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Does Your Bunny Drink Enough Water?

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Like all animals, the need for water is great—a rabbit can become very seriously ill after only a few days of not drinking water. Rabbits can drink as much as a dog! That is one of the reasons why gravity-fed water dispensers are inadequate. If it appears that your rabbit is taking in less water from their bowl, start to look for clues as to the cause of the problem.

If a rabbit is not drinking as much water from their bowl but otherwise

appears well-hydrated and is urinating normally, then one possibility

is that they are getting water from other sources. If your bunny has

the ability to hop around the house, then it could be that they are

drinking from the water bowl of another pet in the house.

Another thing to consider is if your rabbit’s diet changed—are they

getting food with a higher moisture content than before? Leafy

greens contain a lot of water. This can lead to a decrease in water intake from the bowl.

                                                                                         Rabbits can be finicky about the taste of their water. If their water source has                                                                                                   changed, they may stop drinking because they do not like the “flavor.”                                                                                                           Alternatively, there may be a change within an outdoor water supply. Another                                                                                               source of water flavor change can be if the water bowl is new or dirty. Water                                                                                                   should be changed daily due to staleness and any accumulation of fur, dust, hay,                                                                                           poop, and food pellets. Water bowls also need to be regularly cleaned due to                                                                                               mold or bacteria build-up.

                                                                                       

                                                                                         Another possibility is that dental disease is making it painful for your rabbit to        drink. A veterinarian can perform a dental examination to be certain that there are no issues with teeth, gums, tongue, or throat.

                                                                                     

If you have a rabbit who is picky about their water, here are a few things you can do to help them drink more water:

Don’t forget to clean all water dishes frequently to prevent the buildup of any mold/bacteria that could be causing your rabbit to avoid drinking. You’ll also want to give them fresh water daily, so your rabbit doesn’t feel that the water has become stale.

The best thing you can do to encourage your rabbit to drink more water is give them a large bowl to drink from. This is a more natural way for rabbits to stay hydrated. If this doesn’t work, you can try spraying or soaking their favorite leafy greens in water before serving.

Things that you can do to be sure that your rabbit gets enough water are:

  • Thoroughly clean your rabbit's water bowl

  • Try giving your rabbit fresh water multiple times a day

  • Avoid warm water—room temperature or slightly cool water is best (no refrigerated water or ice cubes in the water)

  • Leave water on their daily greens when you rinse them

  • Add a few drops of unsweetened fruit juice to their water

  • Add fragrant herbs to their water bowl (basil or mint work well)

  • Try purified or bottled water

This rescue is based out of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
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