Guinea pigs are among the easiest, most fun pets to bring home. They are pretty simple to care for and offer endless love in return.
However, you need to ensure that you offer them all the supplies they need to live a wonderfully happy and healthy life with you.
One of these supplies is a water bowl. Let’s find out if your guinea pigs can drink from them or are water bottles the superior choice.
Can Your Guinea Pigs Drink Out of a Bowl
Yes, guinea pigs can drink out of a bowl.
Guinea pigs are quite clever and can easily drink from a bowl once you show them how to.
All you need to do is direct them to the water bowl the first few times.
Also, if you choose to keep a water bowl for your pigs, remember to clean it often. You should make it a practice to clean the water bowl twice or thrice a day.
Refill it with fresh, room temperature water each time.
Benefits of Having a Water Bowl for Your Guinea Pigs
Here are some benefits of offering water to your guinea pigs in a bowl.
- Easier for older pigs to drink from.
- More accessible for sick or injured guinea pigs.
- Easy for baby pigs to drink from since they don’t know how to drink from a bottle.
- Much easier for you to clean, maintain and refill.
- Cheaper than water bottles
Cons of Having a Water Bowl for Your Guinea Pigs
Here are the cons of having a water bowl for your guinea pigs.
- Get dirty more easily.
- Can cause sanitation problems.
- No way to keep track of how much water the pigs drank.
- High chances of the bowl tipping over and creating a mess.
- It can be a drowning hazard for baby pigs.
Water Bowls vs. Water Bottles for Guinea Pigs
Water bowls and bottles are both good options for your guinea pigs to drink water from.
Some people prefer bottles because there are no chances of them tipping over. Additionally, water bottles offer exact measurements of how much your pigs drank.
Water bottles are also easier to set up on the side of the cage. They don’t require any extra space, and there are no sanitation problems.
However, water bottles can get dirty rather quickly. They aren’t the easiest vessels to clean, so you might need to purchase a new one every few months.
Water bowls can be removed and cleaned every time you offer fresh water to your pigs. However, they come with their own challenges that you can read in the next section.
Therefore, it is up to the owner to decide which vessel they prefer.
The most important thing to ensure is that your guinea pigs always have access to water. They can get dehydrated and even die quickly without water.
Water Bowl Challenges to Be Prepared for
Have you decided that the water bowl is the better container for your guinea pigs? If that’s the case, there are some challenges you should be prepared for.
Knowing about them and working to fix these issues will help you offer your pigs the best environment to be healthy and happy in.
Difficult to Track Drinking Habits
Water bowls don’t have measurement lines or any other way for you to track the quantity of water.
Additionally, the open surface allows for water to evaporate quite easily. This will be especially true on hot summer days.
Therefore, you would face difficulty knowing how much water your guinea pigs drank.
A quick solution is to offer your guinea pigs fresh water twice or thrice a day.
Make sure they drink from the bowl each time you change the water so you can see how much they have had.
Problem of Sanitation
Since water bowls don’t have a top cover, it means anything and everything can enter the bowl.
Your guinea pigs are naughty little pets who enjoy creating a mess and exploring different things.
They might decide to turn the water bowl into their very own toiler bowl. They could even start scratching up their bedding and adding pieces of it to the bowl.
All of these acts would make the water bowl a highly unsanitary container. It would not be safe for your guinea pigs to drink water from this bowl.
The best way to fix this issue is to change the water in the bowl several times a day.
You should also keep a close watch on your pigs the first few days after introducing the bowl.
If they start to participate in any unwanted behavior with the bowl, remove it instantly and place it back when they have stopped.
This will teach them that the bowl is only for drinking water and nothing else.
Can Be a Tipping Hazard
This is one of the biggest dangers of using a bowl as your pigs’ water source.
Water bowls can be knocked and tipped over quite easily. Since guinea pigs are quite active and naughty, this further increases the chances of the water bowl getting tipped over.
You don’t need us to tell you how disastrous a tipped water bowl would be. You would end up with wet bedding and a soiled cage that needs to be dried and cleaned ASAP.
Moreover, regular exposure to water can lead to your guinea pigs developing bumblefoot.
Bumblefoot is when a guinea pig’s feet become inflamed due to water exposure.
Bumblefoot is quite uncomfortable and painful for your pets. It can also lead to more severe health problems.
So, you would need to get your guinea pigs out and dry off their feet as soon as the water bowl is tipped over.
An easy way to prevent this is by using heavy water bowls that are less likely to fall over.
Turn into a Wading Pool
Most guinea pigs aren’t the biggest fans of water. However, there is always an oddball that enjoys baths quite a lot.
Do you have a guinea pig who loves to be in the water? You can easily expect the water bowl to turn into its very own wading pool.
Adorable as that may sound, this is a recipe for disaster! Firstly, the rest of your pigs might end up dehydrated as they no longer have access to water.
Secondly, the water would be contaminated and unsuitable for drinking.
This also increases the chances of your water-loving guinea pig getting sick. They might even develop bumblefoot due to excess water exposure.
So, only opt for a water bowl instead of a bottle if you’re sure none of your pigs would want to take a dip in it.
How to Keep the Water Bowl Clean
You probably understand by now that there are two major issues with water bowls.
They can be tipped over, and they get dirty. You can stop the chances of spills and tipping by using a heavy bowl.
So, let’s find out how to keep the water bowls clean.
You wouldn’t drink from a dirty mug, right? So, you shouldn’t expect your pets to drink from a dirty bowl.
Make it a practice to change the water in the bowl twice or thrice a day.
Each time you change the water, first clean the bowl with a solution of gentle dish soap and water.
If the bowl looks extra dirty, soak it in the solution for a while. Then, rinse the bowl a few times before offering water in it to your pet.
How to Get Guinea Pigs to Drink from a Bowl?
Now that you know everything you should be aware of before choosing a water bowl for your guinea pigs let’s move on.
Your pigs will need to be trained to drink from a bowl. Go over the points mentioned below to find out how to make it a success.
Show Them How
The best way to teach your guinea pigs to drink from the water bowl is by directing them to it. You should start by dipping a finger in the water bowl and extending it to your guinea pigs.
Lightly touch your wet finger to their mouth and let your pigs lick up the water. Then, gently scoot them closer to the water bowl and do it again.
Repeat this several times, so your pigs realize what is in the bowl. Soon enough, you will notice them going to the bowl to drink by themselves whenever they are thirsty.
Offer Some Treats
If you’re having trouble teaching your guinea pigs to drink from the bowl, it may be time to try bribery.
Treats are always the best way to get your guinea pigs to do something you want. So, grab some of their favorite treats and place them near the water bowl.
They will naturally move closer to the bowl in search of the treat. As they do, dip your finger in the water and let them lick it again.
Soon enough, they’ll realize they are supposed to drink water from the bowl.
Offer them a treat when they drink from the bowl for some positive reinforcement. However, you should be careful not to make this a regular thing!
Your pigs might start expecting treats every time they drink from the bowl otherwise.
Let Them Learn from Each Other
Lastly, you should focus your energy on teaching the older guinea pigs to drink from the bowl first. That’s because the younger ones learn from them!
Teaching your older, more experienced guinea pigs will be significantly easier.
Once you’re done, and the older pigs start drinking from the bowl, you will notice the younger ones doing it too!
Placing younger guinea pigs with your older piggies works quite well on most occasions.
All the best in teaching your guinea pigs to drink from water bowls!
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