Do guinea pigs like water? This is a question that many guinea pig owners have asked themselves at some point in time.
Some people believe that their pets are not big fans of the wet stuff, while others swear they can’t get enough of it!
Let’s take a closer look at the evidence and see what we can learn about this topic.
Are Guinea Pigs Scared of Water?
Most guinea pigs are definitely scared of water for very valid reasons including temperature changes health risks.
Guinea pigs cannot sweat like we do, so they are not able to cool off in hot weather.
They can get overheated if you leave them outside and it becomes too warm, or even indoors without a fan blowing on them!
If they get wet, on the other hand, the water on their fur will prevent them from staying warm and could potentially lead to hypothermia or other health problems.
Their dense fur collects a lot of water and holds it in for a very long time which may lead to fungal infections or matting.
The added weight also makes your piggie extremely uncomfortable and is especially harmful to older pets.
Sudden temperature changes and discomfort put a lot of stress and anxiety on your cavy which makes them scared of water.
Do Guinea Pigs Like to Swim in Water?
If your guinea pig is a little more adventurous than most, you might be tempted to try and give him the opportunity to swim in water.
However, swimming is not a good activity for guinea pigs, because they simply don’t like it and get stressed easily.
Guinea pigs are not very good swimmers and looking at their stocky frame with those tiny paws, it becomes quite evident why.
If a guinea pig accidentally falls into water, he will probably be able to “swim out” by himself which is more an attempt of not drowning to death.
Their small arms and legs are simply not build for this type of strenuous exercise and they will get tired quickly.
Imagine being as small as a cavy and then being thrown into a large pool of water. Anxiety and depression levels would definitely rise.
As a result of this mental and physical stress, laboured and shallow breathing could lead to water being swallowed.
Lastly, guinea pigs never needed to acquire swimming skills.
They originally come from South America were they dwelled in rocky areas, grasslands and forest edges.
No body of water needed to be crossed and swimming was never part of their history.
If you really want to try out if your guinea pig is one of the rare cases that enjoys being in water, provide him with a super flat water area.
Your piggie needs to be able to reach the bottom at any time and supervision is crucial.
Don’t force your guinea pig to do anything and if he doesn’t want to go near the water that’s totally normal and okay.
What Happens If My Guinea Pig Gets Wet?
If your guinea pig does happen to become wet, there are some steps you can take for making sure he stays healthy and comfortable: dry off his coat using a towel, offer him a warm place to nap close to your own body so he can take advantage of your body heat.
Never use a blow dryer or any other type of heater for drying off your guinea pig, this will only make him feel agitated.
All the noise that even silent blow dryers make is too much for such a little animal.
Furthermore any heat could seriously harm your guinea pig.
Using a cool blow dryer or a normal one on the coolest setting brings us back to the point that wet guinea pigs are super prone to hypothermia.
Blowing air on them will only amplify the cooling effect of soaked fur.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Baths?
Guinea pigs actually don’t like baths and will struggle during the process.
A bath should only be used to help a guinea pig clean up after he has been soiled from an accident or illness, but never as a form of entertainment.
If you do want your pet’s coat to shine then use grooming wipes instead!
If you are thinking about bathing your guinea pig make sure to check out our post about guinea pig bathing first.
Do Guinea Pigs Prefer Water Bottles or Bowls?
Guinea pigs will drink from either a water bottle or bowl, however it’s important that both options are always available to your pet.
Choose a water bowl that is heavy and stable enough to stay in place, because guinea pigs will push the bowl around, making it difficult for them to drink.
If you use a water bottle, make sure that the mouthpiece is always clean as guinea pigs tend to clog it with food.
Clean your guinea pig’s dishes regularly so the water stays nice and fresh.
Especially water bowls tend to get faces or food swimming in them. Daily cleaning will be necessary to save the water from going bad.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Tap Water?
In general, guinea pigs can drink any pure water that is suitable for humans including drinkable tap water.
If you don’t have access to the right water supply, feed them bottled, filtered or purified water.
Hard water or tap water with lots of minerals might be harmful for your guinea pig, so make sure to check your city’s water quality first.
Watch their pee when you give them tap water and see if there are any white particles that may indicate an excessive amount of calcium in their body.
Also, their poop color is an indication of their health. Normal poop is oval-shaped with a consistent texture and medium brown color.
The amount of water that your guinea pig will need largely depends on the room temperature, activity level, size, humidity, and health.
The bottom line is that while guinea pigs might be interested in drinking a few sips of water when it’s offered to them, most people would probably agree that these animals don’t really enjoy being immersed in any liquid!