Heat awareness for animals in hutches

Even though the height of summer is over, we might be lucky and get a few warm days in September! We all enjoy getting out in the sunshine (when it arrives!), however the same is not always true for our pets! Animals living in hutches, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, can’t find their own shade when temperatures rise. They rely on us to keep them cool.

Hutches can heat up very quickly and become uncomfortable for small pets. Take a look at our 5 top tips to help keep your furry friend cool:

  1. It’s always best to find a shady area in the garden for hutches and exercise runs; keep them away from direct sunlight. Extra shade could be created by draping a towel or sheet over part of the run, maintaining a draught of cool air.
  2. Create an area that’s cool to lie on – try placing ceramic tiles in a shady area of the hutch or run.
  3. It’s important to remember that animals drink more on hot days, therefore keep water bottles and bowls topped up with fresh, clean water. Regularly check water bottle valves and spouts to make sure the water flows out easily.
  4. A way to ensure that your pet is getting some added water in their diet is to feed them plenty of leafy green vegetables and safe fruit (such as tomato or cucumber).
  5. For those breeds that are long-haired, consider making them feel more comfortable in the heat by removing any excess hair with a brush.

With the above in mind, recognising the main symptoms of heatstroke for rabbits and guinea pigs is important to ensure that you can take action to prevent it, or if it occurs, get them the necessary treatment from your vet. Keep an eye out for:

–   Convulsions (fits)

–   Salivating (dribbling)

–   Reddening of the ears

–   Panting

–   Weakness and lethargy

If you feel your rabbit or guinea pig is showing any of the above symptoms, then use cool water to dampen their fur and contact us immediately.

This entry was posted in General News.

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