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Old 02-15-2017, 06:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Default Is my Hamster getting water?

I've had my girl since Thursday and I've noticed that the water bottle that I have (just a basic bottle that hangs with the metal ball in it, which is what she was using at the pet shop) still has the same water level in it and I haven't seen her use it, however she does grab at the metal part and bite it, it kinda looks like she's trying to figure out how to use it or she's struggling because nothing is coming out, but when I test it with my finger, water comes out. So, I put a wet sponge in with her and she hasn't touched it, I've also tried to give her water myself and she didn't accept it.
Now, this is my first time having a hamster and I've always had bigger small animals, so is she drinking, but she's so small that I'm just not noticing anything gone because I'm used to having bigger animals that drink more?
I don't want her to get sick from not drinking enough.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is my Hamster getting water?

Wet sponge would not be safe for a hamster.A small and shallow reptile bowl however could work and would be much safer.

Hamsters do drink a very small amount though and depending on what you feed her she might get enough moisture from her diet anyways.Of course,it isn't the best solution to just feed watery foods instead of providing a water source as this can cause digestive upsets which are very dangerous
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is my Hamster getting water?

Some dwarf hamsters are very tiny and can't move the ball so you may want to try a smaller bottle like a mouse bottle. A sponge isn't good just in case it gets chewed and swallowed. They really do drink a very small amount so she is probably drinking but keep checking the bottle daily for free flow. Use the classic type bottle and not the sippy ones as these often fail to dispense water.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is my Hamster getting water?

I use the 75ml classic mouse bottles & my dwarf hams can manage those fine (plenty big enough for syrians too), they really do drink a tiny amount so it can be hard to tell.
If you are worried any small, shallow stable bowl for water would be ok too, most of mine actually prefer to use a bowl, tea light holders make good water bowls.
You could also put a thin slice of cucumber in the cage.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:36 AM   #5
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Is my Hamster getting water?

I used to put two bottles in the cage for a while as I was worried about our hammy getting water out. Then if one fails they can use the other one. I found them a total pain - I had some that wouldn't let water out very well and some that leaked all over. I ended up using the 75ml mouse sized bottles that Souffle mentioned. The classic ones are popular but I found the best ones were the Ferplast drinky (not sippy) which have a slightly bigger metal spout. They always seemed to let water out and never leaked or dripped everywhere. They also come with a neat little clip for bars so the bottle can be on the inside of the cage rather than the spout going through the bars (our hammy hated the spout going in and out of the bars!).

If you've tested it with your finger and water is coming out then it should be ok, but I would have a second bottle in just in case. Sometimes they do bite at the metal spout - I think they get frustrated that it doesn't let water out quicker.

There are a couple of tips I've picked up on here that might help as well. One is to not completely fill the bottle (eg fill it about 3/4 full). The air gap somehow helps the pressure of the water so it comes out easier. The other was to try different things with the tightness of screwing on the lid. Leaving it very slightly unscrewed allows the water to flow a bit free-er. But too loose and it can empty itself (hence it's good to have a second bottle!).

Are you in the Uk? These are the bottles mentioned

Fpi 4660 Drinky75 Drinky B.

I had the bottle the other way round in the clip - easy for changing the water. The clip stays on the cage and you just lift the bottle out and replace it. Getting two saves on extra postage (you only pay one lot of postage). As well as a second bottle it's always good to have a spare in case one stops working.

Crystal Deluxe Mouse Bottle 75ml

You are doing the right thing tapping the end with your finger - I think that is needed every day. You don't really see the level go down because they don't drink that much so it's not really noticeable.

Our hamster wouldn't use a dish - if you do try one it needs to be very shallow or they can fall in them and drown or get wet and it's bad for hamsters getting wet. Placing it can be difficult too - on the substrate it can get substrate and food in it easily and get bacteria. On a shelf or house roof this won't happen so much but they can knock it off, or push it off. I'd go with have two small bottles
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is my Hamster getting water?

I think that everything is said above. They drink very smalls amounts of water, if you put your finger on the ball and it's wet, she probably can drink, but you should check the water levels daily. Small bottles work best, and a bottle with mark levels would be ideal. As a guide I put only 25 cc of water in the bottle and it lasts at least 3 days (sometimes even more), and obviously I refill it before it reaches the bottom.
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