How to Keep Rabbits Cool in Summer

<p>Getty Images/Black Lollipop</p>  Summer can be fun but also hot for rabbits.

Getty Images/Black Lollipop

Summer can be fun but also hot for rabbits.

Reviewed by Natasha Diehl

Rabbits are very active animals who love spending time outside in the summer and running around the house. Exercise is necessary, but if it’s too hot outside or your home doesn’t have air conditioning, your rabbit could easily become overheated. Rabbits with a lot of fur, that are very young or very old, or that are overweight are at the highest risk of overheating.

If your rabbit’s body temperature gets too high, serious problems will result. Thankfully there are several things you can do to help keep your rabbits cool and prevent them from overheating. If you live in a hot climate or have a rabbit that could be more at risk of overheating, talk to your vet about the different strategies you can implement to keep your rabbit safe this summer.

Air Conditioning

<p>Getty Images/DonNichols</p>  Air conditioning units can help keep your rabbit cool.

Getty Images/DonNichols

Air conditioning units can help keep your rabbit cool.

Rabbits will usually do just fine if your home temperature is below 77 degrees, but if the room temperature rises above 77 degrees, turning on your air conditioning (if you have it) is recommended.

Oscillating Fans

<p>Getty Images/AlexLMX</p>  Fans are a great way to keep your rabbit cool.

Getty Images/AlexLMX

Fans are a great way to keep your rabbit cool.

If you don’t have air conditioning or you need to quickly cool your rabbit down, turn on a fan and let it blow on your rabbit. Setting a bowl of cold water with ice cubes in it in front of the fan will create cold air that blows on your warm bunny, too.

Ceiling Fans

<p>Getty Images/Busà  Photography</p>  Ceiling fans can be useful even if you have air conditioning.

Getty Images/Busà Photography

Ceiling fans can be useful even if you have air conditioning.

A ceiling fan in your rabbit’s room can help maintain comfortable room temperatures both with or without air conditioning.

Open Windows

<p>Getty Images/Grace Cary</p>  Opening your windows allows a breeze to enter.

Getty Images/Grace Cary

Opening your windows allows a breeze to enter.

If you don’t have air conditioning and there’s a breeze, open a couple of windows to help keep your rabbit cool while they play with their toys. Use screens and watch your bunny to ensure they don’t make any escapes.

Window Curtains and Blinds

<p>Getty Images/АндреР;¹  Клемен&# xd0;ºÐ¾Ð²</p>  Blackout curtains are great at blocking hot sunlight.

Getty Images/Рндрей Клеменков

Blackout curtains are great at blocking hot sunlight.

Simply closing the curtains or blinds on the window will help block any sunlight from entering the room. This will help keep the room cooler.

Haircuts

<p>Getty Images/pengpeng</p>  If your rabbit has long hair, a hair cut can help keep it cool.

Getty Images/pengpeng

If your rabbit has long hair, a hair cut can help keep it cool.

If your rabbit has a lot of fur, trimming away excess hair from the ears, belly and bottom can help them stay cool. If they have long hair, a full hair cut and grooming may be beneficial. Remember your rabbit’s skin is extremely delicate, so use caution with any sharp grooming tools.

Shades

<p>Getty Images/Adila Salah</p>  If your rabbit is outside, make sure it has plenty of shade.

Getty Images/Adila Salah

If your rabbit is outside, make sure it has plenty of shade.

If your rabbit is outside, make sure they always have access to shade. You can also keep them out of direct sunlight entirely by placing their enclosure in a permanently shady spot.

Spray Bottles

<p>Getty Images/Carol Yepes</p>  A nice mist of water can be sprayed on your rabbit.

Getty Images/Carol Yepes

A nice mist of water can be sprayed on your rabbit.

Use a spray bottle to gently mist your rabbit’s ears. The evaporating water can help your rabbit cool off.

Frozen Water Bottles

<p>Getty Images/Say-Cheese</p>  A frozen water bottle can help keep your rabbit cool.

Getty Images/Say-Cheese

A frozen water bottle can help keep your rabbit cool.

Freeze plastic bottles of water or fill them with ice cubes and place them around your rabbit. They may enjoy licking the condensation off or laying on them to stay cool. You can also refill larger empty bottles to create larger things for your rabbit to lay against, but wrap the bottles in a towel first so that they don’t inadvertently freeze onto your rabbit.

tiles

<p>Getty Images/Xinzheng</p>  Tiles can help your rabbit cool off.

Getty Images/Xinzheng

Tiles can help your rabbit cool off.

Put a piece of granite or ceramic tile in the fridge or freezer and let your rabbit lie on it for up to 15 minutes at a time.

Ice

<p>Getty Images/Adrienne Bresnahan</p>  Ice cubes can be placed in your rabbit's water bowl.

Getty Images/Adrienne Bresnahan

Ice cubes can be placed in your rabbit’s water bowl.

Your rabbit should always have plenty of water. Be sure to offer both a bowl of water and a water bottle for your rabbit to drink from, especially in the summer. To help keep the water and your rabbit cool, add ice cubes to your rabbit’s bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can rabbits get heatstroke?

Yes, rabbits can get heatstroke if they aren’t able to cool their bodies off. Veterinary care may be necessary if your rabbit is too warm, and if the symptoms are ignored, seizures and even death may occur.

What are the signs of heatstroke in rabbits?

Rabbits can regulate their body temperature and primarily use their ears to cool off or absorb heat, so feeling the ears is the easiest thing you can do to see if your rabbit is too warm. Your rabbit may also be laying on their side, have moisture around the nose, be breathing quickly, seem weak, and even have their mouth open.

How can I tell if my rabbit is too hot?

The easiest thing you can do to see if your rabbit is too hot is feel the temperature of their ears. You’ll also want to observe their behavior for other signs of heatstroke.

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