Guinea pigs are incredible animals, and every owner should take good care of their pet. This is why things can get a little tricky when it comes to food because there are so many things that you have to consider.
But what about drinks for guinea pigs? Can they only drink water, or is there something more you can give them?
What do guinea pigs drink? Guinea pigs can drink tap or bottled water. The water needs to be clean and at room temperature. They can also drink homemade fresh fruit juice, heavily diluted with water.
You need to be careful with guinea pig’s nutrition because they have a very sensitive digestive system, and there are many foods and drinks that are toxic for guinea pigs.
In the following sections, we’ll talk about drinks for guinea pigs, how much water do guinea pigs drink, and other allowed drinks to guinea pigs. This information is a significant step in becoming the best owner for your guinea pig pet. Now, let’s begin!
Table of Content
Why Is Water So Important for Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs like water, and they need it to digest food, breathe, and keep their internal organs functioning. Water is used to lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, and protect all organs. Moreover, water is essential for helping the body get rid of any waste.
That is why the lack of water can lead to many health problems for guinea pigs. If you want your pet to live a wholesome life, one of your main duties is making sure that the guinea pig drinks enough water that supplies for the whole day.
How Much Water Should Guinea Pigs Drink Per Day?
Guinea pigs need about 100 ml of fresh water per day, but that does not mean that your pet will drink it all in one go. In fact, it is practically impossible to predict when your guinea pig will be thirsty. That is exactly why experts advise you to provide a constant water supply to your guinea pig (24/7).
Suppose your guinea pig drinks less or more water; that does not necessarily mean something is wrong with its health. The guinea pig might be drinking less than 100 ml of water simply because it is getting enough water from its diet (there are fruits or vegetables that contain lots of water).
Why Do Guinea Pigs Drink So Much Water?
Different vegetables and fruits, for example, might be helping the guinea pig reach the daily water norm.
If the guinea pig started drinking water a little more than usual, it is not always a reason for you to start panicking. During hot months, all living creatures tend to consume more water, as we all need a little more water to help regulate our body’s temperature.
Also, if the guinea pig is recovering from a disease or if it is pregnant, the daily norm of water might vary a little.
With that said, you have to make sure to keep an eye on how much your guinea pig is drinking. If your guinea pig consumed a small amount of water and then suddenly started drinking a lot of water without an obvious reason, that might be a signal of health problems.
The same applies to the reverse situation. If the strange behavior continues for a few days, pay a visit to the exotic vet.
How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Water?
There is no exact data for how long guinea pigs can survive without water, but you have to make sure not to leave your guinea pig without water for more than 24 hours.
Guinea pigs are very active animals, and they love to eat a lot, so water is essential to them. They drink water very often, and it can be a problem if they are left without it.
If you need to leave them alone for more than 24 hours, be sure to put a lot of water in their cage but note that they can spill the water, or it can start tasting bad after just one day.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Tap Water?
There is one simple rule for providing your guinea pig with tap water. If you won’t drink it, the guinea pig should not drink the water as well.
If there is nothing wrong with tap water and if you and your family are drinking it, then it is okay to give it to your guinea pig. But if your tap water is not good enough, tastes strange, and contains many unhealthy elements, then your guinea pig should be drinking a bottled one.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Bottled Water?
Bottled water and filtered water are better choices. Remember that the water has to be plain, without any additives.
When it comes to the temperature of bottled water, room temperature is considered the best option. But some guinea pig owners suggest adding a few ice cubes in the water bowl if it is extremely hot outside or in the room.
To do this, add the cubes and keep an eye on your pet. It might truly enjoy the refreshingly cold water on a hot day.
Now a bit of these small experiments such as putting a few ice cubes in the water. Whenever you make any changes in your pet’s diet or life, you have to remember to take your time and observe the behavior of your tiny friend. Guinea pigs are the type of animals that have a personal taste. There are no universal food recipes that every guinea pig will like.
Food and water experiments might be a great idea if you want to find out what your pet loves and what it hates. Remember to make sure that nothing is threatening the health of your beloved pet.
What Can You Add in the Water for Guinea Pigs?
If you have been a guinea pig owner for a while, you might have heard that some owners add vitamin C to their pet’s water. Should you be doing that as well?
First of all, you have to consider that guinea pigs (just like humans) aren’t able to produce vitamin C in their bodies. Now, because this element is vital for the organism’s functioning, guinea pigs have to be getting enough of it through the food.
Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen production, bone, tissues, and blood vessels’ health. In turn, vitamin C deficiency may lead to serious health problems. The most common disease is called ‘scurvy.’ But the great news is that it can be easily treated. If scurvy is left without treatment, then your guinea pig might suffer not only from a bunch of unpleasant symptoms but can also die in the end.
How Much Vitamin C Do Guinea Pigs Actually Need?
Well, the amount of vitamin C depends on a lot of factors. The overall weight of the guinea pig plays a huge role. If the pet is pregnant, recovering from an illness, or a youngster in the middle of the growing process, it will need a higher amount of vitamin C. A normal intake of vitamin C for guinea pigs varies between 10 to 30 mg per kilogram of weight.
But for some reason, your pet refuses to eat these foods, or your vet has recommended additional vitamin C supplements due to a particular health condition. Can you use water mixed with vitamin C supplements?
You can add some, but things are not that simple. Some owners like to add a tiny amount of orange juice to the water. Also, some use vitamin C additives that can be dissolved in the bowl. But there are so many ‘problems’ that you might not like to encounter, such as the following:
- It is challenging to monitor vitamin C intake if you have added it to the water. Moreover, vitamin C loses its properties very fast when exposed to light. So even if you have dissolved the right amount of this element in the water, it doesn’t mean that dosage will still be the same after a few hours.
- Vitamin C additives (juices included) will be changing the taste of the water. Your guinea pig might refuse to drink it. This fact will lead not only to vitamin C deficiency problems but also to dehydration.
To sum everything up, there is nothing better for your beloved guinea pig than plain, fresh water. Adding something in it might cause a lot of stress to the guinea pig.
Water Bottles vs. Water Bowls for Guinea Pigs
When it comes to supplying your guinea pig with enough water, there is usually one question that needs to be answered. What to use in their cage, a water bottle, or a water bowl?
Both of these have their own positive and negative sides, so let’s take a closer look at them.
Guinea Pig Water Bottle
Water bottles are generally more expensive than bowls, but most guinea pig owners prefer them. The bottle can easily be placed on the cage with the help of a wire.
To do this, make sure to hang it low enough so that the guinea pig can easily reach the bottle. Right above the head is considered to be the perfect height. The bottle consists of a small reservoir for the water and an angled drinking end to ensure that your guinea pig can easily get the water.
The angled spout (or a rolling ball, in some cases) is made out of stainless steel. It is 100% safe for the health of your guinea pig. At the same time, it is extremely convenient as guinea pigs like to chew on everything, and steel will certainly not deform.
Also, the best thing about water bottles is that the liquid won’t get contaminated. You can be sure that the water will stay fresh and clean. Moreover, it is easy to add more water to the bottle when needed.
Furthermore, monitoring how much your guinea pig drinks is important for its health. If you choose a water bottle, it will be effortless for you to see how much your pet has been drinking throughout the day.
On the other hand, not all guinea pigs are fond of water bottles. Sucking on the spout requires them to work a little to get that water. So lazy guinea pigs will certainly be levitating towards a water bowl.
Guinea Pig Water Bowl | Can Guinea Pigs Drink Out of a Bowl?
An alternative to a water bottle is a bowl or a dish. Usually, these options are a little cheaper. Experts advise buying a heavy ceramic bowl as it is not that easy to tip over. Guinea pigs are animals that like playing and running around. So tipping a dish or a bowl over might often become an issue. You would have to clean the whole cage if there was a lot of water in the bowl.
Moreover, dishes can easily get contaminated with food, hay, and all sorts of stuff. Indeed, the water is no longer fresh if different things are floating in it. Having a water bowl means that you would have to change it every time your guinea pig decides to put something in it. Also, dirty water can cause various health problems.
Water bowls are the perfect solution for sick guinea pigs, as it might be difficult for them to reach the bottle. In all the other cases, owners prefer bottles over bowls.
But if you have decided to buy a bowl, here are our recommendations for the best bowls for guinea pigs.
How Often Should You Change the Water for Guinea Pigs?
You have to provide your guinea pig with fresh water at least once a day. You can place the bowl with fresh water in the morning and change it the next day. Remember that your guinea pig needs to have access to water during the whole day. Certainly, if you see that the water is contaminated, you need to change it.
Should You Keep Water Bowls and Bottles Clean?
Washing a guinea pig’s bottle or bowl is a must. Do it at least once a day. Usually, a simple rinse with tap water is enough. But if you see algae forming on the walls or anything like that, you can use a special cleaning kit to get rid of the formations.
When it comes to bottles, make sure that the spout is not blocked as often as you can. For example, if you see that the water level has remained the same for the whole day. So before checking if your guinea pig has any health problems, make sure that the water bottle is working.
Where Should You Place the Water in Guinea Pig’s Cage?
Try to keep the water away from direct sunlight. Don’t place the bottle or the bowl right next to the guinea pig’s sleeping place, as it may flood the bed.
The great idea is to put the water reservoir next to the food, but not too close to not contaminate it.
What Else Do Guinea Pigs Drink?
It is extremely hard and practically impossible to find something else, aside from water that guinea pigs can drink. Due to health-related issues, these animals can’t drink anything that has sugar in it, different additives, colorings, and so on.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk?
Guinea pigs are mammals, and baby guinea pigs drink milk from their mother after birth. Adult guinea pigs shouldn’t drink milk because it has been proved that guinea pigs are lactose intolerant.
Drinking milk can cause some stomach and digestive problems for guinea pigs, like diarrhea. If the mother guinea pig refuses to give milk to the baby guinea pig, you can feed the little guinea pig with the milk on your own.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Juice?
Your guinea pig can drink juice but only the one that is sugar-free and 100% organic. Squeeze the juice from fruits and mix it with water, using a 50:50 ratio. Some owners confess that they give their guinea pigs cranberry juice from time to time if they have a urinary tract infection.
Guinea pigs need a lot of vitamin C, so making juice from fruits rich in vitamin C can be good for guinea pig’s health. The juices that you bought in the store are not good. They have too much sugar and can be acidic.
What Do Baby Guinea Pigs Drink?
When it comes to baby guinea pigs, they prefer milk instead of water. For the first few days of their lives, this is the only type of food and liquid that they will need.
If the mother refuses to feed her child with milk for any reason, you can easily hand-feed the guinea pig yourself. Goat milk will do just fine. Use a teaspoon and make sure to give the babies as much milk as they are asking for. But, do baby guinea pigs drink water? Only a few weeks after they are born, they will eat solid foods and drink water.
There is one more thing that is questionable. Do guinea pigs know how to use water bottles? Well, you will maybe need to introduce a water bottle to your guinea pig, but some pups figure out how to use the water bottle by following their moms.
What guinea pigs can eat is certainly not the only question that future owners should ask themselves. Knowing what guinea pigs can drink is just as important.
For guinea pigs, there is nothing better than fresh and clean water. So make sure that your pets always have a bowl or a bottle full of this vital liquid. Hopefully, this article has made everything clear for you regarding guinea pigs and the types of drinks that they can drink.