How long can rabbits go without water? All You Need To Know

While water consumption is absolutely essential for health as a pet owner, you may wonder such as how long can rabbits go without water? Factually speaking, Hydration, in particular, is critical to your pet’s healthy survival and functioning. If your pets do not have regular access to fresh drinking water, they will most certainly face the repercussions of dehydration. 

Having said that, it’s completely understandable that raising a pet and acknowledging what circumstances they can live and thrive under can present a multitude of questions. In fact, We’ve all been there, brimming with skepticism while determining to secure the best for our pets.

The good news is that your issues have been addressed! Doubtful about the hydration habits of your pet rabbits? Fret not! Read on to understand all you need to know about how long can rabbits go without water?

How long can rabbits go without water?

In general, the boundaries of a healthy time span extend up to 24 hours (1 day). A rabbit can only go for 24 hours without water. However, this does not imply that you should leave your rabbits without water for so long.

How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Water

But Before we get into a thorough understanding of how long can pet rabbits go without water, it’s important to understand the necessity of liquids in your pet’s healthy existence.

Animals, in general, require water to survive; since a rabbit’s body has a higher percentage of water, if they don’t drink enough, this percentage will rapidly decrease, producing health difficulties and significant danger of dehydration.

If you observe your pet avoiding food and drinking water, it could be a sign that something is wrong. 

Having said that, we fully understand that, aside from the notion that water is essential for healthy survival, you must be curious about its benefits for your adorable furry companions.

Therefore enlisted below are the common advantage of why your bunnies need to drink plenty of water: 

  • Water promotes good blood flow, which is essential for the proper functioning of various organs. 
  • Drinking enough water will drain away extra calcium from your rabbit’s body, reducing the production of urinary stones and other health problems.
  • It aids digestion and allows food to pass more efficiently for a healthy bowel movement. 

While this may drive you to scurry out and fill your pets’ water bowl, fret not, for rabbits are smart and know when to stay hydrated.

Having said that, let us explore the alignment between water consumption and the health of your four-legged companions (remember, all animals, whether wild or tamed, understand the need for water.

If you see your baby rabbits avoiding their water bottle, consult your veterinarian right away). 

Therefore to put it simply, Pet rabbits are sensitive animals, and going a whole day, that is, 24 hours without drinking water or any other healthy beverage, is harmful to almost all rabbits, regardless of breed.

The inability to drink anything at all can result in the complete and absolute breakdown of essential organs.

As pet parents who deeply adore their beloved bunnies, you should not be reluctant to intervene when you notice the first signs of dehydration in them, especially during the warm months.

What happens if rabbits don’t drink water?

The most serious concern if your rabbit isn’t drinking water is dehydration. Other problems will follow suit. If your rabbit does not drink enough water, it will have difficulty urinating and defecating, resulting in obstructions.

This will quickly lead to a fatal condition. Besides this, vital organ systems such as the circulatory system, digestion, etc., are also affected.

Furthermore, deficiency of adequate amounts of water is known to contribute to urinary issues, including bladder stones. Therefore, water consumption is absolutely important for your pet rabbit. 

Why Is My Rabbit Not Drinking Water?

How Long Can Rabbits Go Without Drinking Water?

A pet rabbit may refuse to consume water for a variety of reasons, ranging from medical to psychological. Among these causes are:

  • Wrong temperature: The temperature of the water is inaccurate. A rabbit prefers water that is somewhat warmer than the surrounding temperature. Your pet rabbit may refuse water that is too hot or cold.
  • Other sources: Your fur buddy has possibly deduced an additional water supply. Your pet may obtain its water from somewhere else. It may have discovered a leaking pipe or tap inside your home, and therefore adhering to its new source may reject their initial water bowl or bottle. 
  • Unwanted taste or smell: The water has an unusual odor or taste. The pet rabbits are picky creatures. They will be hesitant to consume water if it tastes or smells unusual. So, while giving your pet water, simply dump the water bottle or dish and refill it. Clean routinely. 
  • Your pet is unwell. A rabbit may avoid drinking and eating due to a variety of health issues.
  • Hydration from food: hydration acquired from their nutritional diet may also contribute to your pet rabbit not drinking the water. Do you give your pet more leafy vegetables? If this is the case, your pet rabbit may tend to avoid water consumption occasionally. However, it is advised to keep a double-check; water from food is not sufficient for healthy Maintainance. 
  • In light of pain due to a toothache: Your pet’s teeth are extremely sensitive. As a result, if the rabbit has a toothache, it will refuse to eat because drinking and eating will aggravate the ailment. Take your pet to a veterinarian right away for prompt care and treatment.
  • The water container is unclean: You should clean out the bowl or bottle on a regular basis. If the water is contaminated, your rabbit will refuse its consumption. 

A rabbit who refuses to drink is unusual behavior. Something is definitely wrong. Even if your pet is merely being temperamental, you must take the problem seriously. Remember that a rabbit might be headstrong, which can put it in danger.

Why Do Rabbits Need Water?

In case you are wondering, Why Do Rabbits Need Water? Well, in general, the body requires water to function. Water accounts for roughly two-thirds of a rabbit’s body weight (about 73 percent water).

Rabbits require water for the same reasons as humans, and other mammals do. It aids the rabbit’s digestion by absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste.

Rabbit drinking water

It also contributes to the rabbit’s body temperature remaining within a normal range (102 °F to 103 °F). Furthermore, lubricating and cushioning joints are also facilitated by water consumption. 

However, because water loss in rabbit’s water is regular – in its waste, breath, and perspiration – its body must take in water often in adequate amounts to replenish what it lost and to generate new tissue, and maintain the plasma content of the blood. 

Rabbits can get their water from one of three places: the provided drinking water, food materials (even the driest food has some water in it), and its body (commonly known as “metabolic water,” which is a byproduct of chemical processes in the rabbit’s body.

Only a small portion of the water rabbits require is provided by metabolic water and water in dry meals.). However, the majority of the rabbit’s water must come from drinking water. In reality, your pet rabbits will die from a lack of water much sooner than from a lack of food.

Simply put, they can lose up to half of their body protein and virtually all of their body fat and yet survive. However, even a loss of 10% of their body water can be lethal.

how long can rabbits go without food and water?

A rabbit can survive for around 3-4 days without food before dying. Whereas going an entire day (24 hours) without drinking water or any other nutritious fluid is harmful to almost all rabbits.

Rabbit in cage

However, for healthy living and proper digestive functioning, rabbits, being grazers, need constant food consumption. If a rabbit does not consume for more than 12 hours, the pH level in its digestive system may fluctuate, resulting in excruciating gas.

They can also develop severe GI Stasis and die within 12 to 24 hours of not eating. On the other hand, not drinking anything at all can result in complete and total organ failure.

As a result, if you notice your rabbit isn’t eating or drinking frequently, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Furthermore, keep in mind that your rabbit’s age, size, and health may also contribute to how long they can go without food and water before contracting harm. A healthy adult rabbit may be able to last three or four days without meals.

The baby rabbits, or senior underweight rabbits, on the other hand, may only live for about 12 hours. Having said that, Going a whole day without drinking water is hazardous to almost all rabbits, regardless of age or size. 

To be safe, work on the principle that your rabbit can’t spend more than 12 hours without food and a maximum of 24 hours without water.

How To Encourage My Rabbit To Drink Water?

The majority of pet rabbits can regulate their own water consumption without the need for human intervention. They will drink when thirsty, as well as acquire some water from their daily diet (leafy vegetables contain lots of water).

Animal, Bunny, Close Up, Cute, Pet, Rabbit, Whiskers

However, you may often come across a rabbit who is a trifle fussy. They will not consume enough and will likely contract diseases as a result of low water consumption. The good news is you can always intervene and encourage your rabbit to drink more water.

Staying hydrated helps to keep your rabbit’s system operating properly, which helps to prevent ailments like GI Stasis and bladder sludge. Enlisted below are several methods you can take to encourage your rabbit to drink more:

  • Provide your rabbit with a bowl and a bottle: Because a bowl is a more natural approach for rabbits to drink, giving your rabbit a bowl instead of a bottle promotes better hydration. What’s more, for better implications, provide your pet rabbit with a bowl as well as a bottle. This will expose your rabbit to different options of water ingestion. If your rabbit has a habit of flipping over their food and water bowls, it is advisable to provide them with sturdy ceramic dishes. You might also look for pet bowls that clip to the edge of the enclosure to keep your rabbit from moving them. Furthermore, don’t forget to clean all water dishes and bottles on a regular basis, particularly to prevent propagating pathogens. Remember to offer them fresh water on a daily basis. 
  • Leafy greens: As leafy vegetables supply some hydration, the more you feed them, the better off they are at remaining hydrated. Always wash your greens and serve them moist.
  • Supply fresh water to your pet rabbit several times a day. Rather than refreshing your rabbit’s water bowl once a day or only when they run out of water, try replenishing it several times throughout the day. This keeps the rabbit from assuming the water has gone stale and allows them to drink throughout the day. If you observe your rabbit drinking heavily shortly after you offer them new water, this could be the trick to perfect encouragement. 
  • Consider using filtered or bottled water. While tap water is okay for rabbits to drink as long as it is also safe for human ingestion, some pet parents may be reluctant to give it a try. In fact, it could also include high levels of hazardous substances, such as lead or other chemicals detrimental to your furry pet. It would help if you tried filtering your tap water before giving it to your rabbit. Alternatively, you can indulge your bunny by always providing bottled water. 
  • Providing the appropriate temperature. In general, rabbits appreciate water that is at normal temperature. Water that is too warm or cold can be an issue for rabbits, and they tend to avoid water consumption in these circumstances.
  • Fill the water bowl with fragrant herbs. Adding strong-flavored herbs to the water bowl, such as basil or mint, can encourage your rabbit to drink more water. The herbs will not only flavor the water and make it more delicious to your rabbit, but they will also be fishing the leaves out of the water bowl and inevitably drinking water along with it.

How much water Do Rabbits require every day?

  • The amount of water used by a rabbit is determined by a number of parameters. However, a rough estimation is that a rabbit must drink at least 10% of its body weight in water.
  • A rabbit’s water consumption is also affected by the season. On a hot day, rabbits will drink more water, but they will consume comparatively less water on a cold winter day.
  • Furthermore, a rabbit’s water consumption varies according to its size. When compared to baby rabbits, the adult pet rabbit will drink more water. On the other hand, if a newborn rabbit is more active and playful than an adult rabbit, the baby rabbit will be thirsty more frequently. As a result, the infant rabbit will drink more water.
  • A rabbit’s diet also influences how much water it consumes. If your pet rabbit is constantly fed hay and dry grass, it will drink more water to stay hydrated. Some rabbits eat hay and leafy vegetables as part of a balanced diet. They consume less water because they get enough moisture from the vegetables.
  • We can’t precisely determine how much water a rabbit prefers to drink. Every rabbit is different, and as a pet parent, you must keep an eye on whether or not your bunnies are properly hydrated. You don’t need to pressure your rabbits into drinking more water. Rabbits will ingest as much as they need to stay healthy. You merely need to make sure that your pet rabbits have access to fresh water at all times.

What happens to a rabbit’s health if it doesn’t drink water?

Rabbits require water to survive. Water benefits a rabbit’s health in a variety of ways. If a rabbit becomes dehydrated, its organs will fail to function properly, resulting in the rabbit’s death. 

Water allows blood to flow freely and keeps the rabbit’s organs functioning properly.  

In the rabbit’s circulation, a sufficient amount of water also washes out extra calcium, preventing rabbit bladder stones.  

The digestive system of a hydrated rabbit is unaffected. Water promotes a healthy digestive tract in rabbits.

If a rabbit’s digestive system is not functioning properly, it will face difficulties defecating, resulting in a blockage. A blockage is a serious illness that must be treated immediately by a veterinarian, or the rabbit will die.

Is it possible for a rabbit to starve itself?

Rabbits are grazing mammals. If any underlying disorder does not impact them, they will not intentionally starve themselves. However, if a rabbit goes more than 12 hours without consuming, it may develop GI stasis.

Therefore, if you’re trying to change your rabbit’s food and it’s resisting, consider compromising to avoid detrimental impact on your fur-buddies health. 

Whatever your bunny is avoiding, try mixing it with things it does appreciate or a variety of rabbit-safe options if you don’t know what it prefers yet. Encourage your rabbit to adjust to the new diet before making it its primary source of sustenance.

If you’re having difficulties getting your rabbit to eat and don’t know what to do, contact your veterinarian.

It is possible that your rabbit is suffering from other health complications, such as a tooth problem, bloating, or additional stress and pain-causing woes if it is suddenly shunning meals it previously liked.

How can you tell if a rabbit is dehydrated?

One of the prominent issues for rabbit owners is that their pets are not getting enough water and may become dehydrated. But how to tell, what are the indications? Well, there are a few red flags to look out for. Here are a few examples:

  • Dehydration causes wrinkled skin. Dehydration can be tested by carefully lifting a little amount of skin from the back of your rabbit’s neck. If the skin remains in place for a few seconds, it is a solid indication that your rabbit is dehydrated.
  • Dark and foul-smelling urine: Similar to humans, dark urine in rabbits is an obvious symptom of dehydration. The odor of regular and black urine is the major distinguishing parameter between the two. Dehydration causes dark urine to become prominent smelling as it possesses higher levels of ammonia odor.
  • Fever: Fever with dehydration is a significant problem that should be evaluated by a veterinarian. If your rabbit’s body temperature appears to be higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, they are at considerable risk.
  • Dehydration may cause lethargy and disorientation in your pet rabbit. Your furry companion will possibly become clumsy or uncomfortable.
  • A loss of appetite is another common symptom of dehydration. Your rabbit’s body will not perform optimally if it is not consuming the required water content. They will soon quit eating as well, which contributes to the danger.

How to rehydrate a rabbit?

Rehydrating your rabbit is vital, so seek the assistance of a veterinarian. Don’t just hand over a giant bowl of water and expect your job to be done. Even if your pet drinks this water, it will not solve the problem. Rehydration must be a gradual and consistent process. 

Syringe feeding and intravenous fluids are the most effective treatments. Obtain a syringe at a pet store if you want to experiment with syringe feeding. Place the needle in the corner of your rabbit’s mouth and fill it with water. Water should be released in short, controlled spurts. Allow your pet to swallow and relax in between drinks. 

Take your rabbit to the vet if it continues to be reluctant to drink or cannot swallow. Your pet will require intravenous fluids. By this point, the situation will be critical, so make sure your furry companion obtains immediate veterinary supervision. 

how long can rabbits go without water in the cold?

You will notice that your rabbit consumes comparatively less water throughout the winter months. This is completely normal and causes no serious concern. However, the same is applicable and safe as long as it is still consuming some amount of water. 

However, during the winter, the 24-hour regulation remains in place. Even when it’s freezing outside, rabbits require a definite water intake. Their thick fur coat keeps them warm, but their bodies still require water to function.

Without it, your pet will become dehydrated. The blood and internal organs of a rabbit do not monitor the temperature. As a result, in order to be healthy, your pet needs constant water consumption, even in colder climates, irrespective of the amount. 

how long can wild rabbits go without water?

As previously stated, the quick answer to this question lies in the application of the 24-hour rule; your pet rabbit cannot go more than 24 hours without drinking water. When the temperature is exceptionally hot, this time range is drastically reduced.

Conceptually, there is no limit to how much water you can offer your furry companions; similarly, the necessity of water for your pet rabbits cannot be emphasized. Without it, your furry friend will very certainly perish from dehydration. 

Furthermore, there is a significant difference between consuming ‘no water’ and ingesting ‘some water’ by your rabbits. This 24-hour period is related to a rabbit not drinking any water at all.

A pet rabbit who drinks small amounts of water, but not necessarily enough, is not the same as one who does not drink any water at all, and it is also not as instantly perilous.

In assertion, if your rabbits do not drink water at all, the situation must be investigated and remedied. Dehydration will occur solely if the rabbits do not have adequate water.

Determine the cause of your pet’s reluctance to drink water and correct it; else, the rabbit will grow sickly and die from dehydration.


Therefore on concluding terms, we understand that the direct answer to how long can rabbits go without water is not beyond the span of 24 hours. This should be avoided as well because water is a fundamental necessity for the healthy survival of your beloved pet rabbits.

Remember, If your pet rabbit does not drink enough water, they are in danger of being dehydrated, which might lead to serious health problems. Keep an eye on your pet’s water intake to ensure that they are getting enough fluids. If this is a recurring concern, you should consult a veterinarian about your pet’s health as soon as possible.


How often do rabbits need water?

A standard cup of water each day is more than sufficient to keep rabbits healthy. However, Pour it more than once. For your rabbit’s safety, its water supply should be topped up and changed on a regular basis. You’ll also notice that all of the water bottles and bowls are bigger than 180ml.

Can rabbits drink cold water?

On a hot day, when the temperature rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, rabbits prefer cold water. When the weather is cold, they like tepid or warm (not hot) water. If you don’t water your rabbits frequently enough on colder days, they may consume too much very cold water at once.

Can a Bunny Drink Tap Water?

Yes, if the provided tap water is safe for human consumption, rabbits can drink it as well. However, in some regions, tap water might have a strong odor of the chemicals used to keep microorganisms at bay, particularly chlorine. Some rabbits may find this repulsive. In general, it is advised to introduce your pet rabbit to a safer source of water. 

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!