What Do Rabbits Drink? Know How Much Water They Need

What Do Rabbits Drink

Keeping hydrated is not just a necessity for humans but for animals too. Especially when the summer days are on our head and the humidity takes a toll on our body, the same goes for the domestic and wild animals. Rabbits cannot tolerate water deprivation for more than 24 hours without serious health consequences.

Well, on a hot day, finding shelter helps to protect the body from outside, but what about from the inside? Just as we drink liters of water, animals drink water too for sustenance and hydration. Although, have you wondered whether there is a limit to how much animals can consume water in a day? More so, how much water can your rabbit drink in a day?

Here’s some insight into how a rabbit’s day should look like in regards to liquid consumption.

Can Rabbits Drink Tap Water

Water is your bunny’s best drink. They need water for the same reasons humans and other mammals do. According to expert surveys, rabbits have a high-water intake compared to other animals and can stop eating food if deprived of water after almost 3 days. Apart from the regular tap water, rabbits also get water from food they eat, especially fresh vegetables and fruits. It isn’t much so abundant water supply is must for your rabbit and vital for their health. There is no limit to set for water intake, your rabbits can and will drink 5 times more water than any other animal. So, remember to always make fresh water available for your bunny.

How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Drinking Water

An adult rabbit cannot go more than 24 hours without drinking water. Going for a whole day without water can be fatal for most rabbits. Zero to less water consumption can lead to complete organ failure. Especially during summers, rabbits tend to consume more water on daily basis and going without it for half a day can result into severe dehydration and illness for your rabbit. Rabbits need water to survive.

How To Get Your Rabbit To Drink More Water

Set up a large bowl of water to drink from. Place multiple bowls in short distances and places where your rabbit is bound to visit the most. The best way is to encourage them in natural ways but if the consumption is not as per your requirement, try sippers or tube to feed them water. And yet if it doesn’t work, flavor the water with leafy greens to make it a nutritious drink for them. Not all rabbits prefer flavored water, but some may and this can work for you.

When you offer greens, leave the droplets on them after you have washed them off. This way your bunny will receive a little extra hydration as they are eating their yummy meal. Watermelon is the summer fruit with almost 92% water and tomatoes with around 94% water content, according to HealthLine and thus it a great food option for your rabbits when given in moderate quantity. And don’t forget to give fresh water daily so that your rabbit doesn’t feel like the water has become stale. They tend to drink more when the water is fresh.

Source: 101Rabbits

Can Rabbits Drink Milk

No, rabbits cannot drink buffalo and cow’s milk. Rather, no rabbit should drink any milk other than from their mothers. Adult rabbits are lactose intolerant and their digestive system cannot break down milk making it poisonous for them.

Even, baby rabbits should be kept away from other milk. Because it is very different from the milk they get from their mothers. Baby rabbits are only tolerant to their mother’s milk till a certain age and they’ll stop consuming it after a short while. By the time they reach two weeks, they’ll start to eat solids. If a baby rabbit’s mother is not able to feed her young, a healthy replacement is required. You can feed them with pure goat milk in case of emergency. This will be easier for a baby to digest than cow milk.

Symptoms Of Dehydration In Rabbits

According to Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF), if your rabbit is not drinking enough water, the dehydration symptoms would be like:

  • The average size and color of your rabbit’s fecal pellets will turn into small, dark poop.
  • Urine would be thick and dark. Typically, normal rabbit urine is gold yellow in color to bright orange. If they are dehydrated, it will be more brownish in color.
  • They’ll become lethargic, show signs of energy drop and may even lose balance while walking.
  • Reduction in daily food consumption. If your rabbit is severely dehydrated, the chances of them not eating anything are high.

It’s not common for rabbits to become severely dehydrated, as they tend to find the source of water even in the wild, but it is a possibility. No harm in keeping a tab on your pet’s daily water intake levels. One of the basis indicator would be their mood swings from being silent, brooding to aggressive enough to bite when probed.

A quick look on which foods are safe for our rabbits:

Banned Drinks For Rabbits

As per ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, drinks that are harmful to your rabbit includes alcohol, coffee, chocolate shakes, coconut, caffeine, citrus, grape juices, milk, and xylitol. Whereas foods that are harmful to your rabbit includes avocado, onion, meat, eggs, garlic, chives and nuts. Also, a rabbit’s diet should not include a lot of sugar, salt or fats. Avoid warm water. Rabbits generally prefer drinking water when it is at room temperature.

Bottom Line

Rabbits love to drink water when served at room temperature. They tend to drink either from the bowl or bottle. Water bowls are usually the better option but sometimes your rabbit can be a sloppy drinker or try to flip over the bowl. In those cases, a water bottle is a good option. Also at times, sippers and tubes are used to serve water when their consumption slips to a point below acceptable. Monitoring their daily consumption will help you determine when they start drinking less than necessary.

Best approach is to not serve anything other than fresh water. And for baby rabbits, mother’s milk is the only nutritional source acceptable. Unless in cases where mother’s milk is not available, making a formula using goat’s milk is suitable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can baby rabbits drink goat milk?
    Baby rabbits find goat milk easier to tolerate and digest. This does not mean it is considered safe for the baby rabbits though. Goat milk should be counted as an emergency measure when feeding baby rabbits.
  2. Can baby rabbits drink cow milk?
    Cow milk is not suitable for baby rabbits. Cow milk is full of injected hormones, lactose, pus, traced of medication and blood. Rabbits have sensitive stomachs and cannot digest cow milk.
  3. What can my rabbit drink besides water?
    Nothing much. Water is vital for their health. Rabbits should have access to plentiful fresh water at all times. Rabbits do not prefer warm water; they tend to drink more water when available at room temperature. Drinks that should be avoided at all times are alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, coconut and more.
  4. Why my rabbit is not drinking water?
    There are very rare cases when rabbits refuse to drink water. The possible reasons for them not drinking would be either the water is stale and not fresh or the temperature of the water is not correct.

You may also like...