Can Gerbils Drink Water Out Of A Bowl? {Best Way To Get Them To Drink}

We all want our gerbils to be as happy as possible, you might want to replicate what they have in the wild which includes drinking out of bowls.

Can gerbils drink water out of a bowl? 

In this articled, we will explore gerbil water drinking methods in the wild and in captivity. 

Can Gerbils Drink Water Out of a Bowl?

Yes. Gerbils can drink water out of a bowl, but it is not a good choice to allow them. Some people usually think their gerbils can drown, which is not likely to happen if you take precautions.

Once the bowl is a small one suitable for them, and you don’t fill it with too much water, your gerbil will be fine.

Advantages Of A Water Bowl For Gerbils

There are several benefits of gerbils drinking from a bowl. Some of the advantages include;

1. Simulation of Natural Habitat

One of the advantages of using a bowl is that it provides your gerbil with the feeling of its habitat.

Unlike when you feed them with bottles, it seems awkward, but when you provide them with bowls and lap water as they do in the wild, it makes them feel more comfortable.

Some bowls have the colors and shape of fruits; these bowls give your gerbil a good feeling of home whenever it is thirsty.

2. Convenience and Comfortable

One of the benefits of using bowls to provide water for your gerbil is comfort and convenience. When gerbils drink water from a bowl, they do not have to strain their neck or keep their heads high.

With no strain on the neck and stretch on the throat, your gerbil experiences comfort when drinking water.

3. Easy Access

It can be frustrating to reach the water when your gerbil is thirsty, and you have to go through a lot of hard work before getting it.

But with a bowl, your gerbil can easily access water without any troubles. Even without your help, it will drink water with ease and will only need you to refill it when it finishes.

Will they drink water at night? Find out right now. 


Disadvantages Of A Water Bowl For Gerbils

There are advantages of using a water bowl for gerbils; there are also disadvantages of using them. Let’s check out some disadvantages of using water bowls for gerbils.

1. Contamination

One of the disadvantages of using water bowls for gerbils is that the water gets dirty and contaminated quickly. The water is opened, giving particles and dirt a chance to fall in and cause it to become cloudy.

If your gerbil takes in contaminated water, it can affect its health resulting in complications.

2. Frequent Replacement of Water

You might have to replace the water in a bowl for your gerbil every day or two days. The water gets dirty quickly since it is not covered.

The water can even get dirty when gerbils lap the bowls water with their mouth. Changing the water regularly when it gets dirty can become frustrating.

3. Lots of Mess in the Cage

When you use a water bowl for your gerbil, you should expect to have a messy cage as it is one of the disadvantages of using this medium.

Gerbils are very playful and have a high chance of coming in contact with the water bowl.

They can either splash the water from the bowl or even spill the content turning the cage into a mess, making you have loads of cleaning to do.

Speaking of messes, I need to explain sand baths and why it’s needed in their cage. 

How To Teach A Gerbil To Drink From A Bowl

Teaching your gerbil to drink water from a bowl is quite easy as it is natural for them to do. With instincts, your gerbil will drink water from the water bowl without you teaching it.

But you can make it faster by putting them near the water bowl to investigate what they have in it.

Once they know it is water, it won’t be long before seeing them drinking water from the bowl. You can also make the gerbils know the bowl contains water by splashing the water with your fingers.

Like other animals, gerbils tend to make use of what they have been using, so it might be awkward at first if you are introducing the water bowl, which is different from their regular water bottle.

How Often Does A Gerbil Water Bowl Need New Water

You have to refill the water bowl every time the water gets dirty. Your gerbils should not drink dirty and contaminated water because it can affect their health and cause a whole lot of trouble for them.

You also need to change the water whenever the water finishes as you would not want to keep your gerbil starved of water.

You can refill the water every day or in two days, depending on how soon the water gets dirty or how quickly your gerbil finishes the water.

How Long Can Gerbils Go Without Water?

Although gerbils do not drink much water, they cannot go for long without drinking water. They can only stay without water for a few days (about 2 to 3 days) before it starts to affect them.

If you leave your gerbils for days, you have to provide enough water that will last them for days.

You also can assign someone to check up on them at intervals to make sure they do not get starved of water and other amenities.

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Best Type Of Water Bowl For A Gerbil

When choosing the best water bowl for your gerbil, you have to consider two things: the bowl’s weight and height.

The bowl should be a bit heavy, so gerbils will not be able to move around and topple it over while drinking. The bowl should have a low height so gerbils can reach water easily in the bowl.

Ceramic bowls with short sides are a good choice for gerbil water bowls. Aluminum trays are also suitable, but they are light, and gerbils can easily spill water while moving it.

If you have a light bowl, you can support it by putting a weight by its sides or inside it to prevent it from moving around.

Do Gerbils Need Water Bottles?

Yes. The fact that gerbils don’t drink very much water. Either a dish or a bottle of water can serve as a source of hydration for your gerbil, although the latter is the more convenient option.

Dishes have the potential:

  • to being tipped over
  • stuffed with bedding by an active gerbil
  • create a mess in a confined space

A bottle that has been made correctly will not let the water out until it is required, and it will only let out the amount that your gerbil requests.

You may get water bottles easily from a pet store or you can create your own. Because the edges of certain water bottles are opaque or transparent, it might be difficult to gauge how much liquid is left in the container.

It is preferable to have a bottle with sides that are transparent so that you can monitor the amount of water that is still inside.

How Much Water Do Gerbils Drink?

The typical adult gerbil consumes between four and ten milliliters of water on a daily basis.

Fresh water should be delivered on a regular basis, not just when the bottle is empty,  even if this quantity represents only a small portion of the entire capacity of the bottle.

Because of its innate inquisitiveness and outgoing nature, the gerbil is not difficult to handle and doesn’t require much water. 

How Often Should I Change My Gerbils Water?

Even if there is still some water in the container, you should empty it and refill it with fresh water at least once a week. However, changing the water every day is preferable.

Your gerbils need access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times. Provide it in a bottle for them to drink out of that has a metal tube for sipping.

Daily inspection of the water bottle for leaks and blockages, as well as consistent refilling with fresh water, are also recommended.

I try to refill my gerbil’s water on a few occasions every week. There shouldn’t be a problem with it so long as you disinfect it every time you clean the enclosure.


Gerbils can drink water from a bowl if you provide them with it. Drinking from a bowl is a lot easier and more convenient for gerbils, even though it has its disadvantages.

Take precautions, provide your gerbil with a water bowl, and see how much it likes it.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.



My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.