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Is Your Bunny Winter Ready?

13th November 2015

With the really cold weather approaching it is at this time of year that we need to pay extra consideration to our outdoor furries and look to provide the support they will require to make it comfortably through the Winter months.

It is a sad truth that too many bunnies die through the cold months as a result of hypothermia

At easipetcare we have a fabulous team of dedicated veterinary staff and one of our RVN’s has kindly put together the following advice to help you protect your rabbit this Winter…

  • Rabbits cope well in moderately cold temperatures but a warm, dry shelter must be provided
  • Bedding areas must be above freezing outside temperatures – housing can be raised with legs, bricks or pallets and must be water-tight
  • Re-new preservatives on wooden structures as often as necessary to keep wood water proof (using animal-safe products)
  • Clear Perspex or plastic can be used to partially cover wire mesh fronted sections of hutches, for wind proofing and rain proofing. Note, you must allow an open area for ventilation and natural daylight
  • Housing should be positioned so the front is away from wind direction
  • Housing can be completely covered with blankets or carpet with a tarp sheet over the top, to provide additional insulation. Custom made hutch covers are widely available, as are microwaveable heat pads
  • Rabbits can be moved to sheds, homes or garages, as long as outside access, stimulation and natural daylight is available
  • Bubble wrap, socks, or purpose made bottle snugs can be used to prevent water bottles from freezing at low temperatures!
  • A ping pong ball can be placed in a water bowl to prevent freezing at low temperatures. Water in bowls takes longer to freeze than in bottles.
  • Water bowls can be sunk into the ground, so the water itself is at ground level to prevent freezing
  • As much, if not more, exercise and calories are required during the winter months
  • Free range rabbits will often choose to sit outside in bad weather, but suitable housing provisions must still be available
  • Natural daylight is essential for Vitamin D
  • Free range rabbits are found to have higher red blood cell counts and higher lymphocyte counts than hutched rabbits, which naturally makes them much healthier and robust
  • Rabbits are very social animals, and enjoy a good cuddle, groom, and play together – a great way of keeping them warm 🙂

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