Can Guinea Pigs Drink From a Bowl


We’re quite used to seeing small pets drinking from a water bottle.

They have a little spout that usually pokes through the bars of their cage and allows the guinea pig to have a drink wherever they need it.

It’s a familiar sight, but when you think about it, it does actually seem quite unnatural.

It’s not how we give water to other pets either. We don’t give dogs or cats a big water bottle, we simply fill up a bowl for them.

So is it better for guinea pigs to drink from a bowl rather than a water bottle, and can guinea pigs even drink from a water bowl?

In this article, I’ll discuss what I know about the benefits and disadvantages of guinea pigs drinking from a water bowl, and I’ll give recommendations on how to introduce a water bowl to your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs can drink from water bowls. Water bowls provide a more natural drinking method for guinea pigs and they put less strain on their neck than a water bottle might. However, water bowls can get contaminated quickly so the water must be refreshed often.

Is it better for a guinea pig to drink from a bowl or bottle

You can use either a water bowl or a water bottle for your guinea pig. Both are suitable and your choice depends on your personal preference.

In summary, water bowls are the most natural method for your guinea pig to drink water, but it can get easily contaminated.

Water bottles are lower maintenance, but they can be more difficult for your guinea pig to use.

Advantages of a water bowl for guinea pigs

  • They offer a more natural way to drink
  • They reduce the strain on the neck of your guinea pig
  • Guinea pigs can more quickly and easily drink from water bowls

Disadvantages of a water bowl for guinea pigs

  • They can get dirty and contaminated very quickly
  • The water needs to be refreshed daily, perhaps even twice a day
  • Contaminated water can lead to an ill guinea pig
  • The water may be splashed out into the enclosure and cause a mess with bedding

Advantages of a water bottle for guinea pigs

  • The water will remain fresh for much longer
  • Little chance of the water getting contaminated
  • The water cannot splash into the bedding

Disadvantages of a water bottle for guinea pigs

  • They can be more difficult for the guinea pig to drink from
  • It takes the guinea pig longer to get the required amount of water
  • It can put a strain on your guinea pig’s neck

Best type of water bowl for a guinea pig

Guinea pigs can often be quite large in comparison with some other small pets.

Therefore, there are certain types of water bowls that suit them better. You should consider these three factors when looking for an appropriate bowl:

  • Weight – Ceramic bowls work the best as they can be shoved around as easily
  • Height – Will your guinea pig be able to reach over to the bowl easily
  • Water level measurement – This lets you keep track of your guinea pigs 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.

The best bowls for guinea pigs are made from heavy materials like ceramic.

The edge of the bowls shouldn’t be so high that your guinea pig struggles to reach over to the water.

If possible, try to use a bowl with measurement levels built into it so you can see how much water your guinea pig is drinking.

If you can’t find one you can always mark on your own with a permanent marker, just be sure to mark the outside of the bowl so you don’t contaminate the water.

How often does a guinea pig water bowl need new water

The major downside to using a water bowl for your guinea pig compared with a bottle is that the water can quickly become contaminated.

You should replace the water at least once a day at a minimum, but twice a day would be preferable.

Once in the morning and once in the evening.

You may even want to replace the water more often than that if your guinea pig 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 guinea pig to drink from a bowl

Drinking from a bowl should come quite naturally to your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs can sometimes be confused about how to use a water bottle, especially if they aren’t used to them or you get a new one.

However, water bowls are much more similar to how they would naturally drink water, so they don’t really need to be taught how to use them.

Once your guinea pig realizes that the bowl is full of water, they should know what to do.

You might want to place your guinea pig 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 Guinea Pigs Drink From a Bowl

Guinea pigs can drink from a water bowl. This is a natural way for them to drink and puts less strain on their neck than drinking from a water bottle.

The main question to ask yourself before switching to a water bowl is will you be able to ensure the water doesn’t become contaminated.

You’ll probably need to replace the water twice a day most days, so if you don’t think you’ll have the time to do that you should stick with a water bottle for your guinea pig.

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