Rabbits are one of the most loveable small pets across the world. They are owned by many and remain a top 10 small pet for families of all sizes. Considering this, it’s essential to get valuable information out to these rabbit’s owners so that they know how to care for their rabbits properly and to ensure you are always following best practices with your rabbit care. This can lead to many questions. One of those questions may be the following. Can bunnies drink cold water? After some research on the topic, here is what I can tell you.
So, can bunnies drink cold water? Yes, rabbits can drink cold water. It is essential however to track the climate and adjust water temperatures accordingly. For example, in the summer when the temperature is hot, your bunny will enjoy cold water. In the winter with freezing temperatures, you can have warmer water.
Let’s break down this answer even further so you know exactly what to do. Also, if you stick around for just a few more minutes, I’ll answer all frequently asked questions that are commonly asked when it comes to drinking habits, water to use and how to keep your bunny as hydrated as possible.
Rabbits Water Preferences and Best Methods
Let’s start by diving back into the original question and answer. Monitoring the climate and the outside temperature is the first important step toward gauging what water temperature your rabbit will prefer. Here are the primary two considerations to keep in mind.
Freezing Drinking Water for Your Bunny- 32 Degrees F or Colder
If the water is freezing or around this 32-degree F mark, your bunny will likely drink less water than usual and is likely to risk dehydration.
Water That’s too Hot- 90 Degrees F or Warmer
If this is the case, you will have the same scenario. Your bunny may still consume some of the water, but in most circumstances, your rabbit will not drink the amount of water needed to prevent dehydration and other illness that can be caused by dehydration. It’s essential to make sure the water temperatures on the water bottle never reach these levels.
Room Temperature is Best but Climate Matters Even More
With bunnies, room temperature water is going to prove to be the best option. However, as stated before, the temperature outside overrides this notion. If conditions call for it, room temperature water will always be the way to go. If your bunny is kept indoors, room temperature is also the way to go.
However, on scorching days it’s essential to stay one step ahead of the temperatures and sunshine. In these situations, I’d always advise using ice water. This will give the water plenty of playroom to warm up in the heat of the day without it becoming too hot or too unfavorable for your rabbit to drink.
This is especially important when you have a demanding schedule and can’t keep constant tabs your bunny.
Other Considerations on Water When Battling the Heat
Your bunnies are just like humans in many ways. One big difference, however, is they can’t produce sweat from sweat glands in the same fashion. This makes it very important to plan accordingly. What do you do when you get too hot or thirsty? You drink more water than usual.
Your bunny will be the exact same way. Instead of having just one water bottle filled, plan like a professional pet-owner and have several water bottles cleaned and loaded with fresh water for your bunny.
Is it worth a few dollars and a few minutes of your time not to take the extra step in the process to prevent your rabbit from being uncomfortable, dehydrated or even experiencing death? Didn’t think so. Take care of your bunnies properly.
A Statement for The Doubters in This Idea
I have another small pet as well that’s not a rabbit. It’s close to the rabbit species, and she is kept indoors permanently. To give you an idea about planning and taking care of your rabbits in an ethical manner I wanted to point out something I do always to play it safe.
My Approach, Ethical, Safe and Only Takes 3 Minutes of Your Time
First, my pet’s cage is always set up with 2 oversize water bottles. Due to being kept indoors, it’s not essential to use ice water.
So why do I do this? Well, have you ever had a flat tire? An unexpected family emergency resulting in a day away from home? A business trip where your flight was canceled due to the weather?
These things happen and not planning accordingly could either be fatal or very dangerous for your pets. Again, the cost is next to nothing, and it can have you worry free and much less anxiety going through your head the next time anything unexpected does happen to come up.
Now that my rant is complete on keeping enough temperature-controlled water available to your bunny let’s discuss what to even to fill the water bottle with and best practices.
Can I Give My Bunny Tap Water?
Yes, but with caution. Tap water is perfectly fine for your rabbit. However, let’s again use my house as an example. My house runs off well water. It’s my first house that runs of a well and the first time I took a shower, I wasn’t prepared for the hardness of the water, the smell or even the way it looks filling my coffee maker.
It’s a little more alarming, to say the least. Therefore, they recommend even for humans or your dogs and cats that you have your water tested. Be sure no toxins or unwanted chemicals are present in the water before freely forcing your rabbits to consume it.
City Water? Do I Need to Test That?
No city water will be perfectly fine for your rabbit out of the tap. In the United States alone there hasn’t been an issue with contaminated water in the city systems since 2014 in Flint Michigan. You have nothing to be concerned about with city water. Only double check tap water from a well by calling your local water department and requesting for testing.
News Flash* Your rabbit shouldn’t be the reason your testing your fresh water. This should have already been completed and if it hasn’t, your rabbits just helping you take care of something you responsibly should have already done. Just throwing that out there.
What Can Rabbits Drink Besides Water?
Sorry ladies and gentlemen. I know that we may sleep with our bunnies and have a deep connection but no feeding your rabbit tequila shots or Jack Daniels and posing for some selfies to boost your Instagram account (yes, I can see where this would surely build your followers)
In fact, it’s banned by the Animal Poison Control Center. Not only will you be hungover, potentially harm or kill your rabbit but you will be a direct violation of “animal law.” Not sure if that’s the correct phrasing, but I think you get the point.
Here’s a list of the drinks that are banned from your bunny. If you have been drinking coffee with your rabbit in the mornings on the porch swing, that needs to end as well. Let’s look at what we have here.
Banned Drinks for Rabbits and Harmful Drinks for Rabbits
A Special Note on Sugars and Sodium
This is allowed, but rabbits should not over consume them. You can view more about this in my guide about what can rabbits eat and if rabbits can eat gerbil food or not. Here’s a link to make it easy for you.
Sugars are not good on the bunny’s digestive tract in large amounts and should be avoided when possible. It’s even said that feeding your rabbit too many carrots is a definite no-go.
How Long Can A Rabbit Live Without Water or Food?
Food is much less important than water for your rabbit. It’s still the 2nd most essential thing your rabbit needs, but water is priority #1. Always has been and always be. Rabbits do not do well in heat. In all honesty, I don’t either so I can understand where they are coming from.
A rabbit not having the correct amount of water or any available water for more than 24 hours can result in death or severe health consequences. Therefore, I always advise having a few water bottles ready to go. Rabbits are not like 100-pound dogs. If you give them more than they need, they don’t go overboard and consume it all at once.
If they do, they apparently were deprived of it, to begin with, and very thirsty. My dog is the opposite. I can’t load him up with additional food because he’s a 107-pound lab that would eat a small sheep if it was placed in front of him.
Rabbits will eat and drink when they are ready and when their bodies instruct them too. Don’t skimp on these items and ensure they are always taken care of properly.
How Much Water Does A Rabbit Drink Per Day?
This will depend on many factors but on average a rabbit will drink roughly 1 cup of water per 24 hours assuming your rabbit is around the 4-pound mark. Heat could increase this consumption and so could other factors, but this should give you a rough idea.
Are Water Bottles Bad for Rabbits?
No, but it is a known fact that you should offer both. Some rabbits prefer a bowl, and some prefer the water bottle. Want to know a fun trick? Have 2 water bottles attached to the cage and a bowl and you will never be leaving your bunny without fresh water.
Why Would I Ever Need B
Well, do you clean your water bottles daily? Are you sure and 100% certain that a clog can’t happen in the water bottle lines or spout? Well, having a bowl in addition to a backup water bottle will be taking care of every angle needed to keep your bunny safe.
Why Is My Bunny Not Drinking Water?
This could indicate a problem and could indicate nothing at all. If it persists for more than a day, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your vet. Especially if you have multiple rabbits acting funny. Be sure they are not sick, and something isn’t going on. The last thing you need or want is a grieving bunny on your hand if his mate happens to fall ill or eventually pass. Trust me, hearing a rabbit cry is not something you want to experience.
Putting It All Together. The Information is Available, Take Care of Your Bunnies
My recommendation with all this information is to take a few minutes, browse my website or one of the other 3.987 sites on google and familiarize yourself as much as possible about proper bunny care. If you’re not a visual person, YouTube is a fantastic source.
Most of my learning curve to care for these animals came straight from the same kind of source you are reading today. Of course, I prefer to be your source for everything bunny related. My point is that education with caring for your rabbits is crucial. It’s the entire purpose behind this blog. Not just my deep love for typing.
What’s your experience and best practices for making sure your bunny always has adequate water available and what remedies and precautions do you take during the hottest months of the year? How about the coldest months? Be sure to leave a comment below.