Parakeet Water Needs (Explained)

Parakeets are one of the easier to care for bird breeds, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to learn about them in order to make sure you are meeting all of their needs! Just like other animals, parakeets need water and can easily become dehydrated without it.

Do Parakeets Drink Water? How Often Do Parakeets Need to Drink Water?

 Parakeets need to drink water 2-3 times a day or about 5% of their body weight. This will keep them hydrated and happy! They may seem like they do not drink water since they prefer to drink alone, but they still need access to water at all times!

 How Much Water Does a Parakeet Drink a Day?

Using a secure water bowl in their  bird cage is the best way to give them water access. Although some people opt into training their parakeet to use a hanging water bottle, it all depends on owner and bird preference.

They will drink about a teaspoon of water a day overall, depending on their exercise level and other activities going on around them.

Offering them water in more than one place is a good option in ensure they will always have water ready and convenient to drink.

 What Drinking Water is Safe for Parakeets?

 Most people believe that if the water is safe and clean for you, it is safe and clean for your pets!

Others opt into giving their pets filtered water with a steady Ph level. Since they only drink so little, the water needs to be the absolute best for them.

It all depends on owner preference!

Tap water is perfectly fine, especially if it is filtered by the city water department. If your house gets its water from a well, it may have hard water that has hard metals in it that the bird should not be given. If this is the case, you can opt for a water filter that hooks to your sink faucet or buy de-ionized water or bottled water for your parakeet.

Water bottles that have added vitamins or minerals in them may not be healthy for your bird and may also encourage bacteria growth in their water bowl. Make sure you check the label before buying and never give your bird carbonated or distilled water!

Birds drinking water from a fountain

 How Often Should I Change the Water?

Changing the water every day is the best way to make sure the water stays clean, especially if you have a bird that enjoys cleaning their beak after eating or taking a bath in their drinking water.

Although changing it 2-3 times a day may seem excessive, it is the best way to make sure bacteria is not growing in their water dish.

Make sure you are cleaning the bowl and refilling it whenever excess feathers, droppings, food pellets, or any other materials drop into the water. If the water becomes too dirty, your parakeet may refuse to drink it, leading to dehydration if it not changed soon.

Water bottles need to be changed just as often. The water inside of the bottle may not seem dirty, as they are unable to get anything inside of the bottle like pellets or droppings, but the water becomes stagnate and is a high risk to have bacteria grow inside.

If your parakeet just absolutely loves leaving droppings in their water bowl, try putting a flat top perch over it, where they are less likely to perch on it and make their drop. A good example would be a lava ledge or clam shape perch above the bowl. Make sure you leave enough room in between the perch and water dish for them to easily drink and move around between them.

 Is my Parakeet Drinking too Much Water?

Sometimes your parakeet may increase their water intake and it’s nothing to worry about!

Just like humans and other animals, when their physical activity increases, they are more likely to drink water. If you allow them to fly around the house, or they love playing around their cage with their toys, they are likely to drink more water. Parakeets that have other birds to play with are more likely to drink more water, as they are using more energy than birds that live alone.

During hotter days or if the house’s heat is turned on, the air temperature may also cause them to drink more water.

Parakeets do not have sweat glands, so they lose less water during exercise or in high temperatures, yet their body still increases water usage for other functions. Therefore, water access is so critical, because there are times when their body really needs a good drink!

If they have a change in their diet, routine, additional stress, new medication, or if they recently had babies, this could also increase their water intake.

 Why Does my Parakeet not Drink Water?

There may be a few reasons that your pet is not drinking a lot.

If your parakeet is sick, they may stop drinking or eating because they do not feel well. It is important to have them looked at by a veterinarian as soon as possible because they can only go a few days without drinking any water.

Make sure the water is clean, as they may refuse to drink it if it is not.

If you think your parakeet may be dehydrated, there might be another underlying cause. They might be suffering from a sickness, or something is wrong with their water. When in doubt, reach out to your veterinarian.

 Signs of Dehydration

When a parakeet doesn’t drink enough water, whether from sickness or lack of water access, they can quickly start to show signs of dehydration.

Here are some of the most common signs to watch for:

  •  Feathers become discolored
  •  Dry mouth
  •  Eyes become sunken
  •  Unusual dropping consistency
  •  Notable fatigue
  •  Skin become less elastic
  •  Lack of energy
  •  Change in attitude
  •  Chirping less

Birds are not keen to show their weaknesses or sickness, so you will need to watch them extra close to see how they are feeling. Noting how they act and look when they are healthy and feeling well can help you pinpoint when they are not feeling like themselves.

 Ways to Encourage more Water Intake

Encouraging water intake can help your parakeet stay hydrated, even when they may not want to drink a lot.

Flavoring water is a great way to help your pet drink more water. You can add a teaspoon of fresh fruit juice (no preservatives or added sugars) to a pint of water. You can also add a teaspoon of honey, local honey is best!

Giving them flavored water every now and again, or when they are notably drinking less, is much like giving a person a soda or sports drink. Sometimes a change in taste can be a welcomed change!

Giving them fresh fruits and vegetables can be a great way to get them water without having them drink it! A  variety of food  can increase their hydration level, without them even knowing it!

 Bird Baths!

Just another reason that your bird needs access to water, they need a good bath just like any other animal. If they aren’t given enough water in their bath area, they are more likely to use their drinking water as a quick bath area. This can lead to the water becoming dirty and needing to be changed more often.

Bird baths that attach to the outside of the cage may come with the purchase of the cage, or they can be purchased separately. Keeping the bath water separate from the drinking water prevents drinking water from becoming dirty.

Parakeets vary on how often they like to bathe. Some like a bath everyday while others like it a few times a week. It all depends on the bird!

Some parakeets even like taking showers with their owner! They love the sound of running water, whether it’s from the shower or from the sink.

Do Parakeets Drink Water? Bird Baths #parakeet #birds #petbird

Water should be room temperature or slightly cold, never hot. Make sure to give them enough time to dry before the evening. Bathing them when the house or outside temperature is slightly warmer will ensure that they don’t get too cold while drying!

Some parakeets will never take to water and will just continue to preen their feathers more to keep clean. That is perfectly fine! As long as their skin does not get itchy or irritated, they will be okay. It is still wise to offer them a bath every now and then to see if they have warmed up to it and want to try it again.

Read more about parakeets taking baths here!

 Still Have Questions?

Owning pets is a tricky business! Each one demands different care and needs, so learning the most you can about your pet is the best way to make sure they get the best care possible.

Check out our page here to learn more about owning parakeets!