For all that they’re robust little creatures, rabbits can quite easily overheat in hot weather – the temperature only needs to reach 25°C to pose a threat to your pet.
If the mercury is rising there are some steps you should take to make sure your rabbit stays safe, which is why the Northlands’ Veterinary team has come up with the following advice. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’ve any further queries or to book an appointment to see our head vet Catherine if you’re concerned about your rabbit’s health.
As rabbits can only regulate their temperature through their ears it can be difficult for them to stay cool during heatwaves. One way to boost their natural cooling system is to spray their ears with water – it will evaporate as it warms up.
During hot weather move their hutch out of direct sunlight and into the coolest spot practicable.
Make sure your rabbit’s water bottles are kept topped up and if there’s access to power near the hutch think about setting up a fan to keep the air moving. This will be an even more effective cooling system if you direct the airflow over a bowl of iced water.
You can make a ‘cold water bottle’ then wrap it in a cloth for your rabbit to lounge against or set up frozen water bottles around the hutch.
In the absence of a cooling mat, pop some tiles in the freezer then give them to your rabbit to lie on.
All these little tricks should ensure your rabbit doesn’t succumb to the heat, but if it starts to exhibit any of the following symptoms of heatstroke you should get it somewhere cool and call us on 01536 485543 for expert advice.
Symptoms of heatstroke in rabbits:
· Shallow, accelerated breathing
· Hot ears
· Wet nose
We’re here to help so if you’ve any queries about your rabbit’s health in hot weather, or to make an appointment to see our head vet at Northlands, contact us and one of the team will be happy to help.