HEAT CAN KILL YOUR RABBIT
The best situation
is for all bunnies to be inside an air-conditioned home on days
that the temperature is over 78 degrees, but we know that this is
not always an option. Following are some tips on how to keep bunny
cool on hot days.
Your rabbit's cage should
never be in direct sunlight, but in a well-lit shaded (if outside)
area that is well ventilated but not draughty. Rabbits do not belong
in garages. Garages tend to be dark and oppressive, even with ventilation
and windows. Plus, rabbits are social creatures and they get dreadfully
lonely if they are shut off frrm their people and whatever family
activity is happening!
If air conditioning
is not available, fans and bottles or cartons filled with ice are
useful to cool things down. Keep a few plastic bottles (or milk/juice
cartons) of water in the freezer in case of an emergency, and so
that you have a supply ready when one has melted. Place the bottle
in the cage next to your bunny.
Misting the ears is
another helpful way to cool bunny down, and a damp towel across/over
one end of the cage (where fan blows air freely through) makes a
nice cool place for bunny to rest.
For rabbits that live
outside (we implore you: bring your pets inside!) a timed mister
system is advisable. Make sure that all wet food is changed daily.
This is VERY important. Damp food gets
moldy quickly in hot weather (it also breeds bacteria) which can
make your rabbit extremely ill, or even cause death.
While preventative measures
generally keep bunny comfortable, sometimes a danger-situation still
arises. If you notice that bunny is panting, drooling or listless—immediate
action is needed. Dampen ears with a mister or washcloth, put him
next to a bottle of ice, and take him to the vet, ASAP. Extreme
heat can cause the brain to swell (among other things) and bunny
could very well die a very painful death.
BRING SUMMERTIME FLEAS
Controlling fleas is
basically a matter of care and observation. Groom your rabbit frequently.
Brushing his coat will not only remove loose hair and dirt, it will
give you a chance to examine bunny for signs of fleas: black grainy
material (dried blood) and actual fleas are your main clues. (See
Well Groomed Rabbit")
ADVANTAGE(tm) for kittens can be used
on your rabbit on a monthly basis. Consult a rabbit vet for more information
on this product. Cat/kitten flea powders can also be used. Start from
the neck and work backwards (do not put on head or face) working powder
into the coat to the skin. A clean cage, frequent vacuuming and spraying
carpet or yard with BUNNY-SAFE flea sprays are also helpful. DO NOT
flea bomb your house. Current commercial flea bombs are fatal if ingested.