Most small animal owners choose to give them water using a water bottle.
It’s totally fine to use a water bottle, but if you’re looking for a more natural experience for your degu then giving them a water bowl could be an option.
After all, water bowls are commonly used for larger pets like cats and dogs, so why not smaller ones too?
You may be asking yourself; is it better for degus to drink from a bowl rather than a water bottle, and can degus even drink from a water bowl?
well, if you are then you’ve come to the right place.
I’m going to discuss what I know about the benefits and disadvantages of degus drinking from a water bowl, and I’ll give you advice on whether you should use a water bowl for your degu.
Degus can drink from water bowls. Water bowls provide a more natural drinking method for small pets like degus and they put less strain on their neck than stretching for a water bottle might. However, water bowls can get contaminated very quickly so the water must be refreshed often.
Is it better for a degu to drink from a bowl or bottle
I’ll start by saying that it is perfectly fine to use either a water bowl or a water bottle for your degu, you could even use both!
Which one you choose really depends on your personal preference and circumstances.
water bowls are the most natural method for your degu to drink water, but they can get easily contaminated.
Water bottles are super easy to maintain for the pet owner, but they will add a little more strain for your degu as they have to tilt their head and drink in that slightly uncomfortable position.
Advantages of a water bowl for degus
- They offer a more natural way to drink
- They reduce the strain on the neck of your degu
- Degus can more quickly and easily drink from water bowls
Disadvantages of a water bowl for degus
- They can get contaminated very quickly
- The water needs to be refreshed daily, perhaps even twice a day
- Contaminated water can make your degu sick
- The water can spill out of the bowl and even evaporate
Advantages of a water bottle for degus
- The water will remain fresh for much longer
- Little chance of the water getting contaminated
- The water cannot spill or evaporate
Disadvantages of a water bowl for degus
- It takes the degu longer to get the required amount of water
- It can put a strain on your degu’s neck
Best type of water bowl for a degu
Degus are pretty active and have quite a bit of strength.
That makes some water bowls much more suitable.
Ideally, you’re looking for a bowl that your degu cannot easily move but can easily drink from.
Weight – Ceramic bowls work the best as they can be shoved around as easily
Height – Will your degu be able to reach over to the bowl easily
Water level measurement – This lets you keep track of your degus consumption
Light bowls made from plastic and aluminum can be easily moved around and that could cause the water to splash out of the bowl, or it might even be completely toppled over.
Ceramic is one of the best materials for heavy bowls as they provide a good amount of weight.
The bowl should also have low edges so your degu can easily reach over to drink.
If possible, try to find a bowl with measurement levels built into it so you can see how much water your degu is drinking.
Honestly, that’s going to be pretty hard for a low rimmed bowl, so if you can’t find one just make sure your degu is using the bowl frequently so you know they are staying hydrated.
How often does a degu water bowl need new water
The major downside to using a water bowl for your degu compared with a bottle is that the water can quickly become contaminated.
Degus love to burrow and their bedding can easily find it’s way into their water.
It’s really important that if you choose to give your degu a water bowl you must ensure the water remains fresh and uncontaminated.
You should replace the water at least once a day at a minimum, but twice a day would be preferable.
You may even want to replace the water more often than that if your degu has dropped something into it.
If you don’t think you’ll have the time to change the water twice a day most days then I would recommend using a water bottle instead.
How to teach a degu to drink from a bowl
Drinking from a bowl should come quite naturally to your degu.
Water bowls are the closest you can realistically get to how a degu would naturally drink water.
They should understand they can drink from it on instinct and so they don’t really need to be taught how to use them.
Once your degu realizes that the bowl is full of water, they should know what to do.
You might want to place your degu near the bowl when you first introduce it to their cage so they can investigate it straight away, you could even splash the water a little with your finger.
Summary – Can Degus Drink From a Bowl
Degus can drink from a water bowl. This is a more natural way for them to drink and puts less strain on their neck than drinking from a water bottle.
However; it still isn’t suitable for most degus because it means you, as the owner, need to do a lot more work!
The water will need to be replaced at least once a day, but if your degu is especially messy it might need more than that.
For most degu owners that’s too much and it’s better to just use a water bottle.
But if you’re a particularly dedicated degu owner who will happily replace the water multiple times a day then drinking from a bowl is fine for your degu.