Nobody likes overheating, and that is true for your pets as well. Rabbits tend to have thick fur coats and no sweating, unlike humans. If you own a rabbit, you should consider its body temperature seriously, especially during summers.
How To Keep Rabbits Cool In The Summer? You can easily help keep rabbits cool by keeping them away from sunlight, providing shade, supplying fresh cool water, and keeping them in air-conditioned rooms. You should also help speed up the fur shedding process by regularly brushing them during hotter months.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For A Rabbit?
The naturally optimum temperature range for rabbits is between 50-70°F (10-21°C). However, rabbits do tend to be comfortable in higher or lower temperatures within the range of 40-75°F.
If the temperature rises beyond 80ºF-85ºF, rabbits start to overheat, and the symptoms become apparent. Higher temperatures combined with bad air quality and humidity tend to have worse effects. In case the temperature goes as high as 95º F, the rabbit will lose its ability to regulate its internal body temperature.
How Do Rabbits Keep Their Body Temperature In Check?
Rabbits cannot regulate temperature by sweating like humans. As a result, they use the following four ways to regulate body temperature:
Keep Them Indoors
Keeping your rabbit indoors is vital, especially if you live in an area with an average temperature of 80ºF or above. Even though it is advisable to keep rabbits indoors throughout the year, it becomes necessary during the summers.
This is because rabbits are highly prone to heat strokes and other related issues during this time of the year. You can also take other precautions, such as allowing less sunlight inside the house by keeping the curtains closed.
Rabbit Cooling Tips
Keeping your rabbit indoors sometimes isn’t enough to keep it cool. For instance, people who don’t have centrally air-conditioned homes or are experiencing a power outage need other ways to keep rabbits cool.
Here are some essential tips to Keep Rabbits Cool In The Summer that all rabbit owners must know:
Keep The AC On 24/7
Rabbit owners tend to follow the footsteps of cat and dog owners when it comes to turning the AC off when leaving home. However, this cannot apply to rabbits since they are vulnerable to high temperatures, unlike cats and dogs.
As a result, it is advisable that you keep the AC on throughout the day, even if you are leaving home for a while.
Shift To The Basement
Basements tend to be cooler as compared to other floors in a house. As a result, if you have one, utilize it by shifting your rabbit enclosure in the basement.
You will be keeping the rabbit at minimal exposure to sunlight. More importantly, since basements are usually 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, chances are you won’t even have to use an AC.
Marble Or Ceramic Tiled Floors
This works like a charm because ceramic or marble tiles tend to stay cooler as compared to other surfaces. Moreover, rabbits like lying over the hard surface instead of soft begging. As a result, it’s a win-win situation because you get a nice floor for your house and a perfectly cool rabbit in one package.
Sprinkle Water Behind The Ears
Rabbits release most of their body heat through the ears. As a result, spraying water behind rabbit ears helps bring down body temperature. Just make sure to spray enough that it doesn’t get into the ears since moisture can cause ear infections.
Frozen Water In Bottles
Use some old water or soda bottles to fill them up with water. Freeze them overnight and put them in the rabbit enclosure. It makes for a great cool surface for the rabbit to lean against. Just make sure you wrap the bottle in some cloth to not feel too cold to the rabbit.
Improved Air Circulation
Air circulation is important to dissipate trapped heat in a room. The best way to achieve good air circulation is to open the windows or doors and use a ceiling fan or rotating fan to circulate air.
Another way to help your rabbit stay cool is to supply them with plenty of fresh water. Hydration is vital to maintain body temperature. However, make sure you are supplying the rabbit with fresh water by changing it a few times a day.
DIY Cooling Unit
People who can’t invest in an air conditioner can make a DIY cooling unit using a fan and bowl of ice. Let the fan blow air through the ice to help keep the room cool. It won’t work as efficiently as an AC unit but is still enough to down the room temperature. Another way to keep the room clean is to hang a cold, damp towel to the fan.
Regular Brushing To Speed Up Fur Shedding
Regular grooming is vital to shed extra fur off the rabbit. Rabbits tend to shed their winter coats as the summer season approaches. However, this process can sometimes take weeks. As a result, brushing the rabbit helps speed up the process. You can also trim the hair in case the rabbit isn’t shedding on its own.
Shade To Keep Sunlight At Bay
Direct sunlight is not good for the rabbit since it can lead to dehydration and exhaustion. The best way to tackle this is to provide shade to the rabbit so that they have a choice between sunlight and shade to regulate body temperature efficiently.
So, by following these tips you can Keep Rabbits Cool In The Summer and save them from heatstroke.
Symptoms Of Overheating In Rabbits
Rabbits have the habit of eating constantly. If you notice that your rabbit is not eating, especially for long periods, then chances are it’s sick. You can test whether something is off by offering the rabbit its favorite treat.
Drained Of Energy
Rabbits are active animals. One symptom of an overheated rabbit is low energy. It is normal for a rabbit to be less active during summers than in winters. However, unusually low energy means the rabbit is overheated.
Panting and Drooling
All healthy rabbits breathe through their noses. However, when a rabbit hyperventilates, it starts breathing rapidly through the mouth. Panting and drooling are good indicators of an overheating rabbit.
Since rabbit ears are the primary source of heat dissipation, the ear temperature tends to rise when a rabbit is overheating. As a result of this overheating, the ears also turn red, indicating you need to do something to cool down the rabbit.
Trembling or shaking
Rabbits tend to hide distress quite successfully. However, if your rabbit is trembling or shaking, it is clear that things are out of their control. Shaking is also the final symptom before a heat stroke hits the rabbit.
Wobbly Or Confused Movement
Confused and slow movements are also indicators that the rabbit needs help. Usually, an overheated rabbit cannot navigate or balance properly, making them wobble and look confused.
Unresponsive rabbits are in immediate need of care. If your rabbit isn’t responding to your touch or any external stimuli, take it to the emergency care unit.
How To Help My Rabbit Through A Heatstroke?
How To Keep Rabbits Cool In The Summer? While it is a scary thought, you must be prepared to deal with a rabbit having a heatstroke. Here is what you can do to help the rabbit during the time it takes to reach the vet:
Dial-In To Your Local Vet Clinic
If you notice any symptoms of a heat stroke, immediately call your rabbit vet. The vet will be able to better guide you as to what to do to cool down the rabbit while you reach the clinic.
Bring the external temperature down.
Rabbits require immediate cooling down while they suffer through a heatstroke. Turn the surrounding temperature down by taking the rabbit to an air conditioned room.
Spritz their ears
Spray cool water on the rabbit’s ear to help speed up the heat dissipation process. However, don’t put them in a bath or soak them in water. The rabbit can suffer from a shock because of this.
Use a damp towel
Wet a towel with cool water. Make sure it’s not completely wet but damp enough to help cool down the rabbit. Wrap it around the rabbit but make sure it’s not too tight. It is vital that the towel is damp enough that it helps cool down but not too wet that it soaks the fur.
Cool Fresh Water
Supplying cool water to the rabbit is another great way to counter a heatstroke. Keep it Infront of the rabbit so that they can drink of their own will. Don’t force them to drink, though.
Prepare a frozen water bottle.
Take an ice pack or frozen water bottle from your freezer. Wrap it in a cloth or towel and let your rabbit lean against the bottle’s cold. Again, provide this as an option to the rabbit but don’t force them to do it.
To Conclude – How To Keep Rabbits Cool In The Summer?
It is vital to keep your bunny cool during the hot weather. Use all the above suggestions to ensure your fluffy friend has a cool, comfortable summer.