Summer is right around the corner, which is why it is very useful to be aware of the threats and dangers that are facing your Rabbit when the temperature rises. Did you know that rabbits are unable to sweat or pant? This means that they can get extremely overheated in the hot weather so it’s more important than ever that, as the owner you take care of them to ensure they are not harmed by the hot weather.
At Boyle’s Pet Housing we’ve listed some of the steps that you can take in order to ensure that your fluffy friend has a cool, safe and enjoyable summer season.
- Air Conditioning: Like us, Rabbits will benefit from an air conditioning unit. So if your home has one it is advisable that you take your rabbits into your house during the hotter moments of the day – but remember to take caution and keep an eye on them if you own other pets. This is especially relaxing for your rabbit if your home has ceramic tiles that are nice and cool for them to rest on. It is not always advisable to let them near cooling fans; this is because they simply blow back hot air and there is a risk of them chewing the wire. However, why not use an old towel that has been soaked in cold water, drape it around the cage or run and allow the fan to gently blow cool air onto the rabbit. Mesh doors are also an excellent source of ventilation if your rabbit is in a shed.
- Frozen Water: Keep a constant supply of water in your freezer. If you
place them in the cage next to your rabbit they will have a constant, cool surface to rest their heads on. But remember to remove the labels and any other aspect of the bottle that the rabbit may chew on. If you wrap the bottle in a tea towel you’ll be able to ensure that there is no risk of ice burn.
- Ice Packs: Rabbit hutches should be already be elevated from the ground – this is beneficial in the winter months since it protects against damp and rising cold. In the summer, why not take advantage of this space by placing ice packs underneath the hutch or cage?
- Brush: Brushing your rabbit will remove any excess hair that they have – imagine having to wear a fur coat when it’s 30°C! Some pet owners may even give their rabbit a trim before the weather turns too hot. Long haired rabbits are also unable to clean themselves if there is too much fur which can also cause issues in the summer because of the prevalence of wasps and flies. Long fur is a perfect nesting place for little bugs so it is a good idea to check your Rabbit’s coat regularly.
- Shade: This may be the most obvious, but it is extremely effective. During the times of the day in which the location of your rabbit or cage is directly exposed to the sun, this is when your attention is most important. Try moving them into a cooler space in the garden if it is convenient. Remember our wide range of shelters and hideaways are great for protection 24/7, alternatively you may own a garden umbrella that can shield them.
What are the warning signs of heat stroke?
- Wet nose
- Laboured breathing
- Refusal to eat or drink
- Ears are hot
What should I do?
If your Rabbit is showing the warning signs, don’t delay and seek attention for them as soon as possible. NEVER put Bunnies into cold water because they don’t handle the change of temperature well, causing more harm than good due to the threat of Pneumonia. The vet will be able to advise you on any necessary steps that you should take before you go to them. If you are a new owner it’s important that you find an ideal local vet before you actually need their services. This way you know exactly where to go if there is a problem in the future.
If you keep an eye on your Rabbit and make sure to follow our steps however, they should be able to have a fun and comfortable Summer with no need to take the Bunny to the vet.