Rabbits are no easy customer and anyone who tells you that rabbits are “easy” pets, are quite mistaken. I always tell people that just about anything will kill a rabbit. And it’s true, especially on a hot summer day. But with a little know how, you can keep your outdoor rabbits alive and well through the summer heat. If I can keep my wool producing angoras moderately cool in 100*F weather, so can you.
I have a few simple tricks on keeping your rabbits cool in temperatures over 80*F degrees:
• Always keep your rabbits in a shady area away from direct sunlight!
• If your rabbits have a long coat or wool, shear their coats down to 1/4″ inch or less in length using scissors or electric clippers.
• Provide each rabbit with a frozen bottle of water to lean up against during the hottest part of the day. If necessary, exchange thawed bottles for freshly frozen bottles during the day.
• Turn on an oscillating (rotating) fan near your cages or hutches. Keep that air moving!
• Periodically hose down the dirt or floor around the rabbits to encourage cool air through evaporation.
• Be sure your rabbit’s drinking water is cool. Consider dumping out old water and refilling their water bottles or automatic water system with fresh, cool water in the morning and evening.
• Provide rabbits with a dish of ice cubes.
• If your rabbits look especially uncomfortable, rub an ice cube along their ears to help cool them down.
• With the exception of wooled breeds, set up a misting fan system for your rabbits.