Rabbits can also suffer the consequences of the heat during the months of the year with the highest temperatures. Although rabbits are not animals that leave the house, they can be affected by the terrible heatstroke that endangers their lives. From 30ºC, especially if it is very humid, rabbits can start to become lethargic and suffer a lot from the heat. In fact, the small body of rabbits is much more susceptible to heat stroke than ours.
Therefore, rabbits, like the rest of our pets, must be cool to prevent the consequences of high temperatures. But, how to prevent rabbits from getting hot? In this article from PlanèteAnimal, we will explain how to cool a rabbit by giving you a series of tips to protect them when the temperatures rise!
How to cool a rabbit?
To cool a rabbit, you must:
- Make sure there is always fresh water to drink
- Put your cage in a cool place away from direct sunlight
- Put in his cage pockets with ice cubes or a frozen bottle
- Put less straw in his cage
- Spray his ears and paws with water spray
- Brush it regularly to avoid the accumulation of dead hair
In the rest of our article, we will develop in more detail these techniques to cool a rabbit!
How do you know if a rabbit is hot?
Rabbits live happily when they are at an ambient temperature between 12 and 21 ºC. When this temperature is higher, their body begins to suffer from the consequences of the heat. In addition to the risk of suffering from heat stroke, rabbits exposed to high heat can become dehydrated, a problem that will have very serious consequences on their organism.
To tell if your rabbit is hot, you need to pay special attention to his ears. With the heat, they will be more red than usual, this comes from the vasodilatation blood vessels in the area. In addition, you may see the following symptoms:
- rapid breathing and restless.
- His nostrils are dilated.
- wet hair under the truffle.
- Warm your ears and paws.
- The eyes are smaller.
- He stretches on the ground.
Heat stroke in rabbits
If adequate measures are not taken to protect rabbits from high heat, they may suffer from heat stroke, the latter increases their body temperature and endanger their lives. The main symptoms of heatstroke in rabbits are:
- Excessively red ears.
- Gasping and hypersalivation.
- Disorientation and weakness.
- Muscle tremors and convulsions.
You should keep in mind that you should never cool a rabbit that is too hot with water or ice cubes, as you could cause catastrophic thermal shock. But, as we always say, prevention is better than cure, which is why, in the rest of our article, we are going to tell you about all the measures to apply to prevent heat stroke in rabbits!
Pay attention to your hydration
For prevent dehydrationn due to the loss of electrolytes and water caused by high temperatures, a series of measures must be applied in order to ensure that your rabbits are well hydrated. In addition, a dehydrated rabbit will be more likely to suffer from sunstroke and heatstroke.
That’s why it’s important that you make sure your rabbit always has clean, fresh water available. To do this, you can put small ice cubes in his bottle to keep his water cool. You can also add solid fruits that you will discover in the following article: Recommended fruits and vegetables for rabbits!
Find the right location for his cage
Most rabbits spend most of their day in their cage, which is why it’s so important that you place it in a cool, well-ventilated place. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, you can put a fan nearby to reduce the heat. Attention ! the fan should never be fully aimed at your rabbit. Another option is to install a wall fan facing the cage.
If you use a fan, you can combine it with a damp towel that you place on the cage, as it will allow cooler air to circulate for longer. You just have to make sure that it does not drip so that it does not block the proper functioning of the fan.
The cage must be put far from the sun, because the latter increases the temperature of the cage and the rabbit, predisposing it to heatstroke. It’s also a very good idea to reduce the amount of straw you use for your rabbit’s needs. This gives your rabbit better access to the bottom of its cage, which is at a cooler temperature than the rest of the cage.
If that does not seem to you to be enough, you can place in the cage small ice packs to keep the floor of the cage cool. You can also freeze a bottle of water and place it in the cage for the rabbit to approach and cool off.
Refresh a rabbit
At this point in your reading, you are most likely wondering if you can wet a rabbit to cool it down. Well, know that no. You can at the limit sprinkle it lightly with water but you should never wet it completely. By putting them in water, rabbits can become stressed and this anxiety causes their body temperature to rise, which makes the situation worse.
You can sprinkle it with a little water or, also, with a solution of rectified alcohol mixed to water following a 1:3 dilution of 50% rectified alcohol in water. You have to put it in a diffuser and then apply it to the outer part of the ears and paws. Alcohol speeds up the evaporation of water, which cools your rabbit faster.
If your rabbit has too much dead hair because you don’t brush it regularly, it will act as a layer of thermal insulation that will aggravate the heat it may feel. Therefore, if you are wondering how to refresh a rabbit, you can not forget to brush it regularly, because this is the best way to remove all the dead hair that makes your best friend’s body heat up.
Discover all the types of brushes for rabbits!
If you want to read more articles like How to cool a rabbit?we recommend that you consult the Basic care section.
Wegler, M. (2008). El conejo enano. Editorial Hispano Europea.
How to REFRESH a RABBIT?