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June 11, 2010

Water Bottles for Hamsters

Clean, fresh water is essential to your hamster’s health

When you're setting up your hamster's watering hole, keep in mind that a water bottle is better than a dish.

 

Advantages of water bottles

  • They can't be easily spilled or clogged with bedding material, food, or other particles.
  • Hamsters prefer clean, dry bedding, and even though they may mastermind the mess created by overturned water bowls, they won't appreciate the result.
  • You probably won't either, since sodden bedding means additional cage cleaning.

What to look for

Water bottles are available in different sizes and styles.

  • Size: 8-oz. water bottle
  • Material: Glass is preferable, but plastic works well too, and is more commonly sold in pet supply stores.
  • Features: Angled stainless steel sipper tube with a ball bearing in the spout.
  • Cage placement: The water bottle should hang off the side of the cage or aquarium at a height that's easily accessible for your hamster.
  • Care and maintenance: Change your hamster's water every day, and wash the water bottle thoroughly during the weekly cage cleaning. A bottle brush can help remove any stubborn particles. When re-hanging the water bottle, check to make sure the sipper tube isn't clogged by gently tapping the ball bearing.

If your hamster lives in an aquarium, make sure the top is securely fastened after cleaning and replacing the water bottle. Otherwise, he may escape by climbing the water bottle and pushing the top off.

Reviewed by Linda J. Siperstein DVM, staff veterinarian at the VCA Wakefield Animal Hospital in Wakefield, Mass.

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