All mammals need to stay hydrated – it’s the same with your rabbit. If you want your fluffy little pal to stay happy and healthy, you need to ensure that they always have a fresh supply of water to drink. Of course, this can sometimes be a challenge during the winter months if your rabbit is outdoors.
Their water bottle may freeze in the cold weather, and this can mean that your rabbit cannot drink from their bottle. This can be real bad news.
You don’t need to panic, however. There are things that you can do in order to make sure that your rabbit’s water bottle doesn’t freeze. Read on for our tips!
Switch Out The Bottles
If you want to take the easiest route, the best thing to do is to keep some thawed water bottles on standby. This means making sure that there’s a water bottle stored indoors of your house at every single moment, as the water won’t freeze when it’s at room temperature.
As the temperature starts to drop, all you need to do is switch the frozen bottle for the one that you have kept inside at room temperature. Keep swapping them out whenever the outdoor bottle is freezing again. In theory you could just bring the bottle inside of the house to thaw, but your rabbit should not be going for longer than 8 hours without having water to drink.
If you need to replace the bottle then it’s a good idea to warm it up a little in the house before you put it back outside. It can stop it from freezing as soon as you put it outside, and it’s good for keeping your rabbit warm!
This is certainly the best way to make sure that your rabbit has a constant water supply if you only have one rabbit. Of course, if you have a number of rabbits then the process can take a lot more time and will likely be more complicated for you.
Insulate the Bottle
How do we stay warm in our homes? That’s right – insulation. Insulation is important for keeping things warm, and the same can be said for your rabbit’s water bottle. The insulate can keep the water away from the cold air so that it won’t freeze. You can actually make an insulator for your rabbit’s bottle – all you need is a couple of objects that you most likely already have around your home.
All you need to do is grab a thermal sock and a little bit of bubble wrap. Ideally the sock should be thick and woolen. Then, wrap the bubble wrap around the bottle of water and proceed to add the sock around that. You should then have a well insulated bottle for your rabbit!
Is The Spout Right?
It’s a good idea to check what kind of spout you have on the water bottle too, since this can influence whether the water remains unfrozen. You can get two main spouts – a metal spout with a ball, and a sippy spout.
The metal ball design is very common, but it can freeze in place during the winter months which is not good. The sippy spout is more useful as the water generally only freezes from the top so the bottom is still providing your rabbit with water to drink.
Eventually the water will still freeze over time when it’s very cold, but the process is slowed down so you aren’t going to need to replace the bottle every five minutes.
Get a Heated Water Bottle
If you aren’t bothered about spending a little bit of extra money, it’s definitely worthwhile to invest in a heated water bottle. These bottles usually have heaters built in and you can plug them into electricity. You can check how hot they are by looking at the built-in thermostat too.
This can be a fantastic choice for some people, but it’s worth noting that it isn’t always the most reliable option to use. The features built into the bottle can sometimes break after not a lot of use.
The exposed wires can also be very dangerous too as your rabbit may try to chew them. Not only that, but heated water bottles can cost quite a bit of money too, so it may not be the perfect choice if you own a lot of rabbits.
Keep Their Shelter Warm
It’s always best to take preventative measures to stop your rabbit’s water bottle from freezing. As such, making sure that their shelter is warm can be a great way to stop the water bottle from freezing over.
There are a number of ways that you can keep the shelter warm. You can put an insulator on the top of the hutch, such as some thick betting or a tarpaulin. Make sure that there’s a small gap in it so that the air can still get into the hutch.
On the bottom of the hutch, ensure that there’s some straw. It’s great as bedding, food and will also trap heat inside of the hutch.
Unfreezing the Water
If your rabbit’s water is already frozen, there are a couple of things that you can do to unfreeze it. For starters, you could heat up the water. It’s also possible to do something called clunking. With this, you need to grab a hammer and smash the ice that’s inside of the bottle. This may not be the best choice if the bottle is fragile though.
These are just a few things that you can do in order to stop your rabbit’s water bottle from freezing. These methods are fairly simple, and help to ensure that your rabbit always has a freshwater source, even when it’s cold outside!