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Caring for your Rabbit in Cold Weather
Monday December 5th 2016
When the winter months begin to roll around, it’s important that you make a few changes to the way you care for your rabbit in order to keep them happy and healthy throughout. To help get you prepared, we’ve put together some the most important factors to look out for and make changes to when those colder months draw in.
When the weather starts to reach freezing temperatures, it’s important to pay attention to your rabbit’s water to ensure they have a constant supply of liquid water to drink and it hasn’t frozen over in the cold. In these kind of conditions, using a water bowl is often more effective than a water bottle, as the spout of the bottle can freeze over very easily, blocking the water supply from your rabbit.
During the winter months, your rabbit will be exerting far more of their energy towards keeping themselves warm, and therefore it’s important that you feed them a little extra in order to fuel this additional effort, and provide them with more fat insulation. Sunflower seeds or rolled oats are both great options to add in to your rabbit’s diet during the winter, as they are high energy foods. Although it’s important to give them more food, make sure it is only a little and that you monitor your rabbits weight throughout the winter months to ensure they don’t gain too much weight. If your rabbit increases in size by too much during the winter, this can later cause problems in getting pregnant during the Spring.
A Warm Hutch
Possibly the most important aspect of caring for your rabbit in the winter is taking care of their environment and making sure they are not left exposed and vulnerable to the colder temperatures.
If you keep your rabbit in an outdoor hutch, the two most important things you must do when the winter comes around are insulating the hutch and blocking any excessive draughts. You can easily create extra insulation through adding a thick layer of hay to your rabbit’s hutch every day until it compounds down to create a heat source. If the hutch is quite draughty, make sure you shield your rabbit through stapling a plastic sheet or a layer of cardboard around the hutch. When doing this, always be sure that you leave some room for ventilation so that your rabbit still has enough air to breathe.
If you choose to move your rabbit indoors for the winter, this is a great way to keep them warm and safe, just be sure not to keep them inside a garage if it is still being used for parking your car. Rabbits are particularly sensitive to the dangerous toxins in car exhaust fumes and so this could be very dangerous to them
During the colder months, your rabbit might not be so enthusiastic about leaving their hutch for a run around, but exercise is still a very important aspect of their health and it’s therefore vital that you find a way to get them up and moving. Try bringing your rabbit inside for a short stint every day to have a play and get rid of some of that excess energy. Alternatively, you could also try insulating their run so that they can still use it during the colder months.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.