How to keep rabbits warm in the winter [5 Simple Tips]

How to keep rabbits warm in the winter [5 Simple Tips]

Hi If you’re worried about your rabbits getting cold indoors during the wintertime, don’t be. This article will provide you with all the tips on how you can keep the rabbits warm in the winter.

First and foremost I really hope that your bunnies are indoors all the time in general. But if you keep them outside in a hatch please bring them inside and consider free roaming as that’s a much better way to make your rabbits healthy and happy.

Although domesticated rabbits are actually well adapted to the cold temperatures and can’t even tolerate as low as 4 degrees Celsius, their fur coat is not as thick as their wild counterparts.

Wild rabbits have thicker coats and hence are able to withstand the cold better. They also live in the burrows underground usually in large groups to keep each other warm.

How to keep rabbits warm in the winter [5 Simple Tips]

1. Turn your heating on to keep your rabbits warm in the winter

Turn your heating on to keep your rabbits warm in the winter

So the simple and probably the most obvious way to keep them warm is to turn your heating on.

The ideal temperature for the environment is between 15 to 21 degrees Celsius. I would say that if you feel warm enough in the house then your bunny definitely feels the same.

However, this goes both ways, and overdoing it with the heating may actually drive your buns into overheating. If the temperature comes close to 30 degrees Celsius.

So just try to keep the temperature in that sweet spot between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius.

Using a fireplace or an electric heater in the room is fine but just make sure to keep an eye on that temperature to make sure the room is not getting too hot for your rabbits.

I definitely would not recommend keeping them on during the night as you won’t have control over the temperature in the room and is a fire hazard.

2. Ensure they have unlimited hay

Ensure they have unlimited hay

Rabbits tend to eat more during winter in order to preserve the energy to keep themselves warm. So definitely make sure they have that endless supply of hay and you can also slightly increase the portion of veggies that you give them.

Adding just a small handful more of the salad than you usually do can be very beneficial for them in producing and preserving that energy.

Again just don’t go overboard with massively increasing the salad portions as we don’t want them to gain weight and risk possible diabetes and other disorders. This leads me to the next point.

3. Ensure they have plenty of space to run around

Ensure they have plenty of space to run around

As rabbits do eat more when it’s cooler they will also need to exercise more to bend off that extra energy. So make sure they have plenty of space to run around and do their binkies.

Adding some toys to this space that motivate them to move around more such as tunnels can be a great addition.

If your bunny starts getting chilly it might start zooming around the room in order to warm up so definitely make sure they have enough space to do that.

4. Put a cozy blanket where rabbits can sleep

Put a cozy blanket where rabbits can sleep

Rabbits regulate the temperature through the ears and they’re usually quite good at it. Providing them with a nice warm and cozy spot where they can go when they want to rest is a great way to help and protect that energy.

You can place a thick and insulating blanket in their house or in any spot where they most like to sleep. Choose blankets that are made out of good insulating materials.

The good options are wool, and polyester, including fleas, and cotton.

Avoid using heat pads and placing hot water bottles and wheat bags, especially in a spot where your bunny is resting. As they can’t get very hot which again can create a risk of overheating in rabbits.

Only use those options if you feel like your bunny is very cold and they struggle to warm up. If they do then normally this is a result of conditions such as gut stasis and they will require veterinary care in this situation.

5. Maintain room ventilation to keep your rabbits warm in the winter

Maintain room ventilation to keep your rabbits warm in the winter

Lastly, it’s important to regulate the room temperature by maintaining ventilation so some draught is good. However, if it gets too draughty this can drastically decrease your bunny’s body temperature.

In order to minimize the draught in a house you can use draught excluders on your doors as most of the time air comes in from the gaps between the door.

You can also ensure that your windows are properly closed and insulated for the winter to further reduce the drafts.

To end this article, I just wanted to touch on hypothermia in rabbits.

Hypothermia in rabbits

Hypothermia in rabbits

Rabbits do not hibernate in the winter months. Hence if your rabbit appears extremely tired or limb they are not going into hibernation. They may however be suffering from hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a serious condition where a rabbit’s body temperature falls alarmingly low below the normal temperature. Bunny’s normal temperature is between 38.5 to 40 degrees Celsius. So anything below that is considered hypothermic.

The signs and symptoms of hypothermia include your bunny being lethargic and not moving much the ears and pores feeling cold to the touch, you may also notice that they’re pale, their lips and gums may also appear pale, they may shiver as well and in advanced stages, they might be nearly unconscious which is considered as stupor.

If you suspect your bunny is hypothermic take them to their vet straight away don’t wait. The systems may start to shut down in the advanced stages of hypothermia and without medical interventions, they may die.

To stop the temperature from dropping even further place a hot water bottle in the carrier when rushing them to the vet. You can also use a heating pad but ensure whatever you use that they’re not too hard by wrapping them in a towel.

The vet will try to warm them up by placing them in a much warmer area with a heating pad. They will also push lukewarm fluid into their system normally already and administer electrolytes to restore the normal body temperature.

As I always say prevention is the best treatment so if you follow these tips on keeping them warm then you shouldn’t come into any hypothermic problems. Thank you very much for reading. I hope it was informative and useful for you guys. Keep your rabbits and yourselves nice and warm this winter.

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