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How to Keep Rabbits Cool on Hot Summer Days In The South
The heat of the summer months can devistate rabbits, sometimes to the point of death. There are ways to help them stay cool, and I found that using multiple methods together has been successful.
I use several gatorade and soda bottles filled with water and freeze them. When I hand them out to the rabbits they usually lay along side them to keep cool. Since they melt and warm up so quickly, I make sure to have more ready to switch out in the freezer. This is my main method and it seems to be their number one go to for relief.
Another method I use is wetting cloth or carpet and putting it in their cages with them. The does seem to shove it up under their bellies for relief.
Often times, I will freeze fruits and veggies and offer them treats during the hottest part of the day. This appears to be more refreshing to them during the most stressful heat. The following link is to a recipe for directions for how to make your rabbit a smoothie.
I like to use icecube trays to freeze smoothies and pieces of fruits and veggies for a cool treat.
I have not personally tried this, but many rabbit folks mist their rabbits through a fan. This method isn't to soak the animals, but simply cool the air around them. I have a couple of rabbits though that appreciate a nice water rub where I takes cool water in my hand and simply massage it into their fur. I also wet the surface of their ears just a bit with wet hands and it relieves those that enjoy that method.
Cool mister idea!
In the South, the summer months are hard on rabbits and many caretakers actually bring their rabbits inside. I don't have the space for that but if I did, I would surely bring the does with kits in for stress free comfort. If you have that ability, you may very well avoid much loss doing that.
If u have water bottles, put ice in them if possible or use refrigerated water. Much of the time, I will just change the water throughout the day as it heats up so that they actually want to drink it. If you have a watering system, adding ice blocks to it is a great idea and will help keep their water from getting so warm they won't drink it anyways.
Fans and a good air exchange is probably the most important thing you can do to aid in keeping your rabbits cool.
As I said above, the stress of summer heat can kill your rabbits if they can't find relief from it. Keep your ideas rolling for different methods to help them overcome it and you will have happy and healthy rabbits.
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