it can have diabetes or kidney disease.
In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters drink too much water, and how to help your pet in such moments.
Why does my hamster drink so much water?
Hamsters need to drink water daily, but when they drink a lot of water then it can be due to several reasons such as a dry diet or diseases such as diabetes.
Hamsters drink a lot of water if they are pregnant because then they need more water and food.
However, there are also conditions such as too much activity when it is normal for hamsters to drink a lot of water, so let’s see in detail all the possible reasons why hamsters drink too much water.
Hamster water bottle problems
Sometimes water bottles can leak which will fool us about the amount of water the hamster is drinking.
If the water is leaking, we will think that the hamster is drinking too much water, but that is not the case at all.
Hamsters know sometimes to bite and make a hole in the bottle and it starts to leak, this can be noticed if you look under the bottle or on the bedding under it, to see if it is wet.
Sometimes the bottle can be clogged so we think that the hamsters are drinking too little water.
That’s why you should always check the bottle before making any conclusions about whether the hamsters are drinking a normal amount of water.
Hamsters can be very active
The hamsters play and run in the cage all the time, they spend several miles every night on the exercise wheel.
If the hamster is more active, it will normally drink more water, especially at night when it is most active.
We must also emphasize that younger hamsters drink more water than older hamsters because they are more active during the day and night.
Temperature affects the amount of water
When the temperature is higher and warmer hamsters will normally drink more water.
Hamsters need a temperature of 65-75F in order to function normally, and of course to drink a normal amount of water.
This is especially noticeable in the summer and if the room is not air-conditioned.
In the winter period, hamsters can drink more water again because as the room heats up, it becomes drier and warmer.
Dry food causes hamsters to drink more water
Hamsters usually eat dry food which causes them to drink more water.
They mostly eat:
While those hamsters that regularly eat vegetables and fruits in addition to pellets and seeds drink less water.
This is due to the fact that certain vegetables and fruits have a lot of water in their composition, such as cucumber or watermelon, and then the hamster takes in a certain amount of water through the food.
A diet with too much salt
Hamsters drink a lot of water if they eat too much dry food, but also if they eat food with too much salt.
Too much salt in the diet leads to dehydration and therefore the hamsters then drink more water than the usual amount.
That is why it is necessary to eat food that does not have so much salt in its composition, especially vegetables and fruits are an excellent choice.
When hamsters are dehydrated they drink more water than they should.
If we forget to give them water, the hamsters will start to dehydrate because they need to drink water every day.
Therefore, it is quite normal that if the hamster did not have enough water in his bottle when you add water to him, he will drink much more to make up for the lack of water.
Hamsters drink more water when they lack mental stimulation
Hamsters are known for being always active and constantly running and playing.
If hamsters do not have mental stimulation they can get depressed and the reaction to this condition is to drink more water.
Hamsters when they don’t have enough toys and hiding places then they get bored, especially during the winter and the cold weather forces them to be less active.
Urinary tract infection
When hamsters have a urinary tract infection they become thirsty and need to drink more water. Because hamsters are small and short, they can easily get urinary tract infections.
This infection makes the hamsters urinate more and therefore they drink more water.
When hamsters have a urinary tract infection, they must be treated by a veterinarian so that the condition does not worsen and kidney problems occur.
Pregnancy causes hamsters to drink more water
When female hamsters are pregnant they drink more water than usual. Pregnant hamsters not only drink more water, but they also take in more food.
A larger amount of water and food is needed for the normal development and feeding of the babies.
Increased water intake continues after birth for about 15 days or while the mother hamster is nursing her babies.
When hamsters have type 1 or type 2 diabetes they drink much more water than they need.
Diabetes in hamsters occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin to absorb the glucose from the food the hamsters eat.
Then there is a collection of larger amounts of glucose in their bloodstream, with their kidneys excreting it in the urine.
The hamster then loses more fluids and has to drink more water than usual.
When hamsters have diabetes, it is noticed by the following symptoms:
- greater appetite – because then the hamsters do not have enough insulin and do not have the proper absorption of food, the hamsters constantly feel hungry and therefore eat more.
- weight loss – although hamsters when having diabetes eat and drink more, they still do not have proper utilization of nutrients, while fats are converted into energy and the hamster loses weight.
- lethargy – diabetes reduces the activity of hamsters and they become lethargic.
- urination – because when there is diabetes the hamster’s kidneys try to flush the glucose out of its bloodstream which results in the hamster urinating more.
When hamsters have diabetes it is necessary to consult a veterinarian to tell you what diet to use for your pet.
Hamsters who drink too much water can have kidney disease
When hamsters have kidney disease they drink more water than usual.
Older hamsters and female hamsters often get kidney disease, where a protein called amyloid builds up in the hamster’s kidneys.
In addition to drinking too much water, hamsters with kidney disease produce urine more often as the kidneys try to remove the toxin from their body.
Other symptoms of kidney disease in hamsters are:
- weight reduction
- sticky eyes
- blood in their urine
- swelling of the abdomen from too much water retention
- hair loss
Digestive problems cause hamsters to drink more water
Hamsters are very delicate and can very easily have digestive problems that immediately affect their health.
If a hamster has diarrhea or abdominal bloating it will start to lose electrolytes and energy in its body.
So he will start drinking more water than usual to make up for the loss of electrolytes.
How do you know hamsters are drinking too much water?
Before you find out why a hamster drinks too much water, you need to know how much water hamsters should normally drink.
Hamsters must drink water daily in order to live normally.
Hamsters cannot live without water for more than a few days, if they do not drink water for 3-4 days they will dehydrate and die.
The daily amount of water that hamsters should drink depends on their size or weight.
For example, they need to drink 10 milliliters of water per 100 grams of body weight, or 0.33 ounces of water per 3.5 ounces of body weight each day to function normally.
Of course, larger hamsters always drink more water than smaller ones, Syrian hamsters drink much more water than dwarf hamsters.
If the hamster’s drinking water varies a little from what was predicted, or it drinks a little more or less, it is not terrible, but if the difference is greater, then something is wrong with its health.
What to do so that hamsters do not drink too much water?
As we said, hamsters can drink more water for various reasons such as diseases, environmental influences, diet, etc.
Here are some ways you can help your hamsters not drink too much water:
- there should always be enough toys in the cage so that he doesn’t get bored and depressed.
- provide them with a variety of foods enriched with vegetables and fruits in addition to pellets and seeds.
- check the water bottle if it is OK, if it is not clogged or if there is a hole so that a certain amount of water leaks out.
- the temperature in the room where the cage is should always be between 65-75 F.
- never forget to check if there is enough water in the hamster bottle.
Hamsters drink too much water when they have health problems, when they eat a lot of dry food, when they are depressed and when they are bored.
Pregnant female hamsters drink more water during pregnancy which is completely normal.
Hamsters when too hot can also drink more water than usual.
In any case, there are many reasons why hamsters drink a lot of water, so we should be careful and if we notice, take them to the vet immediately to check if they are sick or drinking too much water for reasons not related to their health.