Can Guinea Pigs Drink Out of a Bowl?

A common debate in the circles of pet keepers has been on whether guinea pigs can drink out of water bowls or not. This is especially crucial for someone who is taking in a new pet and is keen on ensuring that the piggy settles into the new environment comfortably. 

Water bowls seem to be a fairly simple and natural option that would be convenient for a guinea pig regardless of what it is accustomed to drinking from.

Moreover, discussions have been abound amongst owners and vets on whether it is better to change from using water bottles to bowls.

This article explores some of the areas of contention between the use of water bottles versus water bowls. It provides useful information to assist a pet owner in making the best decision on which between these two to go for.

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Out of a Bowl?

Yes. Guinea pigs can drink out of bowls. However, if they are making a switch from using water bottles, they may need time to get accustomed to the new method.

Nevertheless, there are both pros and cons to the use of water bowls. For instance, as an advantage, guinea pigs tend to drink more from water bowls compared to bottles. This ensures that they are well hydrated and contributes to good health. 

On the other hand, bowls can get messy, as the piggies can defecate and urinate in the water bowl. This makes it important to constantly check the water bowl and empty its contents and provide fresh water to the cavy. 

Moreover, given the agility of guinea pigs, bowls can easily be tipped over,leaving the cage damp and without a source of drinking water.

Pros of a Bowl

A bowl is a simple means of supplying your pet with clean drinking water. It is easy to set inside the cage in a convenient location, and takes up very little time to refill.

For the piggie, it also offers much convenience as it is easy for them to drink from a bowl. They do not have to stretch or strain their necks excessively to get a drink.

Because of this benefit, the guinea pig will actually drink more from the bowl compared to when it gets its supply from a water bottle. 

Cons of a Bowl

Using a bowl also comes with its fair share of challenges. As earlier alluded to, the bowl can easily be tipped over by the pets, leaving the cage damp and without fresh water to drink. 

Moreover, bowls take over space, and in the event that they have to be secured to prevent them from tipping over, they might use up a whole corner of the cage.

Given the fact that cavies are very active and poop a lot, chances of finding poop in the water bowl are pretty high. The pet handler needs to frequently empty the bowl and pour fresh water in to prevent infections arising from consumption of dirty water.

Finally, depending on the size of the water bowl, it might portend a risk to baby guinea pigs. The possibility of a little piggie jumping in and drowning in the bowl exists, and this requires extra precautions.

Is a Water Bottle or Bowl Better For Guinea Pigs?

Generally, water bottles tend to be more favored as they are safer, more hygienic and not prone to accidental tipping in the cage. Nevertheless, there are benefits to using bowls as well, the first being that they are cheaper and can be set up easily.

Secondly, water bowls offer a more natural means of watering guinea pigs. This offers relative comfort to them as they do not have to arch their necks and backs to drink up.

Furthermore, bowls are easier to clean, even though they need to be washed more frequently compared to water bottles. 

How to Get a Guinea Pig to Drink from a Bowl

When transitioning from using water bottles to bowls, it is important to make the process gradual and to allow the pets to get accustomed to the new drinking method.

This might mean not getting rid of the bottles all at once until the pets are able to drink to their fill from the bowl.  

Ensure that the bowl is of convenient size and not easy to tip over based on your piggies’ ages. Ceramic bowls are handy in this regard.

Allow them ample time to explore the bowl and do not force their mouths into the bowl. Naturally, when they get thirsty, they will be drawn to the water and start gulping.

These tips also apply if you are using a bowl for a new guinea pig that was accustomed to water bottles. Ensure that the water is of the right temperature and avoid adding flavors or vitamins to it as the resultant taste might throw them off.

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What Is The Best Way To Give Guinea Pigs Water?

It may be necessary to see the preferences of your guinea pigs before deciding on a single method of providing them with water.

Try to introduce both water bottles and bowls at different times and be keen to judge their level of comfort and ease when using either.

Measuring the amount of water taken when using both methods may indicate what your cavy herd  prefers. Nevertheless, you need to be certain that a water bowl presents no hazard to very young or aged piggies. 

Also read:

Piggies Choice Non-Tip Metal Guinea Pig Pellet Dish Bowl


While water bottles seem to be the more preferred means of watering guinea pigs, bowls come with their own set of advantages.

Ease of setting up a water bowl and the easy access it offers to the water are two crucial advantages. However, they can also get messy when the piggies defecate or urinate in them.

Regardless of their individual pros and cons, it might be a good idea to test your guinea pigs with both options to determine the one they prefer the most. 

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