Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles? The Best Option In Our Experience.

hedgehog with red hedgehog with red cap drinks from water bottle but Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles?ap drinks from water bottle

Water is essential for the health and well-being of hedgehogs and enjoying a constant supply can be lifesaving. Hedgehogs may drink from water bottles or bowls but which one is more suitable for their needs?

This article answers the question “Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles?” by revealing the main types of water bottles available as well as the pros and cons of using them as your hedgehog’s source of hydration. We also delve into the positives and negatives of water bowls and provide our verdict on which one is the best.

Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles?

Hedgehogs may drink from water bottles since they take up less space and cannot be overturned like bowls. Bottles provide real-time updates of how much water is ingested and are easy to install in small cage spaces.

Now water bottles can take some getting used to unlike shallow water bowls which simply require hedgehogs to dip their long snouts into whenever thirsty. However, taking the time to train your hedgehogs can be worth it since water bottles provide a more sanitary cage environment.

Hedgehogs do not have the best eyesight and the risk of bumping into and overturning water bowls can be high resulting in wet cage environments. Wet enclosures could turn into fertile breeding grounds for bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.

Can Hedgehogs Drink From Water Bottles Safely?

Many hedgehog owners may be hesitant to install water bottles in their pet’s cages due to the numerous horror stories of hedgehogs suffering chipped teeth from the metal dispensers in water bottles or even stuck tongues in the bottle’s ball bearings.

However, choosing the right water bottle typically resolves all these problems because hedgehogs try to chew the water bottle dispensers out of frustration when they’re not getting enough water with each lick of the spout.

Bottles with large spouts dispense more water with each lick satisfying the hedgehog’s water intake needs and eliminating the frustration that can trigger bottle spout chewing and resultant chipped teeth.

Water Bottles vs Bowls – Which Is The Best?

hedgehog drinking from water bow but Water Bottles vs Bowls - Which Is The Best?

After extensive experience with water bottles and bowls, we strongly believe that water bottles are a better option for many reasons. Firstly, the water remains clean in bottles, unlike bowls which may get soiled from contaminants like cage bedding.

Hedgehogs love to burrow in their bedding and the paper or wood shavings inevitably end up in the water bowl contaminating and requiring urgent refills several times a day. This can be tedious work for hedgehog parents with little time on their hands.

Hedgehogs could accidentally overturn their water bowls during their constant roaming around resulting in a wet cage environment that could expose them to diseases. Fleece cage liner users may not have much of a problem due to the moisture-wicking abilities of the material but those of us with a preference for wood shavings are forced to remove and replace the soiled bedding regularly.

Every inch of space counts in the hedgehog’s cage and water bottles can be easily hung in even the smallest cages without being much of a nuisance. However, water dishes take up a lot of space which could deny the hedgehog access to toys and other vital cage components.

Besides, knowing the exact water quantities your hedgehogs are drinking may be impossible in dishes or bowls, unlike water bottles. Illnesses and infections affecting the hedgehog’s appetite and water intake are easily spotted in water bottles since the water gauge is conspicuous.

Can Hedgehogs Switch From Water Bowls to Bottles?

It is only logical that you’d want to switch to bottles if your hedgehogs are currently using water bowls. Fortunately, making the switch is not impossible although it requires some patience. The trick is to tap the metal bead each time the hedgehog is in proximity for water to drip out of the bottle.

Repeating it a few times over several days could make it clear to the hedgehog that the bottle is a source of drinking water. Hang the water bottle at their shoulder-length for easy access when it finally sinks into the hedgehog’s mind that the installed bottle dispenses drinking water.

Fixing the water bottle too high may discourage hedgehogs from drinking from them since the angles can be uncomfortable. Keep refilling the water bowl daily even during the water bottle training period until the hedgehogs are fully into drinking from the bottle.

What Is The Best Water Bottle For Hedgehogs?

The Kordon Oasis Water Bottle is the best water bottle for hedgehogs thanks to its extra-wide spout and chew-proof properties that eliminates the risk of chipped teeth. Our 2 hedgehogs currently drink from 2 separate bottles of this specific model and we’re planning to order another one when we bring in a new hedgehog next month.

They’re easy to clean and available at a great price on Amazon. It features anti-bacterial material to keep the water clean even if you’re unable to refill it every 24 hours as recommended by veterinarians.

Unfortunately, the majority of water bottles feature small-sized spouts that can be hard for water to dispense. If buying offline, the trick is to compare your pinkie finger to the spout to verify that the latter is larger before ordering. Smaller spouts tend to dispense water slowly which could be frustrating for hedgehogs.

Hedgehog water bottles come in thousands of brands with varying shapes, colors, and sizes but there are two main dispensing mechanisms. One type features a spring-loaded mechanism at the rear of the ball while the other doesn’t.

We prefer those without spring-loaded mechanisms since they typically dispense more water and hedgehogs find them easier to drink from. The issue of chipped teeth and stuck tongues is eliminated when they drink from bottles without the mechanism.

How To Eliminate Leakages From Your Hedgehog’s Water Bottle

Few things can be more frustrating than dealing with leaky water bottles and many hedgehog owners report going close to giving up on their use. However, here are smart ways to eliminate dripping hedgehog water bottles.

Filling It All The Way

Filling your pet water bottle is a simple but easy way to eliminate leakages by ensuring proper usage of the bottle’s vacuum system.

Air Bubbles

air bubbles in an indigo background

Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped behind the metal bead because it could also eliminate leakages by allowing the bottle to seal up correctly.

No Hot or Cold Water

Avoid filling the water bottle with extremely hot or cold water because it may interfere with the vacuum system leading to leakages.

Get The Angle Right

Getting the angle of placement right is another tried and tested way to eliminate hedgehog water bottle leakages. Placing the bottle at a horizontal angle can cause dripping by inhibiting the pressure mounted by the nozzle.

You may have to experiment with different angles to find the right one that doesn’t cause dripping but for most people leaning the bottle back a little bit works well.

Clogged Nozzles

The nozzle may get clogged from bedding material, dirt, or even calcium deposits if constantly filled with tap water which can trigger leakages.

What Is The Best Cleaning Method For Hedgehog Water Bottles?

Cleaning the water bottle with hot water and a small scrubbing brush or old toothbrush can eliminate traces of dirt, bacteria, and biofilm. The hedgehog’s drinking water should be changed every 24 hours for maximum health benefits.

Conclusion: Can Hedgehogs Use Water Bottles?

Hedgehog water bottles can be a great source of hydration because they are a much cleaner alternative to water dishes which can easily get soiled with cage bedding, dirt, and hedgehog poop.

Fortunately, even hedgehogs that have used water dishes all their lives are able to switch to bottles without problems. Just make it clear to them that the bottles are a source of drinking water and they’ll warm up to their use over time.

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