Keeping Rabbits Cool in Summer Months

Rabbits are unable to regulate their body temperature and can experience heat stress and heatstroke which can be fatal. As they struggle with unexpected changes to the temperature it is our responsibility to help them cool and prevent heat stroke.  

Look out for these signs and symptoms if you think your rabbit is experiencing heat stroke:  

  • Weakness 
  • Lethargy 
  • Red/warm ears 
  • Wet nose 
  • Drooling 
  • Panting 
  • Fitting 
  • Unconsciousness  

If you notice any of these signs then contact your vet immediately and carry out these tips to help your rabbit. After carrying out these tips still ensure to talk or visit your vet, although your rabbit may seem fine, it's better to get them checked out.  

  • Try to encourage them to drink small amounts of cool water 
  • Place a damp towel on their enclosure 
  • Wipe their ears with a damp cool towel 
  • Move their enclosure to a cooler place 

Here are 5 ways to keep your rabbit cool in the summer!  

Shade – Keep your rabbit out of direct sunlight, ideally you should place their enclosure in a well shaded place. If this is not possible ensure you give them plenty of items in their enclosure that will give them shade, this could include placing tarpaulin over their enclosure, or providing them with tunnels and boxes which can also act as enrichment.  

  1. Water – It’s really important to keep your rabbits hydrated at all times, you could provide different sources of water such as in a bottle and a shallow bowl. Make sure to check the bottles regularly and change them a minimum of twice daily to ensure they have access to clean and cool water. 
  2.  
  1. Grooming – Daily grooming can help with excess fur, ensuring their coat stays healthy and clean and will help them feel more comfortable in the summer months. Rabbits also release heat through their ears, so by lightly spraying cold water on their ears, it can help cool them down. 
  2.  
  1. Feed - Soak your animals feed in cool water or serve it from the fridge, this will not only be cooler for your rabbit but will also mentally stimulate them as its different from what they're used to. 
  2.  
  1. Enrichment – In the wild rabbit's love to burrow underground where its cooler, by providing them with an area where they can dig and get out of the sun it will enrich them and keep them cool. You could also place marble slates in their enclosure which they can lie on to cool them down, ensure they are not placed in direct sunlight as they become extremely hot and dangerous.  

Written by Angelina Hart

I have a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care, a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management and in 2020 I gained a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science and Welfare. Alongside my education, I have been fortunate enough to work in a local zoo, an owl sanctuary, and a dog grooming parlour. I have had various pets over the years such as fish, hamsters, rabbits, cats, and dogs. I currently have a 10-year-old cat Marley who I have had since he was a kitten. My experience and education within the animal industry has provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I'm excited to use to write content for We Love Pets and share it with the public to help them understand the health and welfare of their pets.

Topics: rabbit, pet care, summer, rabbit care

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