How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Water?

Guinea pigs are highly dependent on their owners for sustenance.

If you are planning to go on a vacation and leave your guinea pig behind, you might be wondering how long your guinea pig can go without water.

Well, without further ado, let’s address how long your guinea pig can go without water and its various other water requirements.

How Long Can a Guinea Pig Live Without Water?

Many vets aren’t very clear about how long these creatures can survive without water, but on average, no pet should be left without water for more than 12 to 24 hours.

A guinea pig, at maximum, can go 8 to 12 hours without drinking water. Just because your guinea pig can go this long without water, doesn’t mean it should.

Your pet can become severely ill if it doesn’t receive water in 6 hours.

Water is essential for your tiny pet for various reasons.

Like other animals, your guinea pig pets need fresh and clean water to survive and thrive.

One of the main reasons they require more water than other animals is because they munch on a lot of dry yet fibrous foods, like timothy hay. Water ensures the proper functioning of their digestive tract.

Failure to deliver your furry pets with an appropriate amount of water can cause dehydration.

Dehydration is, without a doubt, very dangerous for them as it can cause organ dysfunction.

How Much Water Does Your Guinea Pig Require?

Guinea pigs require a significant amount of water to function daily. The daily requirement of water can vary for every guinea pig.

Generally, the normal requirement is between 80 to 100 ml a day.

There’s no reason to be worried if your tiny pet isn’t drinking this much water every day.

There’s a chance it might be sourcing water from vegetables, like lettuce or cucumber.

It’s essential to place a water source near your guinea pig as they drink water quite often.

How Do You Tell If Your Guinea Pig Is Dehydrated?

Your guinea pig can be dehydrated at times.

One of the most obvious ways to estimate their hydration levels is through their eyes. If they’re severely dehydrated, their eyes will appear dull and dry.

Another way you can tell if your pet is dehydrated is by looking at their urine. Like humans, when guinea pigs are dehydrated, their urine gets very dark.

Their urine may also stink if they are dehydrated.

Weight loss is another common sign of dehydration in guinea pigs.

You can try squeezing the skin of your pet guinea pig. If you notice its skin returning back to its former state, then your pet is doing alright.

However, if the response of its skin is delayed or isn’t returning to its previous state, then you might want to visit a vet.

How Can You Provide Water to Your Guinea Pigs?

When putting together a cage for your pet guinea pig, you need to ensure that it has continuous access to a water source.

Your guinea pig can be provided with water in a number of ways. The best method depends on your pet’s comfort level.

Here are a few methods through which you can provide your pet with water.

Water Bottle

This is a very common method. This procedure includes a bottle and a pipe.

The container is filled with water and is placed outside the cage, whereas the pipe connected to the container is placed inside the cage.

To keep the pipe from leaking, it is connected to a small ball that allows your furry little pet to have continuous access to water.

Even though this procedure is very commonly used, it gets a bit complicated for the guinea pig to drink water peacefully.

Sippy Bottle

Another common method is a sippy bottle.

The sippy bottle features a lid made of a metal plate attached to it. The only issue with this is that your little friend has to elevate the metal plate in order to drink the water.

Once your pet is successful in elevating this plate, it can drink as much water as it desires.

Unlike the water bottle method, the guinea pig doesn’t have to rely on its tongue to drink water, making it all the easier for the guinea pig to drink water.


Bowls are the best and easiest way to provide water to guinea pigs. However, this method has its own drawbacks.

The biggest disadvantage of providing a bowl of water as a water source for your pet is that the water is polluted very easily.

To make it easier for your guinea pig, this water bowl does not have a cover, so it is more exposed to contaminants as compared to other methods.

The hay and litter dust near the bowl can easily fall into the water, polluting it greatly. Due to this issue, guinea pigs usually don’t prefer drinking water from these bowls.

Things to Avoid When Giving Your Guinea Pigs Water

It can be difficult to tell what kind of water your guinea pigs prefer drinking.

There are a few things you should avoid doing to the water in order to push your tiny pets to drink it.

Don’t make your fluffy little pets drink cold water as it can lead to many problems and issues.

Offer them water at room temperature. Secondly, don’t try being efficient by mixing any vitamin C in the water as they don’t prefer it.

Thirdly, ensure that you don’t mix or infuse any salt or sugar in their water source. Also, don’t give your pets any other liquids such as alcohol.

Avoid buying water from the shop. You can give them normal tap water unless there’s a scarcity of fresh or unpolluted water.

Offer your little pets the same water that you drink, ensuring that the source is not exposed to any dust particles.

Things to Remember When Giving Your Guinea Pigs Water

When giving your guinea pigs water, there are a few tips you can follow. Ensure that you refill their water bowl, sippy bottle, or water bottle every day after every 12 hours.

The number of times you should refill their water depends on the weather.

Since it gets pretty hot during summers, it is recommended that you change the water more frequently.

Most importantly, ensure that their water source doesn’t run out of water.

If you notice that the bottle runs out of water frequently, keep an extra or a bigger bottle of water.

Make sure that you wash the water bottle every day to avoid any germs.

If you are planning to provide your guinea pigs with a water bowl, then try getting a ceramic one.

Incorporate vegetables that have high water content, such as cucumbers or lettuce, into their diet.

Most importantly, monitor the water levels of your guinea pig and ensure that your pet is comfortable with its current water source.

If you notice that it isn’t, immediately change the water source.


Every animal requires varying quantities of water to survive and function properly. Therefore, their ability to live without water varies as well.

You can’t always take your pet around with you and there will be times when you’ll have to leave them at home alone.

Hence, it’s essential to be aware of your guinea pig’s ability to live and function without water.

If you notice any abnormalities in the drinking pattern of your fluffy little buddy, you should definitely consult a vet.

Other articles you may also like: