How long can rabbits go without water? As we all know, water is essential for all living things, and for rabbits, 24 hours without access to water would cause fatal damage to their body.
I guess you’re already aware of how crucial water is for bodily functions.
Water provides nutrients, regulates temperature, removes wastes, keeps body weight, and promotes the entire well-being.
Therefore, giving your pet rabbit water regularly is essential for them to survive.
It is why I never miss a day without giving Thumper, my pet rabbit, a bowl of fresh water.
Regardless, here is the reason why you should opt to provide your pet with their need for water, keep on reading.
Water: An Essential For Rabbits
Before I answer how long can rabbits go without water, you might want to know why water is essential for your fluffy pets.
Personally, an hour without water would be the death of me. I am an avid drinker, and I work a lot, so I keep a water bottle beside me to quench my thirst.
Moreover, it is said that water can help you lose weight!
How cool is that?
But anyway, we should focus on the star of this article, which is our pet rabbits.
If you noticed your pet starting to avoid food and stop drinking water, it might indicate that there is something wrong.
You see, animals need water to survive because a rabbits’ body is made up of a large percentage of water; if they don’t drink enough, this percentage will lessen, causing health complications and a high risk of dehydration.
I know you’re also curious about why water is needed aside from the fact that we drink it to survive.
Here is why your rabbits need to be given enough water:
- Water contributes to a healthy blood flow, which is optimal for their organs’ function.
- It promotes good digestion and helps food to move efficiently for a healthy bowel movement
- Drinking enough water will flush out excess calcium from your rabbit’s body; preventing the formation of urinary stones or any related health issues
- It prevents infection in their urinary tract and kidneys.
Knowing about this, you might rush out and fill their bowls with lots of water, but don’t worry, as rabbits are smart and know when to stay hydrated.
Whether it may be wild or domesticated, all animals know how vital water is.
If you see your pet starting to avoid water, please take it to your veterinarian immediately.
How long can rabbits go without water?
So, how long?
Twenty-four hours without water, that’s it.
And as a responsible pet owner, you don’t want to leave your pets without any access to any fresh and healthy liquids as it will be lethal for almost every rabbit.
A whole day without water is already bad; how much more if a day or so? It will lead to the failure of vital organs, dehydration, and worst, death.
Rabbits can go on with a day missing a meal, but not water, as they consume two to three times more water than most of their food.
So make sure that your rabbit is given enough water, especially on hotter days.
However, if you see your pet drink lots of water, which you think is too much, then it might be a sign of a kidney problem. Consult your veterinarian if that happens.
Signs of Dehydration
If your rabbit is not drinking enough water it can lead to dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration include
- Fecal pellets are small in size and dark in color
- Urine is brownish in color instead of golden yellow
- The rabbit seems lethargic and does not eat
A rabbit may refuse to drink water if he is too stressed, the water bottle has malfunctioned or the water does not taste good.
How To Encourage Your Rabbits To Drink?
You must ensure that your pet rabbit is drinking enough water to avoid dehydration and possible health issues.
But how do rabbits drink water? You may ask.
For me, I would always leave a bowl of clean water for Thumper after meals.
And every time he plays outside our yard, I would make sure that there is a clean water source for him to go and quench his thirst.
You may notice that I always mentioned the word “clean.”
It is because dirty or contaminated water can make your pet sick instead of keeping them healthy, and I believe you don’t want it to happen.
Now, it is your responsibility to include healthy fluids, mostly water, in your pet rabbit.
So, if you want your pet to drink enough water, you might want to follow the following steps:
Step #1. It might help if you switch to bowls from bottles or switch them alternatively.
Step #2. Clean their bowls properly to eradicate awful smells; this will help your rabbits to drink more.
Step #3. Some rabbits would prefer purified water over tap water.
You can purchase bottled water or refine the existing tap water in your home if you must.
Step #4. Using tasty additives to your pet rabbit’s water will also help in making them drink more.
When adding additives, you’d want to use apple or carrot sweeteners. It works every time!
And when your rabbit starts to drink again, gradually lessen the amounts of additives you are putting in until it is only purely tapped water.
But let me remind you to be careful with this technique because you might get back from the start if you are not careful.
It may cause your rabbits to stop drinking water altogether as it gets used to sweetened water.
It’s hard, I know, but as long as you are careful, I know you can do it!
Oh, and by the way, make sure that you know the difference between sugar-free and unsweetened juice; unsweetened juice mostly consists of natural sugars, which can be used as a treat for your pets.
I would sometimes add adequate amounts to Thumper’s water to at least sweeten things up!
As for marketed juices, which are said to be “sugar-free,” they may still have some trace of toxic artificial sweeteners, which are not suitable for your pet’s health.
Again, be careful and do some research to be more knowledgeable. We all want what’s best for our pets’ right? Because I do!
Rabbits can eat water!
Yes, you heard that right! Rabbits can not only drink water but also consume it! How? It’s through the food they eat.
To get more rabbits more water, most pet owners feed rabbits greens, such as Kohlrabi, as these types of food consist of 90% water!
So if you’re struggling with your pet not drinking enough water, then you can increase the veggies it consumes.
But be careful not to give them much as it reduces the water they drink and the hay they eat, which lessens their urine volume, which is not good.
Because increased urine volume will help rabbits prevent sludge build-up or urinary tract infection.
Now that you are aware of how important it is for living beings to stay hydrated. Even humans make sure to keep themselves hydrated deliciously if not by just regular water. The same goes for rabbits.
As you have learned how long can rabbits go without water, you’d want to make sure that you’re giving your pet rabbits enough fluids regularly.
A day without any water will put your pets in jeopardy.
I hope that you learned a lot from this article! Thank you for reading.
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.