Guinea pigs are smart and funny pets that often know how to behave strangely and surprise us with their actions, one of those interesting behaviors is when they drink water upside down.
Why do guinea pigs drink upside down?
Guinea pigs drink upside down for a number of reasons such as poorly placed bottles, stress, dental disease, or maybe because of their body shape and the placement of their mouth.
In today’s article, you will learn about all the reasons why guinea pigs drink water upside down and what to do in such a situation.
Why do guinea pigs drink upside down?
Physical characteristics are the most likely explanation for why guinea pigs sometimes drink water upside down.
Guinea pigs have short and long slender bodies, and their front legs are smaller than their hind legs, while their mouth is at the bottom of their snout.
All these features allow them to turn their head and drink water from their bottle. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why guinea pigs drink water upside down.
Because of their body
Due to their long body shape and short front legs, guinea pigs can sometimes drink water upside down.
Guinea pigs are not like other animals like mice and rabbits, so they cannot sit or stand on their hind legs to drink water.
Guinea pigs don’t mind turning their heads upside down to drink water, they can do it very simply.
Because of their mouth
One of the reasons why guinea pigs drink upside down is the position of their mouth.
A guinea pig’s mouth is located low on the underside of its snout, which allows them to easily adjust to drinking water.
They can drink water from the bottle by turning their head upside down without major problems.
The placement of the water bottle
Sometimes the very placement of the water bottle forces guinea pigs to drink upside down.
If the water bottle is placed very difficult for guinea pigs to reach, they may turn their head upside down to drink.
When the water bottle is too high or too low the guinea pig is forced to turn its head upside down to more easily get into position to drink water from the tube.
So far, I have not noticed my guinea pig drinking upside down, but other owners have such an experience with their pets.
Mouth sores or dental disease
When guinea pigs have sores on their mouths, they can drink upside down because it’s easier that way.
Also, when they have dental problems, guinea pigs may turn their heads upside down so that they can drink water more easily.
Guinea pigs’ teeth are constantly growing, and if they don’t have enough wooden blocks and other toys to reduce their teeth then they have a problem.
When the teeth are overgrown, the guinea pigs will find it difficult to drink water from the tube and may turn their head upside down to make it easier to drink water.
Guinea pigs drink upside down when they are nervous or when they are having fun
Guinea pigs know how to drink upside down on purpose, to see if they can drink more water faster.
They will do anything to try all kinds of variations when drinking from the bottle, and one of them is turning it upside down.
Nervousness or fun
Guinea pigs sometimes get upset when drinking water from the bottle tube and turn their head upside down when drinking water.
They are very smart and may play with the water bottle and intentionally play certain games while chewing the bottle and making a mess on the water floor.
But in any case, if the guinea pigs play or fuss with the water bottle and drink upside down, it can cause side effects and stress.
Drinking upside down when stressed
When stressed, guinea pigs may drink upside down.
This happens when they are under stress for a long time and it is reflected in their drinking of water, they drink upside down.
When guinea pigs are stressed it can be caused by various reasons:
- change of environment
- loud noise
- unknown people in their environment
When guinea pigs are stressed they do the following things:
- they are constantly hiding in the cage house
- they don’t want to socialize
- they don’t have much appetite to eat
If you notice that your guinea pig has these symptoms and they are drinking upside down, it is best to take them to the vet to see why they are stressed, whether it is from the environment or from an illness.
What to do when guinea pigs drink upside down?
When guinea pigs drink upside down it can be completely normal behavior and should not worry you.
If guinea pigs drink water upside down, it can be comfortable for them, without any health problems, then they can continue to drink that way.
But if they have a problem, such as diseases or oversized teeth, and therefore drink water upside down, you should do something to help them.
When you should be worried
When guinea pigs drink upside down it can mean something is wrong. If your guinea pig’s teeth are overgrown or if they have mouth sores then you should take them to the vet.
When guinea pigs have these problems it can contribute to a decrease in their weight and begin to dehydrate as they cannot drink water properly.
Another problem is stress from some situations around the guinea pig, it can be fear of other pets, loud noises, or some other reasons why your pet is under stress.
Sometimes the water bottle itself can be a problem like clogging and then the guinea pig struggles to drink water and turns its head upside down to manage to drink enough water.
How to help them
When you notice that your guinea pig is drinking upside down, there are several steps you can take to help them:
- Dental problem – you need to take your guinea pig to the vet to have his teeth reduced and this problem is solved so that your pet can drink normally and without difficulty.
- Sores in the mouth – they are obviously related to the teeth, which if they are bigger create sores in the mouth, and by reducing them, the sores will heal.
- Anxiety and boredom – in these situations you should provide the guinea pigs with more toys and activities so that they do not get bored. More fun will make them feel happier and less anxious.
- Bottle problems – if the bottle is too high or too low you need to adjust it to the correct position that suits the guinea pigs. The best position for the bottle is at the same height as the guinea pig’s head so that it does not struggle to drink water or turn its head upside down.
What is the best way for guinea pigs to drink water?
The best way to get water for guinea pigs is through bottles.
There are water bottles in different sizes and shapes, but they all work on the same principle with a ball bearing through which helps them to drink the water.
The water bottle should be nicely attached to the cage so that the guinea pig can drink without any problems.
How do I know if my guinea pig is getting enough water?
To know if your guinea pig is drinking enough water, just look at their urine.
If the urine is light in color and has no strong smell, then the guinea pig is drinking enough water.
When a guinea pig is dehydrated and does not drink enough water, its urine is darker in color and has a stronger smell than usual.
Guinea pigs sometimes drink upside down, and this is very normal behavior for them. But sometimes it can also mean that they have a problem with their teeth and injuries in their mouth.
Guinea pigs may drink upside down if they are bored or nervous and stressed.
A water bottle if not properly adjusted can cause problems and cause guinea pigs to drink upside down.
in any case, you need to find out what the reason is and if they are drinking badly because of a certain problem, you need to help them.
If they don’t have any health problem, then they can freely drink upside down because their shape and body form allows them to drink water this way.