How to Feed Water to Guinea pigs

Small abyssinian guinea pig

Water is an important part of your guinea pigs diet and should be replaced daily to ensure it is free of bacteria. 

Water should not be distilled and should be free from any contamination (so, that means filling up at the kitchen sink and not the garden water butt). You should not need to supplement their water with any vitamins or minerals if the food you are providing contains enough vitamin C. 

Changing the water daily, as opposed to simply topping up, will also allow you to monitor just how much water your guinea pig is drinking. Any changes in their intake could indicate an underlying medical condition.

You must wash the water bottle thoroughly on a daily basis before re-filling.

How do guinea pigs drink water?

Guinea pigs should drink water out of a glass or plastic bottle that is specially designed for small pets. The bottle can be attached to the outside of the cage or hutch with a bendy metal fastener or spring fastener.

Plastic water bottles degrade over time so you should replace their bottle every year to make sure they are getting the best quality care. Alternatively you can buy a glass bottle which is much longer-lasting and better quality too.

glass water bottle on side of guinea pig cage
Glass water bottles are recommended

How much water should guinea pigs drink?

Guinea pigs need a constant supply of water and it should never be limited. On hot days they will drink more than cold days.

The amount of water they drink will also depend on the type of food they are eating. If they have eaten a lot of water based food like lettuce, cucumber and celery, then they may not drink as much.

Can guinea pigs drink water out of a bowl?

Guinea pigs can drink water from a bowl but this isn’t a hygienic way of providing their water as it can become contaminated with urine and faeces. It’s important your guinea pigs have a proper water bottle feeder so they have access to clean water. If the water is dirty, they may not drink it and could become ill.

Do guinea pigs like water?

Guinea pigs do like water and it is a natural way for them to get fluids into their bodies. Guinea pigs must never be given milk, apple juice, orange juice or any type of fruit juice or sweetened water.

Can guinea pigs drink tap water?

Guinea pigs can drink tap water as it is, straight from the tap, but it is also safe for you to filter it, if you own a water filter.

Can guinea pigs drink cold water?

Guinea pigs should always be given cold water and not warm or hot water. But don’t chill the water as it’s fine straight from the tap.

How long can guinea pigs go without water?

You should never leave your guinea pig without water as they need fluids in their body to keep them healthy and hydrated. Even if it doesn’t seem like they drink much or if you think they’re getting all the fluids they need from their vegetables, it is still important to give it to them. Without water, a guinea pig will quickly become dehydrated and ill.

My guinea pig isn’t drinking any water – what should I do?

If your guinea pig isn’t drinking water, check the bottle is actually dispensing the water properly. If the water bottle is working correctly and they are still not drinking, it may be your guinea pig is consuming a lot of watery veggies and doesn’t need extra water.

However, it is vital you contact your vet if you believe your guinea pig is not drinking any water, as they will deteriorate fast if, for some reason, they can’t get the fluid intake their bodies need.

Why is my guinea pig drinking a lot of water?

If you think your guinea pig is drinking an unusually large amount of water, first check the water bottle isn’t leaking. If the water bottle is working as it should, your guinea pig may have some kind of health problem that is making him drink more than normal. If you are concerned about this, make an appointment for him to have a check up with the vet as soon as you can.