Do Guinea Pigs Know How To Use Water Bottles?

Part of being a responsible guinea pig owner is ensuring your piggie gets enough food and water. Water bottles are a great source of hydration for cavies, but many new owners want to know if their pets can easily and safely use them. 

If you’re deciding whether a water bottle will work for your guinea pig, read on to find out if your piggie will require any training, how safe water bottles are for cavies, how to set them up, and some of the best bottles to choose from. 

Do Guinea Pigs Know How To Use Water Bottles?

Drinking from a water bottle comes naturally to some guinea pigs, while others will need to be taught. Depending on your guinea pig, you may have to implement a small amount of training if you want to use a bottle as their water source. 

Are Water Bottles Good For Guinea Pigs?

Many guinea pig owners prefer water bottles over bowls for sanitary reasons. Guinea pigs aren’t the tidiest creatures and often soil their water bowls with hay, litter, and poop. Water bottles keep the water clean by storing it above your guinea pigs’ cage floor. 

Guinea pigs themselves seem to prefer water bottles, as well. A recent A recent study in Switzerland in Switzerland discovered that, when given the choice, guinea pigs preferred to drink from a bottle instead of a bowl. 

How Do You Know If A Guinea Pig’s Water Bottle Is Working?

If you opt for a guinea pig water bottle, it’s important to know if your pet is getting enough water.

To make sure water is flowing through the bottle correctly, gently tap the ball at the end of the spout and see if any liquid comes out. If not, there may be a blockage that you’ll have to remove. 

Another way to know if your water bottle is working is to check for bubbles while you’re guinea pig is drinking. If bubbles flow from the bottom of the bottle when it’s in use, then you know your guinea pig is getting water. 

How To Set Up A Water Bottle for Guinea Pigs

To install a water bottle into your guinea pig’s cage, begin by filling up the bottle with fresh water. Ensure the cap is screwed on tightly to prevent any leakage.

When you’re ready to mount the bottle, double-check its design. Some bottles are meant to hang inside the cage while others will connect to the outside and extend the drinking spout through the bars. 

Make sure the spout is high enough from the cage floor that it doesn’t become soiled but not so high that your guinea pig has to strain its neck to drink. 

How To Train A Guinea Pig To Drink from A Water Bottle

If you’ve recently introduced a water bottle to your guinea pig’s cage, it’s best to show them how it works so they don’t have to figure it out on their own. Here are some easy steps you can take to train them: 

  1. Gently place your guinea pig in front of the new water bottle and tap your finger on the metal ball so a very small amount lands near or on your piggie. This will let them know that the bottle is a source of water. 
  1. Place their food bowl near the water bottle so they have easy access to water during their meals. 
  1. Keep an eye on your piggie over the next couple of hours. If it doesn’t drink from the bottle itself over this time, repeat the first step, but try to get some water in your piggie’s mouth. 
  1. If your guinea pig doesn’t pick up on it right away, don’t panic. Just give them some time and ensure they don’t go more than 24 hours without drinking. 

How Much Water Do Guinea Pigs Need A Day?

The average adult guinea pig drinks approximately 100 mL (3.3 ounces) of water per day, so make sure they’re drinking no less than this amount.

Any kind of clean and filtered water will do, but check with your veterinarian before offering alkaline water or softened water. 

Water in your pet’s bottle should be changed at least once a day and even more often during warmer weather since it can quickly dry. 

How to Clean Water Bottle for Guinea Pigs

Your piggie’s water bottle should be cleaned every two days to prevent bacteria, mold, and algae growth. 

Fill the bottle with warm soapy water, replace the cap, and shake it around for about 30 seconds. Then empty the bottle and rinse with clean water before leaving it out to dry or drying it yourself. 

If you’re cleaning mold from the bottle, use a mix of hot water and vinegar instead of soapy water and let it soak for a while before drying. Make sure it doesn’t smell before it’s filled with water again. 

7 Best Water Bottles for Guinea Pigs

With so many guinea pig water bottles to choose from, finding just the right one for your pet can be overwhelming. Factors you’ll want to consider as you shop include the bottles’ materials, capacity, nozzle, and how secure the hook and/or suction cups are. 

Here are just some of our favorite water bottles to help you get started: 

Alternatives To Water Bottles

Although water bottles are the most popular water source for guinea pigs, many cavy owners will use ceramic bowls for their pets. Bowls can be a safe alternative if your piggie is injured, elderly, or doesn’t like water bottles. 

Bowls are also easier for pet parents since all you have to do is fill them and leave them in your guinea pig’s cage. However, they’ll need to be cleaned and refilled more often since they are easily dirtied by bedding and pet waste. 

Whether you use a bottle or bowl for your guinea pig should depend on your pet’s personal preference. If you can’t decide, you can always use both! 

Ceramic Guinea Pig Water Bowl


Bottles are a great option for supplying your guinea pig with a water source. Bowls also work for elderly and injured guinea pigs, but they’ll need to be cleaned much more often. 

Now that you have a better idea of which one will work best for your pet, you’ll be able to provide the hydration your guinea pig needs to live a long and healthy life. 

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