What Can Hamsters Drink? Here is a Helpful List of the 3 Best Alternatives to Water

Like all other living organisms, Hamsters need water for a healthy life. A hamster would drink 10-30 milliliters of water on a good day. This underscores the importance of water in the daily management of this rodent. However, the question remains, “What can hamsters drink besides water?” 

Besides water, hamsters start their early life by drinking their mother’s milk. Adult hamsters can take other liquids like natural juice from fruits and vegetables and medicated water. However, you must be careful not to give your hamsters liquids with high sugar content.

Read on to know what drinks to give your hamster pet. We’ll also advise what you should not provide your hamsters to drink. 

What Can Hamsters Drink Besides Water? Solved

A person holding two hamsters
Person holding hamsters

Let’s be honest–there is no substitute for water in a hamster’s diet. Water is neutral and contains the necessary minerals for your pet’s survival. 

Your little furry friend needs water every day for: 

  • Hydration
  • Food digestion 
  • Cooling during hot temperatures
  • Weight management

As you can see, the functions above provide daily life support, making water an irreplaceable liquid. 

Nonetheless, there are times when you notice reduced water intake in your hamsters. If you had not provided fruits or vegetables long ago, you need to assess whether the animals are sick. 

It could be that your hamster is ill. At this juncture, you can add antibiotics or additives approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol to the water for medication. 

Besides medicated water, fresh and natural fruit and vegetable juices are also a good fit. Generally, a hamster can feed on fruits like apples, pears, grapes, bananas, and berries. They also love eating veggies such as:

  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Romaine lettuce

That said, fruits and vegetable juices can be a great way to keep your hamster healthy and bubbly. In fact, when you give your hamster enough veggies and fruits, its water intake drops drastically. 

Remember to offer home-squeezed juice in moderate quantities. You don’t want to bash the animal’s metabolism with many sugars.

On the same note, avoid giving your hamsters citric fruits like lemons and oranges. These fruits contain high acidity, which can affect the hamster’s gut

Also Read: Why Do Hamsters Die So Easily?

What Should You Not Give Your Hamster to Drink?

Your hamster is not supposed to drink anything on its way. You want to ensure you are providing water in sufficient amounts and avoid any liquids that could harm your rodent. 

Don’t provide carbonated drinks that contain flavors to your hamsters. These could include Coca-Cola or Pepsi and fizzy drinks. 

Besides the high sugar in these drinks, they contain a lot of gas. When your hamster consumes these drinks, it’s likely to suffer from several health issues, including:

  • Bloating: This is the buildup of gas in your hamster’s stomach. Bloating can result in great pain and discomfort. 
  • Dehydration: Soft drinks are mainly sugar and less water. They can never help quench your hamster’s thirst when it needs water. The result is a dehydrated animal. 
  • Overweight: When offered continuously, the high sugar levels in the drinks can also lead to a sharp increase in body mass beyond the recommended weight. 

In a nutshell, avoid any drinks that have lots of sugar and caffeine. They have no nutritional benefits and can only deteriorate your hamster’s health. 

Even with the downsides of the drinks indicated above, a hamster will not ignore them, thanks to their flavored taste. So, don’t tempt your lovely little rodent even when it feels sick. 

Find Out: How to Help a Sick Rat

Can Hamsters Drink Alcohol?

Hamsters can drink alcohol–in fact, they prefer it to water. These rodents love alcohol for its high-calorie content. Alcohol has seven calories per gram, almost the same content as fat. 

The fact that hamsters love alcohol is a shocking one. 

Gwen Lupfer, a psychologist at the University of Alaska Anchorage studied a lot about hamsters’ affinity for alcohol. He says, “You just put a bottle of unsweetened Everclear on the cage and they (hamsters) love it. .”

Researches also indicate hamsters have an excellent alcohol metabolism. So, why would a small rodent like a hamster outdo elephants and other big animals by taking alcohol?

The answer comes back to the hamster diet while in the wild. As you may know, they live in burrows they make underground. Most of the time, these little ones harvest ryegrass seeds and fruits and hoard them in those burrows for use when winter comes.

They later eat from the reserves when the food is fermented and has a high ethanol content. In fact, scientists describe hamsters’ alcohol consumption as very high. 

More interestingly, hamsters don’t get drunk from alcohol consumption. On a lighter note, they even beat humans in sobriety after taking alcohol. 

Not even lab rats can compete with a healthy hamster to drink alcohol. They have that innate insensitivity to alcohol that gives them an edge over other species. 

The bottom line is hamsters are happy to take alcohol. Give water and alcohol to a hamster, and it’s not uncommon for the little friend to drink from a bowl or bottle containing alcohol and forgo water. 

Can Hamsters Drink Out of A Bowl? 

What can hamsters drink besides water?
Hamster enjoying a doughnut

Many pet owners prefer giving their hamsters water through a designated water bottle. While this is the most favored method of drinking water, can hamsters drink from equipment such as a bowl? 

Hamsters can drink water or any other suitable liquid from a water bowl. But ensure that you provide a moderately deep, sizable bowl that your hamster can reach effortlessly without the risk of drowning. When the bowl is too large for the hamster, your little pet can drown while attempting to drink. 

There are many reasons for using a bowl. A bowl is a great option when the hamster refuses to take the water you had set up in a bottle for some reason. You may need to change to a bowl to make your pet more comfortable while drinking. 

And if you don’t have a good water bottle with the correct nozzle, your hamster can sip from effortlessly; providing a bowl is more helpful. 

Tips For Setting Up A Water Bowl

  • Get a bowl that can hold enough water for your hamster. However, it doesn’t need to be too deep and wide. Otherwise, it becomes a death trap. On the other hand, the bowl should not be very shallow to hold only a handful of water. 
  • Position the bowl on a raised surface to avoid water spilling on the floor and causing wetness. A raised position also prevents water contamination. The raised surface may have steps that the pet will use to reach the bowl. 
  • Choose a heavy bowl, probably made from heavy ceramic or rock. Your hamster will likely climb on it; if it’s unstable, you can guess that water spills will happen more often. 
  • You should ensure you clean the bowl daily to avoid bacteria accumulation. A bowl is too open for contamination and gets dirty quickly. That’s its main undoing. 

Bowls are excellent options for watering your hamster. They are easy to clean and offer outstanding durability. 

Can Hamsters Drink Cold Water?

Studies indicate that Syrian hamsters have inherent qualities to withstand cold temperatures, whether hibernating or actively living. Even with that in the know, can hamsters drink cold water?

Hamsters should not drink cold water. According to basic biology, the body temperature of your hamster can quickly fall with cold water. 

When the temperatures plummet, ripple effects occur fast, including reduced metabolism in the body. This can further make your little pet shiver and become practically sick. 

When giving water, ensure it’s warm. Warm water maintains the hamster’s body temperature at the correct level. 

In hotter months, room temperature may rise significantly. The impact is usually far-reaching, and your hamster can also suffer from increased heat. 

In those situations, you can provide cool water to help with body cooling. But avoid ice-cold water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hamsters drink milk?

Hamsters can drink milk, especially when they are pups. They usually suck milk from their mothers. 

Milk for mature hamsters is not necessarily harmful, but it can cause diarrhea and dehydration when the animal consumes an excess of it. 

Hamsters are not fans of milk. Don’t be surprised to find your hamster ignoring the milk you thought was so delicious for your pup to refuse.

Do hamsters drink a lot of water?

Hamsters need a constant supply of clean, fresh water throughout the day. On average, this rodent can take 10-30 milliliters of water daily. 

And if the diet you provide your hamster combines veggies and fruits, expect its water intake to drop. It’s essential to know the daily water intake of your hamsters – it tells you whether the little pet is healthy or not. 

How long can hamsters go without water?

Generally, hamsters can go about 3-4 days without water. Therefore, if you plan to leave them alone for a couple of days, you may still find them alive. But not longer. 

A neglected hamster can have its health deteriorate in just a matter of days. However, cold months can favor them to stay longer without necessarily needing water. 

Final Thoughts

What can hamsters drink besides water? Basically, water is the best drink for your little rodent. If you must give it any other drink, ensure it’s not sweetened. Moreover, it’s advisable only to give your hamster lukewarm water to keep its body temperature at the optimum.

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