Micah Feeding

Vet Speak

In this section, Dr. Micah Kohles, Oxbow’s Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach, answers all of your animal health related questions.  If you have a question for Dr. Kohles regarding the health or behavior of your small animal, send it to web@oxbowanimalhealth.com.

I have a non-medical related question about my rabbit. Scout has used a water bottle from the time I got him at 8 weeks old; I have had him for 2 years. He seems to drink more water when I offer him a water bowl. I would like to be able to offer him a water bowl fulltime, but he always spills his bowl (it is a heavy ceramic bowl). Do you have any other suggestions from your experience on how to allow Scout to have access to a water bowl without tipping it? Is a bowl better or preferred to a water bottle? I do keep a bowl and bottle accessible so if he tips the bowl he still has access to a bottle.

Good questions!  As you know, water intake is absolutely vital to these littles ones’ health and wellbeing. First off, I always recommend multiple sources of water (such as a crock and bottle) everywhere the little one spends time - certainly in the cage, but if they have access to one room or the entire house, I would offer water in multiple locations.

I have encountered the challenge of rambunctious rabbits bulldozing around their cages and knocking over the water bowls and have seen clients come up with some clever ways to prevent this. Most times, a very heavy ceramic crock carefully placed in a corner will prevent them from knocking it over. If this doesn’t work, I would find a way to attach the crock to the side or bottom of the cage. I would also suggest really making an effort to offer a large diversity of fresh greens. This is a great way to provide hydration, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of fresh greens. The House Rabbit Society has a great website with a large list of healthy greens for rabbits -  www.rabbit.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Micah Kohles, DVM, MPA
Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach
Oxbow Animal Health