As the weather heats up, we look for ways to keep ourselves cool during the hot summer days! Our bunnies need to cool off too! Left unprotected, your bunny can suffer from heat related illnesses including dehydration, heat stroke, and even death! Below, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of an overheated bunny as well as ways to prevent heat stroke and keep your bunny cool and happy!
Unlike humans, rabbits cannot regulate their body temperature by sweating. Nor can they pant like dogs. Instead, they use their ears to cool themselves and yes, the bigger the ears, the easier it is for a bunny to keep cool. However, rabbits have a number of factors working against them when it comes to heat tolerance. For one, most rabbits have a dense coat of fur. They also have short nasal passages which decrease their ability to breath effectively in warm weather. These factors coupled with their small size puts your bunny at increased risk of overheating.
Early signs that your bunny is too warm include rapid breathing, decreased activity, lack of appetite, increased water consumption, and restlessness. If left untreated, these symptoms can progress to Heat Stroke, signs of which include reddening of the ears, panting, salivating, weakness, confusion, and convulsions! If ignored, these symptoms will lead to death!
Heat Stroke progresses quickly, therefore your bunny MUST be kept cool and comfortable at all times! Our rule of thumb is if you are comfortable, your bunny is too!
There are many ways to keep your bunny cool and comfortable in the hot weather. If your bunny is indoors, simply running fans or air conditioning will do the trick. Another simple and cheap way to ensure your bunny stays comfortable is to provide them with frozen water bottles. You can also freeze some of their favorite fruits and offer them as treats. Watch our video on how to make Blueberry Bunny Pops! If your bunny is housed outdoors, ensure they have constant access to fresh, cold water as well as a cool, dark place to escape the harsh summer sun. Consider relocating your bunny to your basement or garage to provide a cooler, more temperature controlled environment. Good grooming is also essential to keeping your bunny cool. Regular brushing, even with short fur, will help remove uncomfortable loose fur and prevent mats. We do offer grooming services for those of you in the Albany, NY area. You can book an appointment here Bunny Spa Package for Long Fur Bunny Spa Package for Short Fur
As we all know, the summer months can be hot and uncomfortable. When it comes to keeping your bunny cool, you are their greatest ally so get creative, and be sure to monitor for signs of overheating and heat stroke!
How do you keep your bunny cool in the summer? Share your tips and tricks below!