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Keeping your rabbits cool in the hot weather

Rabbits cannot sweat or pant and are therefore more likely to suffer from heat stroke. 

Younger, older and overweight rabbits, and those with long or thick coats, are more prone to suffer from heat stroke. 


Signs of heat stroke include:

     - heavy breathing
     - drooling
     - wet nose and/or chin
     - ears feel hot to touch
     - reddened ears
     - decreased movement or not wanting to move


If you suspect your rabbit has heat stroke, wet their ears and immediately contact your rabbit savvy vet. A list of South Australian vets who treat rabbits can be found here.


Help to prevent heat stroke with some of our tips that have helped us to keep our rabbits cool in the hot weather:

     - Keep your rabbits out of the sun and make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh 
       water
     - Freeze bottles of water and place them in your rabbit’s hutch for them to lie against
     - Place frozen ice cubes in their water
     - Freeze some water in their water bottles and fill the rest with cool or room temperature 
       water. This will make sure they have access to cool water throughout the day.
     - Freeze small pieces of their favourite fruit like grapes, pineapple, strawberries, banana 
       and watermelon. You could even freeze the small pieces of fruit inside ice cubes.
     - Wet the outside of their ears with a damp cloth as rabbits lose heat through their ears
     - Bring them inside into the air-conditioning. Be careful when taking them back outside as 
       the sudden change in temperature can also harm your rabbit.
     - Use a fan to circulate the air. You could even use a misting fan.
     - If they live in a plastic based hutch, leave some of the plastic bare for them to lie on
     - Give them a ceramic tile to lie on. You could even place it in the fridge or freezer first.
     - Brush them regularly to get rid of their winter coat
     - Wash their vegetables and don’t remove the excess water. This will help them to keep 
        hydrated.