Bottles and crocks are the most common methods for dispensing water to rabbits. Which is best for your Bun?
Crocks (sturdy ceramic bowls) need to be cleaned frequently. All sorts of things land in water bowls from food pellets to timothy hay and poo balls. Rabbits are also quite good at knocking their bowls over and splashing through them during rambunctious play sessions, leaving their bedding a soggy mess.
For these reasons, water bottles are normally the water source of choice. Fresh water that cannot be contaminated is a very good thing. There are a couple of less-than-ideal aspects to using a water bottle of which new rabbit owners should be aware.
1. They can leak if not filled completely or hung properly.
2. An accurate water level can be difficult to see on certain bottles. Sometimes a bottle that appears to be full is actually empty.
It is vitally important to fill the bottle daily and check it for leaks after hanging. This is easy to do. Simply give the ball in the drinking straw end a few taps to make certain it forms a seal. If it continues to drip, you may need to tilt the bottle at a slight angle to help it form a seal, rather than hanging it in a perfectly vertical position.
A standard sized water bottle will hold 32 ounces, although 64 ounce bottles are also becoming more common, and would be well-suited for large or quirky rabbits. We have a Bun who enjoys pushing on the ball in the nozzle with her nose and then quickly sticks her head under the tube to try to catch the drips on her head. That's yet another reason why her name is Batty. She goes through a lot of water. :)
The plastic bottles themselves come in two varieties: standard mouths and wide mouth openings. The wide mouth bottles come in handy during the hot summer months. Ice cubes can easily be added to help keep the water colder and more refreshing which, in turn, keeps your Bun happy and well-hydrated.
Daily water changes are imperative, no matter which water source you choose.
We do want to add that drinking from a water bowl/crock is a more natural option for your pet bunny and they tend to prefer to use one when available. Unless you need to strictly monitor your rabbit's water intake for health reasons. or if your pet has a tendency of spilling/contaminating the contents of its water bowl when you aren't available to refill it throughout the day, a water crock will, in most cases, be more acceptable to your bunny.
Please contact us if you have any questions about providing water for your Bun.