How Long Can Budgies Go Without Water?- [Explained!]

Parakeet parents frequently inquire about their budgie’s feeding requirements. Suppose you have a new budgie and are unsure what to feed it. You’re also unsure whether your bird should drink water or what to do if it doesn’t.

So, how long can budgies last without water? They can go for a maximum of 24 hours without water. A new budgie will be hesitant to drink the water due to fear of its new environment. However, water is necessary for a budgie’s body. If a parakeet becomes dehydrated, it can develop severe health issues.

Budgie owners should understand their budgie’s behaviors. This way, it will be easier to know when the budgie is not drinking water. This article will discuss more on how long budgies can go without water.

How Long Can Budgies Go Without Water?

Budgies can only survive for 24 hours without water. After 24 hours, the budgie will experience severe health problems, including organ failure and dizziness. Budgies are very active, so their bodies lose water quickly. As a result, they require access to water regularly to replenish the water lost by their bodies.

Many budgie owners claim to have never seen their birds drink water. The budgies only bathe in the water and never drink it. Budgies can go up to a week without drinking water in some cases. Feeding your budgie liquid-containing foods can go for more than seven days without drinking fresh water.

However, ensure the budgie has access to fresh water in its cage. If you get a new budgie, make sure it has enough space to drink and eat. Note that the longer the parakeet goes without water, the worse it gets; even if you give it water, it might not recuperate.

How much water does a budgie require?

Not much research has accurately stated how much water a budgie requires. It primarily depends on where the budgie lives and the level of water content in a parakeet’s diet. However, some veterinarians and budgie enthusiasts say that parakeets drink about a spoon of water daily.

Why do budgies drink little water?

Here is why budgies drink little water.

  • The budgie’s diet; a budgie is a tiny bird. It weighs about 28-42 grams. Therefore, it only needs a little water.
  • The parakeet’s beak; is modified to eat seeds and grains. So, the budgie cannot sip a lot of water through its beak.
  • Budgie’s thermoregulation; budgies lose water through excretion and not perspiration. Therefore, unlike mammals, they do not need to replenish the water now and then.
  • Budgie’s playfulness; in a cage, there is not much room for playing or flying around. So, the budgie does not use much of its body water.
  • Temperature; if the budgie lives at a cool temperature, it rarely consumes more than a spoonful of water a day.

How To Keep Your Parakeet Hydrated?

Here is how to keep your budgie hydrated:

Clean the bowl

If the bowl is not clean, the budgie will refuse to drink from it. Water bowls get dirty quickly because the budgie uses the water to bathe. Therefore the water will have the budgie’s feathers and sometimes stink of urine. So try to wash the bowl once a week.

Also, try to use a bowl without an odor. Budgies can refuse to drink water because the bowl smells weird or stale. Glass is the best alternative.

Replenish the water

Budgies might refuse to drink the water because it has a weird taste. Budgies might soil the water when bathing in it. So ensure you change the water every day.

Identify the water bowl

Most budgies do not know whether the bowls in front of them have something edible. According to research, birds will not drink if they cannot identify where the water is. Swirling a spoon inside the bowl or dripping some water around it will alert them that water is in the bowl.

Make the water taste sweeter

You can add a drop of honey into the water or fruit juices such as strawberry juice to entice the budgie to drink the water. Some water tastes like minerals, e.g., tap water tastes like minerals, which is why budgies find it unpleasant.

Provide fruits and vegetables

If your budgies have hydration issues, ensure you provide them with vegetables and fruits. Most of these contain a high water content which will help keep the budgie hydrated. However, still, try to give the budgie fresh water.

How Do I Know My Budgie Is Drinking Water?

If you recently adopted a parakeet, it may be challenging to know whether it is drinking water. Most budgies will take some time to get used to their new surroundings. So you might not be able to see it while drinking water.

Budgies feel vulnerable when drinking water; therefore, they might be sipping the water when no one is around and returning to their hiding place. Here are a few tips to know if your budgie is drinking water.

  • Check if the water level decreases in the bowl. You can achieve this by putting a spot at the current water level and seeing if the water level falls from there.
  • You can also use a camera to observe your budgie.
  • If you think your budgie is not drinking water, the budgie will start showing symptoms such as dry or wrinkled skin, sunken eyes, and lethargy.

How Often Should A Parakeet Drink Water?

The number of times a budgie drinks water depends on the environment, activity level, water accessibility, and what the budgie eats. Generally, the budgie can sip the water two to five times a day.

For example, feeding your budgie pellets and grains will intake more water than a budgie whose diet contains fruits and vegetables.

Why Is My Budgie Refusing To Drink Water?

A parakeet can only last 24 hours without water, so please ensure you take it to a vet if it refuses to take water. Here are other reasons why your budgie is not drinking water.

New environment

A new budgie will feel unsafe drinking water in front of people. It may also not know where the water bowl is.


If your budgie is sad because maybe it is lonely or its companion is not around, it may refuse to drink water or eat.


One budgie might get bullied if you have more than one in the cage. This will make it stay on its own and not drink water.

Unsafe position

Maybe you have placed the water bowl on the side of the cage where cats or dogs pass by. The budgie will feel unsafe drinking water from that position. Try shifting the bowl to another place.

Scented detergent

Budgies will refuse to drink water if the bowl smells of any other scent. So, wash the water bowl with unscented soap and rinse it thoroughly. Also, if you can give the budgie bottled or filtered water because some budgies dislike the taste of tap water.

Stale water

If the water has been in the bowl for several days, the budgie might not drink it. So ensure you change the water daily.


Here are other related questions budgie owners ask:

What happens if the budgie does not drink water?

The budgie becomes dehydrated and disoriented.  Some signs of dehydration are lethargy, wilted skin, and sunken eyes. Eventually, the budgie dies due to dehydration.

How many days can budgies survive without water?

A parakeet can go up to a week without water. However, if the budgie has no other water source apart from the water itself, it cannot last for more than 24 hours. If you feed your budgie with fruits and vegetables, then it can go up to a week without water.


So, how long can budgies go without water? Budgies will only last for not more than 24 hours. After this, the budgie becomes dehydrated and dies. So ensure you provide your budgies with fresh water every day.

Budgies do not drink a lot of water. One spoonful of water is enough for them. So if your budgie seems to be overhydrating, there might be an underlying issue. I hope this article gave you an overview of how long budgies can go without water.

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