No, rabbits can’t drink milk because they are lactose-intolerant. The only liquid they should be drinking is water. If you give your rabbit any type of milk you’d almost definitely upset their tummy.
Scroll on to find out about the only exception to this, and about the importance of water.
When a rabbit is born,they are entirely reliant on their mom’s milk for the first two months. From two weeks up to around six months, they’ll still need mom’s milk – but are on the road to independence.
If for some reason the kit can’t get enough or any milk, they’ll need something else – otherwise they’d quickly go downhill. In this case, you should speak to a professional for tailored advice.
For baby rabbits in need, there are a few options for their milk. There are milk alternatives that can be bought in the pet store, called Kitten Milk Replacer.
A second option would be goat milk, but you have to be careful with this. It’s always better to check with a vet before giving a home remedy to your pet.
Different Types of Milk
It makes no difference if your rabbit drinks cow’s milk that is skimmed, semi-skimmed, or pasteurized. All of them contain lactose and would be problematic for your rabbit’s digestion.
Similarly, it doesn’t matter where the milk comes from. Whether it’s cow, goat, coconut, almond, or any other type of milk. Unless it’s a baby rabbit drinking directly from their mother, it isn’t right.
Fun Fact: Humans are the only species who regularly drink the milk of other animals!
The Importance of Water
It is extremely important for your rabbit to stay hydrated by drinking water. Always make sure your rabbit has access to clean, fresh water.
Rabbits typically like drinking from bowls, but some do prefer bottles. As long as there’s some sort of container for your rabbit to drink water from, it’ll work. Just ensure that you clean the container regularly, as your rabbit won’t like to drink from something dirty.
If your rabbit hasn’t been drinking, you need to take action immediately. It may be that they don’t like the water, they can’t reach it, the container is dirty, or another easily fixable reason. Try to get them to drink some if you can, and call the vet if you are concerned.
Water should always be given to your rabbit alongside a healthy diet. This would be unlimited amounts of hay, pellets, treats, and fresh vegetables. Your rabbit needs all of these and water to be happy and healthy.