Wow it’s been hot lately!
I don’t know about the rest of the world but UK is going through one big heat wave. We’ve had temperatures in the low 30s and high 20s.
So what does that mean for our pet rabbits? Deadly heat. Pet rabbits can suffer really bad in temperatures this high. Wild rabbits have the option of hiding underground where they are surrounded by cool earth till the sun comes up but pet rabbits are stuck where they are left. So if you were not careful about the positioning of a run or hutch, or you haven’t considered offering shelter, your pet might be in serious danger of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
I have a previous post with more detailed info on heat exhaustion or heat stroke symptoms and what you can do for your rabbit if he starts showing symptoms of heat related illness. Just briefly though, ensure your rabbit is not lying lifeless and unable to move. Rabbits will be less responsive during the day but they should not be so unresponsive that you will find it unusual.
Here are three quick tips to keep that heat stroke and heat exhaustion at bay:
- Crank out the cold veg! Rabbits do not always drink more when they are hot so it’s your job to make sure they are well watered. This will liven any hot rabbit up and keep them well hydrated. Plus you have the added bonus of bonding with your rabbit through food. To help prevent heat stroke/exhaustion today, I gave my rabbits some pak choi, rinsed in cold tap water and a bit of red pepper. They absolutely loved it! Not sure what vegetables to give? Here is a list of safe vegetables and fruits for your bunny friend.
- Frozen bottles of water. My rabbits will lie near these, lick the condensation off and roll them around the room. Because the water is frozen solid, it will stay cold for a long amount of time. You can buy ice pods which are built especially for pets, they look a lot nicer but you can also recycle empty water bottles. Just fill up with water and pop in the fridge.
- Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be caused by direct sunlight so move your rabbit into the shade! Reposition that run or hutch so there is plenty of shade. The sun will move during the day so keep an eye out for that. Even if your rabbit is indoors, sunlight coming through glass will heat up a room to the point of being unbearably hot.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two killers in summer and people often do not notice it till it’s too late. Implement these three quick tips to help you rabbit feel more comfortable during this heat wave and learn to recognise the signs of heat stroke/heat exhaustion.
If you have any of your own tips of keeping a bunny cool during summer, please share using the comment box below!