As an owner, you probably know that It’s important that your hedgehog has access to clean and fresh water every day but can hedgehogs to drink from water bottles? or do they need to get their water from an alternative source?
Let’s look at the facts and weigh up the alternatives so you can make the best decision before feeding your hedgehog from a water bottle.
So can hedgehogs drink from water bottles? Hedgehogs can drink from water bottles as opposed to bowls. Water bottles have distinct advantages such as increased sanitary, however, they also come with disadvantages like the possibility of nozzle blockages and more. It’s also important to consider which option your hedgehog prefers to drink from.
Read on to find out…
Can Hedgehogs Drink From Water bottles (More Info)
Hedgehogs can drink from water bottles as we mentioned above and many experts recommend this as their prefered option.
While other authorities such as Pet-MD suggest that either bottles or bowls are valid options and it’s down to the personal preferences of the hedgehog.
There are many advantages to using a water bottle instead of a bowl and this can tempt owners to make the switch to a bottle.
Before you do this, it’s important to point out that bottles also come with some disadvantages and these are enough for lots of owners to stick with bowls or even switch back to bowls.
The option that’s best for you will largely depend on your hedgie and if their personal preference is to use a bottle over a bowl, the quality of the bottle and your preference as an owner too.
Let’s take a look at both the benefits and concerns of letting your hedgehog drink from a water bottle…
Are There Any Benefits Of Hedgehogs Drinking From Water Bottles?
As we spoke about previously, there are many advantages to using water bottles as opposed to bowls.
One of the main benefits is that they free up much-needed space in the cage.
Water bottles hang from the side of the cage, leaving the floor space free that would normally be taken up by a bowl.
This can be really handy especially if you don’t have a spacious cage or just to let your hedgie have that extra room to explore and play.
The cage size requirements will differ depending on what country you live in but most experts recommend no less than 2ft x 3ft.
It’s important that you provide your hedgie with maximum floor space and here’s a list of cages that we have put together that give your hedgehog the space they need.
Water bottles are also much more hygienic than bowls as the water is locked away in the cylinder.
The water in a bowl can easily get contaminated as with bedding, urine and even poop and needs to be checked multiple times daily.
This is obviously a big advantage and one that gives you peace of mind as an owner that you are providing your hedgie with clean water that’s safe to drink.
This doesn’t mean that this isn’t achievable from bowls but it does mean that you have to be more vigilant to keep the water in the bowl as clean as you can the water in the bottle.
Are There Any Concerns Of Hedgehogs Drinking From Water Bottles?
As well as having some really good benefits, water bottles also have some equally concerning pitfalls too.
Probably the first one we should address is that it’s been reported that hedgehogs have got their tongue stuck in the spout on rare occasions when trying to drink from the bottle.
Another common complaint is that some hedgehogs chew the spout and this can sometimes lead to their teeth becoming chipped.
The most common cause of both these problems is when the hedgehog can’t get enough water out of the bottle so in a desperate attempt to solve this they chew on the spout which can lead to a tooth getting chipped and even their tongue getting stuck in the spout.
While these sound like pretty alarming issues, these are usually solved by choosing a good quality water bottle that’s got a wide spout to allow a good flow of water and also ensuring that you clean the spout regularly to make sure it’s not blocked with food or any sort of build-up.
We recommend you check out this page here where we share our choice of water bottle with a wide spout and device to ensure the water is flowing correctly.
Water Bottles Vs Water Bowls
Ok, so it’s time to directly compare water bottles and water bowls so you can get a better idea of which is going to be a better choice for your hedgehog.
For the comparison, we’ve listed 4 important features and ranked each one simply as the ‘winner’ or ‘loser’
As you can see from the table below, both water bottles and bowls have their advantages and it will depend on what’s important to you as an owner and for your hedgehog.
Hedgehog Water Bottles Vs Bowls
|Easiest to Drink From||Loser||Winner|
|Easiest to Clean||Loser||Winner|
Can Hedgehogs Switch From Bowls to Bottles?
Hedgehogs can learn to switch to a water bottle if they are currently using a bowl and vice-versa.
Veteriankey state that the best way to make the switch from a bowl to a bottle smoothly is to offer the bowl and the bottle at the same time until your hedgie gets used to the ideas and concept of the bottle.
When they can drink freely from the water bottle then you can take the bowl out of the cage.
We agree with this method as it ensures that your hedgie won’t become dehydrated in the process of learning how to operate the water bottle and they will always have the bowl at hand.
Don’t forget that some hedgehogs simply don’t like to use water bottles and prefer drinking out of bowls.
If this is the case it’s a better option to let them continue with their bowl as sometimes they can drink very little water and become dehydrated.
How Often Do Hedgehog Bottles Need Cleaning?
There are a lot of different views and opinions to how often you should clean your hedgehog’s water bottle.
While some recommend that 2 times per week is fine as long as you are changing the water daily, others recommend they should be washed and cleaned every day.
One such source is VCA-Hospitals who say water bottles should be washed out with soap and water then rinsed on a daily basis.
We tend to agree with this advice as it first makes sure that the bottle is clean and bacteria-free for your hedgie.
Secondly, cleaning the bottle every day lessens the chance of any build-up forming in the spout that can block the water flow.
As this can be the main source of problems associated with water bottles then it’s a good idea to keep on top of it.
When you clean the bottle you should use hot water with soap and a bottle brush as this will allow you to reach all the areas you would struggle to with your hands alone.
You also need to rinse the bottle thoroughly and get rid of all the soap suds before you fill it up with water for your hedgehog.
What Bottle Do We Recommend For Hedgehogs?
There are lots of water bottles to choose from and for the most part, they all look like they pretty much do the same job.
However, not all bottles are the same and some simply give your hedgehog a much better drinking experience.
These bottles will also make it far easier for you the owner to clean and keep a healthy amount of water flowing through the spout.
As we’ve already talked about in this post, a wide spout is very important to allow your hedgie to easily drink from the bottle and it’s also less likely to get a blockage.
The water bottle we really like and the only one we recommend is by Choco Nose.
They’ve done a great job of creating a patented 11.2 oz bottle with a wide spout.
Every day when you fill it up with fresh water, you can tap the metal ball inside the nozzle and if bubbles form then this shows there are no blockages.
It also has multiple ways to fix to your cage too, so you can clamp it to the cage with a screw-on clamp.
You can also use a bracket fixing to screw into wood. This is especially handy if you house your hedgehog in a vivarium and need to screw the bottle holder to the wood of the vivarium.
You can see the exact Choco Nose water bottle we recommend in this easy to follow guide here where we list our recommended accessories.