Plastic water holders and bottles differ for different types of pets. However, inverted water bottles are standard for birds, rodents and other small pets. Bowls and dishes aren't usually preferred for caged pets because birds end up trying to bathe in their drinking water and other pets are prone to tipping dishes over. Generally, care and cleaning is pretty much the same for all inverted plastic bottles. Clean them at least once per week to keep them clear of bacterial accumulation that can make water taste unpleasant or make your pet sick.
Remove your pet's water bottle from her cage and unscrew its cap, sipper tube or other attachment. Pour the bottle's contents into the sink.
Drop a dab of liquid dish detergent into the plastic water bottle. Fill it two-thirds-full with warm water.
Screw the cap, sipper tube or other attachment back onto the plastic water bottle securely. Shake the bottle vigorously.
Open the bottle again. Scrub inside with a small bottle brush if any residue or buildup remains inside the bottle.
Clean the exterior of the water bottle using a sponge and warm soapy water.
Rinse the plastic water holder out thoroughly with warm water. Take care to get all the soap out so your pet doesn't ingest it and it doesn't taint her water's taste.
Wash the sipper tube with warm soapy water, using a soft sponge. Don't use steel wool or an abrasive material that might scratch the surface or damage the ball bearing, if there is one. Rinse the drinking attachment off thoroughly with warm water.
Refill the water bottle with fresh water for your pet. Reattach the sipper tube, handling it by its screw-on cap only; don't touch the part your pet drinks from, as you might contaminate the clean surface with germs from your fingers.
- Check the care instructions that came with your pet's plastic water holder or her cage, if the water bottle was included. Follow any instructions given. Volume in the bottle dictates vacuum pressure, needed to keep the water in the bottle when the pet's not sipping from the tube.
- Don't use boiling water to clean or sanitize a plastic pet water bottle; it can warp or melt the material.
hamster in hands image by aprilira from Fotolia.com
Eric Mohrman has been a freelance writer since 2007, focusing on travel, food and lifestyle stories. His creative writing is also widely published. He lives in Orlando, Florida.