We’ve said a few times that our rabbits prefer to drink from bowls, and we usually have about 2 bowls per pair so that if they stand in one or it gets knocked over, they always have something to drink.
We also give the outdoor bunnies bottles, attached to their runs, in case they need to find water and don’t want to travel 30 feet back to their houses. Sometimes the indoor bunnies get bottles as well, for example on a car ride, because a bowl would not be practical in a car.
The thing I hate about bottles is how nasty they get inside, especially when the rabbits barely (if ever) drink from them. Here’s some ways of getting them clean, and signs that they should just be replaced:
1. Green algae: Clean: To get rid of the green algae that settles at the bottom, get a sterilizing tablet designed for baby bottles and follow the instructions. I have put the metal parts in in the past and nothing happened to them, but I don’t think you’re supposed to. The reason I used baby sterilisers rather than anything else is that they’re designed to need little to no rinsing, and they’re safe for babies. If they’re safe for babies, they are generally safe for bunnies. I always rinse thoroughly though, even with a no-rinse sterilizer, just to make sure they are clear of chemical.
2. Melted bottles: Replace: Don’t use boiling water, or they go like this:
They look thick enough to take it, but they aren’t, as my husband discovered last week.
3. Bleach: A big no-no: Don’t use household bleach, or other similar strong cleaning chemicals. Even a tiny amount of these can kill a rabbit and it takes a LOT of rinsing to get these clear. If you wouldn’t use it on a baby’s bottle, you shouldn’t use it on a bunny’s.
4. Bottle brush: Excellent idea: Get a bottle brush for your everyday cleaning, and (in a fresh sink of water) submerge the bottle in warm water and a bit of washing up liquid, then scrub the inside clean with the bottle brush. Be sure to get the corners. You should still sterilize sporadically.
5. Rusted: Replace: Check the metal bit regularly. Replace the bottle if it’s gone like this:
Rust can cause tetanus so get it sorted as soon as you can.
That’s my methods for cleaning water bottles and how I would tell if they need replacing. Do you have any special methods for getting your bunny water bottles clean?