The colder weather has arrived and parts of the UK have ‘enjoyed’ snow and gales during this week. It’s not pleasant out there but that’s no excuse to neglect pet rabbits. You might want to stay inside and feel that your rabbit will be okay for one more day, but he won’t. Rabbits need looking after in all weather conditions, and hutches need cleaning out, often more frequently during the winter.
Groom Your Rabbit
Rabbits grow lovely thick coats when the temperature drops. Therefore they will need to be groomed to help keep them happy and healthy. Thicker and longer coats can become soiled and matted quickly. Stay on top of this problem with regular grooming sessions – which are excellent for bonding as well as for care purposes. Pay particular attention to the underneath area of the coat.
Remember, rabbits don’t hibernate in the winter. If you notice that your rabbit has become limp, more sleepy than usual or if you haven’t seen them out and about in their hutch, you should take your rabbit to the vet.
Hutches should ideally be raised off the floor to stop the base from becoming damp. Check over the hutch for any areas of repair and stay on top of replacing damp and wet shavings and bedding. You can waterproof the hutch using a product that is non-toxic and pet-friendly. Waterproofing the hutch will work to prevent the wood from rotting and it will stop the hutch from getting damp. It’s advisable to waterproof the hutch every couple of years.
Use a hutch cover to help keep the inside of the hutch and your rabbit dry during downpours, gales and snow storms. Always allow for ventilation, your rabbit needs to breathe!
We often add a thicker duvet to our beds during the colder months. Your rabbits will also be feeling the cold more and they too need the equivalent of a thicker duvet. Use more bedding and consider cutting a cardboard box and slotting it into the bed area of the hutch for additional insulation. You can also use newspaper to line the floor for some added warmth.
Play With Your Rabbit
Rabbits often get a lot more attention in the summer. Make an extra effort to spend time playing and talking with your pet. They love exercise and company as they are social animals. Give your bunny access to a large outdoor run and sit talk to them while you’re cleaning out the hutch and during feeding times. You can even bring your rabbit indoors for play time, but choose one of the cooler rooms in your home and don’t forget to rabbit proof the space first.