Should your rabbits dwell inside a bunny hutch or rabbit cage out of the house, summer can be a problem for them. If truth be told, it can be fatal if you don’t take extra precautions to care for them. Let’s take a couple of minutes to take into consideration how one can attend to your rabbit in the summer.
Why Summer is Challenging for Bunnies
We humans have the ability to survive heat much better than many animals, including bunnies, for one main reason – we perspire. Our systems have the ability to release heat through the skin as a cooling system. Bunnies don’t have this capability. Combine this with a fur coat and you’ve got a very, very hot bunny.
If it’s a wild hare/rabbit, they’ll try to compensate for this by burrowing in the earth. They get out of the sun’s rays and into the cooler ground. If you’ve watched a rabbit burrow, you know they will get very deep and that gets them much cooler. For those inside a rabbit hutch or bunny cage, they do not have this option. So, let’s contemplate how you can make their summer a happier time.
When your pet’s shelter is a bunny hutch or rabbit cage, the easiest method to resolve the summer heat dilemma is to take them indoors in the air conditioning during the hottest hours. You could place them in a bathroom, guest room or other room where they can be cooler. Just be certain you bring in the litter pan. Not an option? Then let’s look into alternatives. The following are a couple of things I’d highly recommend you do to keep your rabbit cool in summer season:
– Confirm your rabbit has sufficient cover from the sun – You can’t overestimate the value of shade. Don’t trust me? Play outside on a day when it’s in excess of 90 degrees and full of sunshine. Stand in the sun for five minutes. Move to the shade and wait there for 5 minutes. You’ll see. Your bunny will too.
– Put frozen water bottles in with your rabbit – Save some of the 2-litre or milk bottles/jugs and fill them with water. Freeze them and place them in the cage with your rabbit twice daily (one mid-morning, one mid-afternoon). They’ll rest against it and thank you for it.
– Provide them ice water – Speaking of ice, add a bit of ice cubes in their water two times a day as well (same times). Leaving ice inside a HUGE weighty crock provides them with the opportunity to soak their feet and/or ears in it if they want. Naturally, they really need the hydration desperately too. Be sure they NEVER run out of water in the heat. Do yourself (and your bunny) a big favor and buy one of these lock-on crocks. They’re beneficial because bunnies can’t tip them over and waste their hydration whenever it’s 100 degrees out. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s well worth the $6.
– Supply a cold porcelain tile – Pick up a couple of 12″ x 12″ ceramic tiles and always keep a collection of them in the freezer. Insert them in the rabbit hutch or cage in the course of the hot hours.
– Mist or rub the rabbit’s ears with cool water – Rabbits dissipate heat through their ears. Wash their ears using a cool towel or spray them with chilled water and it’ll really help.
– Brush, brush, brush – You will need to groom your rabbit regardless but doing away with that excess hair using a brush during summer is an essential.
– Run a circulating fan – You don’t want a continual wind on the rabbit however a clip-on circulating fan should help. You could make it better still by having it move over a moist fabric to offer some cooling. Be certain to keep the power cord out of bunny’s reach.
– Allow them fresh produce – Delicious veggies provide moisture. Don’t skimp on those when it’s very hot outdoors.
The heat is increasing at our house, so we’ll be doing a lot of the steps mentioned above to help keep our rabbits cool in the summer. If you are using a bunny hutch or bunny cage like us, we trust you will do the same thing.