Can Rabbits Swim? Is It Enjoyable and Safe?

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Can Rabbits Swim?

A lot of videos show domesticated rabbits swimming, and while the rabbit enjoys it, there are instances in which the bunny doesn’t like water, which is something to avoid as a pet parent.

Wanting a fun exercise for your bunny aside from their usual hopping around and digging through things is fine, but bringing a rabbit to the swimming pool when she doesn’t want to, isn’t a way to make your rabbit experience fun and new things. 

In this article, we’ll be tackling the health implications of forcing your rabbit to swim because a healthy bunny is a happy one, but are the rumors true? Can rabbits swim?

Can Rabbits Swim? Can swimming be a fun activity for my rabbit?

Most rabbits can swim. Rabbits can swim two to three weeks after birth, and while some rabbits do like water, others don’t.

Swimming can be a fun exercise for your rabbit as it helps keep them active. Aqua therapy is also great for arthritic animals, but bringing your rabbit into the water because you’ve been told they can swim isn’t something you should do.

This is also inclusive of rabbits who love water, as it shouldn’t be a thing they do all the time. Sign your rabbit up for hopping around and digging, but never for swimming. 

We’ll get to why you shouldn’t in a bit, but the bottom line is, yes, rabbits can swim.

Is it safe for my rabbit to go swimming with me?

Swimming might be a recreational activity for you, but it never is for a rabbit. To start with, pool water contains chlorine, which is harmful to their eyes. Secondly, when their undercoat gets soaked with water, it makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.

Lastly, it could turn into a chore for your rabbit to get out of the pool when they want to. Especially if unsupervised, they claw and breathe in an attempt to survive, and that could cause issues with their health, stress implications, or death.

The thing is, it isn’t safe to take your rabbit swimming. Remember that they’re only dependent on their fur and that they like cooler temperatures. Getting them into water is an inhumane act compared to stripping them of their fur. If you really have your pet’s best interest at heart, don’t bring them into the water.

What if my rabbit loves swimming?

Some rabbits love water, and if yours does enjoy swimming, make sure it isn’t pool water as it contains chlorine. The best bet here is to get a paddling pool for your rabbit, just to see if she wants to. 

Make sure you fill up the pool with a little amount of water and if she gets in, kicks the water, and is having fun, be ready to dry her off once done.

The truth is, if your rabbit likes it, it can be something she does once in a while as long as it’s a monitored activity.

Wet rabbit on grass
Wet rabbit on grass

What if my rabbit fell into the swimming pool?

If your rabbit fell into a swimming pool, the next thing you should do is visit the vet, but before that, here are a few things you have to do:

  1. Wrap your rabbit up in a blanket and thoroughly but gently get her dry. To make sure your pet doesn’t freeze to death from their first encounter with water, cover them up and clean moisture from their fur. 

Don’t be tempted to use blow dryers as it could irritate their skin, and if you want to, make sure it’s at a safe distance away from their skin. 

Your topmost priority here is to get them warm, and that’s by attending to and taking care of them.

  1. Cover your pool. Rabbits are curious animals, and even when they get better, yours could be tempted to go check out the pool again. To avoid this, start by creating a safe environment for them.

Finally, a lot could go wrong with your rabbit that you wouldn’t know without the help of a professional. Accidentally getting into the water was unexpected for your rabbit, and if you want your rabbit to be in good condition, remember to take them for a visit to the vet.

This list is also useful if your rabbit falls into the lake. Exposing your bunny to roam free in unsafe areas should be something you start avoiding as a pet parent because you wouldn’t want to lose your pet and visits to the vet are expensive, so it’s better to save yourself the cost in the long run by keeping an eye on your rabbit.

In conclusion, there’s just too much that could go wrong when a rabbit decides to experiment with water. 

Do Wild Rabbits Swim?

Wild rabbits swim when a survival instinct is triggered in them. As we all know, rabbits are prey animals and are susceptible to being hunted by predators. In situations like this, they get into the water with the hindsight of trying to escape.

There are also swamp and marsh rabbits who live in swamp areas, but these rabbits have been conditioned to live in such a setting, and this isn’t the same for your domesticated bunny.

Do rabbits like being wet?

Rabbits are clean, tidy animals, and they don’t like to get wet. For one, you’re messing with their fur, which becomes hard to get dry, which would, in turn, affect their health.

Does this mean you shouldn’t try bathing your rabbit? Yes. To avoid fright, which might cause them to fracture a limb or injure themselves, avoid bathing them. 

Although there are exceptions in the case of an obese rabbit or if yours is very sick, the answer is no. Rabbits don’t like being wet.

Can Rabbits Swim? Is It Safe, and Do They Like It?


Contrary to what you might have seen, heard, or read online, most domesticated rabbits don’t find swimming fun. 

It could be for you, but don’t bring your rabbit into the water.

Getting them to roam around in an enclosed area, eating hay and vegetables with a moderate supplement of treats, and playing with toys is more than enough. Don’t scare or traumatize them by making them swim.

Photo of author


Jennifer Bourassa is a passionate animal lover and the founder of The Rabbit Retreat, a website dedicated to educating rabbit owners and providing them with the necessary resources to care for their furry friends. With over a decade of experience in rabbit care, Jennifer is a knowledgeable and compassionate advocate for these beloved pets. Jennifer's love for rabbits started when she adopted her first bunny, Thumper, and quickly realized the joy and challenges that come with rabbit ownership. Since then, she has made it her mission to help other rabbit owners navigate the ins and outs of bunny care, from feeding and grooming to housing and more. With The Rabbit Retreat, Jennifer hopes to build a community of like-minded rabbit enthusiasts who can share their experiences and support one another in providing the best possible care for their furry companions.