We all know how important water is to maintaining a healthy body, and the same is true when it comes to the health of your furry friends. Since dehydration can have such a serious impact on your hamster – sometimes producing fatal results – it’s vital that you invest in a water bottle which won’t leak whilst you’re out, allowing them constant access to fresh water.
Many bottles can malfunction, letting water seep out, and putting your hamster at risk. That’s why we’ve scoured the market for the best hamster water bottle around. Below we walk through our top seven picks, and answer some common questions about how to properly keep your hamster healthy and hydrated.
Best Water Bottle for Hamsters Guide & FAQ
And there you have it – the best hamster water bottles on the market right now. We hope that, with the variety of sizes and types, you’ll find something here that’s perfect for your pet.
With so much choice, though, it can be difficult to decide exactly which bottle is the right fit for you and your hamster. Below we help you choose, by answering some common questions about choosing the right bottle, and keeping your hamster hydrated and healthy.
Things to Consider When Buying Water Bottle for Hamsters
When choosing the right water bottle for your hamster, it’s important to bear the following in mind:
- Your Hamster’s Home
The type of cage your hamster usually lives in might dictate what kind of bottle you purchase. Some bottles can only be attached via the bars of wire or plastic cages, for instance, so won’t be suitable if your hamster hangs their hat in a glass tank. Using a tank is sometimes necessary for smaller hamsters, who can squeeze their bodies between the bars of most cages. If this is the case, choosing a free-standing hamster water bottle holder, or one which adheres to the side of the tank, is the best option.
- The Size of your Hamster
For smaller breeds, such as Syrian and dwarf hamsters, the nozzles of some standard sized bottles can be too large, preventing them from accessing the water they need. If your pet is particularly small, you should consider buying a bottle designed with this in mind. For example, number four on our list has a 10mm nozzle, which is often easier for pets of this size to drink from.
In smaller homes, choosing a bottle which doubles up as a place for your pet to sleep can be a great space saver. The amount of space you have will also dictate the size of the bottle you can use, so this is worth bearing in mind when you’re choosing one.
Benefits of Using Water Bottle for Hamsters
One common question that hamster owners have is whether they should use a bowl or a bottle to keep their pet hydrated. Both have advantages and drawbacks, but, as long as you properly choose, place, and clean a bottle, it can be far better for your pet than a bowl would be. Here are the main advantages of using a water bottle to keep your hamster hydrated:
- Water bowls can be knocked over, whereas water bottles are held in place on the side of a cage of with a sturdy base.
- When using a bowl, there’s always a risk that your hamster will urinate in it, and no longer have access to clean water.
- Bottles generally hold more water than bowls, keeping your hamster hydrated when you have to leave the house.
- It’s much easier for the water in bowls to be polluted with detritus from your hamster’s cage.
If in doubt, it could be a good idea to leave both a water bottle and a water bowl in your hamster’s cage. This is also a great way to find out whether they have their own preference. Catering to this will encourage them to drink the healthy amount of water. Bowls do allow your hamster to drink in a more natural posture; if bottles are mounted too low, your pet will have to hold their head at a strange angle. Make sure you bear this in mind when mounting a bottle – it should be high enough that your hamster stands on their hind legs to use it.
Hamster Water Bottle Cleaning Tips
One potential drawback of using a bottle rather than a bowel for your hamster water is that bottles are harder to clean. If not properly cleaned, bacteria can flourish in the bottle, potentially leading to your hamster falling sick. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to ensure their bottle stays clean and germ free:
- Change your hamster’s water about three times a week
- Avoid using bleach, especially on plastic bottles, as this can damage the plastic and risk leaving a residue
- Boiling water can be used to disinfect glass bottles, but avoid using it on plastic bottles because they can melt
- Try using vinegar to sterilize bottles naturally
- Baby bottle sterilizer can also be used as a safer alternative to bleach. Some pet stores also sell cleaning products specifically designed for small animal water bottles, so these are probably worth a try
- Whatever your bottle is made from, use a bottle brush to clean the inside, and always rinse thoroughly
- Use warm rather than cold water when cleaning your hamster’s water bottle
Q: How much water do hamsters need?
A: This will depend upon the size of your hamster, but generally speaking they should consume around 4 teaspoons (20ml) each day. Dwarf or Syrian hamsters may consume less due to their smaller body size, and this is nothing to worry about. You can keep tack how much your hamster is drinking using the measuring lines on their water bottle. If the bottle doesn’t have any, you could use waterproof marker or stickers to make your own.
If your hamster does not seem to be drinking for a day or more, you should take them to the vet’s as soon as possible since dehydration can be extremely dangerous for hamsters. You can also treat them at home by syringe feeing them an electrolyte solution such as Lectade. Here are a few ways to tell if your hamster is dehydrated:
- The pinch test; when a section of their skin is pinched between your thumb and forefinger, it will remain tented rather than spring immediately back to its original position.
- Their fur may appear dishevelled
- Their eyes may appear sunken
- You may observe changes to behavior such as unusual lethargy
Q: Where should I place the water bottle for my hamster?
A: This will depend upon the size of your hamster. The most important thing to bear in mind when placing your bottle is to keep it at a height which your hamster can comfortably reach without contorting themselves. Too high, and they will have to stretch to get a drink; too low, and they will have to lean down and hold their head at an odd angle. Hamsters generally prefer the bottle to be placed high enough that they can drink whilst standing on their hind legs.
Knowing exactly where to position the bottle in the cage can also be a challenge. This is typically up to you, but it might be a good idea to place the bottle at a distance from your hamster’s food bowl. This can prevent their food becoming soggy and unappetising if any drips escape or your pet is messy.
If you have more than one hamster, placing an extra bottle is a good idea, so that more than one pet can drink at once, and you have a back-up in place should one malfunction.
Q: How do water bottles compare to water bowls?
A: In most cases, having a water bottle is a better alternative than providing your hamster with a water bowl. Bowls can be easily knocked over, and the water they contain can become spoiled quickly if pieces of food or bedding are dropped into it. This can be a particular problem for messier pets.
Although bowls are easier to clean, this needs to be done every single day, so opting for a bottle instead will also save you a lot of time. Finally, bottles generally hold more water than bowls, so you don’t need to worry about your hamster having constant access to fresh water when you aren’t around.
Our Top Pick
And our prize for the best hamster water bottle has to go to Choco Nose’s H128 model. It’s cost-effective, tough, and easy to use. What sealed the deal for us was the fact that the nozzle can be used with other bottles too, so you can keep as much water on hand for your hamster as you need. We also like the fact that this bottle is designed and made in the USA, to the high quality you’d expect.
For a sturdy and multi-functional water bottle which doesn’t leak or fall off the cage, Choco Nose have you covered.