Parakeets are not high-maintenance birds, and raising them is quite fun. As for their water requirement, merely providing a bowl of water is not going to be enough. Turns out their dynamics with H2O is not as straightforward as we’d like to think.
Unlike other birds parakeets actually drink less water per day than other pet birds like parrots or Finches. They will generally drink 2-3 times a day and should consume 3-5% of their body weight in water per day. Clean and freshwater must be available to your birds both day and night.
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So, How Much Water Do Parakeets Need Each Day?
Parakeets are petite birds. They reach around 30-40 grams in weight and 18-20 centimeters in height when grown.
So, they don’t need or drink much water.
Generally, they drink water twice or thrice a day, and that’s about it.
Like most parrots, they need to drink enough water to make up about 5% of their body weight to substitute the water lost from respiration, evaporation, and waste removal.
The reason birds can go on without much water is because they don’t have sweat glands.
As a result, the water requirement is reduced quite significantly since no water is lost through perspiration.
Wait a minute. There are a few other things you need to know in addition to how much water do parakeets need each day. Let’s tackle them one by one.
How Long Can Parakeets Go Without Water?
You are more likely to see your parakeet take a bath in the water bowl, and they see him drinking from it.
Yes, seeing your parakeet drinking water can be a rare sight to witness. And it can be worrying when you never catch your parakeet drinking water.
But as elusive as a parakeet’s drinking habit is, they can go without water for just about one or two days.
Just because they don’t drink water doesn’t mean they can go without it for long.
Now that can be a problem. How on earth can you know if the parakeet is not drinking enough water or its sight is eluding you?
How to Know If My Parakeet is Dehydrated?
As a good parakeet owner, you should always keep a check on their personality traits and habits.
Dehydration can prove fatal if not treated in time. If you learn how to look into the symptoms, you can successfully prevent it from being a health crisis.
Here are a few pointers to gauge if your parakeet is dehydrated:
If you think your bird’s dehydrated, observe his physical appearance for a few days.
The skin around the eye will appear sunken and dull, as well as have a wrinkled appearance. The feathers may also become discolored.
Likewise, the mucous membrane, located inside the bird’s mouth, will also become dry and sticky.
Often, droppings can tell more about a bird’s health than anything else.
If your parakeet is experiencing mild dehydration, the dropping will not be solid or well-formed as usual. And if he is severely dehydrated, he will produce very dry droppings or stop producing at all.
So, be mindful to keep an eye out to check your pet parrot’s bowel movement.
Skin loses elasticity
You can check for dehydration by observing the areas with featherless skin.
Very gently pinch an area and release it. If it immediately retains its original shape, that’s great. But if it takes a bit longer than a second or so to settle, it most probably means your bird is dehydrated.
Weakness and Fatigue
A parakeet that’s dehydrated is unlikely to uphold a healthy and constant energy level.
If you notice your bird has stopped singing, chirping, playing with toys, or flying, don’t forget to see if he has enough water supply and is consuming water. Aversion to food and a lot of sleeping are two other signs to watch too.
Note: The symptoms we mentioned above often overlap with other illnesses too.
Actually, dehydration often accompanies other forms of illness or is a side effect of them. If you suspect dehydration, commonly, there can be a more serious underlying issue.
How to Get Your Parakeet to Drink Water?
Although there’s no definitive answer to how much water do parakeets need each day, if you suspect dehydration, you can try to get him to drink some water.
Remember, they’re not vocal about their needs as other mammals. The best you can do is create a favorable environment and wait patiently.
Here are a few tried-and-tested methods
Always provide clean drinking water
Parakeets can be messy but also extremely pick when it comes to drinking water.
And the water bowl in a cage can be very easily polluted.
Naturally, seeds, feathers, and droppings will end up in the water bowl. If that happens, immediately clean the bowl and change the water.
Try giving a flavorful drink
If you want to spice up your parakeet’s drinking game, why not try a tasty yet healthy beverage?
You can dilute a teaspoon of honey in about half a pint of water for your parakeet to enjoy. Likewise, you can also dilute a teaspoon of fresh fruit juice, but make sure it doesn’t contain additives or added sugar.
Keep the water fresh always
Parakeets are quite sensitive to the taste of water, so make sure that it’s always fresh.
Just like you wouldn’t prefer to drink from a cup of water that’s been sitting there all day, your parakeet won’t like it too. Stale water will simply turn them off.
Feed fresh fruits and vegetable
A smart trick to get your parakeet to consume water without actually drinking it is by adding fresh fruits and veggies to his diet. As fresh produce has higher water content, in addition to essential nutrients, it will help your keep your parakeet hydrated and healthy.
However, note that it shouldn’t be treated as a substitute for water.
A Visit to Veterinarian
If the dehydration problem still persists despite your efforts, a visit to a vet is necessary. Since birds are prey animals, they often hide the illness to avoid predators. A vet will conduct examinations, make a diagnosis, and recommend treatment.
Usually, a vet will prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements that need to be diluted in your parakeet’s water.
Why is My Parakeet Drinking So Much Water?
Now that may seem like a rather odd question, given what we discussed above. But a parakeet drinking excess water isn’t that unusual. Here are a few reasons why:
Change in Diet
If you changed your parakeet’s diet recently, he might increase water intake to adjust to the new diet. Also, if the salt content is high in food, that can also make your parakeet very thirsty.
Just like us, parakeets will increase water consumption in a warm climate. Make sure that your pet’s cage is not exposed to the direct sunlight. How much water do parakeets need each day will change quite significantly with the weather conditions.
Several factors can stress your parakeet, whether it’s shifting to a new location, getting lonely, or feeling ill. As a result, your parakeet can feel dehydrated and consume more water.
It’s totally normal for your bird to get thirsty after a strenuous or lengthy exercise. Don’t read much into it, and don’t worry. If you allow your parakeet to get out of the cage and fly a lot, it’ll naturally increase his water intake.
Feeding Young Ones
If your parakeet’s eggs have hatched, your parakeet will require a lot of energy to take their care and feed them. As a result, they’ll drink more water than they usually need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can Parakeets Drink Tap Water?
A. While many parakeet owners give tap water and haven’t faced any issue with that, some choose to steer clear off it. Tap water may contain chlorine or a trace of heavy metals, which can be detrimental to the parakeet’s health.
If you’re worried about that, you can give filtered or un-sparkling mineral water.
Q. Can Parakeets Drink Distilled Water?
A. It may be tempting to give distilled water as it seems like the purest form of water out there, but it is slightly more acidic than what’s deemed healthy for parakeets.
To answer how much water do parakeets need each day, there’s no defined quantity or standard set.
Summing up, parakeets usually drink water 2-3 times a day, and that’s enough for them.
They’ll rarely drink in your company, so make sure that they have access to fresh and clean drinking water all the time.
As we have mentioned above, look out for signs of dehydration and overdrinking as these conditions can be the tip of the iceberg.