Summer is here and as the weather continues to heat up it's extremely important to keep your pet rabbit cool in order to keep them healthy and free from suffering any damage. Your pet rabbit is extremely sensitive and being exposed to too much heat or sunlight can harm them and even potentially kill them.
We as humans may like to grab a cocktail and lay by the pool on Saturdays, soaking in some rays even when it's 95 degrees. Sure, it’s hot for us but while we can tolerate it, your small rabbit can't. You can prevent your rabbit from suffering or dying from heat stroke by being responsible and becoming a well-educated rabbit owner. Keep reading to find our the proper rabbit care when it comes to keep your rabbit cool this summer!
Rabbits Ideal Temperature
Rabbits are most comfortable in temperature that range from 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's when the temperatures start getting into the 80s that a rabbit can begin to experience heat stress. Taking preventative measures to keep your rabbit cool is simpler and less stressful than treating heat stroke.
Keeping a Rabbit Cool
While some of these seem like common sense, it's always good to have a refresher of the things you need to be aware of during the summer. Nothing is worse than accidentally leaving and forgetting to fill their water bowl or leaving them without any type of fresh air.
Make sure their cage is not next to a window or directly in the sunlight. If your rabbit is inside your home then make sure they are in a part of the room where there is plenty of shade and won't get stuck in sunlight at any point during the day. If your rabbit is outside then make sure their hutch is under a tree covered by its shade. You can also make your own shade with awnings, umbrellas, etc.
Make sure your rabbit has plenty of water available. If you'll be leaving for a couple of hours pour enough that there is plenty of water to last them the entire time that you'll be gone. Water dishes are good to use, but adding a water bottle will ensure that there will be enough water for your pet rabbit. This also ensures he will have water even if the dish is tipped over.
Place ice in your rabbit’s water dish so that their water is extra cold and they can lie next to it along with leaning up against the cool glass or ceramic bowl. Place a few water bottles in the freezer for an hour and then place them in your rabbit's hutch/cage for them to lean against to keep cool.
If it’s a hot day and your house is warming up [and you have an inside rabbit] make sure there is a breeze or source of cool air that is getting to your rabbit. Don't run the air conditioning when you're out of the house? See about creating your own smaller ac unit that is inexpensive to make and will keep cool air flowing next to your rabbit. You can also set up a fan somewhere in the room but don't have it blowing directly on your rabbit.
Keep your rabbit well groomed so that they don't have extra layers of fur that are making them overheat.
Make sure that your rabbit’s diet is proper and they're getting the correct nutrients fromTimothy Hayand fresh veggies. Tip: Wash your veggies in water and then leave the excess water on them, allowing your rabbit another way to get water into their bodies.
If your rabbits are kept outdoors, bring them in when it gets really hot outside to ensure that they won’t suffer from the heat even if it's just into a cool garage or the basement.
If you leave your rabbit outside invest in some ceramic tiles, as they can stay cool even in hot water. The Cape Coop created a ceramic tile floor to their hutch to keep their rabbit cool, check it out in Step #4. You can also purchase just a few tiles and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes then place them in with your rabbit to give them a cool place to lay down.
What To Do If Your Rabbit Experiences A Heat Stroke?
If you somehow find that your rabbit has experienced heat stroke or is demonstrating pain from being in the heat or the sun take them to your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. If you aren't sure what the symptoms are, click here to read through them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if this happens to your rabbit:
Do not submerge your rabbit in cold water—this could shock your pet even more.
Take a cool damp cloth and hold it on your rabbit’s ears and body.
Again, if you think they are having any reaction to the heat or sun take them to your vet immediately. DO NOT wait to see if they will get better or if you can treat it yourself.
Along with getting too much heat, you also have to worry about fly strike—which is more susceptible in warm weather. Give this blog a read to learn more about rabbit care andfly strike.
Being a good rabbit care provider means making sure you take care of your rabbit and use preventative methods that will ensure they stay safe and healthy. Always make sure that your rabbit has the right amount of hay in their diet, at least 80%, especially during the summer. To learn more about the seven types of hays we sell in our store or just to understand the health benefits of each download our Hay is for Rabbits eBook!