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Why Your Guinea Pig Water Bottle Leaks and How to Fix It

If you’ve ever looked into your guinea pig’s enclosure and discovered a leaky water bottle, you may wonder if there is anything to do to solve the problem. 

Having a leaky water bottle in the guinea pig hutch is frustrating. 

It also may lead to other issues if not addressed.  

Guinea pig water bottles may start leaking for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the bottle needs to be cleaned because dirt or other buildup is causing the bottle to not securely close. Cleaning the ball bearing helps it not to leak. Alternatively, if the bottle is old, it may require replacing. 

Having a leaky water bottle in the enclosure is not good for your beloved guinea pig or the enclosure itself. 

Let’s look into the potential causes of a leaky water bottle and what to do to fix it. 

why does guinea pig water bottle leak

Why Is My Guinea Pig’s Water Bottle Leaking?

Guinea pig water bottles leak from time to time. 

Whether they are glass bottles or plastic bottles, they require maintenance to continue operating well and not leak. 

Providing fresh water for your guinea pig is vital for being a good owner. 

If the bottle is leaking, it’s hard to be sure of your guinea pig getting access to clean water constantly as they need. 

Most water bottles are equipped with a metal ball to allow the guinea pig to get water without it continuously flowing from the tip. 

If you use a water bowl, you likely won’t have this problem, but water are easier to keep clean. 

If dirt or other material accumulates around the metal ball, it will keep the bottle from functioning effectively and may cause leaking. 

Cleaning the ball bearing is easy with warm water and gentle soap. 

It also helps to clean the bottle with bottle brushes to keep them clean and prevent buildup. 

How To Fix A Leaky Guinea Pig Water Bottle

Depending on the cause of the leak, there are easy ways for guinea pig owners to stop a leaking or dripping water bottle. 

Knowing some easy guinea pig water bottle fixes helps save money. 

Here are nine simple steps to go about it:

Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing the Leak

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Whether you have a plastic or a glass bottle, you’ll need to gather the following materials before starting the process:

  • Bottlebrush
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Paper towels or a clean cloth
  • All-purpose glue

Step 2: Take the Bottle Out

Remove one side of the metal clip on the outside of the cage, and then simply pull the water bottle straight out from the clip.

Step 3: Unscrew the Lid

Grab the water bottle with the metal tube facing up. Unscrew the lid by twisting it anticlockwise, and then just lift it straight off the bottle.

Step 4: Soak the Bottle in Hot Soapy Water

Plug up your kitchen sink and squirt in plenty of dish soap. Pour in some hot water and give it a good stir with a spoon to create soapy bubbles.

Dip both the top and bottom of the water bottle into the sink and let them soak until the water cools down enough for you to put your hands in.

Step 5: Scrub Every Inch of It

Certain brands of water bottles have different designs, but the most common types have a drinking spout for the guinea pig to get drops of water out of by licking the metal ball and moving it to allow water to flow. 

Sometimes, piggies can get food in there while they drink, which can mess up the ball and make the bottle leak. So, you need to clean it to get it back in working order. 

Use a bottle brush to clean the inside of the plastic water bottle. Scrub it thoroughly, going up and down. Then, push a pipe cleaner through the metal drinking tube to clean it, including the metal ball inside. 

Step 6: Identify The Source Of The Leak

leaky guinea pig water bottle

Pour soapy water into the bottle, put the lid back on (tightly), and give it a good shake for about a minute. Hold the bottle with the spout facing downward and check for tiny bubbles on the outside of the water container. 

If you see bubbles, it means there are little holes causing the bottle to leak. Mark the spots with a dry marker. 

Step 7: Seal The Leak

Once you know the culprit, use all-purpose glue to seal it. Make sure the area is completely dry before applying the glue, and allow it to fully dry before using it again.

If the leak is coming from the drinking spout, you may need to replace it altogether. You can purchase replacement spouts or bottles from your local pet store.

Step 8: Examine the Rubber Washer

The rubber washer inside the bottle creates a seal to prevent leaking. Sometimes, this washer can become worn out or damaged, causing the bottle to leak. 

Take out the rubber washer from the lid. Check it for any cracks, and give it a little bend to see if it’s still stretchy. If the washer has cracks, breaks, or feels stiff and brittle, swap it out for a new one. 

Step 9: Put the Bottle Back in Place

Top up your guinea pig’s water bottle with clean water, make sure the lid is on nice and snug, and gently tap the ball inside the spout a couple of times to ensure it’s sealed. Then, attach it back to your pet’s cage.

Water Bottle Cleaning Tips That Might Help

If it’s your first time cleaning and fixing your guinea pig’s bottle, these tips will come in handy.

  • Always make sure you thoroughly rinse the bottle after using soap. Sipping on soapy water can be bad for your pet’s health.
  • Soak the metal bearing in hot water for a while to get all the gunk out. Cleaning the metal-bearing also helps to make it much easier to get water whenever your guinea pig drinks. 
  • Never fill the bottle to the brim. Too much water will put pressure on the seal, increasing the chances of a leak.
  • If you aren’t having much luck with water bottles, there are water bowls for guinea pigs, but they require more maintenance than most piggies’ water bottles. 

Further reading: Can guinea pigs drink from bowls?

Why A Leaky Water Bottle Is Bad

Sometimes a water bottle is old and stops working effectively. 

It helps to purchase durable water bottles to keep yourself from having to replace them frequently. 

Before going out and replacing a faulty water bottle by buying an entire water bottle kit, it is best to clean it to attempt to fix the problem. 

If you don’t have a high-quality water bottle, it may help to invest in a heavy-duty glass water bottle and keep it clean, as the quality of the water bottle often affects whether or not it leaks. 

Whatever the reason for your guinea pig’s leaky water bottle, it is important to address it. 

Leaking water in the hutch causes a few different problems. 

Leaks Water Into The Hutch

One danger of having a leaking water source in the hutch is the potential for mold and bacterial buildup in your guinea pig’s cage bedding and his feed. 

It is important to keep the cage dry to prevent illnesses or skin infections from affecting your piggy. 

Messy conditions are significantly more likely if a leak occurs in your guinea pig’s cage. 

This is especially true if you have a multi-pet cage setup with more cavies present. 

The leaks may damage cage decor in addition to the potential for health risks from leaking water. 

Keeping the cage nice benefits the smell and appearance and helps keep our beloved guinea pigs as happy as possible. 

guinea pig drinking water

Lack Of Access To Water 

Another serious concern about a leaky water bottle is the lack of access to water. 

If you have a particularly bad leak in your standard-style water bottle, there is no way to guarantee your guinea pigs will have constant access to fresh, clean water while you are away. 

If you want more advice on what kind of water, check out our article on if guinea pigs can drink tap water.

This may lead to dehydration and other health issues. 

Having constant access to water is imperative for guinea pig health. 

We recommend a high-capacity, leak-proof water bottle for most guinea pig owners to ensure the cavies have all the water they need. 

This is especially important for those with a multi-pig cage. 

If you come home often and find the water bottle is empty, make sure it is not leaking. 

No water is dangerous!

Learn how long guinea pigs can go without food and water.

If you are sure it is not leaking, your guinea pigs likely increased their water intake. 

When your guinea pigs drink excess water, there may be an underlying health issue. 

If not, it helps to invest in an extra-large guinea pig water bottle, so they have all the extra water they need. 

Drip No More: Saying Goodbye to Leaks

A water bottle is a guinea pig cage staple. It helps keep your pet hydrated and allows the little guy to sip on water as he pleases. 

But water bottles don’t come without their troubles. They can leak, and when they do, it’s important to address the issue quickly. You don’t want your piggy to get dehydrated. Plus, nobody likes a wet and soggy cage.

Thanks to this article, we now know how to fix a leaky guinea pig water bottle like a pro. So, whether it’s food in the spout or a worn-out rubber washer causing the leak, you can now easily identify and fix the issue. Your furry friend will thank you for it! 

Did you find this article helpful?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we strive to provide helpful and informative content for pet owners. 

You can check out our other article on rodent care for more tips and tricks on keeping your small pets happy and healthy. Happy pet parenting!  

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