Can hamsters swim? Technically, yes, like most mammals, hamster’s can swim… but they really don’t like it and it can be very bad for them!
Can hamsters swim?
In the wild, hamsters live in dry environments. They are not naturally inclined to get into water and they usually don’t like to get very wet.
Putting your hamster in water and forcing them to swim will put them under a lot of stress. This stress can weaken their immune system and make them susceptible to disease. If the water is cold or the hamster remains wet for a long period of time then they could even end up catching a lethal cold or pneumonia!
The person in this video thinks that their hamsters will enjoy swimming… but this is actually really cruel!
We recommend that you even avoid washing your hamster. They’re perfectly capable of keeping themselves clean, and even a small amount of water can cause problems.
Water can remove vital protective oils from your hamster’s coat. This can lead to your little friend catching a chill, which can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.
You may see videos of hamsters swimming on YouTube but notice how many negative votes the video has – these are from people who know that it’s a cruel thing to do! – and notice how the hamsters seem panicked and swim towards the edges of the pool. They’re not having fun swimming around… they’re trying to escape from the water.
Just because some animals like certain activities, such as swimming, it’s not right to assume that other animals like those activities too. When keeping any pet, you should carefully research their needs and natural environment, and try to recreate those natural conditions as closely as possible within your own home.
So, to summarise, yes, hamsters can swim. But that doesn’t mean they should. It’s very bad for their physical and mental health and you should avoid putting your hamster in water whenever possible.
Can hamsters swim?
Wild hamsters tend to live in dry, hot climates. This leads to the question, do hamsters swim naturally? Can hamsters go in water?
Just because an animal doesn’t naturally live in a wet, moist habitat, doesn’t mean they can’t physically swim!
Hamsters in the wild won’t often come across large bodies of water to swim in.
But laboratory tests have shown that hamsters are physically able to swim when exposed to water or when they are made to enter water.
Hamsters have been found to swim with less complex techniques than other, larger mammals, but they can swim nonetheless!
And at a young age, swimming as a form of exercise has been suggested to help improve the health of hamsters!
Can dwarf hamsters swim?
Dwarf hamsters in the wild live in similar, very dry conditions, just like syrian hamsters.
However, just like syrian hamsters, dwarf hamsters are also capable of swimming!
This might be surprising because of their smaller size, but they’re just as able!
Because dwarf hamsters are smaller, you might want to reduce the depth of the water you let your hamster swim in!
So now we know hamsters of all sizes can swim, do hamsters like to swim?
Do hamsters like water?
Just because hamsters physically can swim doesn’t mean that they necessarily enjoy doing so.
The hot, dry natural habitats of hamsters mean that they wouldn’t normally encounter water to swim in.
This means wild hamsters would naturally steer clear of water unless it was to drink.
So does that mean hamsters don’t enjoy swimming?
Obviously knowing if hamsters like swimming is just as important as knowing can hamsters swim, as we don’t want to force our pets to do activities they don’t actually enjoy!
And keeping our pets’ stress to a minimum is important!
It can be really hard to tell whether our hamsters are enjoying swimming or not, but if it seems like your hamster is looking for an escape route from the water, or starting to panic, it is best to remove it just to be on the safe side!
Can hamsters swim in a bathtub?
The most natural place you might want to allow your hamster to swim is in your bathtub.
Your bathtub allows you to control the water levels.
But remember how small your hamster is! You don’t want it to be out of its depth, which could lead to panic, especially as hamsters don’t naturally choose to swim, and the tall slippery sides of the bath don’t provide much grip!
If you’ve been thinking about using your bathtub to put your hamster in water, check out this article on the best and most appropriate ways to bathe your little pet.
This gives you a great step-by-step guide to knowing when and how you should be washing your hamster with water, to keep it stress free and happy!
Surprisingly, the most common way to wash hamsters actually involves using dust, so doesn’t involve any potential swimming!
If you’re looking for some tips on how to give your hamster a sand bath, or want to see how hamsters react to sand baths, check out our article on hamster sand baths!
Can hamsters swim in a pool?
You might be wondering, if hamsters can swim in water, do hamster swimming pools exist?
Pools specifically designed for hamsters are not common, as many people who choose to let their hamsters swim tend to use bathtubs, bowls, or actual swimming pools!
However, this can be risky, as pools often have very steep sides, and are very deep and wide.
This can mean if your hamster starts to struggle as it swims, it could become very stressed, and you might not reach it before this stress badly affects your hamsters happiness or health.
The lack of escape routes for hamsters in pools designed for humans can also lead to extra stress!
If you’re really eager to see if your hamster likes swimming, it would be best to try things out with a large, shallow bowl at first.
Or, at least keep the water level in the pool very low. Make sure you pay attention to remove your hamster if it shows any signs of stress.
Something with an easy escape route would be best. This gives your hamster the opportunity to remove itself from the water if it is not enjoying swimming as much as you hoped it would!
Hamsters and water – A Summary
So can hamsters swim in water?
Yes they can! But they don’t always enjoy doing so!
If you’re excited to see whether your hamster takes to swimming, you could try it out. But make sure, especially the first time, that there is an easy escape route and no risk of your hamster panicking and taking in any water.
Hamsters don’t naturally encounter large bodies of water, so swimming won’t necessarily come naturally to them.
This is why we tend not to bathe our hamsters in water!
Have you ever seen a hamster swimming before, or seen how your hamster has reacted to swimming?
Perhaps your hamster seems to love swimming and paddling in little pools of water!
Let us know in the comments your experiences with hamsters and water!
The benefits and dangers of a hamster ball.