How Long Can Hamsters Go Without Water?

Hamsters drinking too much water is not a good sign. Again, drinking no water for a certain period of time also causes Dehydration. And Dehydration is a life-threatening phase for a hamster. But the question is, how long it takes for your pet to reach that dehydration zone in the first place? 

How long can hamsters go without water? A hamster can survive three to four days without water. These rodents are bound to drink water once at least every 48 hours. After 24 hours, they’ll start to dehydrate. And if they don’t get proper water within four days, they’ll die. 

The significant factors regarding your hamster’s water requirements are yet to break down. Stay with us to learn what can happen if your hamster doesn’t get water and the ways to tackle the health threats due to dehydration! 

Water Routine for Hamsters

Let’s know the appropriate water routine for your hamster before it races against time. 

Water Routine for Hamsters

Quantity of Water

Your hamster should drink at least 10 to 30 milliliters of water every day. It’s equal to approximately one ounce of water.

Appropriate Time for Drinking Water 

The hamster shouldn’t skip drinking water for a single day. If you want your hamster to stay healthy, you must ensure fresh water daily. Even though it may seem like hamsters don’t drink much water, they should always have sufficient water around. 

Note: If your hamster isn’t drinking water for 1-2 days, consider consulting the vet as soon as possible. 

What Would Happen If My Hamster Goes Without Water For Too Long? 

As mentioned before, no water for too long (two to three days) simply means dehydration for your hamster. It makes the body cells stop entirely functioning, and your hamster soon walks towards death! 

In some cases, hamsters stop drinking water after a certain period. Consequently, the body goes through salt and mineral deficiency as well. 

Hamster Goes Without Water For Too Long

Even water can’t fix this phase! You’ll have to add foods that contain sugar, salt, and minerals to its diet to fulfill the water void. 

How Can I Find Out If My Hamster is Dehydrated?- The Symptoms 

You must diagnose your pet before it gets too late! Here are the ways you can follow to know if your hamster is dehydrated. 

How Can I Find Out If My Hamster is Dehydrated

Way-1: By Pinching Its Skin

The easiest yet quickest way to check if your hamster has dehydration is the ‘Skin Tent’ method. 

  1. Use your thumb and index finger to slightly pinch the skin of your hamster’s neck and make a tent. 
  2. Release the pinch after 2 seconds.

The verdict: 

●       If the tent doesn’t go, your hamster is suffering from dehydration

●       Your hamster is hydrated enough if the skin flattens back in no time

Way-2: Rely on the Hamster’s Looks

If your hamster’s dehydrated, you can tell by its looks. It won’t look healthy or cheerful. 

Hamster is Dehydrated

For instance, 

  • The eyes will look gloomy and dry
  • Its hair will also look messy since it won’t groom as before
  • Moreover, your hamster would look thinner if it’s not hydrated enough

Way-3: Watch Its Behaviour

When your hamster’s dehydrated, you will withstand these changes in his behavior:

●       It’ll walk or move slower than before

●       Might even spend way too much time in his cage

●       Won’t look joyful and won’t be hovering around enough

●       Pee less often, and whenever he does, the urine will have a dark color and heavy odor

How To Treat A Dehydrated Hamster?  

Now that we’re done learning how dehydration can arise, its symptoms, and its consequences, it’s time for us to learn the treatment as well. Before we start with so, you must remember you should always consult a veterinarian or a vet while doing anything to the hamster. 

How To Treat A Dehydrated Hamster

But if getting professional help seems impossible, consider going for the following tasks mentioned in the table: 

Treatment TypeTo-Dos
Fruits and veggiesServe small pieces of fruits and vegetables to your hamster. You can pick an apple (peeled), cucumber, lettuce, carrot, or other leafy greens for this. These will have all the significant nutrients to rehydrate your hamster. Note: be very cautious about the quantity; too much of the veggies and fruits might cause stomach upsets
Electrolyte WaterFill its water pot with electrolyte water. Pedialyte (unflavoured) can do well for this. Note: don’t forget to check if your hamster has diabetes since Pedialyte is rich in sugar. It can do well for healthy (diabetes-free) hamsters. 
Water in Shallow FoodEnsure the required water through a shallow food item for your hamster. Severe dehydration can cause the hamster to stop drinking water; that is when this trick helps.
Tiny drops of waterConsider rehydrating your hamster by offering small drops of water using a spray bottle, syringe, etc. If you go for this method, continue doing this every half an hour for effective results. But don’t offer more than a single drop at a time; it can cause health threats like diarrhea, stomach upsets, etc. 

Note: Serving plain water to your pet isn’t an ideal option since it doesn’t contain sufficient salts and minerals. This is why we suggest these ideas, which are all certified by experts and professionals.

“If you’re concerned about your hamster’s health, you may find our articles on why your hamster may be breathing fast and whether hamsters eat their bedding useful. Our article on why your hamster may be breathing fast explains the possible reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to help your hamster. Meanwhile, our article on whether hamsters eat their bedding explores the reasons why hamsters might do this and the potential health implications.


Now read these frequently asked questions for further knowledge on this matter. 

Q: How much water should I leave for my hamster when I’m away for 3 days? 

In short, 3.5 ounces. Since a hamster needs around 1 ounce of water a day, it will need 3.5 ounces of water for three days. Ensure your hamster shouldn’t go a day without drinking water. 

How much water should I leave for my hamster

Q: Can I put a water bowl in the hamster’s cage? 

Yes, you can. Hamsters are allowed to consume water from both bowl and bottle. Make sure they’re refilled before they become completely empty. 

Q: Can I put cold water in my hamster’s cage?

No. Hamsters shouldn’t have cold water. It can cause a rapid drop down in the hamster’s temperature and trigger dehydration by keeping the hamster from drinking water for the next few days. 


Hamsters are one of the cutest pet options. You should always keep in mind how long can hamsters go without water. Now that you know all the significant details and risks, go to a vet immediately the next time you observe an irregularity in your hamster’s water routine. 

If you are confused, follow up on the methods we have provided here to identify if your hamster is suffering from dehydration. Take the necessary actions when you find it dehydrated. But always consult a veterinarian while doing anything to the hamster.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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