It’s 111 degrees at my house today and it’s staying hot for a while. Such a dangerous time for rabbits and other animals to overheat and die outdoors and indoors.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, cats, and dogs (plus other animals) all need to be indoors with AC to stay cool.
What if there is a blackout and your AC goes out? Have a backup plan. Talk to friends, relatives, and coworkers to see if you can take your animals to their homes. Of course with COVID and RVHD2, it makes it harder but there is always a way to come up with a safe plan for you and your rabbit.
Many AC systems can be tracked on your phone. So while you are away from home you can control your thermostat and see what the temperature is in your home. You can also sign up with Southern California Edison to get text alerts about rolling blackouts.
I keep my home at around 74 degrees to keep all the rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, cats, and dogs cool and comfortable.
Here are ways to help keep cool.
*Frozen Water Bottles
Freeze two-liter soda bottles. Be sure to remove the label. Fill with water and freeze. Make sure you have spares in the freezer so as they melt you can replace them. Some rabbits lay right against them while others prefer material such as a sock, light towel, or pillow case wrapped around the bottle.
Put down cooling tiles for your rabbit, chinchillas, and guinea pigs to lay on. BunnyBunchBoutique.com carries a Chin Chilla Cooling Stone they work great for rabbits and guinea pigs too. For rabbits, I suggest getting two to lay together. You can even wet them, and put them in the fridge for extra cooling. BunnyBunchBoutique.com Curbside or Shipping.
*If your rabbit is breathing hard due to the heat put some cool water on a washcloth. Wring out the water and apply the washcloth to the rabbit’s ears.
*Always have a crock or two of clean coolish water for your rabbit to drink. Rabbits don’t tend to drink enough water when the water is given in a water bottle, crocks work better.
*In Your Home
A fan will not cool a rabbit, but it can help circulate the air. Keeping blinds and curtains closed will help stop heat coming in through the windows so your AC doesn’t have to work so hard.
If you don’t have central AC consider getting a wall unit, or portable AC unit.
Signs of Over Heating
*Rabbits don’t pant, but you will notice when they are breathing harder by watching their body moving in and out.
*They will normally be in a stretched-out laying down position.
*Their head can be in a slightly tilted back position.
*The fur around their nose and mouth can become wet.
Any of the above signs are dangerous and mean your rabbit needs to be cooled down right away. In some cases, vet care is needed immediately.
How to Cool Down A Rabbit
ACT QUICKLY! Your rabbit can die from being overheated.
*If possible get into air conditioning right away. If you don’t have it in your home start your car and get it cooled down to take the rabbit in there.
*Cool the ears by placing a wet cool wash cloth both inside and outside of both ears.
*Lay the rabbit on a wet cool towel.
*Offer cool water to drink.
*If you happen to have subq fluids give them to help hydrate the rabbit, as long as there isn’t a medical condition in which case subq fluids can’t be used.
Please do what you can to keep your animals cool before they get to the point of overheating. Through the years I have received many calls where people have found their animals dead from overheating.
If vet care may be needed be sure to take everything you need to cool your rabbit down on the drive to the vet.
Bunny Bunch Boutique does bunny sitting and people without AC often book a visit for their rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs to keep them cool during the hot days of summer. RVHD2 vaccine is required. Call or text for a reservation (909) 631-9552.
Prevention is the best remedy. Be prepared and keep cool!