Reasons Your Parakeets Aren’t Drinking: Solutions and Tactics

One of the most common concerns that pet bird owners have is that their parakeets or budgie are not drinking enough or aren’t drinking at all.

I know how frustrated it is, and I have been there.

I remember how crazy I went when my baby parakeet, Tutti, did not want to drink from a water bowl for about seven days. (at least I didn’t see her drink)

There are many reasons why parakeets may not drink water, including illness or change in environment. However, sometimes it can be as simple as finding the right kind of bowl for them! 

Have you ever noticed your little parakeet not drinking water? This article will explain why parakeets may not be drinking enough water and how you can fix it and get your parakeets to drink water again.

Why Aren’t My Parakeets Drinking Water?

This is a very common question parakeet keepers ask, especially during hot weather. It is important for parakeets to have a source of fresh, clean water, and just like with us, parakeets can get dehydrated if they don’t drink.

For parakeet keepers, it is sometimes alarming that they rarely see their pets drinking any water. Here are a few common reasons parakeets don’t drink water:

The Water Bowl May Look Scary:

Let’s take a look at what could be scaring your parakeets! Your parakeets may not know how to react to a new water bowl. Do you have a plain, open water bowl or one with a complicated hood?

You’ll want to have an open water bowl for your parakeets because anything with a hood can scare them off.

For this reason, it might take some time for the little bird to adjust to its new facility.

My following advice is the place where you put the water bowl also matters.

Try placing the water bowl in different places in the cage to meet your parakeet’s preference.

In some cases, you should place the water bowl at an accessible point, preferably near the highest perch possible.

Maybe You Didn’t Capture The Moment

You might not notice that parakeets tend to drink very quickly without you even realizing it.

When parakeets drink a little water, it may be hard for parakeet keepers to notice any difference. However, parakeets drink water more often than we think.

That is because parakeets are easier prey in the wild; they naturally prefer not to drink or eat in front of other animals, humans, or anything they feel is a threat.

Think about it and ask yourself, have you been noticing your parakeet drink water in front of you? So, maybe you just aren’t there when they are drinking the water.

Parakeets just don’t stay in the water as often as they will a seed bowl. It’s usually a quick little sip, and they are back in their spot again.

New To The Environment

Parakeets are nervous about the new environment, and they are experiencing fear from the budgerigar’s to their new home.

They tend to need a lot of time to adjust to a new environment. The parakeet may be psychologically stressed out by the move and will not drink water.

If you think that this is your parakeet’s case, give them some time. I would suggest giving your new bird lots of time alone with the cage partly covered so that he settles down, eats, and drinks too.

At night you will want to cover him so he can sleep. He will need to gradually get used to his surroundings. Put yourself, if you could, in his place. It is just a little scary for him at the beginning.

When I moved house and got my third parakeet, I wondered if he might be dehydrated as he hadn’t drunk any water for a few days. But as soon as he began to explore the new house, he started drinking water again! You can usually find them drinking in the morning and sometimes after playing.

How Long Can Parakeets Go Without Water?

Parakeets can survive for up to 36 hours without water, but the average parakeet can only go about 24 hours without water.

They will start to suffer from dehydration for the first day and be almost down and unconscious due to dehydration from the third day.

It is always a good habit to check the parakeet’s water bowl if it needs a fill-up.

How To Get A Parakeet To Drink Water?

In parakeets, it is common to find that they are not drinking water. However, parakeets do need some freshwater as it is an essential part of their diet. 

The most important thing for you as a parakeet owner is to observe your parakeet’s behavior closely so you can figure out what might be wrong with them. Here are some tips that might help your parakeets get to drink water:

Keep The Water Bowl Clean And Water Fresh

Your parakeets may refuse to drink when they find their water bowl to be dirty.

As parakeets are known as being clean creatures, parakeet owners should see it upon themselves to keep their parakeet’s water clean at all times.

You’ll want to make sure their water bowls are cleaned at least once a day to provide them with fresh, clean water

Here is the method I use to clean a parakeet’s water bowl:

1. Wash the water bowl twice a day and make sure they get fresh water

2. The vegetables are removed after 4 hours, and wash the bowl

3. The fruit gets removed the moment they left away from the bowl as this keeps fruit flies at bay and wash the bowl immediately

Try Warm Water Instead Of Fresh Cold Water

Some parakeets may prefer warm water over chilled. A parakeet may not drink water if it’s too cold. A bird that’s feeling sick will also tend to turn down cold water.

Try putting warm water in your parakeet’s bowl rather than colder water.

Most of my birds love something pretty warm to drink or warm cereal as the temperature may remind them of hand-feeding.

Provide Fresh Fruit And Veggies With Moisture

A lot of people, including me, have rarely seen their parakeets drink water. Chances are parakeets don’t drink from the water bowl as much because they’re getting what they need elsewhere in their diet.

If a parakeet is eating any fruits or vegetables that are giving him extra moisture, he won’t take in as much water as he should.

Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that parakeets eat that are full of moisture

  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Leafy Greens

Parakeets get their moisture from the food they eat rather than drinking water directly. A parakeet who doesn’t seem interested in drinking could still be getting sufficient moisture from its food to survive.

Give Your Parakeets Bathes

If you notice your parakeets are staying away from the water bowl, try giving it a bath instead of forcing it to drink water.

Bath time is the ideal solution to get your parakeets interested in water. It is also good for birds to stay clean and hydrated.

Bathing a parakeet may encourage him to drink more as he is getting soaked in freshwater.

After you bathe your parakeet, let it rest in a warm place until its feathers dry up, and then give it some special one-on-one time with you talking softly to it. This way, the bond between the two of you strengthens.

Can Parakeets Drink Tap Water?

Many people would answer this question differently, as tap water quality varies from city to city.

The answer is that it depends on the quality of the water.

If you live in an area where tap water is clean, then yes, your parakeet can drink it. If you live in a city where tap water has some issues, as we saw with Flint, Michigan, then no, your parakeet should not be drinking it!

Fortunately, I’m living in a city where the water is fluoridated. My parakeets have not suffered from any health issues due to the water.

If you’re concerned, you can always get a Brita filter for your tap water so that your parakeets can drink from it with no issues.

But if you’re parakeet already has health issues due to the tap water, please consult with a veterinarian.

Key Takeaways:

If you’re having trouble getting your parakeets to drink water, there are a few things that can be done.

Try switching the water bowl without a lid or hood. You can also try bathing your parakeets instead of forcing them to drink it or give their food some extra moisture.

If the issue is with the tap water in your city, make sure you get a Brita filter for your home, so they don’t ingest harmful chemicals. Keep an eye on any health issues and consult with a veterinarian if necessary!

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