For humans that cannot or do not wish to drink cow’s milk, almond milk is a great substitute. It is vegan friendly and very sweet.
Since rabbits are herbivores, you might think that this vegetarian option is a good drink to offer your bunny as a treat; but can rabbits drink almond milk?
Rabbits have very sensitive stomachs and anything unusual can upset their digestive system. For this reason alone, you should avoid giving almond milk to your rabbit.
Unlike us, rabbits don’t require a lot of variety when it comes to what they drink. As adults, they only need water whereas newborn bunnies will take milk from their mother.
In the event that you are left with orphaned newborn rabbits, there are alternatives that can be given but almond milk is not one of them.
Why Can’t Rabbits Drink Almond Milk?
If you’re a seasoned rabbit owner, you will know that these delicate creatures have very sensitive digestive systems. Even just a small amount of the wrong food can cause your bun to become very sick.
One of the biggest issues for rabbits where digestion is concerned is GI stasis which can be a fatal condition if it is left untreated.
Adult rabbits do not need milk; in fact, they are lactose intolerant and offering milk will cause them some nasty problems. While almond milk doesn’t contain lactose it will still upset the natural balance of their stomachs.
Baby rabbits do need to drink the milk produced by their mother’s but this contains all of the essential nutrients that a little bunny will need.
Many people inadvertently offer cow’s milk to a baby rabbit, thinking that this will be beneficial but it does not offer any nutritional value to a rabbit since it is naturally designed for a calf.
Believe it or not, humans are the only animals that drink milk from other species and while cow, goat, and sheep milk all have some nutritional value, you can survive without it.
What Milk To Give A Newborn Rabbit
Sadly, not all does will make it through the birth and in some cases, a mother may reject her babies. In these instances, it is up to you, the owner, to care for the vulnerable kits and one of the first thing you will be asking yourself is what you need to feed these tiny bunnies.
For the first couple of weeks of their lives, rabbits do not open their eyes. As soon as they do, they will be able to start feeding on hay and junior rabbit pellets. Until then, you will need to provide them with a substitute for their mother’s milk.
As we have discussed, you cannot use milk from another animal. These milks won’t provide your rabbit with any nutritional value and will probably do more harm than good.
However, there are many formulas on the market that are designed for baby animals.
The best option to to use a kitten replacement milk that is high in calories since rabbit milk is the most high-calorie of all mammals.
There is one exception in terms of animal milk and that is goat’s milk. This is often used to aid wild rabbits that have been orphaned.
My Rabbit Drank Almond Milk – What Should I Do?
If you give your rabbit almond milk regularly, then this is something that you should stop doing. It is also important to monitor your rabbit’s toileting for the following few days to make sure that he is still peeing and pooping as normal.
If you notice anything different then make an urgent appointment to see your vet.
However, if your rabbit managed to sneak a little drink from a cup or bowl you left on the floor, it is unlikely that any serious problems will follow. That said, it is still advisable to keep an eye on your bunny.
What Drink Is Best For Rabbits?
Rabbits only need water once they get past the infant stage. One of the key parts of being a responsible rabbit owner is making sure that your bunny has constant access to clean, freshwater.
You can change this at the beginning of each day but if your rabbit drinks it all, be sure to top it up as necessary.
There is no special type of water that rabbits needs; you can take it from the tap. A general rule of thumb to follow is that, if you would drink the water yourself then it is good enough for your rabbits.
How Much Water Should I Give My Rabbit?
It might surprise you to learn that rabbits can drink as much as 2 cups of water each day. That said, it will depend on the size of the rabbit and it’s condition.
For example, pregnant does will drink considerably more water than is average. In any case, you should make sure that your rabbit has enough water to see it through the day.
You might notice that you fill your rabbit’s water bottle or bowl only to come back the next day to find that your pet hasn’t drunk as much as you might have expected.
But don’t worry, rabbits eat a lot of leafy greens which contain plenty of water so it may be the case that they are getting a good amount of water from these.
Should I Use A Water Bottle Or Bowl?
When it comes to giving water to your rabbit, there are two main options; a water bottle or a water bowl. Which you choose comes down to your rabbit’s preference as all bunnies are different. However, it is widely considered to be easier for your rabbit to use a bowl.
This way, your pet will have to put in less effort to get their water which will likely result in them being more hydrated.
But if you do provide your bunny with a bowl, you need to make sure that it is heavy enough that the rabbit will not tip it over. Moreover, since drinking this way is a little messier, it can be more convenient to choose a water bottle.
The best way to decide is to try both and see which method your rabbit gets on better with; as we said, they’re all different.
Rabbits need to drink their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of life. However, after this, they only require water. Almond milk doesn’t contain lactose but it can still upset a rabbit’s delicate digestive system so it should never be given.