Why Do Guinea Pigs Knock Over Their Food Bowl?

Have you ever looked into your guinea pig’s cage and notice that one of them dumped their food bowl over?

For example, one of the guinea pigs might put their paws on the side of the bowl to push or tip it over. Sometimes they will even stand on the edge of the bowl and start pulling it over as well.

When they do this it can seem like guinea pigs can be messy because all of the food that is inside of the bowl spills out into their cage and it sometimes causes a big mess. So why do guinea pigs try so hard to knock over their food bowl?

Guinea pigs will knock over their food bowl when they’re hungry, when they want some of your attention, and because it’s a more natural way for them to eat their food.

It can really waste a lot of food when they do this, but thankfully there are some easy ways to prevent them from constantly flipping over their food bowl.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Knock Over Their Food Bowl?

The first reason why a guinea pig might try to knock over their food bowl is when they’re really hungry and they feel like you are late on giving them their food.

Sometimes this can even happen when they’re hungry and you give them food but it’s not the food that they really like too.

You can usually tell that this is happening when as soon as you’re close to their cage and they see you, then they will flip their bowl over.

It’s almost like they are trying to tell you that they’re hungry and it’s time for them to eat.

The second reason why a guinea pig will try to flip over their bowl is when they just want you to give them some attention.

Sometimes they will even do this when they’re full and not hungry at all too.

So some guinea pigs won’t always tip their bowl over when they are hungry, but they’ll do it when they want some more of your attention.

A possible reason for this is if they know that knocking their bowl over will make you come over to their cage and interact with them, then sometimes they’ll do it.

The third reason why they’ll flip over their food bowl is that it feels natural for them.

It’s generally natural for a guinea pig to eat it this way when their food spills out sometimes.

Guinea pigs are usually born with a natural instinct to want to forage for their own food. So sometimes dumping out all of their food can be a way for them to try to fulfill that urge.

Is It Normal For A Guinea Pig To Knock Over Their Food Bowl?

So some guinea pigs can try to flip their food bowls over for one reason or another, but is this something that’s normal for them to do?

Generally, this is normal for guinea pigs to do especially when they are really hungry or are craving a certain type of food that they like.

So this can be a decent indicator that they want you to give them some more food or possibly one of their favorite treats.

It’s also normal for them to knock their bowl over if they just want you to come over and visit with them as well.

Are They Doing It Intentionally?

So if it’s normal for them to do does that mean that they are intentionally trying to dump out their food bowl?

Most of the time guinea pigs will intentionally try to knock their food bowl over that way they can easily get to it and eat it how they want to.

Also, some guinea pigs are known to do what they want to do and sometimes that means intentionally dumping their food out of their bowl, and that’s completely normal for them.

However, that being said some guinea pigs can sometimes dump their bowl of food over accidentally as well.

This can usually happen when they’re just so excited to eat that they won’t think about where they’re standing and all they want is the food, and then they end up tipping the bowl over.

So even though this type of behavior is normal, sometimes it can be a little annoying if you have to constantly come back over to their cage and put their bowl back where it originally was.

Luckily there are a few simple things that you can try that may actually help stop them from doing it all the time.

Ways To Stop Your Guinea Pig From Knocking Over Their Food Bowl

If you have a guinea pig that likes to knock their bowl over then you know that it can really waste a lot of food.

This is mainly because some of the food does not get eaten and those different pieces and pellets can go to waste when you have to clean out their cage.

So because of that, you may want to try to keep them from flipping over their bowl of food all the time.

That way you can easily preserve more of their food and you won’t have to constantly go buy more of it because it’s being wasted.

Use A Tip Proof Bowl

The first thing that you can try that can help your guinea pig not knock over their bowl is to use a tip-proof bowl.

Tip-proof bowls are specifically designed to keep small pets from knocking over their bowl and they do a really good job of it.

There are a good amount of tip-proof bowls that are available and they’re made out of different types of materials.

But even though they accomplish being tip-proof in different ways, their main purpose is to keep the food in the bowl and not have it spill out.

You can check out my post on the best tip-proof guinea pig bowls if you want to know more about them.

Use A Bowl That’s Corner Shaped

The second thing that you can try that may help with your guinea pig knocking over their food bowl is to use a corner shaped bowl.

A corner shaped bowl can easily prevent it from being tipped over when your guinea pig starts to put the weight of their body on one of the sides of the bowl.

This is something that you can easily find in a pet store in the small pet section and they’re usually made out of ceramic.

You can also try finding and using a bowl that you already have in your home that’s corner shaped as long as it’s safe for small pets.

Use A Heavy Ceramic Bowl

Another type of bowl that you can use that can help stop your guinea pig from dumping out all of their food is a heavy ceramic bowl.

You can also just use a heavy bowl that’s small pet friendly as well.

The reason why this works is that when a guinea pig stands on one side of the bowl the heaviness of the bowl will prevent it from tipping over.

The best place to get these kinds of heavy ceramic bowls is in the pet store because they’re specifically made for small pets and also made to discourage chewing on it.

Use Velcro

One more simple thing that you can try is to use velcro that is self-adhesive and put it where your guinea pig can’t get to it.

This is generally a safe option as long as you put the velcro on the side where your guinea pig won’t have the chance to reach and chew on it.

So if you decide to use velcro what you would have to do is put some of it on whichever part of the bowl and cage that works best for your cage setup and then stick it together.

That way your guinea pig will have a hard time moving the bowl around and they won’t be strong enough to separate it from the velcro to knock their food bowl over.


Hey, I'm Guliana. I really love animals, especially small ones. I grew up having gerbils and guinea pigs as pets and know a lot about them. That's why I'm passionate about writing everything I've learned about them over the years.

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