Groundhogs And Hydration (Do Groundhogs Drink Water?)

A groundhog is a large rodent that burrows into the ground and hibernates inside that burrow.

Groundhogs mostly eat roots, grasses, and different vegetables and plants. But how do these critters stay hydrated?

Interestingly enough, many online sources will tell you that groundhogs don’t drink water, and get hydrated solely from the juices of the plants that they eat.

While they certainly get hydrated that way, they also get water from licking dew off plants, eating snow, and yes – drinking fresh water!

Groundhog Get Water From Various Sources

It’s true that groundhogs mainly get their water from the plants and greens that they eat, but your neighborhood woodchuck has a lot of other ways of getting a sip of water.

Some of these are:

  • Licking dew or rainwater off plant leaves.
  • Wet surfaces like rocks, tree trunks, or decks and tiles.
  • Puddles, fountains, streams, ponds, and other clean sources of fresh water
  • Eating snow and ice.
  • Juices and water in the food that they eat.

It’s true that groundhogs don’t need to have a source of fresh, running water in order to survive. They can actually get enough water if they eat juicy fruit and vegetables.

If, however, a woodchuck is presented with a nice source of cold water on a hot day, it won’t refuse!

Can Groundhogs Survive Without Water?

Groundhogs can certainly survive without drinking water, in the typical sense.

You have to make sure to stay hydrated by drinking about 8 cups of water a day. You might drink from a cup or a bottle, but you have to make an effort to drink your water.

Groundhogs can survive without drinking water that might come from a lake or pond, but they can’t survive without water altogether. This is why they eat plants that are covered in dew or rainwater.

This allows groundhogs to stay hydrated without actually drinking water, if they have to.

What Kind Of Foods Do Groundhogs Eat For Water?

Groundhogs are mostly herbivores, and they eat a variety of plants.

If a groundhog is really thirsty, eating things like watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, or other vegetables with high water content, would be ideal.

These aren’t always available, however, which is why groundhogs mostly eat leaves, grasses, and roots. And while these plants aren’t as juicy as a nice watermelon, they do provide some water to the thirsty rodent.

Groundhogs will also happily eat plants from people’s gardens, including your beautiful hostas or treasured mums.

Aside from plants, groundhogs may also eat grubs, snails, and other insects. There have been reports of groundhogs eating small baby birds, but this is really not common. 

How Long Can Groundhogs Go Without Drinking Water?

It might sound surprising, but groundhogs can actually spend their whole lives without a sip of water.

If for some reason, they don’t have access to fresh water, and if there’s neither dew on the leaves in the morning nor available puddles after the rain, groundhogs could simply rely on eating juicy roots, plant stems, leaves, and grass.

If they have access to some of the more juicy vegetables and fruits such as watermelon, cucumbers, and the like, it’s even better, but not entirely necessary.

It isn’t very likely that a groundhog would live in a very arid climate like this, however, and if it did, it probably wouldn’t have access to juicy watermelons. But in principle, it’s possible.

Click here, if you’d like to know if groundhogs like swimming, too!