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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I am new to this forum, although I have been keeping the glorious prickly ones as pets for a few years.
I am trying to get a general concensus regarding the use of water bottles versus bowls with a hedgehog. I have heard bad things about bottles and hogs, such as the poor little guys getting their tongue caught in the bottle and the end result is amputation. :shock:
I don't know how frequently this may have occured, but just the thought of that happening causes me to stay away from a water bottle, and so I only use bowls.
Has anyone here heard of this happening, or had it happen to themselves? The downside to a water bowl is that the hoggies are always getting there water full of stuff that shouldn't be there, or the bowl gets turned over entirely!
Any insight you all could give would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

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I am new to this, however, my hog came to me being water bottle fed. I changed over to a bowl (actually glass) two nights ago. When patient, she would use her nose to prop the ball at the end of the water bottle to get water. However, I noticed when really thirsty, she would bite aggressively at the end, trying to paw the metal end. Because of this, I switched. I was concerned about damage to her teeth. So far, no mess...
 

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My hedgie came from the breeder on a water bottle, but I switched him to a bowl after he'd stand there for 5 minutes at a time lapping at the bottle trying to drink. He just wasn't getting enough from it, and he really seems to prefer the bowl (I left the bottle in the cage also so he could choose and he always goes to the bowl instead of the bottle). I use liners in the cage so I don't have to worry about bedding getting into it. The worst he gets in the water would be a few chunks of kibble. I've never had him turn the bowl over, but the bottom of the bowl is pretty flat and low to the ground so he can't really get under it.
I've heard rumors of the tongues getting caught, and teeth getting chipped, but not firsthand. Some people will use bottles because of bedding if they use wooden bedding, but bowls seem to be the preferred choice of hedgies so most people stick with those.
 

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Yeah, Lily was using a bottle when I first got her back in August, and I kept her on a bottle for several months. However, after I found this forum and found that they could chip teeth and get their tongue caught (even if that is rare) in the bottle, I started adding a bowl of water to her cage. After a week or so, I took the bottle out, and she seems to be doing fine with her bowl. She's a pretty neat girl, and she's on liners, so I don't find any shavings or other stuff in the water. I fill the bowl all the way to the top so that she doesn't have to put her feet up on the edge and lean in to get a drink, so no poop from her feet falls in, either. I rather like using the bowl, it's easier to clean and refill each night.
 

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I use a water bowl for Inky, with fleece liners. I've never had a problem with stuff getting in it except for a few crumbs each night. I rinse and refill the dish nightly, so there's never a chance for it to get gross.
 

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I've heard of one instance of a tongue getting caught and many instances of chipped teeth due to bottles. All of ours are on bowls.
 

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Ours use bowls as well. They used to have bottles, but one of them got way too dehydrated because she couldn't get enough water out of it. When we realized it we were horrified and said NEVER again! She was fine after switching to a bowl.
 

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What about for baby hedgehogs?
We bought a hedgehog and she had babies 5 days after we got her. One of her babies survived and it is exactly 3 weeks old today. We are a bit worried about having a water bowl in the cage because we heard that babies can drown in them....does anyone know what the best thing to do it? Our mother hedgehog doesn't drink from the water bottle that i put in there just in case. (she actually doesn't seem to drink much at all!)
Please give me advice as quickly as possible because it seems that the baby is going to come out of the nest any minute now! We see her/him walking around inside the nest area and its eyes opened up yesterday.

Any advice please?!
Sandra and Jessica
 

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I use water bowls for all my hedgies...mom's included and have never had a baby drown yet. By the time they are out and wandering around they are usually big enough that drowning in a water bowl isn't a concern.
 

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I know i'm in the minority, but i use water bottles as i use wood shavings as bedding so a water bowl gets veryy messy very quickly. I have never had any problems with shiped teeth or tounges getting caught, but i'm now considering changing back to water bowls after eading the above!
 

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Another vote for bowl.

I just don't feel that they can drink fast enough through a bottle if they are really thirsty. Especially after running furiously on the wheel, mine will run over to his water bowl and drink for a good minute or two. It could be why some of them would start attacking and biting their bottle, because the water doesn't flow quick enough.

Imagine having to run some distance, and you're in dire need of water. What would you prefer? Something that gives you dribblets of water, or something that you can take a gulp out of?

Anyways, that's just what I think, it may be totally wrong. I just stick to bowls no matter what...Just more natural for them.
 

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I now have been using the bowl surrounded by shavings with no problem. I have a wide mouth short glass with lines in it --to keep track of water intake. Since it is a bit higher to reach, I have steps around the glass (4 tea lights). Bas steps up and drinks from here, and shavings don't get in water, although I did find a TP roll one morning :lol: . When exploring outside of the cage, I have a low bowl which she uses as well.
 

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For some reason I always assumed bottles were the standard maybe because that's what my breeder used. I have indeed heard the bottle horror stories (although the notion that hogs cant seem to get enough water out is a new one for me) but I used them anyway. Its been about 3 years and Ive had few problems. Perhaps accidents only occur when animals are not accustomed to using bottles and are abruptly switched over to them. My hog just refuses to use a bowl. She likes to walk through it and sometimes poop in it, but I've never caught her drinking out of it. The one problem I did have with the bottles was accidental drainage. Sometimes shavings would get piled up near the spout and push the ball bearing in causing all of the water to spill out in the cage. I raised the bottle up a few inches and all was well.

After reading these posts I now may worry a little bit more about whether my Isabelle is getting her water fast enough. After she runs I hear her frantically sipping away (for non bottle owners, the bottles make a metallic clicking sound when used, and the intensity varies based on how fast the animal tries to drink) but I usually interpret the sound as reassurance that she active and drinking. Those draining problems I experienced gave me some proof that the water can get out at a fairly steady rate. Additionally, I feel that bottles are a good tool for measuring water consumption. Bowls are not reliable because of sloshing and evaporation. Bottles will let you know if and how much your hog is drinking, which is a good thing to know if you suspect he or she is not feeling well. So that's my two cents.
 

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My breeder teaches all her hedgies to use water bottles so I figured that was normal but after reading this thread I am worried about Lima hurting her teeth because she does occasionally bite at the bottle, but only until she gets the water flowing and then she just licks at it. She seems to get enough water and I do like the water bottle becausing it's cleaner and takes up less space so I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of some sort of solution to the biting problem? I was thinking about taking some craft foam and hot gluing it around the metal tube so it's softer when she bites it. But it might have to be something tougher so that it doesn't come apart when she bites it. And I'll have to make sure it's non-toxic. Any ideas?
 

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My hedgehogs are very mischievious, we had a bowl and a bottle there at first, but it seemed that the bottle was being used more, and also, they would dump over the water bowl, somehow drag it to the center of the cage and pile shavings on it so it was buried beneath it. very inventive i thought.:lol: Also, they seemed to just walk in the bowl of water every so often and poop in it. I only use a bottle now, and they seem to empty it pretty fast, so i'm sure they get enough water
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am still in favor of a water bowl, even though I had a terrible thing happen recently.
I had a mother give birth, and one morning I looked inside the cage to find a dead hoglet in the bowl :cry: I think the mother was carrying it in her mouth and dropped it in the bowl. The water wasn't deep enough to drown, so it may have froze to death. A horrible thing to find. :(
 

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ewhhhh--sorry about the little one. I wonder about the behaviour of pooping in the water bowl some hedgehogs do. Perhaps once the hedgehog is in the water bowl, since it is like the bathing environment, there is a release. Just a thought...
 

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ChristinaP said:
The ones I mentioned had grown up with bottles, but still were not getting enough.
Yeah, I guess I wasn't really clear when I relayed my guess that maybe water bottle problems are a result of not growing up using the bottle. Doesn't really apply to not being able to get enough water. I was thinking just for teeth and mouth injuries. Sorry bout that.
 
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