It’s been hot. Like, super hot. Hard to believe a month ago we had heavy frost that killed many crops.
Whether you’ve read it here before, or this is your first visit, I will tell you, rabbits do excellent in the cold. Not so well in the heat. Rabbits can tolerate so much, but when the temperature soar, they need some assistance. Rabbits can get heatstroke very easily.
If a rabbit is hot, you will generally see them stretched out, breathing heavily.
Rabbits dissipate most of their heat through their ears. Some also escapes through the mouth, which is why you may see dampness on your buns mouth.
This girl is hot. If this were a video, you would see her breathing heavily. She was laying flat on her side before I opened her cage door.
1. First things first. Make sure your rabbit has some where to get out of direct sun. Air movement helps. A fan for air circulation. Wire bottom cages are great for air circulation.
2. Water. Make sure there is plenty of water available. When it's extremely hot, they may not drink much, but there has to be plenty available. And if it's cool water, they'll be more inclined to drink it. Change it out frequently, if possible. If you can't, try adding ice cubes to it. They won't last long, but it will help a bit.
3. Give them something cold. Ceramic tiles in the freezer and/or frozen bottles of water. The rabbits can use these to lay on or against. Even if they don't, there will still be some coolness coming from them that will help. Some rabbits enjoy pushing the bottles around. Make sure you remove the label from bottles, or they will do it for you.
4. I gave my rabbits (those in wire bottom cages) ice cubes. They really seemed to enjoy playing with them and licking them.
5. Wet their ears. With your hand or a light mist sprayer, wet your rabbits' ears with cool water. Don't soak, just get them damp. Be careful not to get any in their ear canal. This helps dissipate heat from their bodies.
6. If a rabbit is limp or listless, it may already be too late. Get them to the vet, ASAP.
Also, something to keep in mind: Lots of people bring their outdoor rabbits in for the winter. I assure you, you're rabbit will be fine in the winter, and may even enjoy it. I know mine love snow. So, it gets cold and them you bring your rabbit into your nice, warm house. And then it dies. This is probably due to heatstroke. Going from cold to warm, the rabbit has no chance to acclimate itself, thus suffering from heatstroke. If, you feel you must bring them it, do it before the temperatures drop significantly, and before you start cranking up the heat in your home. A basement or garage is also a good choice.