Bringing a rabbit home for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. Honestly, I was a wreck who knew nothing about caring for my first rabbit.
One of my first questions was whether rabbits drink Water. It’s why I wanted to share everything I’ve learned about this topic, so first-timers don’t have my experience.
So do rabbits drink water? Yes, rabbits drink Water to survive and for their organs to function correctly.
However, there’s a bit more to discuss regarding rabbit water consumption. But if you read on, everything will soon become clear.
Table of Contents
- Rabbits drink Water for their daily activities and survival. If they don’t get enough water, rabbits will quickly become dehydrated.
- A rabbit’s daily water intake needs to be twice its food consumption. Owners must consider their rabbit’s age and body weight to get an exact amount.
- Rabbits who don’t get enough water will suffer from dehydration, which can result in concerning symptoms. Some include high fever, weight loss, and even death.
Is it Safe for Your Rabbits to Drink Water?
Drinking water is completely safe and a necessity for rabbits. It’s a natural, vital part of their survival and ensuring their bodies function correctly.
If they don’t, or their rabbit isn’t drinking Water, it’s a significant concern. Water is necessary to keep them hydrated, so without it, their organs will start breaking down.
Lack of water intake can also result in health issues like shock and kidney failure. In addition, rabbits who go “without drinking water for even one day could die”(1).
It’s safe to assume that none of these situations sounds appealing to the rabbit or their owners. So ensure your rabbits have access to fresh water daily and avoid any concerns.
How Much Water Do Rabbits Drink a Day?
Most experts agree that rabbit water consumption should be double its food intake. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a rabbit’s water intake depends on age and body weight.
After all, a baby rabbit needs much less water than an adult one. A month-and-a-half-year-old rabbit that weighs about 750 grams should consume about 120ml daily.
But a 1-2 year-old rabbit that weighs 2.5 kilograms should drink about 400ml daily. It’s a stark difference, especially when you’re responsible for filling their water dish.
This increase in water intake was one of the first things to shock me as a new rabbit owner. My three-year-old rabbit ingests so much Water than he ever did as a 1-year old.
Pregnancy is another factor that could increase a rabbit’s water consumption. These rabbits need three liters of Water daily during the pregnancy and nursing stages.
Don’t forget to check out the best bunny food they love to eat.
What Type of Water Do Rabbits Drink?
Rabbits aren’t shoehorned into only drinking one type of Water. Instead, they can consume many kinds: distilled, mineral, spring, purified, alkaline, and tap water.
Each of these types is more than safe for the rabbits to drink. In fact, the only issue is bottled Water sold in stores. Some will have high chlorine, calcium, and alkaline levels.
If they do, it’s best to avoid letting your pet rabbit drink them. These high levels could cause some health issues.
You’d be better off sticking with tap water if it’s considered safe. It’s what I do with my rabbits, and they have no complaints.
Can Rabbits Drink Rainwater?
Rainwater is safe for rabbits to drink. After all, it’s the same Water they’d be drinking in the wild.
If you don’t believe me, check out this adorable video of a rabbit drinking rainwater.
But there’s one concern when allowing rabbits to drink rainwater. It’s vital to make sure it’s chemical-free.
Sadly, rainwater can pick up chemicals from your garden or yard via pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers. It’ll cause your rabbit issues if they drink dirty Water.
Owners can combat this issue by getting clean rainwater. I use a plastic container or barrel to collect it directly.
You can then transport the clean Water to your rabbit’s water bowl or bottle.
How Do Rabbits Drink Water In The Wild?
Wild rabbits drink Water from water sources in their habitat (2). It could be a pond, lake, river, or other body of Water.
In fact, these cute furballs often form their burrows near those areas for easy water access. It then allows them to stay hydrated without much difficulty.
It also limits the amount of necessary travel. So it protects them from being in the open and easy prey.
Meanwhile, their immune system protects them against the bacteria found in these water sources. It lets them counteract any adverse effects provided by them.
Rabbit Drinking Water Excessively
A rabbit drinking water excessively is usually a sign of warm weather. In the summer months, a rabbit’s body will lose much of its water content, causing them to drink more.
Last summer, I had to fill my rabbit’s water dish a few times throughout a single day. The hot weather just seemed to get to him like it never had.
Your rabbit might also start drinking more Water after an active exercise session. Again, it’s a response to them losing a lot of Water from their bodies during these sessions.
As a result, they’ll start slurping down Water like crazy. It’s a rather interesting thing to witness as an owner.
Rabbit Not Drinking Water
If you’ve noticed that your rabbit isn’t drinking the recommended Water daily, it could mean they have a health problem.
One of the more common health issues is kidney disease (3). It’s a concerning condition because it’ll limit their consumption or prevent them from consuming any water.
Another factor could be it has a different taste. I quickly learned how finicky rabbits could be about the quality of Water and its taste.
For instance, I changed from using tap water to distilled for a day. My rabbit wasn’t a happy camper and didn’t drink close to what he usually does.
So I just switched back to tap Water immediately. He went right back to drinking his average amount within a day.
Changing from water bowls to water bottles can provide similar issues. Rabbits often prefer water bowls, so try switching back if they aren’t drinking from the bottle.
But if these solutions don’t work, the next step is to contact your vet immediately. Your vet will then get to the bottom of what’s causing your rabbit’s reduced water intake.
Meanwhile, here’s a great video tutorial about why a rabbit may not be drinking. It’ll take you through all the reasons behind it and the potential outcomes of this situation.
Symptoms Of Dehydration In Rabbits
Dehydration isn’t something to mess around with as a rabbit owner. On the contrary, it’s a severe issue you should avoid at all costs.
So it’s crucial to know the signs of dehydration. Here’s a complete list to ensure you can spot if it does happen with your rabbit:
- High fever
- Oral and teeth problems
- Weight loss
- Dark and smell urine
- Dry skin
- Hair falling off
If you suspect any of the above symptoms, you should take them to the veterinarian for further examination. If the problem is left untreated, it will ultimately lead to the rabbit’s death.
Check: What Foods Can Rabbits Eat?
How many days can a rabbit go without Water?
Rabbits can’t even last a single day without Water. Therefore, it’s even more crucial to their survival than it’s for human beings.
Can rabbits drink milk?
Rabbits shouldn’t drink milk as they’re lactose intolerant. It’ll end up causing harm to their digestive system, so it’s best to stick with Water.
Do rabbits drink Water? Yes, rabbits drink Water to survive and wouldn’t last a single day without it.
So owners must ensure their rabbits get an accessible daily water supply. If they do, their rabbit will remain healthy and happy for a long time.
So, do your rabbits drink water? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments section.
- 1. Rabbit Tracks: Water [Internet]. Available from: https://www.canr.msu.edu/manistee/uploads/files/4H1509_4-H_RabbitTracks_Water.pdf
- 2. Bradford A. Rabbits: Habits, Diet & Other Facts [Internet]. Live Science. Live Science; 2017. Available from: https://www.livescience.com/28162-rabbits.html
- 3. McClure D. Disorders and Diseases of Rabbits – All Other Pets [Internet]. Merck Veterinary Manual. [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from: https://www.merckvetmanual.com/all-other-pets/rabbits/disorders-and-diseases-of-rabbits#v3229836
Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
Read her Latest Articles
Find her on
FACEBOOK AND Instagram