Hedgehogs And Hydration: Where, How, And What Do Hedgehogs Drink?

Making sure that you provide your hedgehog with the correct drink is very important. Some liquids can be poisonous to hedgehogs. For example, giving hedgehog water is a good idea, but giving it milk can cause stomach problems.

Water is a staple in a healthy lifestyle for hedgehogs. Although it is important to their vital well-being you should avoid flavored water. This is because although hedgehogs are not fussy about the water they drink, any additives (such as sugar) can cause problems!

Here, I’ll tell you everything that you need to know about giving hedgehogs water as well as your hedgie’s needs for staying hydrated.

How Much And How Often Do Hedgehogs Drink?

Hedgehogs do not typically drink a lot of water. An adult can drink 30-35ml in one night, but as long as you leave a bowl accessible to them then they will drink as much as they need (when healthy). 

However, baby hedgehogs will drink anywhere up to 60ml in a day. So, make sure that they have plenty of water available to them!

Hedgehogs don’t drink very often, only as needed and normally at night, as they are nocturnal creatures. 

How To Give Hedgehogs Water:

The best way to give hedgehogs water is to fill a shallow bowl with fresh drinking water. You should make sure that the water is free of additives and flavorings. (Sorry, no Mountain Dew for your prickly friend!)

A shallow bowl will allow the hedgehog to be able to reach into the bowl to drink. Otherwise, they may simply be too short to drink!

Make sure to keep the water bowl clean and the water fresh. Hedgehogs aren’t exactly obsessed with hygiene, and might accidentally go number two in it….

Do Hedgehogs Drink Out of Bowls?

Yes, hedgehogs will drink perfectly well out of bowls. In fact, because the dish is flat (unlike with angled water bottles) they will typically drink more. (Yay!)

You should make sure that you only provide water in a shallow dish that can easily be reached by the hedgehog. After all, they are not the tallest of creatures!

Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles?

Yes, hedgehogs can indeed use water bottles.

Although many people place water bottles in their hedgehog’s cage they will find that they usually drink less than they would from a dish.

This is because the angle of the water bottle can make it difficult for the hedgehog to drink from.

So the bowl has its advantages.

But Are Water Bottles Bad For Hedgehogs?

No, water bottles are not bad for hedgehogs. In fact, although the hedgehog can drink more easily from a bowl, water bottles offer their own advantages. 

You can see exactly how much water your hedgehog is consuming each night (very handy if they are young, ill, or old). You can also keep the water bottle sanitary very easily. 

Can Hedgehogs Find Water In Nature?

Yes, hedgehogs are able to find water when out in the wild. Since they are not fussy about the type of water that they drink this can include anything from a pond to a puddle.

The most important thing is that the hedgehog has access to enough water to be able to survive and live healthily, but as we touched on earlier, hedgehogs don’t drink that much!

Where do Hedgehogs Get Water In the Wild?

Hedgehogs will get water from anywhere in the wild. They are not fussy and will drink out of small wildlife ponds or saucers of water that people have left out for them.

If the water source is reliable then they are highly likely to return time and again. 

Any small puddle or lake will also make for a very happy hedgehog.

Can Hedgehogs Smell Water?

Hedgehogs have an incredible sense of smell and can sniff out food from a long way away!

However, they’re very likely to return to a reliable water source.

This means that if there is a small pond nearby they are more likely to head towards this rather than expending time and energy looking for a new water source…

As you might have noticed yourself, water has no smell.

So hedgehogs can’t find water in the wild just by sticking their little noses in the air.

Do Hedgehogs Drink a Lot of Water?

Hedgehogs do not drink a lot of water, so do not be concerned.

If you are monitoring your pet hedgehog’s water intake, then a rough guide depends on their age. 

Baby hedgehogs will drink approximately 60ml a day whereas adults will drink half this amount. Weird, right?

Keep a close eye on your hedgehog if they begin to drink more or less than this. Although it may simply be a stage, if their other daily patterns change (such as their eating habits) then this can be a cause for concern. Bring hedgie to the vet!

Why Does My Hedgehog Drink So Much Water?

Okay, before I say this, keep in mind that you should definitely seek the opinion of a vet and that it might be something else as well:

But if your hedgehog is drinking a lot of water, then this can be a clear sign of diabetes.

Since hedgehogs do not usually drink a lot of water this can be an easy sign to spot (especially if you have a water bottle rather than a bowl, because this lets you measure how much the hedgehog is drinking a little easier.) 

If you have any concerns just take your hedgehog down to the vet where they will be able to run a series of tests to determine if they are indeed diabetic.

Otherwise, they may be able to look for other causes of the thirst. (Hot weather for example!)

Why Isn’t My Hedgehog Drinking?

The main reason why your hedgehog isn’t drinking is because of an upset stomach. This is the most common sign that your hedgehog is having stomach problems. 

The best way to ensure that your hedgehog is drinking enough is to draw a marker on the side of the water bottle. This way you can know if they are actually drinking without your knowledge. Otherwise, you may have to take a trip to the vet to rule out any illnesses. 

Also, keep in mind that hedgehogs actually don’t drink that much and that they’re mostly active at night. Make sure that the hedgehog is indeed not drinking before drawing any conclusions!

How Long Can Hedgehogs Go Without Water?

A hedgehog should not be without water for more than a day. At a maximum of three days, this can cause fatty liver disease which is extremely bad.

Always have some water available for your pet hedgehog! Remember that it can’t ask you for a glass of water itself!

What To Give A Hedgehog To Drink?

Although water is the best drink to give a hedgehog, they are not fussy. But, just because they will drink it does not mean that they should! (Almost like us humans.)

So, in the following, we’ll tell you about the different drinks to give to hedgehogs and those to avoid.

Will Hedgehogs Drink Tap Water?

Yes, hedgehogs will drink tap water and it is perfectly safe for them to do so.

This is assuming that it can be properly cleaned and filtered by the water supply company, of course!

Even if the water in your area is hard water (a higher concentration of magnesium and calcium) this is still fine for hedgehogs to consume. No worries!

Can Hedgehogs Drink Cat Milk?

Yes, cat milk is typically given to orphaned baby hedgehogs to help them survive. Cat milk is actually one of the few types of milk that do not cause digestive issues in hedgehogs.

This is because it does not contain lactose (found in most kinds of milk) which can cause bad digestive problems and even death in some cases. In other words, hedgehogs have some kind of BAD lactose intolerance!

Another kind of milk that has no lactose is goat’s milk, which is also something that you can serve up for a hedgehog. Almond milk, soy milk, and other milk replacement shouldn’t be a problem either, as long as you don’t let the hedgehog drink too much.

This means that you should avoid cow’s milk! While it might seem like a nice treat for a hedgehog (which they will gladly glub down) it doesn’t do them any good.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Coffee?

Don’t do it, hedgie!

No, you should not give hedgehogs coffee. This is because the caffeine content in coffee is very high and can cause all kinds of health problems. 

A sluggish, sleepy hedgehog? It doesn’t matter! While you might benefit from a fresh cup of joe, a hedgehog most certainly won’t!

Many people use coffee bean grounds as a way of protecting their plants from slugs, so do not be surprised if you find a hedgehog licking coffee grounds. However, licking them is not the same as ingesting coffee. 

Can Hedgehogs Drink Cow’s Milk?

Absolutely not!

Although it may be very tempting to give your hedgehog cow’s milk (as this is what most of us have on hand in the fridge) this is a very bad idea.

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and even a moderate amount can cause serious health problems, like diarrhea. Cow’s milk is high in lactose and so should be avoided. There are other forms of milk (that are lactose-free) that can be given to the hedgehog instead.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Goat’s Milk?

Yes, just like cat’s milk goat’s milk is commonly given to orphaned baby hedgehogs. This milk is typically warmed and used as a substitute for the mother’s milk.

Because the goat’s milk is low on lactose it will not cause any harm to the hedgehog’s digestive system. It will simply provide them with all the good nutrients that they need.

Can Hedgehogs Drink Oat Milk?

Oat milk is perfectly fine to give to hedgehogs as an occasional treat. The same goes for almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, and other “vegan” milk substitutes.

However, you should make sure that the oat milk does not contain any added sugars or flavorings.

Anything added to the oat milk can possibly upset the hedgehog’s stomach, causing health problems. 

What About…. Wine?

Hedgehogs cannot and should not drink wine.

This is because any form of alcohol can be very dangerous to them.

Although wine is not the highest in terms of alcohol content, for a creature so small as a hedgehog even wine’s alcohol percentage can cause havoc on their bodies. 

For this reason, you should not give hedgehogs wine under any circumstances.

You can take it dancing, though.

Beer, Then?

Just like with wine, you should not give hedgehogs beer.

The alcohol in it is deadly to hedgehogs. Even the smallest amount of beer can cause alcohol poisoning in your hedgehog and, unfortunately, life-threatening. 

Can Baby Hedgehogs Drink Water?

Yes, in fact, baby hedgehogs drink more water than adults. They will typically drink double the amount of water that an adult hedgehog does!

And That’s All I Could Think Of!

That’s about all that came to mind regarding the hedgehog’s drinking habits and water. Do you have any questions or remarks that I didn’t answer in this article? Write them below, and I’ll see if I can answer them!

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