It’s vital to know how to keep your rabbit cool in the summer if you plan on owning or already have a rabbit since they are so delicate. For starters, rabbits have a hard time keeping cool in the summer. Thus, you should take appropriate steps to ensure they stay cool. There are various ways you can do this, and this article provides you with all the information you may need to cool your rabbit.
How Hot is Too Hot?
Rabbits can’t maintain their body temperature because of their fur. Their internal temperature usually rests between 101 and 103˚F. However, pet rabbits have difficulty maintaining their temperature during warm seasons, especially when they aren’t correctly cared for.
The ideal temperature for rabbits is between 55 and 70˚F. Anything more than this can cause them to overheat. Breeds with shorter fur have better thermoregulation; however, those with denser fur may overheat if the temperature increases.
Signs of Overheating in Rabbits
Often, hyperthermia in rabbits isn’t obvious; however, there are some signs that you can look out for to see if your rabbit is overheating. Remember, rabbits can experience heatstroke if they experience hyperthermia for extended periods. Heat Stroke often leads to reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to seizures and other forms of brain damage, and even death.
Signs of overheating include:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Warm feet and ears
- Nose-twitching and rapid breathing
- Tossing of the head
- Poor appetite
- Breathing with mouth open
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Blue-tinged mouth and nose
- Confusion and incoordination
- A salivating and wet nose
- Convulsions and seizures
Ways to Keep Your Rabbit Cool in the Summer
Keep the Rabbit Cage Well-Ventilated.
It would be best to keep your rabbit cage well ventilated in the summer months by positioning an oscillating fan that blows cool air into the cage. The breeze helps cool your rabbit; however, you should position it so that your rabbit can escape the fan when it needs to. Do this by building a shielded hiding place in the cage.
Additionally, you can move your rabbit to a well, shaded place in your garden or well-ventilated space like your garage. You can also move them indoors during the hottest time of the day, like in the afternoons. Having a great outdoor rabbit hutch can help with the ventilation issues and space for your rabbit to cool down.
Hang a Wet Towel Over the Rabbit Cage
Placing a wet towel over your rabbit’s cage is effective, especially if you combine it with a running fan. The towel helps shade the rabbit and provides it with cool moisture that helps reduce the ambient temperature.
Take a normal-sized towel, dip it in water, then wring it out. Next, you should place it on the cage, ensuring that you cover most of the space. However, you should ensure the towel doesn’t obstruct its ventilation and that the towel isn’t dripping any water to avoid soaking the rabbit.
Cool Down the Cage with Ice
Cool down your rabbit’s cage by placing ice packs underneath it. You can also place frozen water bottles inside the cage, creating a cool spot that your rabbit can lie against whenever they feel too hot. It would be best to make sure not to apply ice directly onto the rabbit’s body since it could lower their body temperature too rapidly, leading to other complications.
Provide your Rabbit with Cool Water
Your rabbit needs more water when it feels too hot. It does this because it loses water when it sweats. Thus, it would help to fill your rabbit’s water dish regularly or bottle cold water. You should invest in more water bottles or dishes and place an additional dish containing ice cubes to lower the cage’s temperature. Place the water in more locations than you normally would during cooler seasons.
Adopt your Rabbit’s Schedule
Rabbits are more active at dusk and dawn, convenient during warmer seasons since they are the coolest periods of the day. Thus, it would be best to let the rabbits run and exercise during this period rather than during the middle of the day, which is typically the hottest.
Give the Rabbit a Summer Do
While a rabbit’s fur is their best protection against the cold in cooler seasons, it’s a bit inconvenient for them during warmer seasons. You could help them cool down by brushing out any excess fur.
You should groom your short-haired rabbits once a week and groom your long-haired rabbits daily. Using blunt-ended scissors, you can cut out mats and remove excess hair using a bristly shedding brush.
Watch Out for Flystrike.
Flystrike is a serious problem that often happens in the summer. It happens when flies lay eggs that hatch and begin feeding on your rabbit. This often happens quickly and can become deadly quite fast.
Rabbits that are more vulnerable to flystrike include:
- Arthritic rabbits
- Elderly rabbits
- Long-haired breeds
- Rabbits with dental issues
- Female rabbits with big abdominal dewlaps
Keep Your Rabbit Cool This Summer
Remember that rabbits are more heat-sensitive than we are. Thus, if you are feeling hot in the summer, your rabbit may be feeling hot. You should make enough preparations and ensure that you have the best tools to keep your rabbit cool in the summer. Be sure to read our article on how to keep them warm in the winter. What rabbit breed do you have, and how do you plan on keeping your rabbit cool in the summer?
I have always loved rabbits. A rabbit was my very first pet. Since owning my first rabbit I have gone on to own many more. I look forward to being able to get my kids their very own pet rabbits.