Keeping your rabbits warm in winter should be one of your priorities. Rabbits often live outdoors, and are happy in this way. However, you may feel that it is cruel to leave your rabbits outside during the winter months.
It is important to note that moving a rabbit inside your home during winter is more risky than leaving it outside. Sudden changes in temperature can seriously affect your rabbit’s health. Thus, the best measure is to isolate your rabbit hutch and regularly control its temperature.
At what body temperature should you intervene to keep your rabbits warm in winter?
Despite their fragile appearance, rabbits are quite resistant when it comes to dealing with cold weather. The organism of a rabbit will always be in better conditions in a cold climate than for a hot one.
The average body temperature of a healthy rabbit is between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. This body temperature is maintained even when the outside is at temperatures close to 0 degrees Celsius, and even lower.
As a caregiver, you should monitor the body temperature of your rabbits regularly throughout the winter. If your rabbit is above 38 degrees Celsius, your rabbit is healthy. Nevertheless, If your rabbit’s temperature is 37 degrees Celsius or less, your pet has hypothermia and you must act immediately.
What are the symptoms of hypothermia in rabbits?
It is essential that you can recognize the signs of hypothermia in rabbits. In addition to body temperature, you should be aware of the following symptoms:
- Cold extremities, such as the tips of the ears and legs.
- Freshness to the touch and pale appearance.
- Lethargy not characteristic. Most rabbits are more active in cool temperatures.
- A weak and unstable beat.
- Shallow breathing
- Lack of coordination and possible loss of consciousness.
How can hypothermia be treated in rabbits?
The treatment of a hypothermic rabbit is relatively simple, the main aspect is to heat them quickly. Wrap your rabbit with a thick towel or blanket and take it home. Once you have done this, increase your body temperature. There are two simple techniques for this:
- Fill a bottle with hot water and let your rabbit lie on it. Remember that the water should be hot but not enough to burn your rabbit.
- Place a towel in the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this until the towel is warm, but not hot enough to be dangerous for your rabbit. Wrap the bunny in the warm towel.
Keeping rabbits warm in winter, can rabbits live outside all year?
You will notice that your rabbit wants more exercise during the winter. This is natural, as rabbits become more playful when the temperature drops. Let your rabbit run and play in the yard during the winter, but be careful not to wet his fur. The body temperature of a rabbit may fall sharply if it is wet.
You can take several steps to keep rabbits outdoors safe throughout the winter. These include:
- Make sure your bunny’s rabbit hutch has a reliable, dry and secure roof.
- Place a lid on your rabbit’s rabbit door, preferably clear plastic so that your rabbit can see outside. This prevents cold air from entering without completely enclosing your rabbit.
- Provide a cardboard box full of hay. Your rabbit will use this as a separate and warmer bedroom.
- Make sure there are no direct air currents in the hutch, but allow airflow. Otherwise, your rabbit could suffocate.
- Check your rabbit’s water regularly, making sure it hasn’t frozen. If necessary, offer your rabbit hot chamomile tea to warm it.
- Clean your rabbit’s rabbit hutch during winter. The straw and hay get wet in cold conditions and make the inside of the hutch cool.
- Increase your rabbit’s food intake slightly during the winter months. They will burn more energy by keeping warm. Do not worry about your weight, as they will also exercise more.