Rabbits are very sensitive and delicate animals – also in relation to the weather.
How they react to the weather and how you prepare your animals optimally for summer and winter, you will learn in this article.
Are rabbits weather sensitive?
Yes, rabbits are very sensitive animals and therefore sometimes react quite strongly to sudden temperature changes as well as to very cold or very high temperatures.
In view of this, it is advisable to monitor temperature trends in the weather report and take early action. Otherwise, your rabbits will be exposed to severe stress, start to freeze or even die from overheating.
Rabbits have a very keen sense of their environment.
If you look closely, you will see that your animals behave differently on nice days than on days when it is going to rain or when a thunderstorm is coming.
The behavior of your animals is more reliable than any weather app, so when in doubt, always believe your animals and go by their behavior.
Especially in the summer, be careful. This is because the heat storms that accompany it not only bring rain, lightning and thunder, but also cause a sudden drop in temperature.
Due to the rapid drop in temperature, the air pressure changes automatically at the same time, which in turn causes great stress in your rabbits. Since this stress is not recognizable for us humans at first sight, special caution is required here.
What is the effect of high temperatures?
Rabbits regulate their body temperature primarily with the help of their ears.
Compared to the rest of the body, the surface area of the ears is very small. Therefore, rabbits have great difficulty compensating for heat on their own and are correspondingly sensitive to high temperatures.
Your rabbits will feel most comfortable at temperatures around 18°C.
High temperatures cause the body’s functions to shut down a bit, resulting in less blood flowing through the organs, which can affect digestion.
This in turn can lead to further problems, as the digestive tract of rabbits is very sensitive and is the be-all and end-all in terms of their health.
When in doubt, a few degrees less is more comfortable for your rabbit than a few degrees too much. However, very low temperatures also have a negative effect on well-being.
What are the effects of low temperatures?
Although rabbits can generally handle cooler temperatures better than hot ones, rabbits can still freeze in cold conditions.
Depending on the breed of your pet, this will happen faster or slower.
Moreover, relaxation is no longer possible at this time.
Consequently, your rabbit will be tense and stressed all the time. A restful sleep is no longer possible.
For this reason, you should take precautions to keep your rabbits comfortable and healthy in both very warm and very cold temperatures.
What precautions should be taken in each case, that we now look in detail.
5 tips for optimal rabbit keeping in summer
- fresh, cool water
Especially in midsummer, fresh water is essential.
Remember that water is also perishable and heats up quickly in the heat, causing the water quality to suffer significantly.
So change the water at least twice a day, more often if you like, ensuring that your animals have fresh, cool water available around the clock to keep their bodies hydrated and cool down.
- place the enclosure in partial shade
Allow your animals to decide for themselves when and how much time they want to spend in the sun.
Ideally, place the enclosure so that there is a tree nearby that will reliably shade part of the enclosure during midday hours.
However, make sure it is a sturdy tree that cannot be easily knocked over by the wind!
- air conditioning
If you keep your animals indoors, it is advisable to install an air conditioner.
If you run the air conditioner day and night during the summer months, you can be sure that your animals live in optimal conditions.
Ensure that the room temperature is between 18 – 20 °C. 4.
- place stone slabs in the shade
Stone slabs placed in the shade will help your rabbits cool down.
If you provide your animals with such slabs, you will find that your rabbits specifically seek their proximity and like to lie down on the slabs to relax.
- feed a lot of fresh food
Especially when it gets really hot, you should make sure that your food contains a large amount of water.
Dry food is not recommended at this time. Instead, use cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, etc. Of course, you should still provide your rabbits with hay around the clock!
5 tips for optimal rabbit care in winter
- bring the animals (early!) to your apartment
Not all rabbits are suitable to live outside all year round.
If you have old or sick animals, or rabbits with little or no undercoat, you should bring your animals into your home from around October to provide them with a warm place to live.
- insulate the hutch
An icy wind blowing through your rabbit’s hutch is anything but pleasant.
For this reason, you should make sure that your hutch is really well insulated to retain the heat given off by your body. Help a little bit more by putting enough hay and maybe also some kitchen paper in the hutch, with which your animals can additionally warm themselves.
- accustom your rabbits to outdoor life already in spring
Your rabbits’ organism needs a few months to adjust to new environmental temperatures and conditions.
So if you want to accustom your rabbits from indoor to outdoor life, you should do it already in spring.
- change the water frequently to prevent icing.
As soon as the temperatures drop below zero, the water of your animals is not protected from icing either.
Therefore, check regularly if the water is already iced. Change the water several times a day to prevent icing. 5.
- pay more attention to dryness
Especially in cold weather, it is important that your animals are always dry and clean in their stalls.
Therefore, increase the amount of floor litter to ensure that no slippery freezing spots form.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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