Rabbits don’t need to have 24/7 access to food (in fact, that’s not even good for them!) but they should have constant access to good, clean water. Since water bottles can drip and be difficult to fill, many people turn to bowls or dishes – commonly called crocks– as simple ways to offer rabbits water.
But some rabbit dishes are definitely better choices than others. It sounds like a simple task to pick out a water dish, but you might be surprised at how much there is to consider.
It can’t just be a crock – it’s gotta be fantastic
The description of a good rabbit water crock can sound like the description of a super hero. It’s gotta be spill-poof, freeze-resistant, resilient if dropped, sanitary, washable, the right size, and made of safe and sturdy material.
Being Spill-proof is one of the most important features of a good crock. Rabbits seem to delight in tipping over their dishes if that’s at all possible. They can tip surprisingly heavy crocks – so just weight isn’t enough. The bowl has to actually attach to the side of the cage if it’s to be entirely spill proof. Thankfully, rabbit cage dealers know all about this and have developed some great solutions like the EZ-crock and the Quick-Lock Crock from PremiumRabbits.com
Freeze Resistance is another important qualification if you keep your rabbits outside. Rabbits can live in freezing weather just fine, but their ceramic crocks are much more likely to break when the weather gets cold. If you’re going to be using crocks outside in the winter, you’ll want to use hard plastic or metal dishes that you can easily bring inside to thaw. (Check out the Galvanized Coop Cup if you need a metal dish for occasional use.)
When buying any rabbit equipment, always consider sanitation. Can the crock you’re looking at be wiped out daily with a clean cloth to keep it fresh? Does it have any rough edges or deep corners that could hold dirt or algae? Is it dishwasher-safe? Not everyone will want to run their rabbit dishes through the dishwasher, but if that’s cool with you, the plastic dishes from PremiumRabbits.com are completely dishwasher-safe!
What size water bowl should my rabbit have?
The final consideration is size. Even when you pick out a style of water crock you like, it will probably be available in more than one size. A 10-ounce dish will hold all the food or water that a single average-size rabbit needs in a day, and a larger dish will just collect debris. But if you have a giant bunny, or two rabbits living together in a cage, you might want to jump up to the 20-ounce size. Smaller dishes, such as the 4-ounce Lixit Cup, are too small to provide your rabbit’s sole water supply, but are super handy to keep around for offering treats or supplements.
But what about does with litters? You might think that female rabbits and their litter of growing babies should have big dishes, but that’s not always the case. Baby rabbits can drown in large water bowls, and will climb in and soil large food dishes. So you’re actually better off using more smaller dishes with a doe and her babies.