Water bowl vs water bottle

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Active member
Apr 5, 2022
United States
I researched that some people use a water bowl rather than a water bottle since it's "more natural" but I also researched that most people prefer a water bottle. I know chinchilla's can't get wet but why is that? Will they (much like rabbits (I know rabbits are lagomorphs and a chinchilla is a rodent just wondering if it's the same kind of situation)) be stressed out from getting wet and possibly go in to shock and/or get hypothermic and die? Which is correct to use, a bowl or bottle? Will the chinchilla get enough water out of a water bottle?


Well-known member
Nov 3, 2021
I definitely wouldn't recommend using an open water bowl for chins. Water bottles are much better and safer. So long as the water bottle is functional, they're perfectly capable of drinking from it and getting all the water they need from a sipper bottle.

The issue with chins getting wet is that their fur is so dense and fine that it doesn't dry out well at all and is prone to mold and fungus growth. Them getting just a little wet isn't that big a deal if their coat isn't soaked through, but if their coat gets drenched, you have to dry them with a hair dryer on the no-heat setting, and even then, you usually need to do it in stages with breaks in between to ensure they don't overheat from the hair dryer. I understand that the whole process can take hours. It's basically just a giant pain in the butt for all involved, so it's better to prevent them from getting wet in the first place.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 7, 2012
As mention the issue with getting wet is that they don't dry well naturally, even kits when born have their mom to lick them dry. Like rabbits they can also go into shock if dunked in water, but I think rabbits are more prone to that.

A water bowl has many downsides, you would need to change it multiple times a day to keep it clean (poop, hay, and dust all end up in it), you run the risk of the chin jumping in it or dump it (requiring drying), and it's more likely for a chin to accidentally inhale water when drinking since when drinking their nose is right at water level (it happened to someone I know and the chin died). The only real upside to a bowl is that you know the chin has access to water where as a bottle can sometimes not work so you have to check to make sure water is coming out. With a bottle the water stays clean, chins in the wild drink water droplets, like dew, not from pools or streams of water (which don't exist where they live) so licking drops of water from the end of a bottle tube is likely more natural. I've had chins for almost 30 years and never had a problem of the chin not getting enough water from a bottle. On average chins only drink about 1-3 ounces a day, so they really don't even drink a lot.

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