How Much Water Should a Rabbit Drink?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

If you’re wondering about the liquid intake of rabbits, and want to know how much water a rabbit should drink in a day, look no further!

So, how much water should a rabbit drink? Generally, the daily water requirement for rabbits lies between 100-600 ml of water depending upon their age and diet. Baby rabbits require 100-300 ml of water daily while adult rabbits need 500 ml of water a day.  

Rabbits need to drink a certain amount of water, or else they might develop various medical conditions.

Myths and outdated beliefs about whether rabbits need water and alternates for water are also discussed.

This article talks about how much water is required for a healthy adult rabbit every day.

Do Rabbits drink water?

Previously, some people believed that water is not a necessary part of a rabbit’s diet.

This belief came about owing to the kind of diet they have evolved to get by on.

Some people used to believe that rabbits do not need water as their green diet fulfils their needs.

Needless to say, this belief was baseless and false and caused suffering to many poor animals.

In fact:

Water is crucial to a rabbit’s diet, as well as its survival.

Rabbits can get dehydrated fast, especially ones that are living in a warm or hot climate.

Therefore, it is even more critical to make sure they remain hydrated at all times.

Daily water requirements of rabbits

It is imperative that rabbits have constant access to water at all times.

The amount of water required by your bunny may vary depending on multiple reasons.

But generally, a rabbit requires anywhere between 100 ml to 600 ml of water.

A lot of people also ask the question, “do baby rabbits drink a lot of water?”

Well, not really.

Your baby rabbit should typically drink 100 to 300 ml of water.

Adult rabbits usually drink around 500 ml of water every day.

But the water intake can also vary primarily due to other factors such as feed and weather.

Rabbits fed on dry foods can drink as much as double the amount of water than rabbits that graze on grass.

Moreover, the weather and temperature can also affect their water intake.

Naturally, high temperatures mean that rabbits will require more hydration.

This also means that people living in warm climates need to be extra careful and make sure their bunnies have access to water at all times.

This extra precaution is needed because rabbits can very quickly become dehydrated.

Results of dehydration can be drastic on rabbits, often leading to severe medical conditions and even death.

Now, we shall talk about various ways you can provide water for your rabbits, and which way is deemed best.

Methods of providing water to your rabbit

Giving water to rabbits sounds like a simple thing to do, and at a fundamental level, it is.

We will discuss all possible ways of providing access to water to your rabbits, which ones are the best, which methods you should avoid and why.

The simplest method for rabbits to drink water is through a bowl or water dish.

This method works just like it does with cats or other pets.

But this method has its drawbacks too.

All bowls won’t work as great water dishes as rabbits tend to play around and topple these.

Ceramic bowls that are solid and heavier are more suitable as water dishes for rabbits.

An alternative to ceramic bowls are bowls that attach to the cage, like feeding trays for birds.

This method ensures that rabbits do not topple or break their water containers.

But there is an inherent problem with all kinds of water bowls that cannot be avoided.

Most water bowls tend to get messy and soiled with bedding and litter.

This is especially true for rabbits kept in cages.

An alternative to water bowls is buying a rabbit water bottle.

A water bottle can be attached to your bunny’s cage allowing it to sip water whenever it needs.

This reduces the chances of water spilling over, getting soiled and dirty with litter or bedding.

Water bowls and water bottles both have their benefits and drawbacks that we shall now discuss.

Rabbit Water bottles or water bowls? Which is the best option for you?

Often, people come to me, saying, “my rabbit is not drinking water.”

My usual response to this question is to ask whether they have a water bottle or water bowl for their rabbit.

While water bowls are more comfortable for your rabbit to drink from, water bottles are convenient to manage.

Water bottles are not just convenient, though, they may be a necessity in some situations.

For instance, if a rabbit spills over its water bowl while you’re at work, it’ll have to get by without water.

This puts your bunny’s health at risk for the rest of the day until you return home and refill the bottle.

Even if spilling the water bowl does not prove fatal to your bunny, multiple occurrences could have an adverse impact on your rabbit’s health.

But water bottles, despite their clear advantage over water bowls, do have their shortcomings.

Often the sipper or straw is difficult to suck on, making drinking water a hassle for rabbits.

In some cases, the rabbits may have weak teeth due to old age or some disease, which will make it hard for them to suck on the bottles.

Whatever the situation, the poor furball may be unable to drink water to its heart’s content.

Because of their pros and cons, both water bowls and bottles are best suited for different situations.

If your rabbits remain unsupervised for long periods or you can not maintain their water bowls, you’re better off using water bottles.

On the other hand, if your rabbits are not left unsupervised and you’re sure you can keep an eye on them throughout the day, a water bowl may be the route to take.

Dangers of dehydration and various related medical conditions

When rabbits get dehydrated, their bodies draw water from their digestive system, causing gut stasis.

This affects the working of their digestive system, causing pain and buildup of bacteria in the intestines.

Bunnies do not show visible signs of dehydration, or not until they experience a lot of stress.

Bunnies suffering from dehydration are quiet, lethargic, unable to stomach food, and crouched in a corner.

Because their condition can deteriorate so rapidly, it is recommended to provide ample water to your bunnies, especially in warm climates.

If your bunny does show any of the abovementioned symptoms of dehydration, you need to visit the vet to prevent further damage immediately.

You can make an educated guess about your rabbit’s health if it refuses to eat.

If it hasn’t eaten anything in two to six hours but is visibly beautiful, it is recommended that you get a veterinary assessment scheduled soon.

The problem might also lie in the type of food that you’re feeding your rabbit as a lot of foods aren’t fit for them. Check out our list of 120 rabbit foods for better understanding.

On the other hand:

If your rabbit is visibly in pain and has not eaten anything in six to twelve hours or more, consider it a medical emergency.

You need to see a vet immediately.

Related Questions

How long can a rabbit live without water? Water is an absolute necessity for the rabbit. They cannot survive without it for long

They can go by without water for a few hours without any complications, but no more than that.

Usually, a rabbit may develop adverse symptoms if not provided water for 24 hours or more

Therefore, rabbits need to have a constant supply of water.

Under warm or hot climates, they need even more water.

Why does my rabbit drink so much water? Drinking excessively, or more than usual, is known as polydipsia.

This condition can have various causes.

Some of these issues are mention below:

  • Increase in temperature and consequently, thirst.
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract issues

There is a range of causes of excessive drinking in rabbits.

It is recommended that you get a veterinary evaluation to determine the specific cause.

Are water bottles bad for rabbits? Simply put, no, water bottles are not “bad” for your rabbit.

Although they are an inconvenience, as unlike with bowls, water comes out one drop at a time in water bottles.

Moreover, some rabbits may have difficulty sucking the straw due to weak teeth or old age.

In most cases, if left to the rabbit’s choice, it will most likely choose the water bowl because of ease of access to water.

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