Two parrots drinking water

Why Is My Parrot Not Drinking Water: 8 Things To Check 

Many people get concerned about their parrots not drinking enough water. I remember being there myself when I saw a full bowl of water at the end of every day. The water in the bowl just never seemed to decrease. 

This is a common situation that many parrot owners face. The reason for this is that parrots don’t entirely rely on external sources for their daily water intake. They get most of the fluids they need from their food and the rest by drinking directly.

Although parrots drink water on a daily basis, you would hardly ever notice a change in water levels in their bowl. But that does not necessarily mean that your parrot isn’t drinking from it. It may just be because they only drink a fraction of that amount.

It is hard to keep track of their water intake because they drink so little. But as a responsible parrot owner, it is normal to get a little worried about your parrot’s health since water is so important for various bodily functions. 

In this article, we’ll go over the possible reasons why your parrot may not be drinking from its bowl and share tips on what you should do to get your parrot to start drinking again.   

How Much Water Do Parrots Drink A Day?

Water requirements can differ between species and size but generally, parrots drink anywhere from 2-4 times a day. Some parrots may drink water first thing in the morning and right before going to sleep. It is very hard to monitor your parrot’s water consumption by looking at its water bowl alone. 

Parrot droppings are a much better way to gauge their hydration levels. You can tell if your parrot is drinking water by looking at the consistency of the droppings. if the poop seems to be infrequent or dry, then the parrot may not be taking in enough water.   

Parrots drinking water

Why Is My Parrot Not Drinking Water?

There are various factors that could play a role in why your parrot won’t drink water. Some of them may not be anything to worry about and can be easily fixed while others can be a cause for concern. Here are 8 things to check if your parrot is not drinking water:

Stale Water 

Parrots use their water bowls more for other activities than actually drinking from them. They would dip their food in it, take a bath, and do all sorts of activities that would waste water. Sometimes they may even poop in their water. All this can make the water dirty very quickly and unfit for the parrot to drink. 

Even though parrots only need a few drops of water in a day, it is important that you keep fresh water inside their cage at all times. Parrots would not want to drink from the same container they earlier pooped in. So, it is wise to clean their container as well every time you replace the water. 

Change In Weather 

When winters come around, parrots may not need as much water because they lose lower amounts of moisture through evaporation. During this season, parrots are also a lot less inclined to submerge themselves in water or play with it. So you would notice the water bowl to remain untouched more commonly than in summer months. 

Change In Environment

This happens more commonly when you bring a new parrot home. An unfamiliar environment can be naturally a stressful situation for parrots as they like stability and security in their surroundings. It might take some time for them to adjust to the new environment. You may also hear less chatter from them. To help your parrot drink water, you should try and comfort it and make it feel secure. 

Water-Rich Foods In Their Diet

A good portion of a parrot’s daily water intake comes from the food eats. Nearly all fruits and vegetables have some amount of water in them which can be enough to keep the parrot hydrated through the day. If your parrot is primarily on a pelleted diet then it might need to visit its water bowl a couple of times. However, other times, the fruits, especially the juicier ones can be more than enough to keep your parrot well-hydrated.  

Inactivity Or Lack Of Exercise 

Another reason why parrots may not drink water is inactivity or a lack of encouragement to do so. Spending at least 15-20 minutes with your parrot to work their muscles is highly recommended. It has a variety of benefits for them, especially their digestive and heart health. On the other side, if your parrot is mostly sitting on its perch, playing by itself, it would not feel as thirsty and hence would not need to drink water.   


Depression in intelligent pet birds like parrots is quite common. Usually, when parrots are depressed, they do not engage in physical activities around their surroundings like before and mostly rest quietly in one place. This often leads to a lack of thirst. However, in such cases, the parrot may also lose interest in food and seem weak and less active. 

Health Problems

Many health conditions can disrupt your parrot’s normal drinking habits. If you notice symptoms like lethargy and loss of appetite, sitting at the bottom of the cage, it can be a sign that something might be wrong. At that point, you should call your avian veterinarian and talk to them about your parrot’s condition. Keep track of how long your parrot hasn’t consumed water so that the vet can know more about the situation. 


Another potential reason that could deter your parrot from drinking water is an injury, especially a beak injury. Parrots are naturally inclined to hide their injuries as it can make them more vulnerable to predators in the wild. They would act normal until they can no longer hide the problem. This behavior is also seen in captive parrots. However, it is not easy to conceal an injury for long. If your parrot has trouble drinking water due to its condition, it can get dehydrated quickly.  Check for cracks and cuts around the beak and inside the mouth of the parrot if you suspect it is not drinking water. 

What Happens If My Parrot Won’t Drink Water?

Water is needed to support various critical functions in a parrot’s body such as circulating blood, facilitating digestion, kidney function, etc. So if your parrot does not consume water for a long period of time, it can have negative effects on its health.


A parrot may go as long as 36 hours without water before getting severely dehydrated. Although parrots drink less, they still need water to sustain important bodily functions. Dehydration in parrots can be caused by a number of reasons and may pose a significant risk for the parrots because it can exacerbate the condition or disease that may have caused it. 


Water is needed for digestion and to let food easily pass through the digestive tract. In the absence of water, it can be hard to expel the fecal matter, making the parrot constipated. This happens when the bird has been drinking less water for a long time.     

Macaw drinking water from a cap

What Should You Do If Your Parrot Is Not Drinking Water? 

There are many ways you can get your parrot to drink water even if it refuses to. But it is more important to first understand the reason for such behavior. If you have ruled out the medical concerns, here are some tips you can use to make your parrot drink water:

Soak Their Food In Water

Add water to their food if they refuse to drink it directly. Soft foods can be easily dipped in water and served to parrots. To entice the parrot, you can try some of its favorite foods or some sweet snacks.

Mix Fruit Juice In Their Water 

A little bit of fruit juice in the water can make it more appetizing and also help to keep their electrolyte levels in check. Just make sure you do not give them a sugary drink. Use freshly squeezed juice and not store-bought.  

Change The Location Of Their Water Bowl

In addition to keeping fresh water in their cage at all times, try changing the location of the water bowl to a different corner. Sometimes a parrot may feel uncomfortable in a particular space and avoid going there. Also try washing or replacing the old water bowl, especially if it is dirty. 

Can Parrots Drink Tap Water?

Parrots can drink tap water as long as it is clean and fit for consumption. The quality of tap water mostly depends on the region you live in. So if you know your area’s water is clean and you drink it yourself, there’s no harm in giving it to your parrot. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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