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Home > General > How Much Water do Rabbits Need? Rabbit Water Consumption Reviewed

How Much Water do Rabbits Need? Rabbit Water Consumption Reviewed

braun rabbits in a cage eating and drinking water

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Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Water is the most essential nutrient for all living creatures. Most animals can survive weeks, even months without food, but without water, most won’t survive more than a few days. So how much water should a rabbit consume each day? As a rule, most rabbits will drink between 100 to 150 ml of water per kilogram of body weight, depending on their health, the weather and their diet.

Read on to learn more about the relationship between water and rabbits.


Why Do Rabbits Need Water?

Water makes up approximately two-thirds of a mammal’s body, and the rabbit is no exception. H2O is essential for all basic bodily functions; circulation, digestion, motor functions, waste removal, and everything in between.

Water is constantly lost from the body via waste removal and evaporation from the breath, and this loss must be constantly replenished. If deprived of water for more than 24 hours, rabbits can start to experience the effects of dehydration, and this window is even shorter in dry, hot conditions.

braun rabbits in a cage eating and drinking water
Image By: Tasty Life, Shutterstock

How Much Water Do Rabbits Need?

Fresh, clean water should be accessible 24 hours a day. Rabbits have a naturally higher water intake compared to other animals due to the types of food they consume and how that food is digested. Their normal daily intake is between 100 to 150 ml per kilogram of body weight daily compared with 50 to 100 ml in dogs and cats, so a five-pound rabbit can ingest as much as 340 ml of water daily between liquid water and the water found in its veggies.

Several factors can influence how much your rabbit drinks.

For example, it may drink more:
  • When the weather is hot
  • When the weather is dry
  • If it’s highly active
  • If its diet is made up of more dry ingredients
  • If it’s shedding

How Can I Encourage My Rabbit to Drink More?

Now that you know how much rabbits should be drinking on average, what should you do if yours isn’t drinking enough? Firstly, have a look at their diet; rabbits that eat quite a lot of fresh veggies will naturally drink less than those that consume a diet consisting of drier foods. But if you are still concerned that your bunny may not be hitting their daily H2O quota, there are several things you can do to encourage it to consume more water, including:

  • Provide a bowl as well as a bottle of water so it can choose which method it prefers. This is particularly important in warmer conditions, as rabbits will often struggle to drink enough from a dropper bottle alone.
  • Leave excess water on their daily salads.
  • Replenish the water supply throughout the day to keep it fresh, and ensure it isn’t getting too warm.

rabbit drinking

What If My Rabbit Is Drinking Too Much?

If you notice your pet spending more time than usual in front of its water bowl, it could be a sign that there is something wrong.

Excessive drinking (polydipsia) can be caused by several things:
  • Excessive urination (polyuria) caused by kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes (rare in rabbits) will naturally lead to polydipsia
  • Infection – urinary tract infections will often trigger polydipsia as a means of flushing out the infection
  • Fever (pyrexia) – increased body temperature often stimulates thirst
  • Behavior – some rabbits will simply like to drink water, and more active rabbits will need more water
  • Weather – not always just in hot weather, but dry or windy days can increase evaporation and trigger thirst

If you are worried that your rabbit is drinking more, especially if it is unusual for them, or if there are other changes as well, make an appointment with your veterinarian. They will perform a thorough exam to determine the cause of your rabbit’s excessive thirst and provide an appropriate treatment plan depending on their findings.



Most rabbits will drink between 100 to 150 ml of water per kilogram of body weight daily. If yours is drinking significantly more or less than that, you might consider making an appointment with the vet. It could just be that the weather is warmer than usual or that it’s been extra active, but it’s always best to get unusual behaviors checked out for peace of mind.

Featured Image Credit: windyotter, Shutterstock

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