Hamsters are great pets, especially for children, because they are small and are not more than 6 inches in length. These small animals are native to Syria; since they have adapted to survive in a warm and dry environment, most people wonder what would happen if a hamster gets into the water.
Yes, hamsters can swim; however, they do not like water. You should keep them far away from water and not try to bathe them as it can cause some health problems in the long run.
When you have a pet like a hamster, it is necessary that you fully understand your pet and all that concerns it. Sometimes, the actions you think are harmless might be hazardous to the pet, especially when it is a hamster. Water and hamsters are not a good match, and we will find out why.
Should I Let My Hamster Swim?
No, it would help if you did not let your hamster swim. Hamsters originally come from the desert, so they are used to a dry and hot climate. Seeing a hamster that enjoys swimming is very rare. They have no instinct or desire to enjoy swimming or getting wet.
Trying to get your hamster to swim can be dangerous for it. However, there are a few hamsters that enjoy staying in the water. However, the only way to know if your hamster enjoys swimming is to see if it does not show any signs of distress when near water. It would help if you learned your pet’s behavior for several weeks before letting it swim.
Letting your hamster swim when it does not want to can cause extreme anxiety. The anxiety comes as a result of stress and fear. When a hamster has anxiety, it is unable to enjoy things it used to enjoy, which can cause physical stress on the body. This can result in depression which will affect the general health of your hamster.
A depressed hamster will refuse to socialize and play with its owner. It will also decline offers of sugar water which is a favorite of hamsters. The hamster might even refuse to eat and drink as it should, leading to malnutrition. A malnourished hamster will most likely have diseases and other health infections.
If you notice your hamster acting depressed and isolating itself, you should take it to visit the veterinarian. Due to these consequences, you should probably not allow your hamster to swim unless the hamster enjoys being in the water. Once you notice your hamster showing any sign of fear once it is near water, you must not let it into water.
What Will Happen If A Hamster Gets Wet?
When a hamster gets wet, various health conditions will occur, greatly affecting the hamster’s health and well-being. Hamsters produce oils in their fur to keep them warm. The oil helps the locks repel water and keeps them thick and lush. It is difficult for a hamster to regulate its body temperature without oils.
When a hamster gets wet in warm water, it can lead to the stripping of its skin and coating of important oils. When a hamster cannot regulate its body temperature, the hamster’s skin will become dry and itchy, and its hairs will be thin and dull. The hamster will no longer be able to maintain warmth.
This can lead to the development of rashes and other skin problems. If you do not take the hamster to the veterinarian once a symptom is found, it might develop an incurable skin problem. Hamsters need their natural fur oil to stay healthy.
A hamster getting wet in cold water can easily catch hypothermia because its body temperature will drop due to being in the water. When a hamster develops hypothermia, it can cause rhinitis and respiratory disorders. Hence, you can see your hamster just lying and not reacting to stimuli.
When you see your hamster looking bored, floppy, with swollen eyes, and constantly sneezing, you should know that it might have pneumonia or cold due to getting wet in cold water. Moreover, even when the hamster is dried up, it might still suffer from a cold or pneumonia.
This is because there has been a decrease in the hamster’s fur oil, and it becomes difficult to regulate its body temperature. When a hamster gets wet, it can have emotional distress because getting wet is unnatural. This distress can send the hamster into shock, which is very dangerous.
When a hamster undergoes emotional stress, its immune system becomes weakened, and the hamster will be liable to several diseases and infections. Even if the hamster survives, it might never be happy or calm, which is a long-term condition that no one can change or cure.
Can Hamsters Drown In Water?
No, hamsters cannot drown in water because they can swim. However, it is not advisable to test this by placing your hamster into deep water. Hamsters generally do not like being in water or getting wet. This is why you do not use water for bathing a hamster but rather give it a sand bath.
Submerging a hamster into the water can cause the hamster to have a panic attack. This is because the hamster will become fearful due to being in an unwanted and undesired location. When a hamster has a panic attack, it can cause a lack of sleep, loss of appetite, and fear.
In cases like this, taking your hamster to the veterinarian is very important because you do not want to take any action to worsen the situation. However, it is best to avoid submerging your hamster in water. You do not want to risk the life of your hamster to test a theory.
Do Hamsters Float?
Yes, hamsters float in water just like other mammals. However, if a hamster that does not like water is placed in water, it might develop a panic attack which might cause it to stop struggling. When it stops swimming, it will drown and die if not taken out immediately.
Hence, it is better to stay safe and keep your hamster away from water. Most people consider swimming an exercise for hamsters just like it is for humans. This type of exercise might be healthy but is not advisable for hamsters. There are other fun activities that you can do with your hamster for exercise.
However, if you wish to introduce your hamster to the world of swimming, you should start small. The best way is to use a bathtub; several bathtubs allow the water to get shallower at the back, which is safer for your pet hamster. In cases like this, the hamster will be able to venture into deeper waters when it gets comfortable with the water.
It would be best to always remember that the water you use should be fairly warm and not hot or cold. It would help if you kept a close watch on your hamster when it is in the water. If you notice any sign of anxiety or distress, you must take it out immediately. Always keep the hamster away from the sides of the bathtub so that it does not fall over.
Hamsters are used to living in dry climates; even though they can swim, you should not push them to do so. If you are fortunate to have a hamster that likes water, you can allow it to swim. However, if you do not, you should let your hamster do what it is comfortable with.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.