How Often Should You Change Your Rabbit’s Water?

Categorized as Bunny Care
A rabbit drinking a water thru a nipple drinker

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

You should change your rabbit’s water once a day. Most rabbits would empty their water by the end of the day. Also, regularly check and make sure that your rabbit’s water is clean and drinkable, rabbits would not drink dirty water unless they don’t have any choice.

You could also buy a standalone nipple drinker where you can attach any water bottle size, this would allow you to extend the time between refills.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the topic in more details:

When should you change your rabbit’s water?

Rabbits drink a lot of water per day. Leaving your rabbits without constant access to water is dangerous especially in the summer where rabbits are at risk from heatstroke.

You should change your rabbit’s water under the following conditions:

  • When the water is low. Always check your rabbit’s water supply, the amount of water rabbits drink varies depending on the temperature.
  • When you notice any dirt in your rabbit’s water. Rabbits would rarely drink water that has dirt or smell in it unless they don’t have any choice. Always keep your rabbit’s water clean, if you yourself would not drink the water, it’s too dirty for your rabbits.
  • When you notice that your rabbit is not drinking the water available to them. You might not know it, but the water is probably dirty or has a foul smell to it. Keep track of the amount of water your rabbits usually drink.
  • At least once a day. An easier solution is refilling your rabbit’s water once a day. This would ensure that your rabbits are drinking fresh water every day.

How to extend the time between refills?

If you’re planning to go on a short trip and you want to make sure that your rabbits would get enough water while your away, consider buying a larger water bottle drinker or a larger bowl.

A nipple drinker for rabbits.
“File:Metal valve nipple.JPG” by Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff is licensed under CC BY 3.0

You could also buy a standalone nipple drinker where you can attach any water bottle size. This would allow you to leave your rabbits with large amounts of water.

Risk of not changing your rabbit’s water regularly.

Having access to clean drinkable water are one of the most important responsibilities every rabbit owner should keep in mind.

Here are the risk associated when a rabbit’s water is not changed regularly:

  • Heatstroke – Rabbits whose water is not checked regularly are at risk of dying from heatstroke especially if it’s hot and humid.
  • Diarrhea – Rabbits whose water is not changed regularly could suffer from diarrhea because dirty water is an ideal medium for coccidia sporulation, a parasite that leads to diarrhea.
  • Dehydration – Rabbits should never be left alone without access to clean drinkable water for more than 24 hours. Without access to clean drinkable water, your rabbit could suffer from dehydration especially if it’s hot and humid.
  • Moist dermatitis – Dirty water can also lead to dermatitis especially in rabbits that have dewlap or overweight.
  • Impaction – Without water, your rabbit’s gut would not function properly because of the lack of moisture. This, in turn, could lead to intestinal blockage or impaction.
  • Urinary stones – Without water to flush out excess calcium, your rabbits could develop urinary stones.

Conclusion

You should change your rabbit’s water at least once per day or depend on the amount your rabbit is drinking. Rabbits would drink more water on hot days to prevent heatstroke and dehydration.

You should also change your rabbit’s water regularly to keep it clean and drinkable. Most rabbits would not drink water that’s dirty or smelly unless they don’t have any other choice.

Finally, you could also buy a standalone nipple drinker where you can attach any water bottle size, this would allow you to extend the time between refills.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 17, 2021) How Often Should You Change Your Rabbit’s Water?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/how-often-should-you-change-your-rabbits-water/.
"How Often Should You Change Your Rabbit’s Water?." Bunny Horde - November 17, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/how-often-should-you-change-your-rabbits-water/

Sources and further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Red Urine: Blood or Plant Pigment?
  • Gastrointestinal Stasis: The Silent Killer