Summer and fall have come and gone taking with it the warm days and nights that your rabbi thrives in. Winter is now here and with the turning of season it's important to know how to keep your rabbit warm over the next several months.
Rabbits that are kept inside the house should be pretty safe seeing that most people keep the house heated to a comfortable setting, but if your rabbit is kept outside or in an unheated part of the house then pay attention to the following advice to ensure your rabbit is as comfortable as possible.
More Food = More Energy
When winter comes food becomes scarce in the wild. Your rabbit’s natural instincts will be to eat more as the temperature drops. This is especially important if your rabbit is going to stay outside.
An increase in food intake can help keep your rabbit’s energy and body temperature high to help combat the cold. Also, a healthy diet of high-quality hay can help your rabbit’s winter coat to come in nice and heavy. Wondering what else to feed your rabbit? This should answer most of your questions.
Pay Attention To Your Rabbit’s Health
This seems pretty standard when it comes to rabbit care but it becomes even more important in the winter. Noticing that your rabbit is sick can be a little tricky. Rabbits tend to be pretty resilient and don’t show signs of pain or illness very well. One thing to keep an eye out for is any winter respiratory problems. If your rabbit has any discharge from its nose, eyes or has noisy breathing, these could be signs of respiratory problems.
Also, watch out for any changes in your rabbit’s normal behaviors or a drop in the amount that your rabbit eats. Rabbits do not hibernate in the winter, so if your rabbit becomes lethargic or lazy take that as a sign and get your rabbit checked out as soon as possible.
Bring Your Rabbit’s Hutch Up To Code
As humans we love being comfortable in our homes, your rabbit is no different. Making sure that your rabbit’s home is as comfortable as possible is an important part of keeping rabbits warm in the winter.
If your rabbit lives outside, the first thing to do is make sure that your rabbit’s hutch will be as dry and waterproof as possible. Look for water marks and damp spots before the rainy season comes to find any troublesome areas. Covering the top and sides of the hutch can help keep the water out and your rabbit dry and comfortable.
The next thing is to insulate it as much as possible. Line the walls with newspaper to help keep heat in and the wind out. Also, be sure to pack more hay and straw to help keep your rabbits warm. In the wild, rabbits snuggle up with each other to share body warmth. Blankets or fleece are a great way to mimic another rabbit and keep your rabbit nice and cozy. If you don’t have any extra blankets or fleece lying around, a microwavable heating pad should do the trick.
If the weather conditions are too harsh we recommend not letting your rabbit go outside to play. Or, if they sleep outside in a hutch it is a good idea to bring them inside when weather conditions get too intense. Cold weather can have a huge impact on your rabbit’s health.
Exercise is Key
Physical activity is a great way to get your rabbit’s blood flowing to keep your rabbit warm in winter. Much like your rabbit’s hutch, make sure that the exercise area for your rabbit is dry. Make sure that your rabbit has some toys so it won’t get bored.
This is also a great time to give your rabbit companionship. Take this time to bond with your rabbitby playing to help your little rabbit stay warm. Rabbits are most active in the mornings and late afternoons, so try to plan accordingly to keep your rabbit happy and healthy.
Caring for your rabbit in the winter might take a little more effort than in the summer or fall but it shouldn’t be stressful.
Gather all the extra hay you need for winter by shopping our store. You can also learn all about the different types of hay that rabbits eat by downloading our Hay is for Rabbits eBook below. You'll learn about the health benefits of each, which hay to feed them depending on their age, allergies and more!