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 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
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
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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