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Rabbits are one of the most adorable animals around. Their fluffy bodies and small stature makes them a great option for pets. However, there have been many videos showing people putting rabbits in their swimming pools for amusement. Can rabbits swim? The answer is yes.
A rabbit does have the ability to swim. They can do more than just hop around all day, the real question is, do they like to swim? That’s where things get a bit more complex. Just because an animal can swim doesn’t always mean it’s something they like to do; cats can swim, but most of them avoid the water at all costs.
Rabbits that lives in the wild tend to swim only when they’re in danger. They swim only for survival, and not for recreation. For instance, swamp rabbits, found in the south-eastern parts of the country, will often swim through water to avoid a predator. However, you won’t find them frolicking in the swamps on any random day.
Adopted rabbits, however, have no reason to swim. The only water they need is the kind they drink in a bowl. To them, water is scary in large quantities. Their small bodies are overwhelmed by being in something cold and wet, it gets them stressed.
Swimming can be dangerous to a rabbit, specifically if they are put into a swimming pool, their undercoat soaks up water like a sponge. Have you ever tried swimming with wet clothes, specifically jeans? The feeling would be similar to what the bunny feels as the water is absorbed into their undercoat. It weighs them down, making it both difficult and exhausting to for them to swim.
Rabbits don’t easily dry off once they are wet. Remember the feeling of walking into an air-conditioned home after swimming? They have this feeling for a long time after the event is over.
Just think of leaving an infant loose in the pool. It’s very easy to drown, even when there are others in the pool. When a child cannot stay afloat, they grab, claw, and do whatever is possible to find something to latch onto. The rabbit does the same things. They will bite, scratch, or claw their way to safety. In this state of panic, it’s easy for them to be overcome by the water and drown, and even when they don't, other consequences materialize from getting water into the ears and lungs.
Now, what about all those pool chemicals? If you get chlorine in your eyes it is going to sting. The system of a rabbit is very delicate. Their system is similar to that of humans, they too can be bothered by the pool's chemicals. They can cause sinus and asthma problems. It is not fun to medicate rabbits, and it is very expensive. All these chemicals are a huge risk to them. At this point, I believe you now understand why I said “Can rabbits swim safely” is the real question?
The fear rabbits experience when dunked into water is overwhelming. The intense cold temperature and paralyzing anxiety from their surroundings can shock their system, and sometimes, in extreme cases, even lead to heart attack.
The risk of scaring a rabbit to death is too great. Can rabbits swim? The answer is yes, they can, but they probably shouldn't. Some say that putting a rabbit into a pool of water is animal cruelty, due to their vulnerability when they are cold and wet, as well as their delicate system. Keep your rabbit out of the pool if at all possible. Get a rabbit apparel to show your rabbit some love and let the whole world know.