One of the commonest questions about rabbits is on whether they like water. Many of the people who pose this question want to know whether rabbits like being in water. But there are also those who want to know whether rabbits like to drink water. Read on, for answers.
Do rabbits like water? With regard to being in the water or getting wet, most rabbits dislike it. A few may enjoy playing in water, but most dislike it intensely. But with regard to drinking water, rabbits usually enjoy it. And it is something they need.
Sure, most rabbits have the ability to swim. But swimming is usually something they only do for survival purposes – not for fun. The advice that rabbit owners usually get is to ensure that they never immerse their bunnies in water.
Wetness can cause hypothermia, shock and a whole lot of other health problems for rabbits.
The only situation in which experts may recommend putting rabbits into water is in the course of hydrotherapy sessions. Hydrotherapy may be useful in the treatment of conditions like arthritis. But such exposure of rabbits to water is only under very special conditions.
Do Rabbits Like To Drink Water?
In answering the do rabbits like water question, perhaps a good place to start is by finding out whether rabbits like to drink water. After that, we can proceed to find out, do rabbits like to get in water? Or do rabbits hate water?
But first things first. Do rabbits like to drink water? The answer is ‘yes’ – as long as they are thirsty.
Rabbits are the sorts of animals that only need access to water – in a bowl or in a bottle. Then, depending on their thirst levels, they will figure out what to do with it.
Still, it is worth noting that there are situations in which rabbits may show some dislike for drinking water. For instance, if the water is too cold or too warm, rabbits may dislike it.
Similarly, if the water is too dirty, rabbits may dislike it. And if the water has an unnatural taste, rabbits will dislike it.
One may ask, when it comes to drinking water, do rabbits like water bottles or do they prefer water bowls? And the answer is that most of them seem to prefer lapping water from a bowl. It is more similar to how they access water in the wild.
Further, the question may come up, when it comes to drinking water, do rabbits like water fountains? And the answer is yes, most rabbits seem to like drinking from water fountains, whenever those are available.
All in all, do rabbits like water for drinking purposes? The answer is yes, they do – as long as they are thirsty. If they are not thirsty, or if the water is too hot, too cold, dirty or unnatural in taste, rabbits may show dislike for it.
Do Rabbits Like Baths?
Some of the people who pose the do rabbits like water question are folks who want to know whether they can give baths to their rabbits. So, do rabbits like water baths? The answer is no. Rabbits generally don’t like baths.
The main problem that rabbits have with baths is in the fact that the bath water gets their fur damp. And the nature of rabbit fur is such that it takes very long to dry. In the duration between the baths and fur drying, the rabbits have to endure a great deal of discomfort.
Moreover, the baths entail drastic temperature changes, which rabbits find very uncomfortable.
As a matter of facts, baths that entail full body immersion can end up killing or causing severe health problems for the bunnies.
Further still, the rabbits find the baths unnecessary. This is because, on account of their meticulous grooming habits, they are able to keep themselves clean. So the baths are, in most cases, superfluous to them.
Because rabbits don’t like baths, it is ideal not to subject them to the baths. Even if they happen to get too dirty, spot cleaning is usually preferable over baths.
Do Rabbits Like To Sit In Water?
Most rabbits dislike anything that gets them wet. But there are a few exceptions. There are some rabbits that show some affinity for water. They will play with it, and some may actually go as far as sitting in it. So this is where you may come to find your rabbit sitting in his water bowl!
Such cases – of rabbits that like to sit in water – are rare. They are the exception, rather than the rule.
So, do rabbits like water to play in? The answer, in most cases, is no. In fact, to take it further, do rabbits like to get in water? The answer is still no, for most of them.
You can tell whether your specific rabbit likes water by checking how he interacts with it. For instance, if the bunny usually recoils when you are giving him a wipe with a damp cloth (during spot cleaning sessions), then you know that he is water averse.
But if you find your rabbit playing with the water in his bowl on his own motion, then you know that he could be one of the few that like to play with water.
Do Some Rabbits Like Water?
So far, it is clear that rabbits generally dislike water. But there are rabbit owners who soon come to realize that their bunnies have some affinity for water.
These may, for instance, be the rabbits that play with the water in their bowls. This leads to the question on whether there may indeed be some rabbits that like water.
The truth of the matter is that there are some rare rabbits that like water. But those are the exception, rather than the rule.
The whole thing is akin to asking, do rabbits like watermelon, do rabbits like watermelon rind or do rabbits like watermelon plants? Or, to take it further, it is akin to asking, do rabbits like watercress? So you find that the answer in these cases is generally yes.
Most rabbits like watermelon and watermelon rind. But there are exceptions. There are some – a few – that hate watermelon intensely. In a similar manner, while most rabbits dislike water, there are exceptions – including a few rabbits that seem to deliberately get themselves wet.
Is Rain Bad For Rabbits?
Quite often, after the do rabbits like water question comes this one – on whether rain is bad for rabbits. In other words, the question is, do rabbits like rain?
As it turns out, rain is generally something that rabbits dislike. Moreover, rain water wetness has potential to harm rabbits. For one, the cold rain water can cause them hypothermia.
Secondly, after exposure to rain water, their fur absorbs a great deal of the water. The water doesn’t dry easily. So they have to put up with a very great deal of heavy and wet fur thereafter. And even when it dries, it has a tendency to matte, which is still uncomfortable.
Asking whether rabbits like rain is akin to asking, do rabbits like being sprayed with water? And the answer, in most cases, is a firm no.
For all these reasons, even in the wild, rabbits go to great lengths to find shelter when it starts to rain.
Is It OK For Rabbits To Get Wet?
The people who pose the does rabbits like water question will often also want to know whether it is okay for rabbits to get wet.
Here is the true position: that it is generally not okay for rabbits to get wet.
That is because, for one, the state of being wet is one that is very uncomfortable to the rabbits.
And secondly, wetness can induce various health problems in the rabbits – from shock to hypothermia.
Sure, there may be some rabbits that show an affinity for water: sometimes to the extent to starting to play with it, and getting wet in the process. But even for such bunnies, things like full body immersion in water can be very uncomfortable.
All in all, it is not entirely okay for rabbits to get wet. If you keep rabbits, you should endeavor to keep them as dry as possible. You should avoid getting them wet. And when they do happen to get wet, you should endeavor to get them dry urgently.
Can Rabbits Swim?
Alongside the do rabbits like water question usually comes this one, on whether rabbits can swim.
Perhaps a good place to start in answering it is by looking at what happens in the wild. Can wild rabbits swim? And the answer is yes. Wild rabbits often swim – usually when fleeing from predators and other dangers.
Theoretically, all rabbits, being lagomorphs, have the ability to swim. But it is something they do for survival, not for fun. In fact, the marsh rabbit (which is wild/not domestic) is the only one that seems to swim for fun.
Thus for rabbits swimming is a survival skill – not something they do for fun.
To understand that swimming is not something that rabbits do for fun, you only need to look closely at the available videos of rabbits swimming. Just look at how wide they are opening their eyes. Just look at how stiff they look. And just look at how they keep on trembling.
It becomes clear that when rabbits are swimming, they are automatically in flight mode, and definitely not having fun.
How Do You Keep A Rabbit Clean?
So far, it has become clear that rabbits don’t like water. The answer to the do rabbits like water question is mostly no. Whether one frames it as do pet rabbits like water or do wild rabbits like water, the answer is still generally no.
Even if we frame it as do bunny rabbits like water, the answer will still be generally no.
This being the case, a question arises as to how one can keep a rabbit clean: seeing that the rabbits generally don’t like water.
The answer is that, for the most part, a rabbit is able to keep itself clean. It has meticulous grooming habits, akin to those of a cat.
In the rare occasion that something is sticking on the rabbit, and you need to clean it, spot cleaning may be adequate.
So you should focus on spot cleaning. This you can do using a piece of cloth or pad of cotton, which you dip in mild soap. Then rinse (that spot only) with lukewarm water.
The latter bit, about using lukewarm water, is essential. If you ask most experts the question on do rabbits like cold water, they will tell you that the answer is a firm no. So you shouldn’t use cold water. Neither should you use hot water, which can scald the rabbit’s delicate skin.
So spot cleaning is okay. What you should never do, in the name of ‘cleaning’ your rabbit is submerging it in water.
How Do You Keep A Rabbit Cool?
Now that it is clear that rabbits dislike water, another question arises: on how to keep a rabbit cool.
The answer is that you can keep a rabbit cool by providing it with plenty of shade in its cage. You can also keep a rabbit cool by providing it with fruits that you freeze in your fridge. Such include carrots, which tend to freeze very well.
You can also get the rabbit to benefit from your air conditioning system, if you have one.
What you should never do is submerge your rabbit in water in the name of ‘cooling’ it.
Rabbit Got Wet – What To Do?
If your rabbit got wet, your first priority should be to dry it up.
One way in which you can dry the rabbit is by using a towel. You just need to ensure that you are as gentle as possible. Use the towel to remove as much of the moisture from the rabbit’s fur as possible.
Another approach you can use is that of deploying a hair drier. Just ensure that you use a low to medium setting, and that you keep the device some distance away from the rabbit’s body.
If it was a case of drowning, you may need to take the rabbit to a vet. That is because water may have gotten into the rabbit’s lungs. Or shock may have set it. So it may be best to consult a vet, especially if it is a bad drowning incident.
But if it is just a case of getting damp, a towel and/or hairdryer may do the trick.
Final Verdict – Do Rabbits Like Water
Rabbits generally don’t like water. Being wet can be a rather uncomfortable sensation for them: especially seeing that they usually have temperature regulation challenges. Moreover, being wet can induce various health problems in them – including hypothermia and shock.
There are a few rabbits that like water. But even for those, whole body immersion will never be proper.
There are ways in which you can cool a rabbit without using water. And where you really have to clean a rabbit (like where its self-grooming seems inadequate), your focus should be on spot cleaning, rather than immersing the rabbit in water.
All in all, rabbits mostly don’t like water – unless it is drinking water. Read the rabbit water intake research if you want to know more.