Water is an essential part of the diet for a Guinea pig. We must always ensure that our Guinea pigs have access to Clean and Fresh drinking water at all times. In this article, we are going to discuss What can Guinea pigs drink? How much water does a Guinea pig need every day, what type of water should we give to our Guinea pig and much more?
Guinea pigs can consume anywhere between 50ml to over 300ml of water every day. They require fresh and clean water all the time. Although, The amount of water they need does vary for every individual Guinea pigs. You should always ensure that your guinea pig has fresh water all the time.
I have gone through a lot of guides and forums and have found a range of basic to some interesting questions people have in mind related to water and drinking habits of Guinea pigs. So here I have covered all the kinds of stuff I have learned about them.
How much water do guinea pigs drink every day?
The consumption of water also depends upon their body weight. Usually, 20% of their weight is the amount of water they consume daily.
Both extremes can be just fine as it all depends on one Guinea pig to an other. The consumption of water by them depends on a lot of factors like:
- Weather conditions
- Indoor heating/cooling.
- Diet etc.
So, it is totally fine even if your Guinea pig is drinking 60-70 ml of water or 300ml of water until and unless that is their regular consumption.
But, if you see any significant change in water consumption, then you must immediately try to know the cause of the same and fix it.
Also Read: Can Guinea Pigs Survive In Hot Weather?
Can guinea pigs drink tap water?
I often see people getting confused with whether they should give their Guinea pig distilled water, tap water, or any sort of special water made for the rodent.
What I have learned is if you give your Guinea pig the water you can drink then its totally fine for them. You should never give your Guinea pig distilled water. Simple filtered tap water would just be great for them.
Always ensure that the water is free from any sort of chemicals and contamination. It is also essential to provide them with water at room temperature.
Can guinea pigs drink cold water?
You could give them somewhat cold water in scorching summer but try to stick with room temperature on any usual day. You should not provide them with warm water as they refuse to drink that at all.
Your Guinea pig must NEVER be fed Alcohol, Aerated water, or anything Similar to it. Serving those may lead to fatal health issues or in the worse case, a Life threat for them.
Should I add any supplements to the water for my Guinea pigs?
There are a ton of medicines and vitamin supplements that can be added to their water. However, do not add any sort of vitamin additives or minerals in the water because in most cases, they will try to avoid drinking much of it.
Avoiding water for long may lead to dehydration in them in the long run. Adding additives to water also make them a home for algae, which is a bad thing for your Guinea pigs.
Also adding any sort of medication to water is a bad idea because you cannot control the intake of water.
Also, most of the medications are really bad in smell and taste so your Guinea pig will not even bother going near to it.
The guinea pig has double the number of taste buds as compared to Human. So, you cannot fool them that easily.
How should I provide water to my Guinea pig?
Provide your guinea pig with water in a way they are comfortable with, and they can have access to it on all times.
There are many different ways to provide them with fresh water, but the choice of it will be dependent upon your Guinea pig preference. You need to do some trials and see which system do they prefer the most.
Can guinea pigs drink water from Bottles?
Plastic and glass bottles are widely being used all around the world for providing water to guinea pigs. Unfortunately, There is no leak proof and problem free bottle available in the world.
Both the glass and plastic bottle is clipped from outside the cage with the pipe like nozzle reaching in from which Guinea pigs can sip the water. This is better than bowls as they are less prone to contamination and refilling is quite easy too.
It is preferred to get a glass bottle instead of a plastic one because those are less prone to Algae issue.
Although widely used these types of bottles comes with a significant disadvantage. Firstly, It is really tough to create a vacuum so that the bottle doesn’t drip or leak.
Many people try to fill the bottle till the end so that it doesn’t drip, but that is not the right way and in cold regions water may freeze and burst the bottles in some cases.
Secondly, In this type of bottles Guinea pigs must use their tongue to hit the ball in the nozzle so that the water comes out, which makes it difficult to drink a lot of water at once.
Also, they usually drink water after having food so, the pellets or food in their mouth gets stuck in the nozzle and can very often choke it.
Always have an extra set of the bottles because you will need to replace them every 10-12 months as they get worn out over time. It is also healthy to keep changing plastic dishes to prevent health issues.
Can guinea pigs drink water from Sippy Bottles?
Sippy bottles are excellent in comparison to standard bottles for any guinea pig. It is much easier for them to drink water from this type of bottle as they simply need to raise the gib at the nozzle, and a continuous stream of water will start flowing in.
Using sippy bottles will also lead to more water consumption as they need not struggle to do so as in the case of standard bottles. If given a choice any guinea pig will lean towards this bottle more.
The build quality of these bottles is excellent as it uses much thicker plastic, making it less prone to algae. This bottle does not work on the principle of vacuum, thus are less likely to clog.
Although these bottles also have a disadvantage, Sometimes they continue to drip water, and so a drip dish is required below it so it doesn’t create a mess.
Can guinea pigs drink water from a bowl?
Bowls are the easiest way to supply water to guinea pigs. Always remember to use heavy ceramic bowls so that they cannot tip them over.
Usually, guinea pigs tend to place their front paws in the bowl while drinking, which can lead to tip over if the dish is unsuitable for them.
Younger guinea pigs who haven’t yet learned to drink from bottles must be provided with water in a bowl so that they do not suffer.
Also, the bowl makes it easier for them to drink as they can just get the water by dipping the head into it. But for some reason, Guinea pig does not like to drink water from Bowls.
Bowls also have a significant disadvantage that the water is more prone to. The feces and food particles often get dropped in it and make water contaminated.
So it is best to avoid it unless and until necessary. Sometimes when the Guinea pig is sick they and are unable to drink water from the bottle then they can be given a bowl to drink with.
How can I teach my Guinea pig to drink from the bottle?
In young ages, Guinea pigs tend to drink water from the bowls rather than bottles. It is always good to encourage them to drink from bottles as it is more hygienic.
Do not worry, they will learn to feed on bottles by watching their parents and elders do the same. You can encourage this mostly by placing a small ceramic container just below the tip of the bottle.
Although you may need to change the water 3-4 times a day because a lot of feces and dirt will get accumulated into it.
After some time you can place some bits of cucumber on the nozzles or anything else they like just to make them try it. Usually, within a few weeks, your Guinea pigs will get used to it and will start drinking water from it.
Alternatively, you can take the bottle in hand and put some treat in the nozzle and bring it near its mouth to get them started.
Do not force this upon your Guinea pig as this may lead to even further worse situation in time to come. You will also stress them out a lot by doing so, which is not what we want to do.
We want positive reinforcement and not the negative one. Please fill fresh and clean water every day in the bottle even if not in use. Not changing the water daily will result in algae formation.
How to place water bottles in Guinea pigs cage?
Although this might look like a fundamental question, it’s actually an important one because if your Guinea pig needs to stretch out to reach the water, they will be negatively enforced to drink much.
Also having it too low will make them duck in for it again not something you want. Having the water bottle at the correct height is pretty essential and must be learned by beginners while starting out.
Although in general keeping the nozzle at the height of 1-2 inches works excellent, it is vital that you try other possibilities too. As not all Guinea pigs are the same.
I would recommend to put 2-3 bottles at a different height and see what works the best for you. Also having multiple bottles helps because if one gets blocked, the other one can be used.
How should I clean the water bottle or bowl of my Guinea pig?
Here you have mostly two methods you can go with. Let’s have a look at both of them:
Firstly, Get a commercial cleaning kit that every pet store supplies and use the same to rinse off your bottles and bowls. It’s quite simple; Just pour the cleaning agent, take the brush and scrub it off from inside and outside and then rinse it off and it’s done.
Secondly, The more hygienic and budget-friendly way is to take a bit of uncooked rice and some water in the bottle. Now, Place a finger in the lid/opening to close it off and shake vigorously. Then empty your dish, and it’s spotless!
Always rinse the nozzle too as it contains the most amount of dirt and leftovers. Use a cotton bud by dampening it to clear the ball nozzle.
Always use a baby bottle disinfectant to clean the bottle once in a week or so. It’s imperative to provide your Guinea pigs with fresh and clean water.
How can I monitor the amount of water my guinea pigs are drinking?
The most natural way to do so is by using a bottle to feed them the water. In most situation, your pet water consumption will remain consistent.
Although weather change and temperature may bring a small change gradually. If you refill the container daily on a schedule, you will be able to monitor the water consumption of your Guinea pig.
It is crucial you follow this quite closely as any significant change in water consumption is the starting sign of sickness in a Guinea pig. If you find your Guinea pig has a substantial change in water consumption, then it’s best to give a visit to the vet.
Guinea pig drinking too much water?
The ideal consumption of water by a guinea pig is usually 20% of its body weight. Now, this may depend from pig to pig. Some drink around 50-60 ml a day while some drink 200-300 ml. It is quite okay if the consumption is not unusual. But sometimes there are notable changes in water consumption. If your guinea pig is drinking too much water it may be because of the following reasons:
- If you change the diet of your guinea pig, it may trigger some unusual behavior. Sometimes a change in diet can lead to more water consumption than earlier.
- If you serve more veggies rich in the water earlier, then a change in that can cause more water intake. The same way more of hay consumption increases water intake.
- Change in temperature can also sometimes trigger some change. If there is a change in temperature, then it might be the reason for more water consumption. As heat increases the need for water usually goes up too.
- Sometimes dental issues, Bladder stones, urinary tract infections, etc. may also lead to more consumption of water.
- Diabetes is also a reason that increases water intake. You need to do the blood test for detecting the same in your guinea pigs.
- Major health issues like kidney failure and digestive disorder can also lead to an increase in water intake.
If there is a notable increase in water consumption of your guinea pig and you are unable to figure out the reason, then it’s best to take them to a vet soon. You could wait for a day or two and keep a close eye on any other health issue symptoms. But the best would be to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Also Read: Why Is My Guinea Pig Drinking So Much?
Is my Guinea pig Drinking too less water?
Sometimes we feel that our pet might be drinking too less water. But that can be due to many reasons. Sometimes it’s regular change whereas sometimes a serious one. Here are the few things to notice if your guinea pig is drinking less water than usual:
- If there is a change in the diet mostly to more veggies and fruits, then it can lead to less water consumption.
- In a cold environment, water consumption usually goes down.
- The taste of water is changed either due to some chemicals like chlorine etc. or due to added supplement by you, which is a common issue that leads to less water consumption.
- Sometimes diseases like Mouth infection, Dental overgrowth, Pneumonia, or respiratory problems can also lead to less water consumption.
Again, I would suggest to take them to the vet if you are unable to understand the cause. In the meantime, provide them with water-rich veggies like cucumber, celery will fulfill their hydration needs.
What are the symptoms of Dehydration In Guinea pig?
It might be really tough for a beginner to understand if its pig is dehydrated or not. Unlike other pets guinea pig are really good at hiding their illness. So, you must keep a close eye on these signs to detect if something is wrong or not.
- Keep a close eye on their pee(stool) color and smell. Generally, the stool color changes dark orange or brown and smells strong when they are dehydrated.
- You must look closely in their mouth gums. If the gums are dry then its clear sign of dehydration
- Check if your Guinea pig is not as active as usual and have been not interacting much then this might also be the reason.
- Check whether the poop shape is as usual or not. Checking the poop also helps us in understanding many things. Dry and small dropping are the signs of a dehydrated body.
- Look at their eyes up close. If you see dry eyes, sunken eyes then this may also be the cause of dehydration.
How long can guinea pigs go without water?
A Guinea pig can live up to 8-12 hours without water. But sometimes they are seen living up to 48 hours provided it has enough vegetables to eat. Most of the water requirement of guinea pig tends to be fulfilled by fresh veggies. So if you feed them a lot of veggies rich in the water they can live for a day or two without water too.
Although we recommend having access to fresh and clean water all the time. If a guinea pig doesn’t have enough water to drink for more than a day, it might lead to dehydration and liver problem in them. Also eating hay makes them more thirsty, so if only hay based diet is served to them with no water, than it may lead to a severe situation.
Also Read: How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Water?
Should I Buy Filtered or low calcium water for my Guinea pigs?
If you live in an area where there is hard water coming in your tap Maybe, then you must consider giving your Guinea pig filtered water. Many people Don’t realize that most of the calcium in the diet of Guinea pigs come from water and not only pellets and veggies.
Providing your guinea pig with water rich in calcium can lead to diseases like Bladder stones or sludge. You must always test your water before you start serving it to your Guinea pigs.
Some people also tend to buy Bottle water for guinea pig without realizing that unlike said those bottles have high calcium content. It is best recommended to serve your Guinea pig with filtered water to avoid any possible health issues.
Is adding sugar or honey in water of my Guinea pig safe?
From what I have learned is sugar is not beneficial to anyone. Some beginners try to put some sugar or honey in the water of Guinea pig just because they thing it will increase the water consumption.
Maybe it can do so but its absolutely not recommended at all. Introducing sugar or honey to the diet of a Guinea pig is equals to inviting a bunch of health problems with it.
You can alternatively use some treat like cucumber pieces etc. in water bottle nozzle to do so. Never ever try to use Sugar just to increase water consumption of your Guinea pigs.
Will my Guinea pig drink more water if I put hay in it?
Putting hay in the water is a bad idea.
Firstly the hay will go moldy when you put it in water or moist.
Secondly, When the guinea pigs try to dip their mouth into the water bowl to eat hay, They may end up with water in their lungs from the nostrils.
This will further lead to health issues like Pneumonia. The best way is to put a lot of dry hay and Feed them a lot of hay.
Eating dry hay will make them thirsty and thus drink more water eventually. You can also feed your Guinea pigs with the right amount of veggies that will also fulfill the need of water in their body.
My Guinea pig is not drinking water at all what should I do?
Sometimes it is quite natural for a guinea pig not to drink water at all. If you have fed him some good fresh veggies like cucumber etc. which have a high degree of fluids, it will fulfill its water needs.
You may notice whenever their vegetable intake goes up, their fluid needs to go down. This is quite natural and you should not worry much in such case. But, If you find some sudden changes in water intake without any change in diet, then you must look deeply.
If your Guinea pig is less active than usual, have its eyes closed more, If it is not responding well and also their diet has changed, then something surely is going wrong. If any of the above symptoms are seen, you must visit your vet as early as possible.
Also Read: Why Is My Guinea Pig Not Drinking Water?
Sometimes if a Guinea pig is not drinking water then it could also be because of these reasons:
- The water bottle nozzle is clogged up with some uneaten food or any other particles. And they are unable to actually drink from it.
- The water contains more of chlorine or some chemical which is causing the issue.
- The bottle is not clean properly, leading to poor water quality thus avoiding the water.
Some quick tips you can try if you see the problem persist:
- Clean the water bottle properly at least twice a week and change it if necessary.
- Check if the nozzle is blocked and clean it with a soft cotton bud.
- Serve only filtered water that is free from any chemical or additives.
- If you are too much worried, serve them more of fluid rich vegetables and fruit like Zucchini, Lettuce, Celery Watermelon, Cucumber, and Oranges. Eating these veggies will prevent dehydration for some time.
- Rush to a vet as soon as possible in case the problem lasts for more than a day.
So, Over to you guys. I have tried covering most of the common questions any beginner have regarding water for your guinea pigs. I hope this article was helpful to you guys. If you find the article useful, do share it with your friends and family.