How long can a hamster go without food and water? The answer depends on numerous facts.
Food and water are essential for every living being. There are some animals that can survive without food and water for long periods of time. These animals tend to store the food they consume in their cheeks or belly. But hamsters are not among them and they need a proper diet and a fair amount of water to survive.
The sad reality
It is difficult to establish a precise amount of days that a hamster can live without food and water. It mainly depends on the health of the hamster and the care it receives from its owner.
In general, a healthy hamster can live without the essentials for about three to four days. But if the mammal has not received the proper care from the start and is not guaranteed an ideal temperature during the first months of life, then it is unlikely to survive more than two days.
Hamsters conserve food and water
Hamsters have expandable cheeks that have the ability to store food for a day or two. But it’s not as big as a camel’s torso, they can’t be expected to hold water for many days.
They tend to store food in their beds, which helps them if they are in their cage and not outside their homes. But in the event that a hamster is abandoned in a wildland with no food or water, then this could become a problem for them.
What keeps a hamster healthy
A hamster generally lives for around 3 years and depends on the care it received from its owners during its first months of life. While caring for hamsters, you should make sure they have been subjected to adequate temperatures and protected from extreme cold or hot conditions.
You need to ensure that you are not given food that contains excess fat and you should provide healthy food such as Timothy Hay (Timothy Hay) pellets, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and hay.
You also need to keep them away from water and protect them from getting wet. If the hamster gets pneumonia then there is a risk that it will become weaker. This would cause it problems for years to come.
Steps to take for a hamster that has been without food and water for several days
Once you have found a hamster that appears to be weak and suffers from any type of infection you need to make sure you give it water right away to help it feel hydrated. There is a possibility that it may be sick and malnourished.
It is also possible to purchase an electrolyte solution as it would help provide it with energy. Also, help it stay hydrated. A dropper can be used to administer the solution by mouth. Never push it inside the hamster’s throat as it would hurt it.
Since the hamster is in a weakened state, administer one drop at a time and wait for it to swallow before moving on to the second drop. You can also purchase Oxbow ICU from some pet stores or a veterinarian’s office and mix it with water. It is an effective cure for a weak hamster.
Symptoms of dehydration in a hamster
Dehydration can be really hard on the hamster as it can not only make it feel bad but also kill it.
Especially during the summer days, the mammal can get heatstroke which can destabilize it a lot. Providing easy access to water is essential to a hamster’s life. But if it’s left without water for many days then it will start to feel weak.
To get an idea of the state of dehydration in a hamster, this can be checked by lightly pinching the skin around the neck. When you let go of the skin after pinching, the skin should return to its normal position. If the skin does not return to its normal position and it takes time to recover around the neck then it ensures that the hamster is rehydrated as soon as possible.
If you don’t know how long the hamster has been dehydrated and the mammal appears to be sick, it is advisable to take it to a veterinary clinic for a checkup. Your vet will be able to suggest a good rehydration solution that can provide the fluids your hamster needs.
This article is purely informative, at Shelterapet we do not have the right to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We encourage you to take your pet to the vet in case of any kind of discomfort.