How Long Can Hamsters Go Without Food And Water? (Explained)

A friend of mine recently bought a new hamster pet. She is much in love with her new pet. She asked me if hamsters can go without food and water for a few days. I decided to carry out my own independent research and this is what I found. Keep reading to find out.

Here’s How Long Hamsters Can Go Without Food And Water:

Just like most other animals, hamsters require food and water frequently to keep them happy and healthy. While they can go between 3 to 4 days without these necessities, they will become distressed or sick fairly quickly, and may not even survive.

How Long Can Hamsters Go Without Food And Water?

Hamsters are very active despite their small size and therefore need an abundance of food and water to keep them going throughout the day. It is always recommended to make food and water readily available to them so that they do not become deprived of their basic survival needs.

Hamsters In The Wild

Hamsters are, surprisingly, desert animals that were first discovered in Syria. It’s usually safe to say that any animal living in this harsh climate can withstand a certain amount of scarcity, however, when it comes to the hamster, this ability is slightly limited.

In their natural habitats, hamsters spend most of their time burrowing in the ground, avoiding predators, and looking for the most ideal sources of food and water. These small creatures work hard to achieve their sustenance and usually will not survive past 1-2 days without these basic needs.

Since food and water are so scarce in desert environments, hamsters are used to not having an abundance of resources, however, they do still need frequent nutrients to survive and avoid dehydration in such a dry, harsh climate.

Hamsters As A Pet

Domesticated hamsters are fairly different than hamsters in the wild. These lovable house pets have been bred to enjoy life more than to focus on survival, so they rely on their owners to provide all their basic needs, like food and water. 

While hamsters in the wild are relatively the same size, pet hamsters can range slightly in size depending on their enclosure and diet. For example, you may have seen some fairly large hamsters before, which can be common due to an overabundance of food and a lack of exercise.

A larger hamster may survive a bit longer without food or water compared to a regular-sized hamster, as they have excess fat reserves to absorb when there is no longer food available. On the contrary, larger hamsters may also feel the effects of a lack of food due to them being used to eating on a constant schedule.

Regardless of the size of your hamster, you will always want to make sure water is accessible to them at all times and to provide a regular feeding schedule.

How Long Can Hamsters Go Without Food?

Feeding can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a pet, so it’s important to know exactly what they need in their diet and how often they should be consuming it.

A hamster’s diet requires a variety of foods but is very easy to accommodate. In general, there are three types of food you should be offering to your hamster regularly. The main parts of their diet should include dry foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Since hamsters are so small in size, they typically will only need to eat about 1-2 tablespoons of food every day. Because they eat so little, this can be easy to overlook. 

Hamsters can go 1-3 days without food, however, you should never make this a habit. When a hamster lacks a proper diet, it won’t exercise as often as it should because it won’t have the energy for it. In return, they will become lethargic, sick, and potentially die if they go this long without eating.

Do Hamsters Like To Store Their Food?

One interesting thing you know about hamsters is they like to store some of their food away, Essentially they store the food in their inside their cheeks. They also store their food in their beddings. 

This behavior is to prepare for the winter months because of their life in the desert, it is natural instinct. Unfortunately, a hamster cannot store their water.

The fact that hamsters are able to store their food does not mean you should not leave them enough food if you are going to be away for a few days. You must make sure the food you provide will suffice the duration you will be away,

If you are planning to go on a vacation for a few days, it is always a good idea to leave extra food for your hamster to eat while you are gone.

How Long Can Hamsters Go Without Water?

Like most other creatures, water is the most vital need for survival. Most animals can go longer without food than they can without water and this reigns true when it comes to hamsters. 

At most, hamsters can only go for 1-2 days without drinking any water. Upon a single day without water, hamsters will already feel the extreme effects of dehydration. Most often you will notice that they won’t have any energy to move, their breathing may change, and they won’t want to eat any food.

Providing water is a very important aspect of keeping your hamster happy and healthy and you should always make it a priority to provide an unlimited source of fresh water at all times.

The risk of dehydration and its impact on your hamster is the reason why the emphasis is on the provision of enough water. Your hamster can easily die of dehydration.

How long Can Syrian Hamsters Go Without Water?

Syrian hamsters are the most popular breed of hamsters. Syrian hamsters can go without water for at least 4 days according to pet owners.

Syrian hamsters will likely be dehydrated after these periods.

How Long Can Dwarf Hamsters Go Without Food And Water?

Dwarf hamsters need food and water to survive. However, dwarf hamsters can live without food and water for about three to four days.

Your hamsters will be prone to dehydration and may not survive after these periods.

What Should You Do If You Are Going For A Short Vacation?

Again, if you are planning on leaving your hamster unattended for a few days, you should make sure to leave enough water for them to consume during the time you are gone.

It will be in the interest of your pet to arrange for someone to come over to your house to feed your hamster if you are going away for a few days.

If that is not possible you must make sure you provide enough food and water for the few days you will be away.

Final Thoughts

Water and food are very important for the survival of your pet. If you are a new hamster owner, you may be wondering how long hamsters can go without food and water. 

Yes, it is important to make sure you do not put the health of your new happy pet in danger. So it is important you know the facts so you are prepared for any emergency. For example, if you have to leave your pet for a few days.

While hamsters may be able to last up to a few days without food or water, they will quickly feel the effects of being deprived of these resources, so you should never make it a habit.

For the health of your hamster, you will always want to provide a regular diet and access to water at all times.

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