Rabbit Focus

Can Rabbits Drink Too Much Water?

Rabbits need food and water for survival. But can rabbits drink too much water at all? What could be the reasons for a rabbit to drink more water than usual?

Can Rabbits Drink Too Much Water?

Water is vital for rabbits, and they need constant access to lots of fresh water. Rabbits that eat plenty of greens and fresh grass will have lower water consumption while those that feed on hay tend to drink more.

While it may be possible and safe enough for rabbits to drink too much water, what really needs your attention is the reason why they are doing so in the first place.

Continue reading below to know more about rabbits and their water intake.

Why Do Rabbits Drink Too Much Water?

Overconsumption of water, also called polydipsia, can be due to a plethora of reasons. This might not necessarily be a cause for concern in itself. However, there might be other reasons why your rabbit is drinking too much water that can be very serious and may be a cause for concern.

Since excessive water drinking in rabbits may be the result of a more worrying underlying problem, you need to keep a close eye on the water consumption of your rabbit all the time.

How Much Water Should Rabbits Drink?

The specific amount of water that a rabbit needs to drink may vary depending on the animal in question. After all, rabbits are individually unique and distinct from each other. The quantity of water that your rabbit should drink depends on its age, size, lifestyle, location, and climate.

A bigger rabbit, for instance, should drink more water than a smaller one. Their large size means they also have a bigger gastrointestinal tract, which means they will also need more water to stay hydrated and healthy and ensure that their GI tract stays right on track.

Healthy adult rabbits must drink anywhere around 1 to 3 ounces of water for every pound of their body weight. A rabbit weighing 4 pounds, for example, should drink anywhere around 6 to 8 ounces of water daily, give or take several ounces. A smaller and younger rabbit, on the other hand, may only need 2 to 6 ounces of water per day.

Common Non-Problematic Reasons Why Rabbits Drink Too Much Water

There are a handful of reasons why a rabbit may drink more water than usual that shouldn’t cause you any worry at all:

High Activity Levels

Just like humans, highly active rabbits should drink more than 1 to 3 ounces of water per pound. Their higher activity levels only mean that they will also feel thirstier compared to their less active bunny friends.

Personality or Lifestyle

It is only natural for some rabbits to drink more than the rest. If one of your rabbits always drank the water of more than 1 to 3 ounces per pound, it shouldn’t be a reason for concern. The only time that you should be worried is when the rabbit starts drinking more than usual all of a sudden.

Changes in the Season

Rabbits often drink more water during warmer months of the year or when they are living in a part of the world that is warmer by nature all year long.

Molting or Shedding

Rabbits also tend to drink more water when they are shedding or molting.

Common Problematic Reasons Why Rabbits Drink Too Much Water

While the reasons above shouldn’t be any cause for alarm, there might also be some more serious underlying causes for this behavior. Some of these are the following:

Diet Changes

A rabbit that is drinking too much water might not be getting enough vegetables or is getting excessive salt. Salt can cause dehydration in rabbits while vegetables have high moisture content. This means that not enough veggies or too much salt may be the reason behind the excess thirst and must be remedied accordingly.

Diarrhea-Induced Dehydration

Diarrhea in rabbits is a serious condition that a vet should address right away.

Diabetes

Rabbits can develop type two or type one diabetes, although it is rare for rabbits to develop type 1 diabetes. Type two and type one diabetes both have the symptom of excessive drinking of water. Other symptoms you should watch out for include a highly increased desire to eat and excessive urination.

Liver Complications

Many things can make the liver of a rabbit stop its normal function. This can get inflamed because of infections or incur damages due to cirrhosis. A rabbit’s liver may also fail if your pet eats something poisonous.

Aside from overdrinking, other signs you should watch out for if you are concerned about liver problems include weight loss, loss of appetite, neurological problems, and yellowing of the mouth and eyes.

Pain

A rabbit that is in pain will either not drink enough water or drink too much. Pains that can make a rabbit drink more water are often due to an upset stomach, an injury, or a dental problem.

Urinary Tract Complications

Just like humans, bunnies may also contract urinary tract infections that can be quite painful for them. If a rabbit is suffering from a urinary tract infection or UTI, its urine will be very cloudy, thick, and dark urine. There are also extreme cases when the rabbit may even yell out in pain every time it urinates.

You might also notice the rabbit being in straining or hunched position when peeing. Complications of the urinary tract will make your rabbit drink more water because if it is more hydrated, urinating will also feel less painful for it. Bladder stones and kidney stones can also cause such reactions in a rabbit.

Can Baby Rabbits Drink Water?

No, baby rabbits cannot drink water in the beginning. They will only strictly drink the mother rabbit’s milk during the first 3 to 4 weeks. They can only start drinking water a month after they are born.

Once the kits are old enough to drink water, make sure that they won’t be drinking almost as much as full-grown rabbits. They also shouldn’t drink too much water at just one-month-old.

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