Are you a rabbit owner? That’s great! Rabbits are undoubtedly fantastic companions, and being calm and quiet, people love to adopt them as their pets. But do you know what the exact process of their water intake is? How should we be watering pygmy rabbits for best health?
Generally, pygmy rabbits have a complex digestive system, and for this, sufficient water intake is a must. Bear in mind, that severe health hazards, including kidney failure, sudden death, etc., may happen due to dehydration. So keeping your bunnies hydrated is much more important than anything else.
Water Requirements For Pygmy Rabbit: A Comparative Study
Our ears are piercing with a question – do rabbits drink water? Hmm, the answer is – Yes. Surprisingly, rabbits drink more water in comparison to other similar species. But their requirements may vary from one to another because of some biological factors, for example – age, temperature, food habits, physical condition, and so on.
Naturally, a breastfeeding rabbit needs less water than an adult one as it gets a good amount of water through its mother’s milk. On the other hand, an adult drinks more water because of its larger body and physical demands.
Weather and temperature go hand in hand. When the weather is cold, a rabbit drinks less water because it discharges less by sweating due to cool temperatures.
Rabbits trained to take dry foods require much more water to drink because rabbits hardly get any water from the food sources they usually eat. The fresh food eaters need less water as the food sources have sufficient water content compared to a dry pellet diet.
Similarly, water consumption varies depending on the physical condition of your pygmy rabbits. Usually, a rabbit with a higher weight requires more water than one which has less weight. Again, a breastfeeding or pregnant rabbit drinks more than a regular one. So it’s tough to state precisely how much water rabbits drink in a day.
Our General Estimation of Water Requirements
We have to consider that your pygmy rabbits always need water. It means that you must arrange water for them to drink whenever they need it. Surprisingly, there is no actual time of their drinking as they have been witnessed frequently drinking throughout the day. However, here is a possible chart of how much water your pygmy rabbit may need daily:
- A breastfeeding rabbit: We have stated earlier that a breastfeeding rabbit requires less water as it gets some through the mother’s milk. So, it may drink between 50 to 100 ml per day.
- A bunny: Generally, the rabbit kid who has just left breastfeeding is regarded as a bunny. As it doesn’t get water through the mother’s milk, it may drink between 100 to 300 ml daily.
- An adult rabbit: Naturally, an adult rabbit consumes more water than a bunny because of its physical condition and weight. So it may need between 100 to 600 ml in a day.
- A pregnant and a mother rabbit: As you know, a pregnant and mother rabbit require extra water for their would-be and newly born baby, respectively; they may need more water than an adult one.
People who live in hot areas have to be much more careful than those who don’t because, in this condition, rabbits generally become dehydrated quickly. Be careful! Dehydration may lead to severe health hazards, including unexpected death.
Kinds of Water: Tap, Filtered, Mineral, or Rainwater?
Most rabbit owners worry about what type of water they should provide to their pets. Is it tap, filtered, mineral, or rainwater?
- Tap water: Most people argue that tap water in the USA is fresh and safe. As it contains all the essential minerals, you need not worry about adding vitamins or minerals. But some people talk about lead, nitrate, chlorine, and bacteria that may be in tap water. Yes, there are possibilities, and you cannot deny them because the water pipes may get old or leak, and pollutants get mixed with them. However, in general, tap water is typically safe.
- Filtered water: Filtered water can be a good option for those who cannot rely on direct tap water. It’s an easy way to eliminate contaminants from water.
- Mineral Water: Mineral water means bottled water found in the market with multiple brand names. This one is a bit expensive. Also, you will have special water full of nutrients provided by some pet stores. As they are unnatural, we don’t like to recommend them.
- Rainwater: Rainwater can be a good option if you collect it properly and systematically. But there may be a chance to mix dirt with it; in that case, you can use a filter to make it pure. Rainwater may also contain unwanted pollutants.
Remember, you must be careful about the water’s temperature level you will serve your pygmy rabbit. Avoid too cold or hot water because it may cause adverse health effects to your lovely pet. Water at room temperature is perfect.
Kind Of Pots You Should Use As A Water Dish
It’s a million-dollar question of whether you should use a bowl or a bottle while giving water to your pygmy rabbit. Let’s take a look at some of the available types and styles.
When rabbits stay in forests, they usually drink water from ponds, canals, or streams. The type of bowl is essential for a couple of reasons. First, a lightweight bowl can be dumped and tossed by an unruly rabbit in a mood. Even a playful rabbit will flip their water for fun, so a heavy water dish is best. The second reason to consider the material type is that rabbits tend to chew on things. A chewing rabbit can quickly destroy a soft plastic not intended for chewing, and the plastic could potentially harm or even kill the rabbit. So, strong materials that can withstand chewing are essential to consider.
Consequently, the bed they use to sleep in will get damaged because of water. In this regard, a ceramic water dish can be an ideal option for you. Another technique you can apply; tie the pot tightly with the cage using a stainless steel wire, or you can buy an attachable bowl that you can install directly fastened to the cage. Now, your pet will find it tougher to move or push or flip.
- Downside: Firstly, dirt or other pollutants may get mixed with the bowl water. Secondly, your pet may turn it into a game to watch you change the water more than once a day.
The bottle is another option people use for their rabbits. They argue that their pets cannot get moldy water from this source, and one doesn’t need to check as frequently whether the water is contaminated.
The bottle keeps water at room temperature. The bottle is equipped with a special pipe, and your pet can easily suck water from the source whenever it wants. The most important thing is that water cannot fall from it and damage the bedding material, making a gross mess.
- Downside: Pet owners find it difficult to clean the pot, and there are possibilities to grow algae and bacteria in the bottle.
We have already stated the advantages and disadvantages of using both bowl and bottle. Now you can make your decision which one you should use. But if you ask me personally, I would recommend you use both of them. You can place a bowl and a bottle nearby simultaneously, and the method will work better when you have more than one rabbit because the water will not run out soon, and the pets will not make a crowd during the drinking session. Moreover, they will become accustomed to drinking from two options.
How To Keep Water Pots Clean
You must ensure freshwater supply all the time. It will keep your pets away from many waterborne diseases. That is why it’s essential to keep the water dish clean. Here is a simple process to consider.
- Just take some hot water.
- Use a mild detergent. Be careful! Avoid harsh or scented soaps because they may leave a residue or smell in the water harmful to the rabbit.
- Use a soft brush or cloth and rub the pots gently.
- Remember the rule for washing hands – at least 15 seconds with the suds should do it.
- Rinse frequently with hot water and drip or towel dry if not using right away.
The Way Of Giving Water To Your Pygmy Rabbit
Now the most awaited time has come. It’s time to tell you about the most effective ways of giving water to your beloved pets. Listen, a rabbit’s digestive system is so complex, which is why there is no alternative way without providing them with constant foods and water.
Use Both Bowl and Bottle: Using both bottle and bowl will help your pygmy rabbits choose between the two. Sometimes, they may not always like to drink from a bowl and vice versa. Giving them options can be helpful and allow you to see the rabbit’s preference.
Use a syringe in case of emergency: It sometimes happens that your rabbit doesn’t want to drink water. In that case, you can use a syringe to keep it hydrated. Many people keep it at home for facing emergencies.
Give water and greens combined: It is mandatory to feed your rabbits as much water as possible if you want to maintain their health effectively. That is why applying some techniques can be helpful. One of them can be – mixing water and greens. How do you combine them? Simple, rinse the greens in cold water, but don’t dry them off; give them to the rabbit wet.
The downside to this is that you’ll need to hand-feed the rabbit with this method. You don’t want to leave wet leaves in the cage to turn soggy and moldy if the rabbit doesn’t eat them right away. The danger of the rabbits dragging wet leaves about the cage, as they are not always the neatest of eaters and don’t always keep their food in the dish where it belongs, so a mess is inevitable.
Water and unsweetened fruit juice: This mixture can help your rabbits gain balanced health. But remember, you can add only a few drops of juice with fresh water. Otherwise, it may cause harmful effects on the stomach if taken excessively. Pineapple, carrot, or apple juice can be ideal here.
Water and fragrant herbs: You can try various ways to encourage your bunnies to drink more water. Some drops of aromatic herbs along with water can meet the demand a bit. Strong flavor contained herbs like mint and basil can be a perfect example in this regard.
However, introduction in the smallest of quantities is essential to keeping your rabbit safe. If these methods deter the rabbit, go back to unadulterated water.
The Last Drink
If you fail to give water to your pygmy rabbit properly, it can suffer and die. Maintaining the exact temperature of the water is a crucial factor, but not as essential as fresh and clean water. Always avoid giving warm water. Of course, you can boil water, but don’t give it to the rabbits until it reaches room temperature, so you don’t burn your rabbit.
Usually, rabbits will determine their own best amount of water, ensuring it’s always fresh, clean, and readily available to your rabbit. Heavy dishes work best, ceramic and metal, both of which are unchewable. In combination with a water bottle that uses stainless steel tube and ball, you can have an effective and healthy means for your rabbit to access fresh water.
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