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 will ask yourself is if guinea pigs can or cannot drink out of a bowl.
So, can guinea pigs drink out of a bowl? Yes, 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 then 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, the downsides and also – is it is more beneficial for a guinea pig to drink out of a water bottle or out of the bowl?
You should 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
Also, just as important as the first thing is for them to drink fresh 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. Anyway, if the water is too old, they might as well not drink it so, after all, you will still need to change the water.
3. Temperature of the Water
Moreover, just like us, 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 in a warmer room permanently. Guinea pigs like warmth and the water will not freeze making it impossible for them to drink it (click here to read more about guinea pig temperature tolerance).
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 (in case it is a bottle) if it’s working properly. If it’s not, replace it but if it is, you should pay a visit to the vet because unbalanced intake of water can be an early sign of some disease.
Benefits and Downsides of Drinking Water out of a Bowl for Guinea Pigs
Benefits of the Water Bowl
- The first benefit is that 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.
- The second benefit is probably the price because 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. 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 to poop in their food bowls. Why wouldn’t they do the same thing with their water bowls?
- Anything can get in their water and that is not healthy at all. Hay, food and even poop can get in there, so if you are considering getting a bowl for their water then please at least make sure you keep the cage as 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 and you should clean it entirely but there is actually a simple way to prevent that from happening and that is buying a ceramic bowl. Using a heavier bowl is much more convenient.
Water Bottles for Guinea Pigs
I won’t get into too much detail about water bottles. One of the things I wanted to add is that the water bottle is the best thing guinea pigs can get when speaking of water consumption. They take no space in the cage and they are easy to fill without opening the cage (as you have to when filling a bowl).
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 your friend. 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: Best Water Bottles For Guinea Pigs: A Helpful Guide
Bowl vs Water Bottle – Which Is Better for Your Guinea Pig?
The conclusion is 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. Trust me it is better to be safe than sorry. Guinea pigs cannot live for a long time without water, so they can die because of dehydration.
Speaking of dehydration, remember the fact that they can spill their bowl all over the cage. If this thing happens when no one is around, they are in danger of dehydrating. Please, 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.
I would never choose a bowl but if you do then you need a heavy bowl and you have to change the water very often. Also, be careful if something gets in the water. To me, all of this sounds time and energy-consuming and why do it when you have a better solution.
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.
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.