Rabbits drink small amounts of water throughout the day. It is important to ensure that your rabbit has access to clean water at all times. Besides water, rabbits can drink caffeine-free tea, diluted juice, sports drinks, and Pedialyte.
Water isn’t the only thing rabbits drink! While water is the best thing for them to drink, there are times when you might need (or want) to give them something else. But what exactly should you give them? And how much is too much?
In the sections below, we will go over the top five alternatives to plain water. However, it’s important to understand that there are some risks associated with letting your rabbit drink something other than water. We will talk more about those risks. For now, let’s explore the other liquid options.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Important Note: Nothing Can Replace Water
- 2 How Much Water Should a Rabbit Drink?
- 3 5 Healthy Water Alternatives
- 4 What Drinks Should You Avoid?
- 5 What Are The Benefits of Giving Your Rabbit Other Drinks?
- 6 What Are The Risks of Giving Your Rabbit Other Drinks?
Important Note: Nothing Can Replace Water
No matter what else you give your rabbit to drink, water is still the most important thing. Make sure they have access to water at all times and that the water is clean and fresh.
The other liquids listed below can be given in moderation, but they should never replace water. In other words, your rabbit should still drink more water than anything else.
How Much Water Should a Rabbit Drink?
Rabbits drink small amounts of water throughout the day. They don’t drink as much as other animals, but they do need water to stay hydrated.
A healthy rabbit will drink between 25-75 milliliters of water per pound of body weight. If your rabbit eats a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, it may drink even more water.
The best way to ensure your rabbit is getting enough water is to give them fresh water daily. Check the water dish at least once daily to ensure it’s clean and full.
You can also give your rabbit a water bottle. This is a good option if you’re worried about the water getting dirty. Just ensure the bottle is working properly and that your rabbit can reach it.
5 Healthy Water Alternatives
1. Caffeine-Free Tea
Caffeine-free tea is an excellent alternative to water for rabbits. It is hydrating and full of antioxidants.
However, it is important to make sure that the tea you give your rabbit is caffeine free. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can be dangerous for rabbits.
When giving your rabbit tea, ensure it has cooled to room temperature first. Hot tea can burn your rabbit’s tongue.
2. Diluted Juice
Most rabbits like the taste of juice. However, juice is very high in sugar. For that reason, it should only be given in moderation.
When giving your rabbit juice, make sure to dilute it with water. A 50/50 mix of water and juice is a good starting point. You can adjust the ratio based on your rabbit’s preference.
3. Diluted Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are another option for rabbits. They are high in electrolytes, which can be helpful if your rabbit is dehydrated.
However, sports drinks are also high in sugar. For that reason, they should only be given in moderation.
When giving your rabbit a sports drink, you’ll also want to dilute it in water.
Pedialyte is a drink that is often given to infants and small children. It is full of electrolytes, which can help hydrate your rabbit.
Pedialyte can be given to rabbits straight or diluted with water. If you give it to your rabbit straight, make sure to give them a smaller amount than you would if it were diluted.
5. Water Additives
There are also water additives that you can give your rabbit. These are designed to make water more appealing to rabbits.
Some water additives have added vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial for your rabbit. However, ensuring that the water additive you choose is safe for rabbits is essential.
What Drinks Should You Avoid?
There are also some drinks that you should avoid giving your rabbit. These include:
Drinks With Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can be dangerous for rabbits. Caffeine can cause heart arrhythmias, seizures, and even death in rabbits.
For that reason, you should never give your rabbit any drinks that contain caffeine. This includes coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
Drinks With Excess Sugar
Sugar is also bad for rabbits. It can cause obesity and dental problems. This includes most fruit juices, as well as sports drinks and soda.
Although we did mention sports drinks and juice in the approved section above, it’s important to remember these are diluted. Never give your rabbit sugary drinks before diluting.
Milk or Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products are also bad for rabbits. They are high in lactose, which rabbits cannot digest.
Lactose can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It can also lead to serious health problems like liver disease.
Carbonation can cause gas and bloating, and it can also irritate your rabbit’s stomach.
Alcohol can cause liver damage and other health problems. It can also be fatal to rabbits.
What Are The Benefits of Giving Your Rabbit Other Drinks?
Will Entice Your Rabbit to Drink More
Rabbits are attracted to the taste and smell of other liquids. This means they are more likely to drink more if you give them something other than water.
This is especially true for rabbits that don’t drink much water on their own. If your rabbit is not drinking enough water, giving them something else might entice them to drink more.
Adds Variety to Your Rabbit’s Diet
Giving your rabbit other drinks can also add variety to their diet. This can make their diet more interesting, and it can also provide them with additional nutrients.
For example, some teas and juices are full of antioxidants. These can be beneficial for your rabbit’s health.
Can Help Your Rabbit Stay Hydrated
Other liquids can also help your rabbit stay hydrated. This is especially true for sports drinks and Pedialyte, which are full of electrolytes.
If your rabbit is dehydrated, giving them a sports drink or Pedialyte can help them rehydrate. Just make sure to give them the drink in moderation and to also give them plenty of water.
Can Help Your Rabbit Recover From Illness
If your rabbit is ill, giving them other liquids can help them recover. For example, if your rabbit has diarrhea, Pedialyte can help replenish their lost electrolytes.
If your rabbit is recovering from surgery, giving them a water additive can also help. Some water additives have added vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial for your rabbit’s recovery.
What Are The Risks of Giving Your Rabbit Other Drinks?
Can Lead to Obesity
Giving your rabbit too much juice, sports drinks, or Pedialyte can lead to obesity. Obesity can lead to various health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, and respiratory problems. It can also shorten your rabbit’s life.
Can Lead to Dental Problems
Giving your rabbit too much juice, sports drinks, or Pedialyte can also lead to dental problems. Dental problems can also lead to other health problems, such as infections. They can also make it difficult for your rabbit to eat.
Can Cause Diarrhea
Giving your rabbit too much of any other liquid can also cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous for rabbits.
Rabbit May Refuse Normal Water
Giving your rabbit other drinks can also make them less likely to drink water. This is because they may prefer the taste of the other liquids.
As you can see, there are both benefits and risks associated with giving your rabbit other drinks. It’s important to weigh these risks and benefits before giving your rabbit anything other than water.