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Why Is My Guinea Pig Drinking A Lot Of Water? What Does it Mean?

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Tim Rhodes

Suddenly, your guinea pig drinking a lot of water and you don’t even know if it is something to be worried about.

How much water should a guinea pig drink in a day?

All these questions are of great concern if you’re a new guinea pig owner.

Well, water is essential for all living beings, and the same goes for the guinea pigs, but too much water can be harmful at times.

There can be different reasons for guinea pigs drinking a lot of water, like in summer due to scorching weather, guinea pigs may drink more water than average, or sometimes intense shedding also results in increased thirst.

Sometimes, they can be in pain or have health issues like kidney problems or diabetes leading to excess water drinking.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Drinking A Lot Of Water?

This article will discuss how much water guinea pigs need, the reasons for excessive water consumption, and the treatment for that.

How Much Water Guinea Pigs Need?

Water is essential for all living beings.

It’s crucial to replenish freshwater constantly to keep your guinea pig hydrated and healthy as water is used in many bodily functions like regulating the body’s temperature, digesting food, excreting wastes, lubricating joints, etc.

And you surely don’t want your piggy to miss any of these activities.

The required amount of water intake is significant for guinea pigs as they need to flush out excess calcium from their system because it forms stones or grit if stayed in their system, which leads to kidney problems.

In normal circumstances, guinea pigs consume 80–100 ml of water every day (3.3 ounces/2.2 pounds) depending on their size, diet, age, and activity level.

However, it can vary with weather changes like humidity, temperature, etc.

Water intake may also change during pregnancy or lactation.

Other than that, if guinea pig drinks too much water or too little water all of a sudden, then it is alarming and calls for veterinary care.

Guinea pigs cannot live more than a day without water but drinking too much water can indicate some illness.

As a proper amount of water intake is significant for guinea pigs, you should be very careful about giving your guinea pig water.

Tips For Your Guinea Pig

By following the below tips mentioned, you can keep your guinea pig healthy, safe, and alive for more time.

  1. Don’t add anything in their water, i.e., sugar or salt
  2. Give guinea pigs water in an inverted water bottle as it’s difficult for them to drink from a bowl
  3. Don’t add any supplements or vitamins to the water
  4. Please don’t give them distilled water

Is It Harmful If Guinea Pig Drinks A Lot Of Water?

To know if your guinea pig is in a critical state while drinking too much water, you need to monitor its water intake pattern.

When monitoring guinea pigs’ water intake, people compare water intake among two guinea pigs.

Let’s say if one guinea pig drinks 85 ml of water per day and the other drinks 100 ml every day, and then as per comparison, one guinea pig drinks less water, or the other one drinks more.

I’m afraid that’s not right as water intake varies from one guinea pig to another.

What needs to be noted is that if guinea pigs started drinking excess water all of a sudden.

If your guinea pig is drinking more water from day one or less water from day one, it’s not the thing to worry about.

This kind of excessive drinking water is alarming because it might be the outcome of some diseases.

The following should be your concerns regarding excess water consumption in guinea pigs.

Their pen could be very hot if it’s in direct contact with sunlight or is placed in hot spots.

They might be in pain, and to overcome that state, and they’re drinking more water.

They could be suffering from any disease like diabetes, kidney failure, etc.

Hence, it’s vital to monitor the water intake of your guinea pig carefully.

Polydipsia

Drinking excessive water or having extreme thirst is named polydipsia.

Polydipsia is one of the diseases in which a person or animal has an abnormally great thirst, which may or may not be the symptom of any other illness.

Polydipsia or excessive thirst itself is not worrisome due to some other health condition than your guinea pigs need veterinary care at once.

So it’s vital to monitor your guinea pigs and look for the signs of polydipsia.

Apart from polydipsia, there might be many other reasons why guinea pigs started drinking more water.

As discussed earlier, excessive size thirst in guinea pigs is very harmful and may lead to death if not closely monitored, and it’s equally important to know the real problem that leads to excessive thirst.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Drinking A Lot Of Water?

The direct answer to this question is in the below-mentioned sections of why guinea pigs drink a lot of water.

There, let’s take a look at some of the problems that cause your guinea pig to drink a lot of water.

Change In Diet

One of the main reasons for guinea pigs drinking excessive water might be the change in diet.

Guinea pigs belong to the family of herbivores rodents, which means that they can only eat plants.

It’s vital to give guinea pigs a proper diet as improper or excessive diet may lead to many problems leading to death.

Factors You Should Keep In Mind

When introducing a new food, always start slow and increase gradually over the week as sudden change may lead to digestive issues or increased water intake.

Giving your guinea pig excess salt leads to dehydration resulting in excessive thirst as the salt absorbs all the water from the cells, causing dehydration.

While giving commercial guinea pig food, don’t forget to read the guidelines carefully; such food products may also lead to excessive thirst.

If you change your guinea pig’s diet to food that includes fewer vegetables or greens, it may increase the water intake as they get a substantial amount of water from vegetables and greens.

80% of their food should be good quality grass or hay as it’s significant for their digestive system and teeth and provide water.

Other than that, any changes in the diet caused problems leading to excessive drinking.

Dehydration And Overheating

Summer heat is always intolerant for furry animals, and a rise in temperature makes them feel uncomfortable.

As guinea pigs have a thick fur coat, summer heat tends to overheat them more quickly than other animals.

It’s vital to provide your guinea pig with an environment stable temperature as they are more likely to acquire heat stroke, get overheated and have dehydration.

Guinea pigs don’t cope well with temperatures above 30 degrees, so ideally they should be kept in temperature between 18-22 degrees.

To monitor the temperature of the guinea pig’s cage, you can place a thermometer around it so that you can note the weather from time to time.

High temperature or overheating also makes guinea pigs drink more water to cool down their body temperature internally and bring it to be expected.

Along with other factors, it’s essential to keep track of guinea pigs’ heat levels and keep an eye on the guinea pig itself if showing overheating signs.

Apart from polydipsia, it would be best if you looked for the following factors: a guinea pig getting overheated such as breathing with an open mouth, lethargy, red ear, wet nose, lying stressed out, and hiding in a pen.

Dehydration and overheating are deadly for your guinea pig; hence you should always try to keep your guinea pig at a moderate temperature.

Behavioral Changes

So far, we have known that the common reasons behind excessive thirst in guinea pigs might be either due to health problems, over-heating, dehydration, or changes in diet.

But what we don’t know is that guinea pigs tend to change their habits over time due to a lack of mental stimulation or boredom.

Guinea pigs are brilliant animals, and mental stimulation is significant for them, including climbing, chewing, hiding, digging, shredded.

The lack of mental stimulation may lead to anxiety, depression, or stress, resulting in excessive thirst.

It’s essential to add some toys and give guinea pigs some outdoor time for mental stimulation and environmental change.

However, before making any conclusion, it’s safe to get your guinea pigs examined by a vet so that they can be treated at a time if there is any medical problem.

Diabetes

If your guinea pig is drinking a lot of water suddenly and is losing appetite for eating a healthy diet, there is a possibility that it has diabetes.

Spontaneous diabetes is commonly recognized in guinea pigs, especially when they’re obese very dangle them.

Most of the time, people don’t know guinea pigs’ nutritional pigs, and they end up overfeeding them, resulting in obesity and diabetes.

Some guinea pigs are diabetic by birth, rare, but others get diabetic due to an imbalanced diet.

If you don’t know what diabetes is, it’s essential to know.

Diabetes occurs when your pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, produces insulin, which helps convert sugar and food into energy.

Two Types Of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes: is the one in which the banknote to make insulin, and this type is most common in infantile guinea pigs, below one year.

Type 2 diabetes: is the one in which the banknote produces sufficient amounts of good ins, which type is most common in grown-up guinea pigs, above one year.

Type 2 diabetes is most common in guinea pigs, which should be treated with proper medication and care as it can be contagious, as stated by American Diabetes Association.

Being the guinea pig’s owner, you should know what alarming symptoms to look for other than drinking excess water if your guinea pig has diabetes.

Following are a few other symptoms of diabetes in guinea pigs as repeated urinary tract infections, also known as UTI, rapid formation of cataracts, chronic wet bottom, sudden weight loss, and increased urination.

Not all of these symptoms need to occur together.

A guinea pig may show single or more symptoms while suffering from diabetes and should get medical attention immediately for proper treatment.

As well their diet needs to be switched to a healthy one.

Severe Pain

One of the reasons for excessive water intake by guinea pigs all of a sudden can be severe pain due to illness.

The pain can be due to many reasons like gastrointestinal problems, dental issues, bubble feet, urinary tract problems, surgery, etc.

Surgery also tends to increase the water intake of guinea pigs.

As we all, guidelines pare prey animals and prey animals tend to hide their pain or illness to avoid being an easy target for the hunter and survive longer.

Due to this specific behavior, it might be very challenging for you to determine if your guinea pig is in pain or is ill.

Digestive Problems

Another reason why guinea pigs start drinking excessive water suddenly can be digestive problems, also known as Gastrointestinal Disease.

Though guinea pigs are tough and healthy animals, their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts are very sensitive.

Problems regarding gastrointestinal (GI) tracts like bloating or diarrhea significantly affect guinea pigs’ health and lead to increased water or food intake.

The reason guinea pigs drink more water in case of digestive problems is that they lose their electrolytes quickly, resulting in excessive water consumption, and it’s not safe to drink too much water in this state.

As discussed above, gastrointestinal (GI) tracts illness gets fatal at times, so you should know when and how to look for symptoms and get your guinea pig checked adequately.

Along with polydipsia, the following are the symptoms you should look for: exhaustion, weight loss, inability to move, stress, and less or no appetite.

If you notice these symptoms in your guinea pig, you should get your guinea pig examined by a vet.

Treatment Of Excessive Thirst In Guinea Pigs

A person may feel completely helpless if his/her guinea pig is ill or shows abnormal behavior like drinking excess water.

So many doubts and questions may come to your mind regarding your guinea pig’s health.

Why is the guinea pig drinking too much water?

Why is it not eating properly?

Why is it active or moving correctly?

No one wants their guinea pig to suffer from physical or mental health issues.

Guinea pigs owners need to get educated to keep their guinea pigs healthy-looking for symptoms if something is wrong because no one can save anyone from illness.

But what we can do is that we can minimize the chances of getting guinea pigs sick.

There might not be any vaccine for saving guinea pigs from illness but being an owner of your guinea pig, what you can do is minimize the risks by giving your guinea pig proper care.

For example,  a proper and fresh diet, a clean and suitable environment, mental stimulation, and love and attention.

When it comes to the treatment of increased thirst in guinea pigs, the first step is to examine the factors responsible for it, and the very first thing you can do is examine the diet.

Is there any noticeable change in eating habits?

How many treats have you been giving, or are they eating enough vegetables and hay?

Try changing your diet a little bit and note the results.

Well, the next thing to be examined is the temperature and living environment.

Make sure that the guinea pig is provided with enough space and clean housing to avoid any illness.

Also, check your guinea pig’s cage/housing’s temperature and ventilation to keep it moderate.

In scorching weather, you can keep your guinea pig indoors, can give them cool water, or put the piece of ice wrapped in the towel in their cage to keep it cool.

Once you examine all these factors and make cha, your guinea pig is drinking, and many want to look for the diseases mentioned above and their symptoms.

If there are any illness symptoms, then take your guinea for medical examination as early as possible.

Veterinary help is vital because, in this, your guinea pig gets an accurate and proper examination and the required treatment in case of serious illness.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs are the cutest yet sensitive creatures and experienced guinea pig owners know how to take care of them easily and manage the excessive thirst of their pets.

Yet, if you are a new guinea pig pet owner, you might be looking for answers to questions that trouble you. 

As a guinea pig owner, you should be very careful in giving them proper food, housing, and examining them from time to time for illness.

Water is an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet, but if your guinea pig starts drinking excess water all at once, then it’s troublesome.

In this case, look for significant diet changes, temperature around the area, and symptoms for common diseases like diabetes, digestive problems, dental issues, urinary problems, etc.

Also, look for the behavioral changes which might occur due to lack of mental stimulation.

Once the reasons for your guinea pig drinking excess water are known, take your piggy for veterinary help so that your guinea pig can have proper examination and treatment.

Illness is inevitable, but you can minimize the risks by already providing proper food, water, environment, mental stimulation, and affection to your guinea pigs.

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