Making sure your rabbit has a constant supply of water is one of those basic requirements pet owners need to get right. A rabbit water bottle is a popular and less messy way of making sure your rabbit can drink water as and when it needs to. This Loving Your Pet guide will help you choose the right bottle for your bunny.
Lets start with the facts...errrrr?
When it comes to a domestic or pet rabbit's drinking habits, there are no facts. That's because it varies so much. Your rabbit's diet will largely dictate how much water it drinks - rabbits on a fresh food diet drinking perhaps only half as much as a rabbit eating dry food.
What to look for when you're choosing your rabbit's water bottle
Rabbit water bottle sizes vary; the larger models holding up to between five and six hundred millilitres. Spout designs can also vary from the more familiar reach spout to the newer non drip 'sippy' spout - both working on a simple stop valve system.
It's important that the bottle is translucent and not opaque so that you can easily keep a check on the water level inside; this should be checked at least once a day and preferably twice during the hotter, summer months.
Rabbit owners with outside hutches, should also be extra vigilant during the winter time, to make sure the water or valve hasn't frozen up. Thermo bottle covers or snugs, are one way of combating this.
Where to attach your rabbit water bottle
Rabbit water bottles are commonly attached on the outside of the hutch, with the spout pointing inwards through the mesh at a comfortable height. Bottles attached on the inside of the hutch are liable to be chewed.
Most rabbit owners secure their rabbit water bottle with wiring, which although secure, can make removing the bottle fiddly. For this reason, there are other attachment devices available, some of which work on springs for easy removal.
Remember to keep your rabbit's drinking bottle clean. This can be done by using a bottle brush or even sterilizing tablets. If you are having persistent problems with algae growth inside the rabbit water bottle, you might consider buying a bottle cover to deny algae the light it needs to grow. You need to be extra vigilant when using any kind of cover, making sure the bottle isn't empty underneath.
What if your bunny gives it the hop?
Some rabbits just can't get comfortable with drinking from a water bottle and won't go near the spout - despite the owner's best efforts. Under these circumstances, other options can be explored, namely a water bowl. Introducing your rabbit to a water bottle from a young age is one way of reducing drinking anxiety.