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Do Guinea Pigs Prefer Water Bottles or Bowls?

When it comes to guinea pigs, you have the option to buy both water bottles and water bowls. You may have wondered if your guinea pig prefers one over the other. 

Your guinea pig is likely to use whichever container that provides clean drinking water, although most guinea pig owners will prefer a water bottle for hygiene reasons.

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you want your guinea pig to have a bowl or a bottle. 

Read on to learn more about guinea pig water bowls vs. bottles and what you should consider when choosing a water source for your cavy. 

Do Guinea Pigs Prefer Water Bowls or Bottles? 

Do Guinea Pigs Prefer Water Bowls or Bottles

Most guinea pigs do not have a preference for a water container. As long as they always have clean water, they will be happy. However, not all cavy owners agree.

Guinea Pig Preferences 

Some cavy owners say that their pet prefers using water bottles and the rest say they prefer to use a bowl. 

However, this seems to vary from one guinea pig to another. You may have to examine your pet closely to see if he has a preference for one or the other. 

You may notice that your guinea pig more often drinks from one water source. 

This may easily be tested by providing your guinea pig both a water bottle and bowl; whichever one they frequent the most is likely the one they prefer

However, as long as your cavy is drinking water consistently throughout the day, you have nothing to worry about.

Clean, Constant Water Is the Most Important Factor

When choosing a water container for your guinea pig, the most important thing to consider is that your cavy is drinking clean water. 

Although your guinea pig is small, he still needs lots of water to thrive. Since guinea pigs can become dehydrated very quickly, it is essential that they always have access to clean water. 

A dehydrated guinea pig can quickly become a very sick guinea pig. Your guinea pig needs one ounce of water per pound per day. 

You do not have to worry about exact measurements, but if you notice a significant change in water intake, contact your veterinarian. 

Significant changes in water intake can be an indicator of serious illness. 

Other Sources of Water

Guinea pigs also get water from fresh vegetables. If they eat vegetables daily, they are also taking in extra moisture.

While all fruits and vegetables provide water, leafy greens are a great source of nutrition and water for your cavy. 

You can easily supplement water intake by providing plenty of fresh vegetables daily. A good rule of thumb is providing one cup of vegetables per guinea pig per day.

Why Do Some Guinea Pig Owners Prefer to Use Water Bottles?

Why Do Some Guinea Pig Owners Prefer to Use Water Bottles

When choosing between water bowls and water bottles, you may be wondering what the difference is. 

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The main difference is how your guinea pig will get the water: through a nozzle or by simply picking it up with his tongue. However, there are a few other essential factors to consider. 

Water bottles are an excellent option for your guinea pig. They are clean, safe, and easy to find at pet stores. 


Water bottles are typically the cleaner option, as long as you make sure to clean them routinely to prevent bacteria buildup. This entails scrubbing them with hot, soapy water. 

Be sure to clean inside the nozzle, as well! 

Water bottles also prevent guinea pigs from contaminating their water source with urine, feces, and other debris from their cage.


Water bottles are also more readily available at pet stores, meaning you will have many options to choose from. 

They are generally what most chain pet stores recommend using for your small pet. 

Good Size

You may also find that water bottles make your life easier, as they typically hold more water, meaning that you will fill them up less often. 

If you are not able to fill the bottle up often, you may consider buying a larger bottle. However, most guinea pig experts suggest replacing water daily. 

How To Choose a Good Water Bottle? 

How To Choose a Good Water Bottle

The most important considerations when choosing a water bottle are size and quality. 

You do not want to choose a water bottle that is too small, as this can create a lot of work on your part; continuously refilling your cavy’s water bottle is no fun. 

Low-quality water bottles may be prone to leakage, increasing the amount of time you spend refilling them. 

This may also lead to a lot of frustration and worry on your part!

Size Recommendations

It is recommended that your guinea pig’s water bottle hold 16-32 ounces. You should also ensure that you buy a bottle with the correct size nozzle for your cavy. 

Some water bottles are made for larger small animals, such as rabbits or chinchillas. These water bottles can be difficult for your guinea pig to drink from. 

In general, you do not want to choose a water source that deters your cavy from drinking. 

Invest in Quality

Water bottles tend to leak, so investing in a high-quality bottle will ensure that you do not have to worry about this. However, some cavy owners will tell you that leakage is unavoidable. 

If you choose to use water bottles, be sure to screw the nozzle on tight. 

Another good way to avoid leakage is to squeeze the bottle before screwing the nozzle on; this creates a tight seal that prevents leakage. 

Common Difficulties When Using Water Bowl for Your Guinea Pigs

Common Difficulties When Using Water Bowl for Your Guinea Pigs

Water bowls, on the other hand, come with their own unique set of challenges. They can be difficult to clean, hold less water, and it may be more difficult to find a quality option.

Easily soiled

Water bowls are more difficult to keep clean because your guinea pig may regularly contaminate them with poop, food, and hay. 

Due to this, it will take more work to ensure that they stay clean.

Prone to Spills

In addition, you have to worry about the bowl being turned over. 

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The last thing you want is to realize that your guinea pig has tipped their bowl over after you have been gone all day.

In addition, many pet stores do not carry water bowls that are weighted. You may have to order a weighted bowl online. Because of this, this could definitely be the less economical option. 

However, your weighted bowl will likely last longer than your bottle, as it can be easily wiped down. 

Smaller Size

Water bowls usually hold a smaller amount of water. They will likely have to be replenished several times a day, especially if you have more than one guinea pig. 

This means that water bowls may not be a good option for you if you are gone for most of the day. 

In addition, water bowls may not be a good option if you own multiple guinea pigs, as this increases the chances of the bowl being contaminated. 

How To Choose a Good Water Bowl? 

The most important factor in choosing a quality water bowl is picking one that cannot be tipped over. 

If your guinea pigs tip their water bowl over, that opens the door for a few complications. 

First, they may run out of water and quickly become dehydrated. 

Second, they are increasing the likelihood of contaminating their bowl with food, hay, and feces, which can quickly lead to illness. 

Choose a Weighted Bowl

There are many weighted bowls available online. It is best to ensure that you choose something heavy and shallow to prevent spills

Many pet stores only carry standard ceramic bowls. These bowls are usually not spill-proof. 

If you cannot buy a weighted bowl, opt for a small, shallow dish. This is the best option for preventing spills and contamination.

If your guinea pig is unfortunate enough to spill water on their fur, this can also have unfortunate consequences. 

Guinea pigs are very susceptible to changes in temperature, so wet fur can quickly lead to hypothermia

Choosing the Perfect Size

Lastly, make sure the bowl is not large enough for your piggy to sit in, or he may treat it more like a pool! 

While guinea pigs do not typically enjoy swimming, they are prone to exploring everything in their cage. A large water bowl may just be too tempting. 


Both water bowls and water bottles are excellent choices for your guinea pig. However, there are some key differences to consider when choosing how to provide your furry friend with water.

While size, quality, and convenience are all factors, one thing takes precedence: providing your piggy with a constant, clean source of water.

Otherwise, the choice is mostly in your (and your guinea pig’s) hands. 

At the end of the day, as long as your cavy has a constant source of clean water, you have nothing to worry about. This alone will keep your guinea pig happy and healthy! 

Remember that water bottles are typically easier to maintain. However, your guinea pig may prefer bowls over bottles. 

Consult someone at your local pet store or your veterinarian when in doubt.