What Do Guinea Pigs Drink? | Information and Facts

What Do Guinea Pigs Drink_

Guinea pigs are incredible animals and it goes without saying that every owner should take great care of their pet. This is why when it comes to food, things can get a little tricky because there are so many things that you have to take into consideration. Also, what about drinks for guinea pigs? Can they only drink water or is there something more that you can give them? No worries, we are here to clarify all of this for you.

What do guinea pigs drink? Guinea pigs primarily drink water but there are also other situational drinks that you can occasionally give to them. As for the water, guinea pigs can drink both tap or bottled water. The water just needs to be clean and its temperature not too hot or too cold. The best option would be to give to them filtered water or cooled down boiled water. Guinea pigs shouldn’t drink milk, tea, or any other store-bought juice. The only option is homemade juice from fresh fruits that is heavily diluted with water, and you can give them that type of drink only if your guinea pigs need some vitamin C. Additionally, you can also put some vitamin C supplements in the water. The most important thing is to change their water daily or even a few times a day especially during the summer.

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 if there is there anything else that guinea pigs are allowed to drink except water. All of this information is a very important step in becoming the best owner for your guinea pig pet. Now, let’s begin!

Everything About Guinea Pigs and Water


Why Is Water So Important for Guinea Pigs?

Why Is Water So Important for Guinea Pigs

Do guinea pigs like water? Yes, guinea pigs do like water and they need water to digest food, to breathe, to keep their internal organs functioning, etc. Water is used for lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, protecting all the organs. Moreover, water is essential for helping the body get rid of any waste.

Needless to say that all the water consumed by the guinea pig is used by their organism in order to support body functions and, well, survive.

That is why the lack of water can lead to a lot of health problems for guinea pigs. If you want your beloved pet to lead a wholesome life, one of your main duties is making sure that the guinea pig drinks water and has enough water supplies for the whole day.


Can Guinea Pigs Drink Tap Water?

There is one simple rule when it comes to 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 as well then it is okay to give it to your guinea pig. But if your tap water is not good enough, tastes strange, and contains a lot of unhealthy elements, then your guinea pig should be drinking bottled water.


Can Guinea Pigs Drink Bottled Water?

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Bottled Water

Bottled water and filtered water are a better choice. Remember that the water has to be plain, without any additives.

When it comes to the temperature of the bottled water, room temperature is considered to be the best option. But some guinea pig owners suggest trying to add a few ice cubes in the water bowl if it is extremely hot outside or in the room. Simply add the cubes and keep an eye on your pet, it might truly enjoy the refreshingly cold water on a hot day.

Now a little bit about 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.

So food and water experiments might be a great idea if you want to find out what your pet loves and what it hates. Simply remember to make sure that nothing is threatening the health of your beloved pet.


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 is going to 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 supply of water to your guinea pig (24/7).

If your guinea pig drinks less or more water that does not necessarily mean that 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 his diet (there are fruits or vegetables that contain lots of water).


Why Do Guinea Pigs Drink so Much 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.

In case 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 bit more water to help regulate the temperature of our body.

If the guinea pig is recovering from a disease or in case it is pregnant, the daily norm of water might vary a little as well.

With that said, you have to make sure to keep an eye on how much your guinea pig is actually drinking. If your guinea pig used to consume a small amount of water and then it 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?

The 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 longer than 24 hours.

Guinea pigs are very active animals and they love to eat a lot, so water is very important to them. They drink water very often and it can be a problem for them if they are left without it.

So, 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.


What Can You Add in the Water for Guinea Pigs?

What Can You Add in the Water

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 take into consideration that guinea pigs (just like humans) aren’t able to produce vitamin C in their bodies. Now, because of the fact that this element is vital for the functioning of the organism, 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. Vitamin C deficiency, in turn, may lead to serious health problems. The most common disease is called ‘scurvy’. The great news is that it can be easily treated. But if scurvy is left without treatment, then your guinea pig might suffer not only from a bunch of unpleasant symptoms but 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 is 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.

If your guinea pig follows a well-balanced diet, which includes Timothy hay, good pellets, vegetables, and fruits, then there might be no need for an additional intake of vitamin C.

But if for some reason your guinea pig refuses to eat these important foods or your vet has agreed that because of a special condition your guinea pig needs additional supplementation of vitamin C, can you use water mixed with vitamin C supplements as an additional source of this vitamin?

Yes, you can but things are not really that simple. Some owners like to add orange juice, for example, in the water of their guinea pigs. Certainly, a tiny amount. Some also use vitamin C additives that can be dissolved in the bowl, but there are so many ‘problems’ that you might not like that can come from this.

Firstly, it is extremely difficult to monitor the intake of vitamin C, if you have added it to the water. You can’t be sure about how much vitamin C your guinea pig has actually had. 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 a few hours later the dosage will still be the same.

Secondly, vitamin C additives (juices included) will be changing the taste of the water. Your guinea pig might simply 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 single 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

Guinea Pig Water Bottle

Water bottles are generally more expensive but the majority of guinea pig owners decide to choose bottles over bowls. The bottle can easily be placed on the cage with the help of a wire.

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 water 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.

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.

By the way, monitoring how much your guinea pig drinks is important for its health. If you choose a water bottle, it will be extremely easy for you to actually see how much your pet has been drinking throughout the day.

Unfortunately, not all guinea pigs are fond of water bottles. Sucking on the spout requires them to work a little to be able to get that water. So lazy guinea pigs will certainly be levitating towards a water bowl.

Also, click here to find out our guide for the best guinea pig water bottles.


Guinea Pig Water Bowl | Can Guinea Pigs Drink out of a 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. Certainly, the water is no longer fresh if there are different things floating in it. Having a water bowl means that you would have to change it every time your beloved guinea pig decides to put something in it. Also, dirty water can cause various health problems.

To be honest, 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, for example, 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.

Washing 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 level of water has remained the same for the whole day, before checking if your guinea pig has any health problems, make sure that the water bottle is actually 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.

A great idea is to put the water reservoir next to the food, but not too close so that the food does not contaminate it.


What Else Do Guinea Pigs Drink?

It is extremely hard and practically impossible to find something else, besides 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?

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk

As we know, 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.

For guinea pigs, drinking milk can cause some stomach and digestive problems, like diarrhea. Only in the case, when mother guinea pig refuses to give the milk to the baby guinea pig, you can feed little guinea pig with the milk on your own.


Can Guinea Pigs Drink Juice?

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Juice

Yes, your guinea pig can drink juice but the only 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.

As we know, guinea pigs need a lot of vitamin C, so making juice from fruits that are rich with vitamin C can be good for guinea pig’s health. Juices that you bought in the store are forbidden and banned. They simply have too much sugar and can be acidic.


What Do Baby Guinea Pigs Drink?

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 for any reason, the mother refuses to feed her child with milk, 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 be able to eat solid foods and drink water.

There is one more thing that is questionable do guinea pigs know how to use water bottle? Well, you will maybe need to introduce a water bottle to your guinea pig, but some pups just figure out how to use the water bottle by following their moms.

What Do Guinea Pigs Drink_1

Summary

What foods guinea pigs can eat is certainly not the only question that the future owners should be asking 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 beloved pets always have a bowl or a bottle full of this vital liquid. Your adorable guinea pigs will certainly be grateful for that. Hopefully, we have made everything clear for you when it comes to guinea pigs and the types of drinks that they can drink.

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Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.