Summer isn’t far off now. This can be a hard time of year for our furry friends. Bunnies can’t cool themselves off by panting or sweating. And while wild rabbits can escape the heat by retreating to their burrows, pet ones are typically confined to their cages or homes. A Cumberland County vet offers some advice on caring for Floppy in summer In this article.
First and foremost, make sure that Floppy always has plenty of cool water. Consider getting a few extra water bottles. Install a second one in your bunny’s cage, and keep a third in the freezer. Then, just keep swapping the extra one out for a freshly-frozen one, so your furry pal always has cold water as it melts.
Floppy will also need a cool hide. You can freeze bottles of water and line them around the outside of her cage. Another option is to freeze a ceramic tile, and put that in her cage. Terracotta often stays cool, so look for a large pot that you can use as a hide. If you get a round one, secure it so it won’t roll.
Floppy may appreciate being brushed more than usual. Longhaired bunnies should be brushed daily, or at least every other day.
Chilled fruits and veggies can make great summertime treats. Floppy is particularly fond of things like strawberries and melons. These are good options because they have high water content. Just stick with things you know are safe. Also, don’t go too crazy with sugary foods. Ask your vet for advice.
While some pets may enjoy cooling off with a bath, this definitely does not apply to bunnies. Rabbits tend to be absolutely terrified of water, and can actually die of fright if submerged. Plus, if Floppy’s skin gets wet, she’ll be at risk of flystrike. (Trust us: this is not something you want to deal with.)
It’s important to know the signs of overheating. These include panting, drooling, lethargy, red ears, weakness, and disorientation. If you notice any of these, take steps to cool your bunny down. One option is to gently wipe a cool, wet cloth over Floppy’s ears. Those cute ears help rabbits regulate their temperature. Immediately contact your vet for further instructions.
Please contact us, your Cumberland County veterinarians, for your bunny’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!