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Summer Rabbit Care

Updated on October 6, 2009
Image from Cute Overload
Image from Cute Overload


Signs of Heat Stroke

if your rabbit has gone limp, is lying in the bottom of their cage not moving or moving very little. If their eyes are closed or closing and they are not responsive or not very responsive, take him or her to the vet RIGHT AWAY.

Do NOT waste time posting questions on the Internet asking what to do, your animal needs immediate treatment if they are to survive.

Heat stroke can and will kill rabbits. On a hot day, this can very quickly become an emergency situation. A few hours, or even 30 minutes dithering can cost your bunny his or her life.

Fly Strike

Fly strike can also be a problem for rabbits in the summer. Fly strike is the name given when flies lay their eggs around a rabbit's bottom. These eggs hatch into maggots and start eating your rabbit alive. To prevent fly strike, keep your rabbit's cage or hutch VERY clean, and check your rabbit's behind every couple of days for signs of trouble.

Summer can be the deadliest time of year for rabbits, especially if you live in an area where temperatures routinely peak above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit.) Rabbits do not do well in the head because they cannot sweat, like humans and dogs, and they have very few ways of dissipating excess heat from their bodies. Every year, many rabbits die unnecessarily from heat stroke. Don't let your bunny be one of them!

You might wonder how rabbits survive summers in the wild. It is simple. They burrow underground and stay there where it is cool. Even on the hotter days, a burrow several feet underground is likely to be quite cool. Unfortunately, domestic bunnies cannot burrow and so they are stuck above ground, unable to cool themselves and slowly baking in the sun.

Best case scenario: If you have air conditioning indoors, move your bunny indoors for the summer. This method guarantees that your rabbit will be healthy and happy for the entire summer season. It's also okay to keep your bunny indoors during the day and then move him or her outside for the night, if that works for you better.

Of course, not every home has air conditioning, or other occupants who are happy to share their air conditioning with a rabbit. In some cases, homes can be hotter indoors than it is outside. If you are dealing with this sort of scenario, don't lose hope. You can make your rabbit's life a lot easier and happier by freezing some water in soda bottles. Pop one of these frozen bottles in the rabbit's cage, ensuring that he or she also has plenty of cover from the sun, and a good flow of air from the cage.

Replace the bottles as they melt and your bunny will have a means of cooling itself down. Just this little action can make the difference to a long slow summer death or a relatively comfortable time for your rabbit.


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      Raggits 8 years ago

      This is great advice! We use large 2 liter bottles for our does who have litters. Or for the cages that house 2 or 3 rabbits. We didn't loose any this summer. And they love to lick the outside of the bottle. Also, make sure you take the labels off the bottles, our rabbits routinely chewed the labels off and we had trash to contend with.