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Forum DIET & CARE How much water should rabbits drink?

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    • noodlebeer
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      How often/much water do rabbits drink? I’ve never really taken much notice before as I’ve only ever had the one water bowl in Gus’ pen before.  But after his last gut stasis scare the vet reported he was dehydrated, so I’ve bought some more ceramic ramekins (perfect size!) and put two more out in the other rooms he has hay in.  
      Since then I’ve noticed he’s drinking quite often; after almost every hay munching session he’ll go and have a little drink.  I haven’t noticed him peeing any more than usual but his litter tray has been easier to clean since (not as much of that white residue sticking to the bottom).

      Is this normal? Maybe he just wasn’t drinking as much before because going all the way back to his pen was too much effort?  If that’s the case I feel quite guilty for not supplying him with more sources before now.

      (Here he is drinking – he makes the funniest squeaky noises XD)


    • Wick & Fable
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      It’s normal for water consumption to occur after eating hay or grooming I find. Hay is very drying, so it makes sense that after a big session, a rabbit would want to re-hydrate. I imagine it’s like eating saltines, haha.

      Rabbits can be quite lazy, and the accessibility of water sources can affect water consumption, just like method of consumption (bowl vs. bottle). Wick has two water bowls (one in bedroom, one in main room), but there are many times he’ll come up to me, I’ll offer him water from my cup, and he’ll drink it for like, 3 minutes straight while I wonder “You were right by your water bowl a few minutes ago, why didn’t you drink then?”

      I think a definitive concerning sign is numerous clear pees, because that shows your rabbit is drinking more water than the body actually requires (similar to humans; we have really clear urine if we drink a lot, and really yellow urine if we’re dehydrated).

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • noodlebeer
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      Okay good to know it’s probably just a laziness thing – I changed his litter tray this morning and there was a decent amount of residue.  I’ll keep an eye on his pee for a while to make sure it’s okay.  I’m just being a helicopter mum after his last vet trip, I guess   Thankyou!


    • Wick & Fable
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      If you find there’s a lot of white residue, I would look at how much calcium he’s getting. The typical source is too much pellets. Generally, you shouldn’t be getting constant calcium, white residue. Has that been the case?

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • jerseygirl
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      That was actually a good way to increase his water intake! A lot like Wick did with hay to get Wick eating more of it.

      Does he always put his head up like that after drinking?


    • noodlebeer
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      He doesn’t often tilt back quite that far buy usually raises it a little.

      Here’s a video of him drinking 

      And his is the bottom of his litter tray after about 2 days of use – not sure if that’s too much calcium or okay?


    • Bam
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      There should always be a tiny little bit of calcium in the urine according to a lecture I just attended ( a rabbit vet lecturing at the Swedish Rabbit Welfare Association’s yearly event). Meaning rabbit urine should never be 100% clear. In healthy rabbits, the calcium is suspended in the urine, making the urine “cloudy”. In rabbits with a calcium problem, the calcium tends to “cake” and that can mean that the calcium doesnt get out but deposits as sludge in the bladder, and the urine that does come out is clear.


    • Bunny House
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      It does seem weird the position of his head after he takes some sips. Have you seen any weird coughing or gagging to be a sign for something wrong with his throat?


    • Bam
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      He does rise his head a bit in the film although not as drastically as in the picture. Sometimes buns with an airway problem, for example a stuffy nose, will sit with its chin up. Paired with a squeaky noise, I’d say it should be considered an observandum.

      I know you didnt ask about this, I hope you dont mind us bringing it up.


    • Kiki
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      After reading this I put a bowl in Indie’s play pen and found that she will drink more water. So, I think it is a lazy thing with those buns.


    • noodlebeer
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      He definitely makes squeaky noises quite often when he drinks, I didn’t realize that wasn’t normal.


    • jerseygirl
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      He doesn’t often tilt back quite that far buy usually raises it a little.

      Here’s a video of him drinking  

      Oh, that’s good then!  I was a bit concerned when I saw the photo as that nose-pointing posture is what rabbits can do when having difficulty breathing. 

      It doesn’t look too bad in that video. He’s is perhaps sipping up a lot at once?

      Some of my rabbits have made some squeaking sounds when drinking. It varies.]

      His drinking style could simply just be a quirky habit of his but it’s something to keep and eye on all the same. You could show your vet some video when he next has a check up & ask their opinion.

      Just a thought… could you pop the bowl on something so it’s a little higher and see if that changes anything? Or is he, being a bunny, likely to push the bowl off?


    • Bam
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      Posted By noodlebeer on 3/23/2019 3:45 PM
      He definitely makes squeaky noises quite often when he drinks, I didn’t realize that wasn’t normal.

      It doesn’t have to be bad, as Jersey says. It’s just something to keep an eye on and maybe ask your vet about at next check up. It’s really good to have videos to show the vet, I did that with my dog when we took her to the vet for a problem. You cant count on an animal to show the behavior you’re concerned about at the vet clinic.

      It was the first picture with the nose held so high that had me a bit worried. If that’s not something he does a lot – well, rabbits can make funny noises anyway. My bun makes lots of noises, buzzing and honking and grunting and some noises I dont even know how to describe ?. It concerned me when I got him, cause I’d never had a bun that vocal before. My vet listened to his lungs etc when he had his first vaccinations and check ups, and there was nothing wrong. Hes just that kind of bun.


    • Ashaleiie
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      * adds extra water bowls around the house *

      Thanks guys <3

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Forum DIET & CARE How much water should rabbits drink?