There are a lot of challenges facing first-time guinea pig owners, and a few husbandry issues can even cause problems for experienced keepers too! One of the most common (and frustrating) problems that guinea pig owners face relates to water bottles: They frequently leak, which can cause a litany of problems.
Your guinea pig may not only run out of drinking water, but the cage will also likely become wet and messy. This can lead to bacterial and fungal growth, which may cause your pet to become sick.
Fortunately, there are several high-quality water bottles on the market, which are specifically designed not to leak. We’ll talk about five of the best below.
Glass or Plastic: Choosing the Right Material
Before we identify the five best no-spill guinea pig water bottles available, it is important to discuss the materials most water bottles are made from. The majority of water bottles are currently made from plastic, but there are also a few glass models available to cavy owners too.
Neither material is better for all circumstances, and they both have a different set of benefits and drawbacks. So, just try to pick the best bottle for your circumstances.
The Pros and Cons of Glass
Glass essentially provides three important benefits: It is more durable than plastic (most glass bottles are even dishwasher safe), it is easier clean than plastic, and it won’t retain odors the way some plastic bottles do.
However, glass is heavier than plastic and it is obviously breakable, which can cause safety issues. Glass is usually more expensive than plastic, but there are exceptions (such as the Living World Eco+ Bottle discussed below).
The Pros and Cons of Plastic
The primary benefits of plastic are its low weight, safety and affordability. However, plastic water bottles can be difficult to clean (particularly narrow-mouthed models), and they’re rarely dishwasher safe.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to worry about breaking a plastic water bottle if you drop it, and they’re much lighter, which sometimes makes them easier to mount to the side of a cavy cage.
The Five Best Leak-Proof Guinea Pig Water Bottles
Because there are a lot of water bottles on the market, cavy owners often become overwhelmed when trying to pick one out. We’ve identified five leak-proof guinea pig bottles below to help you narrow down the selection process.
The Choco Nose H128 is a straight-forward, no-frills water bottle that should help keep your cavy hydrated without allowing water to leak into the habitat. It can be mounted directly to the bars of your cavy’s habitat, or you can screw it to the wall, or some other wooden anchor point if you prefer. The included bottle will hold 11.2 ounces of water.
The Choco Nose H528 is a slightly larger and heavier-duty version of the Choco Nose H128. However, both water bottles feature the same basic design. This water bottle can be mounted to the cage bars or a wooden anchor point, and – like the H128 – this product will work with most standard plastic soda bottles. The included bottle holds 11.2 ounces of water, but the entire water bottle kit weighs about twice as much as the H128.
The RentACoop No-Drip Water Bottle is a high-capacity, leak-proof water bottle that utilizes a slightly different design than most other guinea pig water bottles. For example, this water bottle utilizes a very simple metal clip to remain attached to the side of the cage, and the water reservoir is rectangular, rather than cylindrical. The nozzle is also a bit different than the nozzles of other water bottles, and it is designed to make it easy for your pet to drink, while simultaneously preventing spilled water.
The Living World Eco+ Water Bottle features a typical design, but it is made from recycled glass, rather than plastic. This makes it one of the most durable water bottles around and the perfect choice for cavy owners looking for a high-quality water bottle that is built to last. But despite being so well made, this is actually one of the most affordable models on the market.
The LIXIT Natural Wide-Mouth Water Bottle is an affordable and easy-to-use water bottle designed for no-nonsense cavy owners. It features a wide-mouth water bottle, which facilitates cleaning and refilling, and it has a metal nozzle to resist your cavy’s teeth. This water bottle comes with a simple metal wire clip, which keeps it attached to your cavy’s cage.
Attaching Your Water Bottle to the Cage
Different guinea pig water bottles are designed to attach to the side of the cage in different ways. So, you’ll simply need to consult the directions that come with your water bottle to learn how to mount your specific model. Nevertheless, most attached to the cage walls in one of two ways:
- Screw-Based Attachment – Many of the best water bottles feature a large screw or tab that helps keep the water bottle in place. To use these types of attachments, you’ll need to push the water bottle against the side of the habitat (on the outside of the bars) and connect the included screw to the bottle from the inside of the cage.
- Metal Clip – Most metal clip bottle holders simply wrap around the water bottle and clip to the horizontal bars of the cage. As with screw-style attachments, you’ll want to press the water bottle against the bars from the outside, and then use the clips to support its weight.
You can also attach some water bottles to a wall or wooden anchor point by driving screws through the holes provided on the mounting bracket.
How to Stop a Guinea Pig Water Bottle from Leaking?
Unfortunately, some owners have difficulty getting their water bottles to stop leaking – even when they purchase “no-drip” water bottles. Fortunately, many cavy owners have devised ways to address these problems.
For example, here are two tips provided by participants from guinea pig forums:
- Fill the water bottle up all the way, screw the lid on tightly, turn the bottle right side down and squeeze water out then release, creates suction and should *hopefully* stop the leak!
- I bought 4 different brands of water bottles and all of them leaked. then I learned that if I fill them up completely (and by completely I mean like till there’s water falling out) and then put the top and flip it fast. never had leaking problems again.
The most important thing to do is to establish a vacuum in the water bottle – this will help ensure that the metal ball in the nozzle is sucked back up, which will prevent water from dripping out.
My Guinea Pigs Won’t Drink from Their New Water Bottle. What Can I Do?
Fortunately, the vast majority of guinea pigs will learn to drink from leak-proof bottles with ease. However, some owners occasionally notice that their pet does not seem to recognize the bottle as a source of water.
In such cases, the best thing you can do is move your cavy near the nozzle and push the metal ball in to cause some water to drip out. You may even be able to get your pet to lap up a few drops of water from your fingers. Do this a few times each day and your pet should learn to drink from the bottle in no time.
Rarely, some guinea pigs never seem to learn how to drink from a bottle. In such cases, you’ll simply need to switch to a water dish instead of a bottle.
How Do You Clean a Guinea Pig Water Bottle?
You’ll have to clean your pet’s water bottle in different ways depending on the type of bottle you purchase. In fact, you’ll want to consult the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid damaging the bottle or voiding any warranties in place.
If you use a glass bottle, you’ll likely be able to just run it through your dishwasher to clean it. But if you select a plastic bottle, you’ll need to wash it by hand with soap and warm water. A bottle brush will help make the process much easier (particularly for water bottles that have narrow mouths), but a hand sponge will work in some cases.
Always be sure to rinse the water bottle thoroughly after washing it, as soap residue may sicken your cavy.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink from a Bowl?
Guinea pigs can drink from water bowls or dishes. In fact, some seem to prefer doing so. Water bowls are also a great option for sick or weakened cavies, who may have trouble lifting their head up to access the nozzle of a water bottle.
Just be sure that if you use a water dish or bowl, you don’t overfill it, as this could lead to damp cage conditions. Also, be sure to wash the water bowl regularly to ensure your pet doesn’t become sick.
How Much Water Do Guinea Pigs Drink?
The amount of water your guinea pig drinks will vary based on a number of factors. For example, guinea pigs who live in warmer houses will usually drink more water than those living in cool houses. Additionally, the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables your cavy eats will also influence the amount of water he drinks. Fruits and vegetables are full of water, so cavies who consume a lot of them will usually drink less than those who don’t eat very much fresh plant material.
Nevertheless, the average cavy probably drinks about 100 milliliters of water each day. You don’t need to worry if your pet doesn’t drink quite this much (or if he wants a little more than this), but you’ll want to be sure to provide at least this much every day.
It’s actually pretty easy to keep your guinea pig hydrated, as most drink readily from water bottles or water bowls. However, poorly built water bottles often leak, which can create messy cage conditions and lead to health problems.
So, most cavy owners will find that a leak-proof bottle – such as one of the five recommended above – will help ensure their pet has enough to drink and help prevent the messes that sometimes occur.