November 24, 2022
How long can a rabbit go without water?

How long can a Rabbit go without water?

It’s better to keep drinking water available nearby your pet every time. However, if you are wondering, “How long can a Rabbit go without water?” then you shouldn’t leave your pet without water for a long time. Animals also need water to survive on the earth, just like humans. Dehydration is a severe problem, and it may cause some severe health issues. So, don’t forget to provide fresh and clean water to your rabbit. If your rabbit has stopped drinking water, there could be many reasons he is doing so. If you want to know how long can a rabbit go without water, then keep reading as we will briefly discuss this in this article.

Rabbits and Water

Rabbits need water throughout the day and night. If you aren’t capable of providing it, there is a risk of bad health and disease. Younger or smaller rabbits have a high chance of dying due to dehydration. So, make sure you don’t take any chances with the diet and water of your pet rabbit.

Mostly, people keep a bowl nearby or inside rabbits’ cages to give them easy access to water and food. If you provide appropriate amounts of water and food around their cage, they won’t have to be thirsty. Additionally, make sure the water you are giving your pet to drink is fresh, filtered, and clean. Don’t let your pet die out of dehydration, and also keep their surroundings clean along with the vessels they drink water and eat food from. The skin test is a good indicator to check whether your pet is hydrated enough or not.

Do Rabbits drink water?

Yes, just like every other animal, rabbits also drink water. While preparing the cage or area where your pet can live, you need to provide all these things there too. Water is a necessary element that keeps our body healthy and fit, along with many others. If your rabbit doesn’t get enough supply of water at the right time, then it might catch some disease. However, if you see any symptoms of illness and dehydration, you should immediately bring your rabbit to the vet. Make sure you explain all the required details the doctor should know about your pet to treat him well. Rabbits are prey animals, so it will be hard to tell if their actions dehydrate them. But a skin test will help you to determine whether he is dehydrated or not.

How is water important for Rabbits?

As mentioned earlier, rabbits drink water, and it is important to keep them hydrated. Otherwise, your pet might end up getting sick, and you don’t want that. Rabbits are constant grazers, and if they stop eating for about 12 hours, they can risk going into GI stasis. Water is important for every living being, whether it’s for drinking, cleaning, or others. We recommend you keep a bowl filled with clean water to keep your pets hydrated.

Importance of Water for Rabbits

One-third of the rabbit’s body is made up of water. The water helps rabbits digest food, absorb nutrients, and remove waste. It also helps to keep the rabbit’s body temperature normal. To keep the body healthy, it needs water, often enough to form new tissues and blood. There are three primary water sources for a rabbit; drinking water, food, and body. Metabolic Water and Water in dry seeds provide a small percentage of water. Apparently, the only good source to be hydrated enough is drinking water for rabbits. The lack of water can risk the life of your rabbit, so it would be best if you pay attention to his health.

Water Quality

Giving your rabbit stale or unclean water isn’t a good idea, and it’s not the right thing to do either. As a matter of fact, your pet would drink less water if you provided dirty water to your pet. Eventually, it will slow down its growth and cause other health issues as well. If you aren’t convinced, try putting two bowls of water, one with clean and fresh water and one with stale and unclean water. Your rabbit would not drink water from the bowl filled with dirty water, and if the rabbit did drink that water, its health would suffer. Rabbits require a variety of minerals in their diet to stay healthy, and they can get many of them from water. Water is the least expensive source that can provide all the nutrients a rabbit needs. So, give your rabbit fresh and clean water to drink.

How long can a Rabbit go without water?

As mentioned earlier, one-third of a rabbit’s body is made of water, and if you keep him thirsty for a long time, it will harm his health. Rabbits cannot go longer than 24 hours without water. If the weather is hot, then consider this period even shorter. However, we recommend you give your pet water as soon as you can. We can’t avoid the fact that water is important for everyone, whether an animal or a human. There is a huge difference between “no water” and ” some water.” If your pet is avoiding water or not drinking enough as usual, then you should be concerned about it. You should bring your rabbit to the vet and tell your doctor what’s happening in such a situation.

How long can a Rabbit go without water in the cold?

Weather affects our body in many ways, and you can see some changes in your pet’s body as well. The rabbits drink comparatively less water than they drink in summer. However, this is perfectly normal, and you don’t have to worry about that. If your pet is drinking at least some water, they are safe. Not drinking water at all is risky, but if they are drinking less water in winters, then it’s okay. In winter, you don’t have to keep your rabbit without water for more than 24 hours. It doesn’t matter which season it is, rabbits still need water, and your pet will get dehydrated without it.

Should we give water in a bowl or bottle to Rabbit?

The bottom line is your pets need water, and it doesn’t matter if they are drinking it from a bottle or a bowl. However, the bowls are better than bottles as it is easy to drink water from them. Bottles can easily get clogged, and it will be difficult for your rabbit to drink water from a bottle. Bowls won’t get clogged; besides, it would be easy for rabbits to drink water from a bowl. Here are several other points that would let you know whether you should give water in a bowl or bottle –

Giving Water in a Bowl

It takes a lot of research to choose the best for your pets. You can provide water to your rabbit in any vessel if it doesn’t trouble the rabbit. However, rabbits find it easy to drink water from a bowl.

Pros: The natural source of water for rabbits in the forests is ground. So, keeping a crock bowl would be a natural way for them to drink water. Filling water in such a bowl would be easy for you and your rabbit to drink. Don’t forget to clean it as often as you can. It would be best if you filled the water bowl twice a day. Lastly, it’s common for rabbits to tip over and play with their water bowl.

Cons: Generally, people prefer crock bowls for their pets to drink water from. They are made up of ceramic, metal, or plastic. During summers, if the water is left out for a long time, it can collect bugs or grow algae. Water can also evaporate more quickly in a bowl than in a bottle.

Giving Water in a Bottle

Giving water to your rabbit is an experimental thing, and it might be difficult for a rabbit to drink water from a bottle. However, there are different perks of giving your rabbit a bottle to drink water instead of a bowl. Bottles are more likely to keep water neat and clean than a bowl.

Pros: People find checking the water bowl multiple times a day too much work. Keeping water in the bowl has high chances of contamination, so the owner prefers a water bottle instead. There are three main benefits of using a bottle, and the first one is; bottles eliminate waste of water as it directly pours water in the rabbit’s mouth. Second, it holds the temperature of the water better, and lastly, the water won’t evaporate from the bottle.

Cons: Giving water in a water bottle to the rabbit may be easier for the owner, but it won’t be easy. Naturally, rabbits use open places like lakes or ponds to drink water in the wild. So, using a water bottle would be a difficult task for them. Along with that, there are a few other disadvantages of using a water bottle –

  • Bottles are hard to clean, and it becomes easier for bacteria or algae to develop in them.
  • It would require them to tilt their head up while drinking water from a bottle.
  • You will have to clean the cage often because bottles might leak or sprinkle water while drinking.
  • Using a bottle would also make some obnoxious noise when used.

So, we have discussed the pros and cons of using a water bowl or water bottle. Now, it would be easy for you to decide whether to use a bowl or bottle. It’s unnecessary to use a crock bowl, and you can also use any other type of bowl. We can easily say that a bowl is an excellent option to give your rabbit water in, as it would be easy for you and your rabbit too. Make sure you don’t forget to clean the bowl or bottle often to keep your rabbit’s health safe.

What are Rabbit dehydration symptoms?

An ill rabbit may not drink enough water, and that would lead them to bad health. If your rabbit has stopped drinking Water or drinking comparatively less Water, then you should take him to the vet. You shouldn’t ignore any warning signs of dehydration. Some of the symptoms of dehydration include –


Check your rabbit’s body temperature, and if it is more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, your pet is in danger.

Tight Skin

To determine the dehydration condition of your rabbit, gently pinch the skin of his neck. If it doesn’t snap back to its position immediately, then it’s a sign of dehydration.

Loss of appetite

Sick pets usually lose appetite when they are sick. So, if something like this is happening with your rabbit, then bring them to their veterinary doctor.

Foul-smelling urine

If the rabbit is suffering from dehydration, then the ammonia scent becomes much more pronounced, and it will also be darker in color.

Disorientation and Lethargy

Water affects the energy level of your rabbits, and if they are dehydrated for a long time, then their energy level wouldn’t be uptight. You will find your pet uncharacteristically clumsy and uncoordinated.

If your rabbits keep dehydrated for a long time, then they might risk the life of your pet. Young, old, or otherwise vulnerable pets are at significant risk. If you suspect anything like that, then hydrate them immediately.

Helpful Tips to keep your Rabbit hydrated

You must know if your pet is eating or drinking enough to be healthy. Otherwise, it would risk your life, and you don’t want anything like that to happen. If you read any signs of dehydration, then you should provide fresh and clean water immediately. Here are some other ways that would help you to keep your rabbit hydrated all the time.

Provide either a water bottle or water bowl

While preparing the home or bedding for your rabbit, you should also keep a vessel nearby for them so that they can drink water whenever they feel thirsty. It doesn’t matter if you are giving your rabbit water in a bottle or bowl as long as they have access to water all the time. Rabbits love to gnaw things, and it takes a lot of energy while doing so. Water is the primary source of energy for a rabbit, and if they don’t drink enough water, they might suffer from dehydration. So, instead of taking risks, keep a bowl always filled with fresh and clean water all the time.

Clean and sanitize the water bowl often.

The water you are providing to your pet must be in a clean or properly sanitized vessel. It’s important to clean the vessel as often as you can. Otherwise, the water in the bowl would get unclean, and it wouldn’t be worth drinking. If your rabbit drank water from such an unclean and dirty bowl, then it would catch some serious disease. It doesn’t matter if you are giving your rabbit water in a bottle or bowl, but cleansing it regularly is very important.

Filter all Water

If someone gave you unfiltered water, you wouldn’t drink that. The same goes with your pets, and they also need fresh and filtered water to drink. We have mentioned earlier how important it is to clean the vessel in which your rabbit is drinking water, and if you clean the vessel properly and refill it with unclean water, then cleaning it would be of no use. In many areas, the tap water supply isn’t clean, and if you give your rabbit the same water, it would be harmful. So, to avoid any risk, provide filtered water.

Rub something sweet on the water spout

If you are using a bottle to give your rabbit water and still are not drinking enough water, you can try rubbing something sweet on the water spout. Avoid providing your rabbit boiled and warm water to drink. Natural, clean, and freshwater are more than enough. However, if your rabbit is avoiding drinking water at all, then immediately consult a veterinary doctor. They would understand the situation better than us and would provide a reliable solution.

Is tap water safe for Rabbits?

Yes, rabbits can drink tap water as long as it’s fresh and clean. We have discussed earlier that giving dirty or stale water to your pets is risky. To avoid that risk, you can provide filtered water in a clean bowl to your rabbit. In some places, tap water isn’t clean, and it needs to be filtered before making it suitable for drinking. Suppose you are also living in such an area, then we recommend you give filtered water to your rabbit. It is usually safe for rabbits to drink tap water if it is clean and good for drinking.

How often should I change the water in the bowl to drink for Rabbit?

If you wonder how often you should fill the water in your rabbit’s water bowl, then once a day is enough. Additionally, don’t forget to clean the water bowl of your rabbit. Diseases caused by dirty water are endless, and they can risk the life of your pet. The water bowl and water in it should be clean and drinkable throughout the day. The rabbit wouldn’t drink dirty and stale water, and it might end up getting dehydrated. If you want to know how to keep your rabbit hydrated, then scroll back up and take a close look at the points. They would help you to keep your pet healthy and playful all the time.

What can cause excessive thirst in Rabbits?

When your rabbit is drinking more than usual, it may happen due to various possible causes. We will discuss these causes briefly further in this article. Meanwhile, you must know that excessive thirst in rabbits is also known as polydipsia. Sometimes, the weather also affects the animals’ diet, and as a result, they might start drinking more or less water. If you are worried, then you should consult the vet first and let them know how your rabbit has behaved for the past couple of days. Some of the common reasons for drinking more water by your rabbit are listed below-


Excessive consumption of water may be due to dehydration. It may seem obvious, but the owners often overlook dehydration. Your rabbit is drinking more water because they are thirsty for a long time. Rabbits become dehydrated quickly, and diarrhea is one of the main causes of dehydration. Perform a simple skin test to check if your rabbits are dehydrated. Gently, take the skin on the back of your rabbit’s neck and release it. If the skin takes time to go back to its position, then they are dehydrated. If the skin snaps back to where it was immediately, then your rabbit is perfectly fine. Rabbits can become dehydrated for many reasons, and dehydration is the most common one. Others are listed right below.


Animals are more thirsty in summer than winter, and this very same thing happens with rabbits. Drinking cold water in hot and warm areas helps rabbits to cool down. Signs of overheating in rabbits are Hot ears, nose twitching, Listlessness, tossing the head back, wet nose, and others. Overheating is dangerous for your rabbit, so move your rabbit to a cool area immediately.

Change in Diet

Rabbit is an animal with sensitive health conditions, and an improper diet would affect him badly. Dietary problems are the root cause of many behavioral concerns like dehydration and other diseases. If you are giving him excess salt in his diet, then it may cause excessive thirst. So, make sure to add the proper amount of salt. Additionally, if you are not giving him enough vegetables, then start giving him now. Make sure to provide an unlimited supply of hay along with vegetables. Daily salad can provide water to your rabbit, and lack of vegetables may trigger thirst.


Symptoms of diabetes in rabbits include polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia. However, the main symptom is hyperglycemia, blood sugar. Diabetes is a condition whereby the body can’t regulate its blood sugar. There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 Diabetes occurs when a rabbit’s pancreas stops producing enough insulin, and Type 2 Diabetes arises when a rabbit’s cells stop responding to insulin.

Urinary Tract Disorder

Rabbits can also suffer from Urinary Tract Disorder (UTIs) like us. It can cause excessive thirst in rabbits, and as a result, they drink more and more water. If a rabbit is suffering from UTIs, then it may urinate frequently. There are other urinary disorders as well that can make the rabbits drink more water than usual. Some of them are kidney stones, bladder stones, and bladder sludge.

Final Words

We have learned how long a rabbit can go without water and how you can keep your rabbit hydrated. If your rabbit is dehydrated for any reason, then it would adversely affect its health. I hope you found this article helpful and it has answered all your questions. However, if you have any suggestive words to add, then leave them in the comment section. It would be nice to hear from readers.

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Peyton Taylor

Hey readers! My name is Peyton Taylor, and I help others to have a great experience with their pets. Nothing compares to the happiness of having a healthy and affectionate pet. My sole purpose is to assist newbies and experienced pet owners to learn more and more about the behavior and character of their pets.

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