Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How to keep Rabbits and Other Small Animals Cool and Safe in the Summer

So, we recently welcomed a new baby bunny into our family, and since I haven't owned a rabbit since I was a child, I decided to do a lot of research on how to look after him properly.

One of the things I was most concerned about was him overheating in this weather. As I have 2 long haired dogs I know how dangerous this can be, especially as they are not usually exposed to such high temperatures here in the UK.

We keep the dogs cool by giving them lots of cold water from the fridge and changing their water every few hours. I also put ice cubes in their water to keep it cool to encourage them to drink it, and we give them pupsickles as treats.

I really wanted to think of a way to keep Ziggy cool in this heat. We are going to get two extra water bottles for him and our hamster, Sandy. That way we can keep one in the fridge at all times and rotate them throughout the day. 

I also provide him with a large frozen bottle of water in his cage everyday. I fill up a few 2ltr drinks bottles with water and put them in the fridge. I usually keep a few on the go at the same time so that I can just easily swap them over when one melts. I wrap it in a tea towel and put it in his cage.

He usually lies next to it or sometimes on top if it if he gets really hot and it's a really effective and easy way of cooling him down.

We also make sure there is always fresh cool air circulating through the room at all times, and keep a fan on during really hot days. If Ziggy is outside in the garden during the day, we make sure he is away from direct sunlight and always has plenty of shade. We also make sure he has a shelter which he can hide in if he needs to cool down or have a sleep.

Another main problem that can occur in rabbits during this hot weather if Fly Strike. Fly Strike happens when your rabbit or other small animal has a dirty bottom. The flys lay their eggs in the faeces and eventually the maggots bury into the animals skin. This can be very distressing and painful for the rabbit and potentially fatal, so it essential that you keep both themselves and their cages clean during the hot weather. You can buy a Fly Strike spray at your local pet shop which you spray on their read end (and some you can use in their cages) which essentially acts as an insect repellent. We have used this on Ziggy and the great thing is that a few sprays lasts 7 days.

Do you have any tips on how to keep your pets cool in the summer? Please do share them in the comments below and check out be Pet Tips section of my blog for some more ideas.

Hayley x

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