Can Your Hamster Swim?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take your hamsters for a dip in the pool? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see your adorable little hamsters swimming? But can hamsters swim?

While it’s not impossible for hamsters to make their way through the open water, intentionally making them get drenched might not be a great idea as it can be risky to their health.

So if you’re trying to find out if it’s safe to go swimming with your hamsters or you’re probably wondering if it’s okay to give them a soapy bath, let’s find out here.

Hamsters in the Wild

Hamsters in the wild typically live in warm, dry, and open environments like steppes, sand dunes, and deserts. They are not inclined to live in wet environments where they are required to cross over bodies of water.

As for where they get drinking water, they mostly acquire it from small puddles, condensation from the rain, and from their food sources.

Also, they are more of a digger than a swimmer. Hamsters are excellent at constructing burrows with connecting chambers and multiple entrances. When buying an aquarium for a cage for your hamsters, it might be a great idea to fill it up with a supreme brand of sand, specifically children’s Playpit sand or Chinchilla sand to let them feel as if they are in their natural habitats.

Do Hamsters Like Water?

Hamsters are terrestrial creatures. Their feet are built for cursorial locomotion, giving them an advantage and making them well-adapted in sandy terrains. Being a land-dweller, they don’t do very well in the water. So before you go on diving in your pool with your pet hamster, think about this for a second.

Like most mammals, hamsters have the innate ability to swim especially when they have to. They would even use their cheek pouches that they naturally use for storing food as flotation devices for buoyancy while they swim.

However, as a responsible owner, it is critical for you to know that hamsters generally dislike being in the water and they will try to do their best to avoid being in it.

Health Effects of Hamsters Getting Wet

Exposing your hamsters to the water by forcing them to swim or by giving them a bath will put them under extreme stress and discomfort. In short, making them wet is dangerous as stress in hamsters can lead to a weakened immune system, resulting in them becoming more susceptible to illnesses and diseases.

One of the adverse effects your hamster can suffer from being in the water is that it washes off the natural oils in its hair and skin. These natural oils are responsible for keeping the hamsters’ fur and skin healthy, which also help protect their bodies from getting too dirty.

Moreover, hamsters cannot manage their body temperature very well. So by losing the protection of the natural oils, they have on their skin and hair, can also lead them to get hypothermia.

Since hamsters are burrowers, they mostly rely on being under their chambers to regulate their body temperature when they experience winter or whenever they get wet in the wild.


More often than not, some owners forget or don’t care about the wild roots of their pets. In reality, though, every animal’s origins serve a vital role in its health and well-being.

Unfortunately, because this critical factor is being overlooked for some pets, they tend to suffer resulting in them becoming unhealthy and ultimately living a shorter life.

Although your hamsters may turn out to be surprisingly good swimmers and adapt well in the water, you should always consider the things that they enjoy and what makes them healthy. Thinking about their health and overall well-being can somehow be a small thing for you, but it’s a huge factor for them to live a long, healthy, and happy life. In short, try not to let your hamster swim. 

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