can rabbits swim

Can Rabbits Swim? It’s Not As Easy As You Think

Rabbits are the most adorable animals on the planet. They’re a great option for pets because of their small cuddly and fluffy bodies. And one of the common questions among rabbit keepers is can rabbits swim.

Surprisingly, rabbits can swim, however, this is a little more complicated. Other than just hopping around, rabbits have the ability to swim. But the question of whether they do like to swim should be the main factor to consider.

In this article, we’ll discuss more rabbits in water and answer questions such as should you bathe your bunny? Should you build a swimming pool? and much more. Thus, keep reading to learn about all the important facts about rabbits in water.

Can Rabbits Swim?

The answer to this is simply yes. Rabbits have the buoyancy to float with the body fat and webbing in their paws. When you place rabbits in water they’ll efficiently paddle to safety and even wild rabbits swim when escaping from predators. Nevertheless, you should consider critical factors in the below subtopics before dipping your bunny into the water.

Do Rabbits Enjoy Swimming?

Rabbits only swim when escaping danger but not for recreation. Even the wild rabbits including the marsh rabbits which are commonly found in the south-eastern parts of the US, only swim through the water when avoiding predators. You won’t find them chilling in the swamps any other day.

On the other hand, domesticated rabbits have no reason to swim in water as their owners provide a secure environment. Rabbits find large quantities of water scary and they only need a little amount of water for drinking while feeding.

Rabbits get overwhelmed by being vulnerable, wet, and cold because of their small bodies. Their fluffy furs soak a lot of water making it a very uncomfortable and stressful experience. Thus, you should avoid dipping your bunnies in a tub of water.

do rabbits enjoy swimming

Is It Safe for Rabbits to Swim?

Swimming is completely unsafe for rabbits as their undercoat soaks up a lot of water. Their furs become very heavy when soaked with water and this weighs the rabbits down thus making the swimming experience difficult and exhausting. As a rabbit owner, you should keep them away from water by all means.

The fear that comes along when rabbits are dipped in water is overwhelming. In some circumstances, rabbits suffer from heart attacks because of the paralyzing anxiety and intense cold temperature from the surrounding that shocks their system.

Frequent moisture on the skin of rabbits can cause baldness and moist dermatitis.

Should You Put Your Rabbit in a Swimming Pool?

Under no circumstance should you put your rabbit in the swimming pool. Chlorine and other chemicals present in the swimming pool water are dangerous to rabbits and can harm them. When chlorine gets into the rabbit’s eye it stings. Rabbits are also likely to develop asthma or sinus problems when exposed to chlorine. Treating these and other related health conditions is costly.

Infant rabbits will always drown when put in the swimming pool even if other mature rabbits are in the water. When the little rabbits can’t stay afloat, they do all possible things to find something to latch onto whether is grabbing, scratching, biting, or clawing. Once they panic, the water easily overcomes them and they drown. From this, they can die or develop other serious complications from getting water into their lungs and ears.

Once wet, the adopted rabbits don’t easily dry and they’ll feel soaked for a long time after the event is over and this is another reason why you should avoid swimming pools. Even bathing them stresses bunnies out a lot.

If your bunny get’s in water by mistake, remove it immediately and dry it using a towel. You should avoid using blow dryers as the heat can damage the bunny’s skin.

is it safe for rabbits to swim

What About All Those Swimming Rabbits on YouTube?

If you do a quick search on YouTube, you’ll get a list of video clips showing rabbits enjoying themselves in swimming pools. However, you’ll hardly see a clip where the rabbit voluntarily gets into the water. Some bunnies are trained to do so, in the same way, other animals are trained to do all sorts of things by a circus. This is considered inhumane and since bunnies only swim when escaping danger, it’s wrong and inconsiderate putting them in water.

Next time you see bunnies swimming in YouTube clips, look keenly at their body language. You’ll observe signs such as trembling, stiffened muscles, and big staring eyes with no blinking.

Healthy Swimming for Rabbits?

Circumstantial evidence is available showing that rabbits like to float in water to clean themselves, cool off, or ease arthritic problems. In such circumstances, you should let the bunny lead the way and keep a close look to rescue it in case of any challenge. If your rabbit, voluntarily gets into the water, you don’t have to drag it out or lock it away in a dry area. Swimming can be a great experience and relaxing just like it’s the case for humans.

However, you should be very keen on your pet because, the fact that it enters voluntarily, might indicate an underlying problem. Things that can lead the bunny to desperate measures in the pool include the outbreak of lice, mites or fleas, or perhaps joint problems.

Even if your rabbit goes voluntarily into the water, dry it afterward to avoid any discomfort. If you’re considering aqua therapy for joint-related problems for your bunny, you should first consider consulting your veterinarian. The vet will guide you on this matter and you should do this under very controlled and supervised conditions for minimal discomfort to the bunny.


Although rabbits can swim, you shouldn’t put them in a swimming pool because the risk of scaring them to death is too great. Wild rabbits vary greatly from the domesticated ones since the conditions of their habitats are very different. The rabbit’s body is designed to float when in water but this is only important when they’re escaping from predators and other dangers but not for recreation.

Dipping rabbits in water are very cruel because of their delicate system and vulnerability when cold and wet. In conclusion, always keep your rabbits out of the swimming pool by all means.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Check out my comprehensive guide on the best rabbit food.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.