Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Heat!!

The summer is well on its way. Long hot summer days, cool drinks on the patio in the evenings. As we all know Canadian summers can be HOT. Are you making sure you bunnies are keeping cool and comfortable in the summer heat?

Rabbits are very sensitive to the heat and can become over heated quite quickly, leading to dehydration, heat exhaustion and even death. Some of the signs that you should be looking for in the case of heat stoke are: heavy panting or difficulty breathing, dehydration and lack of appetite. In more severe situations your rabbit may become unresponsive, uncoordinated and may be having convulsions. If you believe your rabbit is suffering from heat related issues moisten his ears with cool water (not cold) to help cool him and seek veterinarian care immediately. Never submerse your rabbit in cold water.

Remember if you are hot, so is your bunny. If you don’t have air conditioning here are a few tips to help keep your indoor rabbit cool this summer.

- Always make sure you rabbit has access to fresh, cool drinking water. If he drinks from a bowl you can offer ice water. Offering lots of fresh, juicy lettuces/veggies will also help keep the hydrated. When you wash the veggies leave the water on them.

- Make sure that your rabbits cage in not in direct sun and that your free-ranger has access to a cool shady spot.

- Provide your rabbit with a 1-2L bottle of frozen water. Change it out for a fresh one when it has melted.

- Give them a few large ceramic tiles in their cage or shady spot so they have a cool place to stretch out. You can cool them by briefly placing them in your freezer.

- Mist or dampen your rabbits ears with water if they feel warm, remove any excess fur or have longhaired bunnies trimmed during hot weather. You can also use dampened brush on their coat to help cool them.

- Drape wet towels on the top, and sides of your rabbit cage and position a fan to blow in their direction. If you have fans in your bunnies play room please make sure to keep all cords out of reach at all times. Remember, make sure the fan is not blowing directly on you rabbit or that they have the ability to move away from it if they wish.

One more thing - Have fun and enjoy your Summer, Bunnies and Humans alike!

We do not advocate keeping/housing your pet rabbits outside but if you do please consider bring them indoors during extreme summer heat.

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