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Rabbits - Your bunny and summer heat

Ladybug enjoys a shady spot during the summer
Ladybug enjoys a shady spot during the summerDiana David, Diana's Rabbit Rescue

Rabbits can suffer from heat stroke or dehydration if not cared for properly during the summer heat. Environment temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are optimum for a rabbit. Though rabbits can tolerate heat above 75 degrees for brief periods, it is best to keep your rabbit at temperatures below 75 degrees.

There are several procedures you could follow to ensure that your rabbit does not overheat. You could keep your bunny in an air conditioned room if he is an indoor bunny. If you do not have air conditioning, you could place a fan in the room. Make sure the fan or air conditioner does not blow directly at your bunny. It could cause upper respiratory problems.

If your bunny is an outdoor rabbit, provide plenty of shady areas where he can stay out of the sun. You could also drape a tarp over the top of his enclosure leaving the sides open so any breeze can flow through.

Always supply plenty of fresh cool water. You could also place ice cubes in with the water. A flat piece of marble or ceramic tile can give your furry friend a cool place to rest. You could place this in his hutch or his favorite sleeping spot out of the sun.

Another trick is freeze water in small water bottles and place them in the hutch. Make sure you remove the outer paper. As the water thaws, it creates moisture on the outside of the bottle that your bunny may love to lick, or he may lay against the bottle to cool down. Misting the ears is another way to cool a bunny.

Fresh water and plenty of fresh vegetables will keep your rabbit hydrated. If you notice that your bunny does not seem to be drinking, you could help by using a syringe and manually administer water. Dehydration can be fatal in a very short period of time.

Have a safe and happy summer, and keep your furry friend cool!