Guinea pigs are really sensitive little animals and you have to take into consideration a lot of things they need in their life before getting one for yourself. One of the questions you’ll have is whether or not guinea pigs can drink from a bowl.
So, can guinea pigs drink out of a bowl? The majority of the guinea pigs can drink out of a bowl, especially if they used to drink out of a bowl while growing up. If they used water bottles since birth, they will have a hard time getting used to the bowl and vice versa.
This answer is not the actual interesting part of this topic. The things you should know are the benefits and their downsides. However, you should also keep in mind that most pet owners buy water bottles for their guinea pigs and you will soon find out why.
Water for Guinea Pigs | Some Things You Should Know
Even if guinea pigs don’t drink as much water as other pets do, they need to have water on hand all the time. These are the most important thing you need to know about water and guinea pigs:
They need to always have access to water because an imbalanced intake of water can dehydrate them. Dehydration is just as bad for guinea pigs as it is for humans. A small intake of water can cause malfunctioning of guinea pig’s organs and it can also raise the risk for certain diseases.
2. Fresh Water
The following most crucial thing is that they drink clean water. If you provide your guinea pig with a certain amount of water and a day (at most) passes without him finishing the water, you have to replace it. However, if the water is too old, they might as well not drink it. After all, you will still need to change the water.
3. Temperature of the Water
Guinea pigs drink more water during a hot day, so they find cold water refreshing. That is the main reason you need to change their water often. Still, you need to be careful and don’t be extreme. Don’t give them iced water because it can get them sick.
Be careful about their environment. On cold days, if the room they are in gets too cold to the point where water is too cold for them to drink, you need to move them to a warmer room permanently.
4. Keep Track of How Much Water Your Guinea Pig Drinks Daily
A strange but beneficial thing you should do is to keep track of how much water your guinea pig drinks daily. They usually drink the same amount each day, but it varies from season to season.
One of the two main benefits of knowing how much water your guinea pig drinks is knowing how much water to give them before you leave for work or for school.
The second thing is that you notice very quickly when they drink a lot less or a lot more water than normal. If so, check the bottle if it’s working properly. If it’s not, replace it.
However, if it is working, you should pay a visit to the vet because an unbalanced intake of water can be an early sign of some disease.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Guinea Pigs Drinking Water From a Bowl
Benefits of the Water Bowl
The bowl is on the floor of the cage. This means guinea pigs don’t have to raise their head in order to drink water. So, it might be easier for old or sick guinea pigs this way.
Once your guinea pig gets used to drinking out of a bottle, it is way harder to help him learn how to drink out of the bowl. However, this can easily be avoided by putting water in a bowl for him to drink while he is growing up. This way, he will be used to drinking out of a bowl.
Moreover, one of its benefits is probably the price. Bowls are cheaper than water bottles.
Downsides of the Water Bowl
A bad thing about bowls is they collect bacteria inside of them and this happens because they are not closed. So, you should definitely wash it up at least several times a week.
On the other hand, the water bottles are a lot more sanitary than the bowls. They are hermetically closed, while the water bowls don’t even have lids. The water can be contaminated with anything there is in the cage.
Seeing things from this perspective, you probably shouldn’t even consider getting a bowl. Think about all the nasty things that exist in a guinea pig cage. Guinea pigs are known to lie and poop in their food bowls.
Anything may get into their water, which is not good. Hay, food, and even poop can get in there. So, if you are considering getting a bowl for their water, make sure you keep the cage clean as you can. Also, as soon as you notice that the water bowl has bedding or anything in there, change the water.
Another downside to using a water bowl is that it can be flipped over. This makes the whole cage wet. You should thoroughly clean it, but there is an easy solution to avoid this: purchase a ceramic bowl. Using a heavier bowl is much more convenient.
Water Bottles for Guinea Pigs
When it comes to water consumption, the best thing guinea pigs can use is a water bottle. They take no space in the cage and they are easy to fill without opening the cage.
When it comes to changing the water, it’s good if you change it at least once a day and more frequently during the warmer weather.
If you have a busy life and if your piggy’s water bottle is usually empty when you get home, try getting a larger one or try having two water bottles for them. Make sure the supply of water lasts at least for the period that you are gone.
From time to time, check the bottle if it’s working the way it’s supposed to. If it’s not, there is a high chance that your guinea pigs cannot drink water from that bottle.
However, water bottles are known to leak and that is one downside that you need to be careful about that.
Cleaning the water bottle at least once a week is the most important step in maintaining a bacteria-free water bottle. If you don’t wash the bottle often enough, it can grow algae that are not safe to drink. Always be careful about how often you wash their bottle.
Related: 9 Best Water Bottles for Guinea Pigs (Reviews and Guides)
Bowl vs. Water Bottle | Which Is Better for Your Guinea Pig?
The water bottle is more beneficial for the health of the guinea pig. It is easy to use and if it breaks you can just replace it. It’s as easy as that.
Water is very important for guinea pigs as well as it is for the majority of the living creatures on Earth. Never let your guinea pigs be alone without a satisfactory amount of water. Guinea pigs cannot live for a long time without water. So, they can die because of dehydration.
Remember, they can spill their bowl all over the cage. If this thing happens when no one is around, they are in danger of dehydrating. Take all of the factors into account in order to decide whether you want to get a bowl or water bottle for your guinea pigs.
In the end, whatever option you choose, keep in mind that you need to wash both the bowl and the water bottle from time to time. Use a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. If you do this once or twice a week, it should be perfect because it will prevent bacteria from forming.