Image of rabbits playing in water with the caption "do rabbits like to play in water."

Rabbits do not like to play in water, swim or get wet. Their fur is not made to get soaked and if it does it can cause hypothermia, stress, and other health problems. Because of these reasons you should not allow your rabbit to play in water.

Do rabbits like to play in water?

No, rabbits do not like to play in water. Rabbits do not like water, they do not like to be wet and should never be given a bath, allowed to swim or fully submerged in water. This will immediately stress them out and may cause medical problems.

Now this isn’t the case for all rabbits, there are some who may love playing in water but this will not be the case the majority of the time. Either way, you should never force your rabbit into water, if you would like to provide water for your rabbit and allow him or her to approach it at their own comfort level that is fine. Rabbits are so delicate; you should never force them to do anything that is not necessary.

Why don’t rabbits like to play in water?

It’s uncomfortable and can be dangerous; when their coat is wet it keeps their fur from being able to shut in heat which can result in hypothermia. This is more detrimental in colder months but can still cause hypothermia to set in, even in the warmer months.

Rabbits also have very small lungs so if they aspirate water, even a small amount, it can be fatal. Water is also highly uncomfortable if it gets in their ears. Not only is water in their ears uncomfortable it can also cause ear infections. Rabbits hate the feeling of being wet, their matted down fur and the change in temperature they experience being wet makes them feel uneasy and vulnerable.

We never place our pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny, in water but when he is molting and has a lot of excess fur stuck on him we will wet our hands to wipe him down. This is to help him get rid of that excess fur, when we do this he absolutely hates it. He immediately back kicks and hops away to a spot in our house that he feels safe and starts to lick himself profusely. He is doing this in an attempt to “get rid” of the water; he is essentially trying to lick off whatever we just put on him.

Is it ok for my rabbit to play in water?

If you have one of the rare rabbits that actually enjoys playing in water then yes it is OK but it should only be in a small amount. The water should not be taller than your rabbit’s front legs.

You should also only allow this in warmer months so your bunny warms up quicker. I would also suggest that you don’t keep them in the water for 5-10 minutes at a time, you do not want them to be too wet for too long. The longer they are wet the longer it will take for them to dry.  As a reminder, you should never place your rabbit directly in water, you can make the water the available and if your rabbit wants to play in it they will. Even if you know your rabbit likes playing in water they are sensitive creature and need to make the decision on their own every time.

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.