Yes, guinea pigs can drink out of a bowl, but most owners prefer water bottles for sanitation issues.
Moreover, water bottles are more secure, suitable, and easy to use.
However, if you opt for the bowl, ensure it won’t tip because guinea pigs like to lean against the bowl and might flip it.
And the water will spill all over the cage, bedding, and food, which is not good for their health.
Wet and soiled bedding can make your guinea pig sick and even lead to bumblefoot.
Read to learn more about bowls and water bottles’ cons and pros, then decide which is best for your pet.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Out of A Bowl?
Guinea pigs can drink out of a bowl, but the bowl is open, and they can easily mess up the water or even spill it all over their beddings.
This could be problematic for both of you.
So, whether you choose bowl or bottle, both have their cons and pros.
Some guinea pigs prefer the bowl while others like the bottle; it depends on their individuality.
Try both and see what best suits your guinea pigs. If your guinea pig is drinking from both, use them alternatively.
Pros Of Water Bowls
One of the significant benefits of a water bowl is that they are big and wide-open, allowing your guinea pig to drink more water.
The second advantage of a water bowl is that it is placed at the bottom of its cage, allowing the guinea pig to drink water without raising its head.
So, drinking water from the bowl is much easier for an elder or sick guinea pig than a bottle.
Likewise, water bowls are placed on the bottom or screwed at the side of the cage, so it’s helpful for baby guinea pigs that are not yet adapted to drink water from the bottle.
Lastly, unlike water bottles, bowls are much easier to clean. You can use any regular dishwashing soap or detergent and clean it.
The Cons Of Water Bowls
Here are some of the drawbacks of water bowls.
1# Contaminated Water
One drawback of a water bowl is that they are open, and bacteria can quickly enter the bowl and contaminate the water.
In this case, you change and refill the bowl with fresh water every day and wash the water bowl at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Another issue that most guinea pig owner faces is that sometimes guinea pigs flip the water bowl, pee, and poop inside the bowl, or they even lie inside the bowl thoroughly soaked in the water.
If this is the situation with your pet, you should opt for a water bottle and only use a bowl under your supervision.
2# Danger To Baby Guinea Pigs
A newborn guinea pig that hasn’t learned anything may find drinking water from the bottle difficult.
So, bowls might be a better choice for feeding your baby guinea pig water.
But it could be hazardous.
First, the bowl is pretty heavy itself, and if the mother guinea pig flips the bowl, then the water will split all over the bed, and hanging out on wet bedding is not good and can lead to several health issues.
On top of that, it could hurt the baby guinea pig if the bowl is smashed against them, or the risk is even much higher if the babies get stuck under it.
Lastly, the bowl is wide open, and there are chances that a baby guinea pig may accidently fall into the life-threatening water. In some cases, the baby guinea pig may drown.
So, if you are using a bowl to feed water to your guinea pigs, keep an eye on them and, if possible, get a bowl that can be screwed on the side of the cage; it will reduce the risks associated with it.
3# Bow Tipping
When guinea pigs are given water, they will do anything with it but drink.
Moist or wet bedding, so you must change their beddings as soon as possible.
Wet and soiled bedding can make your guinea pig sick and even lead to bumblefoot, a dangerous disease. It’s an inflammation of the skin that occurs in the feet of a guinea pig.
And some guinea pigs are more prone to it than others, so immediately replace it when you notice wet bedding.
However, you can prevent the tipping issue using a heavy bowl such as ceramic since tipping would be difficult in a weighted bowl.
Another way is to mount the bowl on the side of the cage with a screw to minimize the tipping problem, especially if you have a baby guinea pig.
4# Cleaning Issues
Bowls are easy to clean but hard to keep sanitized; that’s why most pet parents prefer the bottle.
It might take some time to clean if the mouth is small, but bottles are easy to keep hygienic for a long duration, especially the top filling bottles.
But if you are using a bowl, sooner or later, you will see that your guinea pig is treating it as their nest and hiding its food for later.
Though, if you have screwed the bowl on the side of the cage, you will see several guinea pig things floating on the water within a few hours.
The Cons of Water Bottle
Here are some of the drawbacks of using a water bottle:
1# Prone To Leakage
One drawback of water bottles is that they are prone to leakage, which could be an issue.
For example, if your pet’s water bottle is leaking, the bottle will empty within a few hours.
If unchecked, your pet will remain thirsty due to no water, which could lead to dehydration and other life-threatening possibilities.
And the damaged water bottle can make your pet’s beddings wet, which can cause several short and long-term health issues.
Thus, checking your guinea pig’s water bottle regularly is essential and ensuring it’s working properly.
2# Cleaning Difficulties
The reasons why most pet parents prefer to choose water bottles over bowls are that there is nothing more sanitary than a bottle.
However, you may face difficulties in scrubbing out all of that guinea pig’s backwash and debris, especially if the mouth is small.
For this reason, many pet owners prefer buying a new water bottle once it gets too dirty.
You should at least clean the water bottle once or twice a week to keep your pet’s water bottle free from germs.
On average, a no-drip water bottle cost approx $11 to $15 which is way more than a water bowl.
This makes the water bottle heavy on your pocket, but it is worth every penny.
The Pros Of Water Bottle
The first benefit of a water bottle is that you can easily monitor the water intake of your guinea pig.
The bottle comes with a measurement line that allows you to track the amount of water your guinea pig is drinking.
It’s necessary to monitor the drinking habit of your guinea pig; it helps you to understand their health condition, especially if they are recovering from an illness or surgery.
#1 Do Not Take Up Space
Unlike water bowls, bottles do not take unnecessary space in the cage. The water bottle easily gets attached with the help of hooks from outside the cage.
And only the pipe from which your pet will drink the water will be inside the cage.
The best part is that you don’t even have to open the cage to refill or change the water regularly.
Bowl Vs. Bottle Which One Is Best?
Bowls and bottles both have cons and pros, and both can be used to feed water to your guinea pig.
However, bottles are safer, more convenient, and easier to use than bowls.
What Is The Best Way To Give Guinea Pigs Water?
There are several ways to give water to your guinea pig. However, the best way of providing your guinea pigs with fresh water is by using a water bottle.
How Do I Get My Guinea Pig To Drink From A Bowl?
Usually, guinea pigs will drink water from a bowl unless the guinea pig is new; they might be too anxious to eat or drink anything until they become comfortable with their environment.
So, give them a chance to get used to their environment and don’t force anything on the little cavy.
Your guinea pig may refuse to drink water from the bowl if they already have been habituated to drinking water from a bottle, and you recently want to switch to a water bottle for better sanitation.
However, if your guinea pig is not drinking water from the bowl, you can do a few things to encourage them.
Once you change the water location from bottle to bowl, you must tell them where the water is. For this, you can dip your finger in the water bowl to signal your guinea pig or gently pick them up and drop them near the bowl.
Try A Treat:
If the above method is not working, you can use their favorite fruit or food to help them reach the water bowl.
Just place their favorite food near the water bowl or toss it into the bowl, it will work as a bribe to draw them in, and they might drink water from the bowl as well.
Make It Sweeter:
Some people will put a bit of sugar in the water to make them drink the water, but sugar is harmful.
Instead, you can try putting a little organic fruit juice and see if it works.
But you shouldn’t do this regularly; once they realize and start drinking water from the bowl, remove it gradually.
Let Other Guinea Pig Teach Them:
Guinea pig, especially baby guinea pig, hasn’t got a chance to learn anything properly yet may find it challenging to drink water from a bowl or bottle.
In this case, you can place an older guinea pig in the same cage, and your baby guinea pig might get the idea and learn from them.
However, keep in mind that other guinea pigs might not be friendly with the baby guinea pig, so keep an eye on them and ensure they do not fight or get injured.
Visit A Vet:
Lastly, if your guinea pig is not drinking water at all, there could be some inline sickness. In this case, you should take your pet to a professional vet.
They will examine and give you an appropriate treatment regarding the issue.
Tips To Keep Guinea Pigs Water Bowls Clean
Guinea pigs need fresh and clean water regularly. An unwashed or dirty bowl can grow bacteria and algae, which will lead to numerous health problems.
So, it’s important to keep their water bowl clean and hygienic.
Cleaning a water bowl is easy, and anyone can do it. However, keeping it disinfected for a long time could be difficult.
Here are some tips for cleaning water bowls:
Rinse With Water:
Cleaning your guinea pig’s bottle with just water is the easiest way. And it doesn’t take too much time either.
It’s best when there is no mold or algae inside the bottle, simply remove the dispenser cap, pour some warm water, and shake it for about a minute.
Repeat the process once or twice, and you are done.
Brushing is required when cleaning with water isn’t enough.
Especially if you haven’t cleaned their water bottle for weeks and it developed some is mold or algae inside the bottle.
In this case, you will need a brush to thoroughly clean the sides and surface.
Remove the dispensing cap, put the brush inside, and start rubbing. Do not use any cleaning agent as it might harm your guinea pigs.
Sometimes, the brush doesn’t reach the ground of the bottle.
In this case, you can use rice to remove the plague from the ground surface of the bottle.
To do this, throw a handful of dry rice inside the bottle, add some water, and close the cap.
Shake the bottle for about 3-5 minutes or until the bottle looks clean. Once thoroughly clean, empty the bottle and rinse it with water 2-3 times.
You can use both bowls and bottles to feed water to a guinea pig, and both have certain benefits and drawbacks.
However, guinea pigs drink water in small sips, so most owners prefer water bottles as they are safer and more convenient for them.
But that doesn’t mean you must use a bottle. In fact, you can use both alternatively depending on your pet’s requirements.
Also, make sure you don’t leave them alone with water in their bowl; they can easily mess things up and might spill water all over the cage or even fall into them accidently, which could be dangerous if this happens when you are not around.
So, consider all this and decide what suits best for your pet.
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