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December 28, 2009

Rabbits and Water

Encourage your bunny’s good drinking habits

The Humane Society of the United States

rabbit green bkrnd

iStockphoto

Besides nutritious food, your rabbit needs plenty of clean water. Insufficient water consumption can cause serious health problems in rabbits, such as bladder stones.

Rabbits can drink from either a bowl or a sipper bottle. The challenge is to make sure your rabbit has constant access to fresh water while keeping his environment dry.

Choosing a bowl

Your rabbit's water bowl should be made of ceramic or metal. Plastic bowls can scratch easily, and those scratches can become homes for unhealthy bacteria. Change and refill the water regularly, and keep an eye out for loose hay, fur, or other debris that may fall into the bowl.

A quick rinse and refill several times a day will keep the bowl clean and your rabbit happy. Watch out for spillage and try to wipe up wet spots immediately. Hay or food that sits in water for extended periods of time can develop mold which is hazardous to your rabbit's health.

Sipper bottles

If you choose to use a sipper bottle, make sure that your rabbit understands how it works. Some rabbits may be used to drinking from a bowl and it can take some time to acclimate them to a sipper.

Be sure to change the water in the sipper bottle daily. Clean the bottle and check the sipping mechanism each day to make sure that it's working and isn't blocked with hay. Check also for leaks underneath the bottle; a leaky bottle is often a sign that the sipper mechanism is clogged.

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