Guinea Pigs need access to fresh water throughout the day and night. Most commonly used is a water bottle, but you can also use a water bowl as an additional water source. Guinea do obtain water from their fruit and vegetables, but you need to provide a constant supply of fresh water.

Water Bottles
Water bottles come with a sipper tube and a ball bearing, which are ideal for guinea pigs. Attach the bottle so its in easy reach for your guinea pig. Change the water every day by emptying all the water out and replace with fresh water. Twice weekly, thoroughly wash the bottles with a bottle brush. This helps to keep the bottles clean and free of algae. If you have a build up of algae, then the bottles aren't kept clean enough. If the algae appears quickly, then the bottles are getting too much sunlight, so position the cage in a more shaded area. Check the spout is clean and isn't blocked. Also check the ball bearing to see if its working properly.

Jasmine enjoying a drink from her water bottle

Water Bowls
As well as a water bottle, I also provide a water bowl. Clover and Peachy originally just used a water bowl, as their first home was actually a large wading pool. I couldn't attach a water bottle successfully, so a bowl was very handy. Water bowls need to be made out of heavy ceramic, so they can't be tipped over. The water may also need to be changed more frequently than once a day, because of stray bedding getting in. When Clover and Peachy were no longer living in the wading pool, I tried to encourage them to use a bottle, but they just ignored it, so they just continued using a bowl. When Squeekie came to live with the girls, after his neutering operation, I included a bottle as he was more used to using one. Eventually Clover and Peachy learnt from Squeekie how to use a bottle, so well done Squeekie for being a good teacher :)

One main reason why I still kept a water bowl in the cage was because Peachy loved to dip her bits of newspaper or plain cardboard in it, before eating them. I'd have felt awful depriving her of her favourite little habit. Later, I also read that Vedra of the Cavy Cambridge Trust also advised using both a bottle and water bowl. Click on the following link and scroll down to number 6 to read why.Bottles and Bowls I decided that I would use both a bottle and bowl for all my guinea pigs.

Remember to empty all the old water out, wash the bowl, rinse well, making sure its squeaky clean before adding fresh water. You may need to change the water more frequently than once a day. My guinea pigs do enjoy using a bowl as well as a bottle. If your guinea pig is poorly, they will find a bowl of water easier to use, so they may drink more which can only be good for them.

Squeekie enjoying a drink from his water bowl

Safety Tips
In hot weather, always keep an eye on the water levels as guinea pigs may drink more water. They will also appreciate you changing the water in the bottles two or three times a day. The cool water will be refreshing in hot temperatures. At the opposite end of the scale, when the temperature is very cold, make sure the water doesn't freeze. If the weather is cold enough to freeze the water, then you need to place your guinea pigs home in a warmer environment. It has to be very cold for a water bottle to freeze, so please don't leave your guinea pigs outside in the garden. A shed will give them some protection, but the water may still freeze, so you will still need to provide a safe form of heating for cold winter days.

When your guinea pigs are having their free range time or are in an outside run, always provide some water. Like food, just see water as an essential accessory that they always need to have with them.

Occasionally it might be suggested by a vet that you can put medicine in their water bottle. This isn't very practical if you have more than one guinea pig, as their cage mate will also have access to the same water. Other reasons to avoid putting medicine in their water bottle is that they probably won't drink the whole bottle, so won't be getting the correct dosage. They may also dislike the taste completely and just ignore it. Always give medicine via a small syringe. Same applies if your having to give a vitamin c supplement. Vitamin c breaks down rapidly in water and light, so the strength is effected.

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