For many areas of the country this summer, we have had some pretty hot weather. As a responible pet parent, it is critical that you take steps to keep your pet rabbit cool, especially during times of high heat. But hot weather and rabbits do not mix well, so it is always best to plan ahead, take the necesssary steps and keep your bunny cool!
HopperHome.com offers the following tips in Buns In The Sun:
"Made for Shade: Keep your rabbit out of the sun and have a cage in the shade. Indoor rabbits with direct sun into their cage or pen in the summer need to be protected, too. Heat passing through a window doesn't escape back out so the room heats up. If you let your rabbit run in the garden in the summer, have a shady place for it to rest.
Fans: A fan that will pass a breeze by the rabbit is great and particularly a circulating fan so the breeze isn’t constant. Groucho spends his summer by his own personal fan. Don't put the rabbit's cage in front of an air conditioner and so they really "chill out!" Be sure to bunny proof the cords!
Less Fur: On long-haired rabbits – give them a "hare" cut for the summer. Also, brush hair out of a bunny’s coat so there isn’t extra. After all, that is a fur coat your rabbit is wearing in the summer.
Vegging Out: Vegetables help keep rabbits hydrated so make sure they are getting plenty. Rinse the vegetables and leave the water on them. Be sure they don't get too warm and remove if they look wilted.
Cool Spots: Ceramic tiles, marble tiles or brick/cement pavers in the x-pen (puppy pen)/large cage or in a favorite spot are cool areas for lounging rabbits.
Water: Put a couple of ice cubes in their water crock or bowl – this will keep their water cool and the ceramic crock will be nice for them to lounge next to when it gets too warm. My rabbit, Rosemary, used to take them out to lick them on the pen floor.
Mist Ears: Rabbits dissipate heat through their ears so you can mist them to help them keep cool. Don’t make them wet – just mist occasionally. Plant misters work well. A spray bottle full of water will scare a rabbit.
Cool Buddy: Freeze a few 1 liter pop bottles full of water and then put a thin sock over the bottle, then get wet under the faucet and put it in the rabbit’s area. Rabbits will lay next to the bottle to cool off. I keep one or two in the freezer all summer and rotate in the rabbit pen. Rosemary and Groucho shared theirs by laying down with their bottle "ice cube" between them. Hops is pictured next to his "cold buddy." (Yes, that is a hole in the sock.)
Heat Stroke: If your rabbit gets heat stroke, mist his ears. Absolutely no cold baths or showers! Call your vet immediately!"
The entire article is available at Buns in the Sun
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