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Keep your bunny warm this winter

05/01/2011

A leading animal charity is appealing to owners of domestic rabbits to take special measures in the care of their pets over Christmas and New Year.

The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund has raised concerns that rabbits have a particularly bad deal in winter as many owners can be reluctant to brave the cold, wet and dark weather to feed and clean out their rabbit’s hutch, which is often kept at the bottom of the garden. 

Obviously we are all rushed off our feet at this time of year trying to make everything perfect for the holiday season, so it's important to remember that as well as stocking up on everything your family needs - you also need to stock up on what your rabbits need.

Rabbit owners should stock up on extra bedding for the rabbit hutch, hay, food and greens. Rabbits may have fur coats, but the fur alone doesn't provide enough protection. In the wild, rabbits live underground, where the temperature only varies a few degrees between summer and winter. This is why the rabbit hutch should be filled with clean dry bedding to help keep the animal warm especially in the winter weather we have been having.

Rabbits still need daily exercise and should not be kept locked in their rabbit hutches because of bad weather. Follow these top tips for keeping outdoor rabbits warm in and out of their hutches this winter:

 

  • Rabbit hutches and rabbit runs should be brought into sheds or, if outside, should be covered and in a sheltered position.
  • Remember water bottles can and do freeze solid so keep spares and cover them if possible with bubble wrap and an old sock to slow down the freezing process.
  • A cardboard box filled with bedding should be added to the rabbit hutch to give extra warmth.
  • Products like 'Snugglesafe heat pads' are available and will keep the bunnies warm in their cage when the temperature plummets over night.
  • Don’t bring bunnies indoors to play in a warm home, and then put them back out into cold temperatures in their hutches.


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