Rabbits don’t pant like dogs. They don’t sweat like humans. A rabbit loses most of their body heat through their ears.
If you have a bunny that is hot or overheated, it’s best to get a cool washcloth and gently wipe his ears
If your rabbit is severely overheated, GET TO YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY so the vet can administer subcutaneous fluids.
Rabbits are very sensitive to heat and should NEVER be in direct sunlight. My personal feeling is ALL domestic rabbits should be living inside as part of the family.
Any temperature over 75°F can cause them to overheat, especially if humidity is high.
Tips To Keep Your Rabbit Cool
• If confined to a cage or small room, be sure there is plenty of shade.
• Set up a circulating fan; don’t have the fan blow directly on the rabbit.
• Drape a damp towel over part of cage so fan will blow thru and create cooler air. BE SURE TO BUNNY PROOF THE FAN CORD!
• Place a ceramic tile or marble square in cage or in bunny’s favorite resting place. The marble or tile stays cool for them to lie on.
• Place a few ice cubes in their water crock to tempt them to drink and they can also lie against the cool crock.
• Mist the rabbit’s ears. Rabbits dissipate heat thru ears and misting them with a squirt bottle will help cool them down.
• Brush out excessive fur. WHO WANTS TO WEAR AN EXTRA FUR COAT IN THE SUMMER??
• For long haired rabbits, consider trimming their fur down during the summer.
• Fill 1-2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them. Once frozen, place them in the rabbit’s cage or area so he can lean against it to keep cool.
• Make sure to feed plenty of veggies and salads. This will help keep them hydrated.
• Be especially watchful of rabbits over 5 yrs. old, or those who are overweight or incapacitated. THESE RABBITS TEND TO BE MORE sedentary and may not get up to drink if they are too hot. THIS MAY LEAD TO DEHYDRATION WHICH CAN CAUSE OTHER HEALTH ISSUES AND EVEN DEATH.
If Your Rabbit Experiences Heat Stroke
1. DO NOT SUBMERGE IN COOL OR COLD WATER AS THIS MAY CAUSE SHOCK AND DEATH
2. DAMPEN EARS AND BODY WITH A COOL WASHCLOTH
3. GET HIM TO YOUR VETERINARIAN OR EMERGENCY CLINIC IMMEDIATELY!! PLEASE DO NOT WAIT!!!
If you are in need of a vet in the Kansas City or surrounding area, please check out our list of rabbit experienced veterinarians.