Some people think domesticated rabbits can tolerate heat since
rabbits adapt in hot climates. Wild rabbits are acclimated to the weather
and the heat.
rabbits are descendants of the European Rabbit and would normally live in
warrens with deep tunnels they dig out that are cool underground in hot weather.
doesn't have a warren to stay cool.
How to Help Your Rabbit Keep its Cool:
for Shade: Keep your rabbit out of the sun and have a cage in the shade.
Indoor rabbits with direct sun into their cage or pen in the
summer need to be protected, too. Heat passing through a window
doesn't escape back out so the room heats up. If you let your rabbit
run in the
garden in the summer, have a shady place for it to rest.
A fan that will pass a breeze by the rabbit is great and particularly a
circulating fan so the breeze isn’t constant. Groucho spends his
summer by his own personal fan. Don't put the
rabbit's cage in front of an air conditioner and so they really
"chill out!" Be sure to bunny proof the cords!
On long-haired rabbits – give them a "hare" cut for
the summer. Also, brush hair out
of a bunny’s coat so there isn’t extra.
After all, that is a fur coat your rabbit is wearing in the summer.
Out: Vegetables help keep rabbits
hydrated so make sure they are getting plenty. Rinse the vegetables and leave the water on
them. Be sure they don't get too warm and remove if they look wilted.
tiles, marble tiles or brick/cement pavers in the x-pen (puppy
or in a favorite spot are cool areas for lounging rabbits.
Water: Put a couple of ice
cubes in their water crock or bowl – this will keep their water
cool and the ceramic crock will be nice for them to lounge next to when
it gets too warm. My rabbit, Rosemary, used to take them out to
lick them on the pen floor.
Ears: Rabbits dissipate heat through their ears so you can mist them
to help them keep cool. Don’t make them wet – just mist occasionally.
Plant misters work well. A spray bottle full of water will scare a rabbit.
Buddy: Freeze a few 1 liter pop bottles full of water and then put a
thin sock over the bottle, then get wet under the faucet and put it in the rabbit’s area.
Rabbits will lay next to the bottle to cool off.
I keep one or two in the freezer all summer and rotate in the
rabbit pen. Rosemary and Groucho shared theirs by laying down with their
bottle "ice cube" between them. Hops is pictured next to
his "cold buddy." (Yes, that is a hole in the sock.)
Stroke: If your rabbit gets heat stroke, mist his ears.
Absolutely no cold baths or showers!
your vet immediately!
In the Car:
like a dog or cat - never leave a rabbit in the car in the sun or hot
Credit: Isn't Pongo a great beach bunny! Pongo
was a gorgeous
mini-rex adopted from the
Also, Miss June enjoys her
cool tile on a warm day in Los Angeles.
Staying Warm in the Winter
Rabbits do not hibernate for the
winter. In fact, they are just as active in the winter as they are in the other
warmer seasons. They do tolerate cold better than heat, but they cannot
dig a nice deep, cozy warren underground to get away from either extreme in the
house or in a hutch. Here is what you need to consider:
the bunny of the house still needs to be kept at a comfortable temperature
even if it is not outside in a hutch.
for drafts if the rabbit has a pen or cage under a window
and can't hop to another area.
Woodstoves & Fireplaces:
your rabbit doesn't get near a hot space heater or a hot
fireplace. Some rabbits enjoy sitting near the hearth
just like a dog or cat, but be very, very careful the first
time the rabbit discovers the fireplace.
turn the temperature down too low when you leave for a
weekend thinking the rabbit or rabbits will be just fine.
Have someone check on them. The power can go out
leaving the rabbit in the dark and cold long before you
Litter Box with Hay:
If the power
does go out, make sure your rabbit has somewhere to burrow
in to stay warm. I overfill the litter boxes with hay
in the winter since my rabbits will eat a blanket in short
order. Fortunately, the power has only gone off once,
but they were snuggled up in their hay when I got home from
If you can absolutely cannot bring your rabbit or rabbits
inside for the winter, please make sure their hutches are
If you can move the hutch, locate it next to the house on
the warmer side that gets the least amount of wind.
A tarp covering the hutch can protect from the elements.
However, do not cover the hutch so there is no air
circulation. Rabbits need ventilation. There are hutch
covers available commercially online.
sure there is plenty of hay for the rabbit to burrow into to
Check the water daily to make sure it is not frozen and on
really cold days, check it twice.
Rabbits still need exercise in the winter. On warmer,
dry days, let them out to run or bunny proof a room in the
house where they can play.
Be careful. I have heard of people using a greenhouse heater
if the rabbit is in a shed structure. There are also
microwavable heat pads available. Never use a hot water
bottle since they are easily chewed.
the hutch is in good shape and there are no leaks for rain
or snow to get in.
A bonded pair of
rabbits seem to enjoy snuggling
help keep each other warm.
Be sure they are
neutered or spayed.