Tips To Keep Your Rabbits Cool This Summer
The summer heat is upon us, and while for most of us, it’s the season to step out and make the most of the sun, your furry pet friends might not feel the same way.
If you’re a parent to a rabbit, you must know how vulnerable to heat strokes they are. They usually rely on their owners to provide them cooler conditions during summers. While wild rabbits can afford to go underground or hide under bushes to keep cool, pet rabbits need more than that.
Here are some tips to keep them cool and happy –
Give them lots of shade
If you have a rabbit hutch, keep it away from direct sunlight, especially if they are made of metal, as they tend to heat up really quick. Try placing the hutch in a shaded area if you have a garden or a cool corner of your house. Don’t completely keep it in the dark and see that the place allows some amount of light and air. Even for your rabbit run, it’s best to keep them where there is lot of shade. That’s because they are also made of wire mesh and are completely exposed to the sun's harsh rays during the summer months. The best would be to get a lightweight cover that allows the wind to circulate, but also offers shelter from the sun, so your rabbits can enjoy their exercise time without being affected by heat. You could also try placing some cool material inside their hutch such as ceramic tiles so they can keep their body against it when they feel too hot.
Keep giving them fresh, cool water
Not just humans, but even rabbits need a good dose of water at regular intervals. Remember to replenish their water bowls once in a while, and check that it hasn’t gotten stale or too hot. Keep a lot of water bowls and bottles around the areas they frequent so they have access to water whenever they want. Sometimes you might find them lying in their water bowls, which is okay because they like cooling off if it’s too hot. You could also give them lots of cool summer veggies to munch on, which will keep hunger at bay and also keep them hydrated.
Keep their hutch clean
Ensure thorough hygiene and regular cleaning of your rabbit’s bedding and litter to keep flies and other critters at bay. Keep checking regularly for fly infestation as that tends to rise during summer months. Keeping your rabbit groomed and removing excess hair will also keep them cooler in this heat and also prevent flies from attacking them.
How can I spot heat stroke symptoms in rabbits?
That’s a vital question because heat stroke in rabbits can be fatal sometimes. If you can spot the signs early, you can easily reverse the effects. The main symptoms you should look out for include, fast, shallow breathing, wetness around the nose, breathing rapidly from an open mouth whilst throwing their head back, hot ears.
If you think your rabbit may have gotten a heat stroke, don’t panic. Just take them indoors to a cool, well-ventilated room. Don’t get them into a cold bath as it may shock them, just cold press their ears. Offer them lots of water and keep them amidst calm surroundings. If they do not appear to be getting better, immediately take them to your vet.
Follow these rules to keep your rabbit cool this summer, and avoid trips to the vet.