Image of a water spray bottle and rabbits. The caption reads "Can you spray rabbits with water."

Yes, you can spray rabbits with water as a disciplinary action and to help them cool off. Spraying rabbits with water as a disciplinary tool works for some rabbits and has no impact on others. If you are trying help your rabbit cool off it is best to mist their ears with water since their ears act as radiators.

Can you spray rabbits with water?

Yes, you can spray your rabbit with water in order to discipline them or to help them cool off. It is not recommended that you drench your rabbit; one spritz of water will get their attention just fine, there’s no need to do it more than once at a time. If you are trying to cool them down the go for the ears.

Rabbits do not enjoy being wet and will not like the spritz of water so it should never be done as something for fun, but instead used as a teaching tool, to cool off, used to reprimand your rabbit for naughty behavior or used for bunny bonding.

Why would I spray my rabbit with water?

There are several reasons you may want to spray your rabbit with water.


This method is used as an effective tool to discipline your rabbit; it is also quite effective during bunny bonding. If you have a naughty rabbit that enjoys chewing on things that he shouldn’t be chewing on, digging, or ripping up carpet then you may find giving him or her a spritz of water as an effective method to stop this behavior.

My current pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny, rarely chews on anything and if he does, we do not usually catch him before the damage is done. He does enjoy digging and ripping up the carpet from time to time but we just simply clap our hands or get up and pat his butt and he will stop his current behavior and move along to a new activity.

I have tried spraying other rabbits I have had in the past and found in mostly ineffective to be honest. I do know other pet rabbit owners that swear by this method.

Bunny Bonding

The act of bunny bonding is when you are taking two rabbits and attempt to make them friends, basically you keep them together, ensuring to keep a close eye on them and let them get to know each other. They will fight at first and this is when the spray bottle will come in handy.

Spraying your rabbit with water is also an effective method to use during bunny bonding; if the bunnies start to fight or nip at each other you can spray the instigator with water. They will learn this behavior gets them sprayed, and they do not like to be wet so it will eventually stop this behavior. It also stops them from their current naughty behavior and sends them into immediate grooming mode to get the water off themselves.

Cooling Off

Rabbits have a unique way that they cool them selves down. They do not sweat and do not pant like many other animals. It is all in the ears. When a rabbit becomes hot it allows blood to flow through their ear and this allows heat to escape since their ears are thin, stand up into the air and have less fur on them than the rest of their body.

If your rabbit is to hot you can help him or her cool off by spraying their ears with a mist of water. This will speed up the cooling effect of the blood traveling through the ears.

Why do not rabbits like to be sprayed?

Rabbits don’t like to be wet, at all, in any form. That is the short answer but when it comes to a spraying them with a spray bottle it is also the unexpected experience.

One minute they are doing their enjoyable naughty behavior and the next they are sprinkled with the enemy: water. They hate the feel of being wet so once the initial shock of being sprayed has worn off then they typically go into grooming mode to get the water pellets off their fur.

This is why we recommend you don’t spray them often; it genuinely makes them uncomfortable so to do it all the time would be cruel. You should only spray them when necessary and more than one spray is not necessary. I assure you one spritz of water will do the trick.

If you have realized you have quite the naughty rabbit and you find yourself spraying them with water more than 4 times a day then maybe it is time to seek out an alternative method to correct their behavior as opposed to hosing them down all day.

Alternative discipline

You can try clapping, a quick pat on the butt, whistling, or changing the environment that may be causing the naughty behavior in your rabbit. If you are simply trying to correct one or two behaviors or you are doing bunny bonding then spraying them with water will be effective, because they dislike it, very much.

What if spraying my rabbit has no affect?

This is rare, rabbits hate water so to spray a rabbit with water and have it not respond is a rare occurrence but if by chance you have a bunny that embraces his spritz and continues his naughty behavior then you need to find another method for teaching or disciplining him or her.

As mentioned before maybe just try patting their butt, clapping, or whistling. If they are bunny bonding in a cage and it is an intense situation that you need to remedy quickly and water spraying isn’t working then we recommend having a physical object to distract/stop your rabbit from fighting.

An example maybe a sock taped to the end of a yardstick that you can wave in their face, they will not like this and should stop their current behavior immediately.

Rabbits and Water

I have a number of other posts about water and rabbits you may find interesting and/or helpful.

About the Author

My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.

I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.