How long can rabbits go without water?
May 12, 2021
Your pet rabbits didn’t drink water for the last twelve hours, and you are unaware of rabbits’ drinking habits.
You must know all about rabbits’ drinking behavior to keep them hydrated and in good health.
In this post, I described why water is essential for rabbits, and there are numerous reasons why your pet rabbit has stopped drinking water.
If a rabbit remains without drinking water for an extended period, the rabbit will have serious health concerns.
I will explain further in this article:
- How long can rabbits go without water?;
- How much water should a rabbit drink every day?;
- Why is your pet rabbit not drinking water?;
- How a rabbit’s health is affected without drinking water?
- How to know if a rabbit is dehydrated?;
- How to rehydrate a rabbit?
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How long can rabbits go without water?
Rabbits can go without for 24 hours. That doesn’t mean you should let your rabbits go without water for that long.
During summertime, it is hot, and rabbits need to drink water frequently.
Meaning to say you have to provide your house rabbits with fresh water all the time.
During the winter season, the weather is cold, and your pet rabbits may drink less water.
But a pet rabbit will drink water multiple times a day. Thus, observe your pet rabbits, and if you find they didn’t drink water within 24 hours, you have figured why they are not drinking water.
There must be an issue why the rabbits are not drinking water. It can be they found an alternative source, or perhaps your rabbits are sick.
It is also a common concern for pet rabbit owners when they plan a trip and think they can place a water supply for the pet rabbits for 24 hours or maybe more.
The ideal thing to do when planning a trip on holidays and can’t take your pet rabbits with you, you must request someone to look after your pet rabbits.
That can be your neighbor and request them to change the water at least two times a day and see if the water dispenser is clean or not.
Pet rabbits are delicate animals and can be sick if they don’t drink water for more than 24 hours.
How much water should a rabbit drink every day?
Rabbit’s water consumption depends on several factors.
But there is a general rule a rabbit must drink water at least 10% of their body size.
Hence a rabbit’s water consumption is variable depending on its size.
An adult pet rabbit will drink more water compared to a baby rabbit.
On the other hand, if the baby rabbit is more active and playing around a lot more than an adult rabbit, the baby rabbit will be thirsty more often. So the baby rabbit will drink more water.
The water intake of a rabbit also depends on the season, as I mentioned earlier.
Typically rabbits drink more water on a hot day, and they will consume less if the weather is cool.
A rabbit’s diet also reflects on how much water it will drink.
If your pet rabbit is always having hay and dry grass, it will drink more water to hydrate.
Some rabbits have a balanced diet of hay and fresh greens. S they get adequate moisture from the vegetables, they drink less water.
We really can’t tell how much water your rabbit prefers to drink. Every rabbit is unique, and you, as a rabbit guardian, have to observe whether your rabbits are adequately hydrated or not. You don’t have to push your rabbits to drink more water. Rabbits will consume as much they require for good health.
You only have to keep fresh water available for your pet rabbits at all times.
Why is your pet rabbit not drinking water?
There are multiple reasons why a rabbit may stop drinking water. Rabbits are picky animals, and you have to understand that.
If your pet rabbit’s water is not clean or doesn’t like the water’s taste, they will avoid drinking water.
Change your house rabbits’ water frequently to provide them with fresh, clean water all the time.
Rabbits prefer to drink water that is normal at room temperature. If you give them too hot or cold water, they will not drink that.
You have to clean the rabbits’ water dispenser or the water bowl often to look dirty.
If the water dispenser looks dirty, rabbits may not drink water from the container.
Unclean containers can also infuse bad smells into the drinking water. Rabbits don’t like peculiar smelling water. They will avoid drinking the water if it smells odd.
Unlike wild rabbits, house rabbits have access to many fresh greens because rabbit guardians can provide them. If your rabbit’s diet contains many fresh greens, your rabbit will feel naturally hydrated. At that time, your pet rabbits will drink less water.
But sometimes pet rabbits feel they are pretty hydrated from their diet, and they stop drinking water. So if you are giving your rabbits adequate green leaves and vegetables, you must also observe that the rabbits are drinking water or not.
Rabbits also avoid drinking water when they have issues with their health. Many sicknesses can prevent rabbits from drinking water.
One of which is a toothache. Rabbits will not drink water if they have a toothache.
Once you identify a sickness, and that’s why your pet rabbits are not drinking water, you must quickly visit a vet before things worsen.
A sick rabbit that stopped drinking water needs medical attention.
As a rabbit guardian, you have to figure out why your pet rabbit is not drinking water. Then you have to take steps according to that so that your rabbits will start drinking water and keep hydrated.
How a rabbit’s health is affected without drinking water?
Drinking water is essential for rabbits. Water helps with a rabbit’s health in numerous ways. If a rabbit is dehydrated, its organs will fail to perform and eventually result in the rabbit’s death.
Water allows blood to flow smoothly and keeps the rabbit’s organs working perfectly.
Adequate water in the rabbit’s blood also flushes the excess calcium, preventing bladder stones in rabbits.
A hydrated rabbit doesn’t have any problem with the digestive system. Water helps with a smooth digestive system for rabbits.
If a rabbit’s digestive system is not working smoothly, the rabbit will have difficulty defecating, resulting in a blockage. A blockage is a severe sickness and requires immediate attention by a veterinarian, or else the rabbit may die.
How to know if a rabbit is dehydrated?
Many signs show a rabbit is dehydrated.
If a rabbit is dehydrated, the first thing to notice would be its urine.
The urine of a dehydrated rabbit would be color red, and it will have a strong smell of ammonia.
Rabbits’ urine usually has a strong smell of ammonia if not cleaned. However, a dehydrated rabbit’s urine will be color red, and the urine will smell even more substantial than expected.
Another way to check a dehydrated rabbit is by pinching its skin in the neck area slightly without hurting the rabbit and see if the skin immediately goes back to normal or not. If you notice the skin goes back to normal like an elastic, it means your rabbit is not dehydrated.
A dehydrated rabbit will have trouble with its digestive system. It is difficult for rabbits to digest foods without water. Hence a rabbit will show no interest in eating.
If your rabbit is dehydrated, the rabbit’s body temperature will be high. Having a high body temperature means the rabbit has a fever. A sick rabbit will not so energetic as other rabbits.
If you see these signs in your rabbit and find that your rabbit is dehydrated, you must soon visit a vet.
How to rehydrate a rabbit?
I don’t recommend rehydrating a rabbit by yourself.
If your rabbit didn’t drink water for some time and you notice they are sickly, then you must visit a vet soon.
A vet can use IV to rehydrate the rabbit. Likewise, the vet can identify the reason why your rabbit stopped drinking water and treat it.
Rabbits are delicate pets, and many rabbit owners don’t understand what is essential for their pet rabbits.
Thus instead of rehydrating a rabbit by yourself, you can take your pet rabbit to the vet and let the professional do the work.
A rabbit that stopped drinking can die from dehydration and organ failure, so a visit to the vet is urgent.