Most vets advise pet owners like cat and dog owners to give their pets light electrolyte water in times of dire heat.
Some even suggest freezing peanut butter and giving it to their dogs to cool down.
But what about guinea pigs?
What can they drink?
Turns out, guinea pigs can only drink one beverage: Water!
What Can Guinea Pigs Drink?
As highlighted above, the only safe fluid or beverage you can give your guinea pig is water.
Unlike other animals, their body is not equipped to handle tons of nutrients, so water is the only thing they can drink.
Unlike other animals, guinea pigs just can’t drink any water.
The water that they consume has to be clean, measured and also free from any hardness.
Why Guinea Pigs Need Water
Like human beings, animals are no different.
They also need water to survive. After all, water contains vital nutrients that are not found otherwise.
Plus, the job water does in regulating living bodies cannot be found in any other fluids.
For Bodily Processes and Survival
Guinea pigs are mammals, and mammals need water in order to survive.
Their body uses a lot of it while performing bodily functions like movement, respiration, and other important life processes.
Water is essential when it comes to regulating animals’ body temperatures. It also aids their limbs by providing cushioning and lubrication.
It also helps guinea pigs to rid their bodies of waste, considering the excessive chewing that they do.
To Remain Hydrated
Guinea pigs are very active animals.
They’re always playing with a mate, or running on their wheel, or even going at a wooden cube to grind their teeth. In other words, guinea pigs are very active, which means their life processes and body processes require fuel.
Besides food, guinea pigs need water to stay hydrated.
Without water, a pig is not going to survive and may suffer from problems related to dehydration.
And because guinea pigs are very sensitive animals, owners must take special care of their steady water supply.
What Type Of Water Can Guinea Pigs Drink?
Guinea pigs can only have plain water.
Their bodies are not equipped to deal with food and beverages that are high in salt, sugar, or fat, which means fruit juices, watered-down sodas, milk, and even flavor-infused water are off the table.
Choice #1: Filtered Water
Guinea pigs are very sensitive creatures, which means they can’t just have any water.
Filtered water is a popular choice amongst guinea pig owners because it’s cleared of contaminants and isn’t hard.
That water has the perfect pH balance to maintain your guinea pig’s health.
Choice #2: Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water
Reverse osmosis is another water purification process and reduces the water’s hardness and alkalinity and removes other harmful chemicals like chlorine, cysts, and so on.
Water that has been filtered using reverse osmosis is also a good option to feed your guinea pig.
In other words, water that’s ideal for human consumption is perfect to give to guinea pigs.
These animals consume a very restricted diet, and the reason they are domesticated is that they need extra care – they are not like other rodents.
So choose clean, filtered, and safe water for your guinea pig.
What Water Temperature Do Guinea Pigs Prefer?
According to research, guinea pigs can be very picky about the temperature of their water.
Some guinea pigs prefer water that is room temperature because it’s easy to consume, whereas some guinea pigs prefer cold water.
Yes, water does lose its cool over time, so if your guinea pig prefers cold water, you can slip an ice cube into their water bottle or water bowl so that it remains cool and your pet is encouraged to drink it.
The best way to figure out what temperature of water your guinea pig likes is to try it out.
Try giving your guinea pig some room temperature water and see how much water they consume.
In the next water change, give your guinea pig cold water or add an ice cube to their water supply and observe again.
The water that has been consumed more is the temperature your guinea pig prefers.
It may take a few days or a week, at most, for you to figure out what temperature of water your guinea pig likes, so be patient.
How Much Water Should You Give Your Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs need water at all times, which means you should keep their bottle or water bowl full at all times.
However, there are certain conditions that guinea pig owners must be aware of.
The Average Water Intake is 80-100mls
An average guinea pig will consume around 80mls to 100mls of water in a day.
This is the ideal, healthy volume of water that vets recommend for guinea pigs as well.
If your guinea pig consumes less than this, it might need medical attention. Or if your guinea pig consumes more than this, then speak to your vet.
Pregnant Guinea Pigs will Drink Over 90mls of Water
On the other hand, pregnant guinea pigs, also known as sows, will consume more water.
Even lactating guinea pigs will consume more water in order to make up for the lack of it when their bodies produce milk for the babies.
A Word of Caution
If your guinea pig is a female, has not mated, does not live with a mate, has no pups to feed, is an average-sized one but continues to demand more water, you may have to take your guinea pig to the vet.
Over-consumption of water can be indicative of digestive issues or even bladder problems in small animals, so be wary of this.
How Can You Give Water to Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs do need a constant source of water in their cage.
After all, these tiny animals do consume around 80mls of water in a day, to state the minimum.
Some popular ways of giving guinea pigs water are listed below.
Small Water Bottles
Small water bottles which are hung upside down and have a drip nozzle are a favorite amongst guinea pig owners.
They don’t spill water and also distribute it slowly so that your guinea pig doesn’t over-drink or choke on it.
The covered water also stays clean for longer.
They’re also relatively cheap to buy, but you have to keep them clean every now and then. Wash the bottles every few days and the nozzle before filling it back up.
If your guinea pig prefers warm or room temperature water, this is your go-to water tool.
Water bowls are also a choice amongst some guinea pig owners, especially those who have one guinea pig in a cage.
It’s also easy to add ice cubes to water bowls, so a water bowl is a good choice if your guinea likes chilled water.
However, guinea pigs are active animals and can be pretty messy.
This means that the water bowl can get dirty and some food debris or other kinds of mess can get into the water, making it necessary for you to change it frequently.
Food Which Has High Water Content
Another way to ensure that your guinea pig is hydrated is to feed them food that has high water content.
Guinea pigs only eat plants or vegetables, so a great choice would be to feed them watery, raw veggies – especially in hot summers for added hydration.
Cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, celery, sweet corn, and even kale are great veggies that your piggy can eat raw.
They have a high water content, which means your pig is getting water from other sources too besides their water or bowl.
What Drinks Are Harmful For Your Guinea Pig?
There are drinks that can harm your guinea pig.
The following is a list of fluids and beverages to never feed your guinea pigs.
Contaminated water is very common, especially in homes where there’s renovation happening or if there is a high level of dust in your city.
Make sure to use a water bottle to feed water to your pig – it keeps the water covered and clean for long.
It’s also important to give your pig water from sources that haven’t been contaminated.
If you’ve taken your guinea pig out in the garden, make sure to keep it away from puddle water.
The compounds in that unclean source of waster are detrimental to your pig’s health, so be wary of keeping such type of water away from your pig.
Stray animals can have it – but not guinea pigs.
Unfiltered Tap Water
Unfiltered tap water contains pathogens, cysts, bacteria, and tons of other chemicals that aren’t great for the human body or guinea pigs.
Your guinea pig can only consume water that has been purified for drinking use, so give your pig the water that you’d choose to drink yourself
Other Drinks to Keep Away From Your Guinea Pig
The following are drinks that are an absolute NO-NO for your guinea pig:
- Artificially sweetened beverages
- Sparkling water
- Infused water
You get the picture – just plain ol’ water!
Now that the great mystery of your guinea pig’s hydration needs has been solved, remember to only – and only – give your guinea pig fresh and clean water.
No other beverage is made for them.
You must also remember to keep their bottle or bowl full at all times and clean them out every now and then.
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