As an animal that having quite a fluffy fur, many people thought that the rabbit is quite able to resist winter cold by itself. This thought is quite wrong as rabbit still need to prepare itself for the upcoming winter. You, as the owner of this fluffy rabbit, will have to help them prepared for the winter. Neglecting their need to prepare against winter will detrimental for your rabbit health. Your pet might get fall ill with a cold or get a respiratory infection.
For the upcoming winter season, you should create an ideal but warm environment for your rabbit. Your rabbit Hutch/Nest has to be the warmest and comfy during the winter time as their sanctuary against cold. Try to pay attention to their food and water supply. The rabbit may have an extra appetite and their water may get frozen, resulting your rabbit will be lost access to drink water and get dehydrated.
You also might want to read here reasons why you shouldn’t lay bunnies on their backs
1. Adjust Your Rabbit Nest/Hutch To Be More Warmer
As been told above, you need to make your rabbit nest/hutch to be warmer to help your rabbit to cope with the coldness of the winter. Make certain adjustment to its nest/hutch to make it more comfortable during winter time.
Make sure there are no gaps in the hutch/ nest wall. You should check it periodically because the wall might get weathered due to rain and other weather condition. Replace the woods of the hutch/nest wall should it become old and rotting. Add more protection to the wall by applying a rabbit-safe wood protectant coating. Line the hutch/nest wall with newspaper to prevent the cold air from entering through any gaps.
Should your rabbit hutch/nest has a mesh door, you can cover the mesh door by cover it with plastic wrap. It will allow your rabbit to see through yet prevent the cold air from entering. but try to leave a small gap toward its bottom for the proper ventilation.
The easiest adjustment for rabbit hutch/nest against the winter is to simply move it to the somewhere warmer, indoor place like a heated garage.
Should you want to build DIY Hutch/Nest for your rabbit, You can read this “10 Steps to Build A Comfy Cage for Your Rabbit” to help you on making a proper Hutch/Nest
2. Insulate Your Rabbit Hutch/Nest
Do through check for the rabbit hutch/nest before winter, do the hutch/nest is in suitable condition for the winter season or not? Does it properly able to insulate heat during winter?
You can insulate the hutch/nest by placing sheets of newspaper and a warm blanket on top of the roof. The cover in an outdoor tarp. This will trap the heat and will make the hutch/nest adequately warm. It also prevents snow to fall on your rabbit.
3. Make Sure The A Warm Bedding For The Rabbit
Especially in the winter season, the rabbit needs a more warm bed to prevent them from getting cold. You should prepare a kind of a box that become a sleeping area for your rabbit. Make sure the box have an entry hole so the rabbit can enter in and out. For its bed, you can make a DIY by made it from a cardboard box or just buy it in a pet store or on an online pet shop. Place a lot of bedding material in the rabbit sleeping area and avoid giving your rabbit a blanket as bedding as rabbit habit may make them on the blanket and may cause an intestinal blockage.
4. Spread Straw To Make Your Rabbit Hutch/Cage More Warm
You can spread straw across the hutch/cage as straw is said to be one of the best material to keep your rabbit warm. pack every edge of the hutch/nest for more firm insulation. A bit of straw in rabbit sleeping area also recommended.
Make sure to change straw every few days as the rabbit may urinate on the straws. Remember, dampened sleeping area is harmful to your rabbit, especially in the winter season.
5. Provide Your Rabbit With Constant Water and Don’t Let It Freeze
Always provide your rabbit with constant water for them to drink, and during winter, make sure to keep watch of their water dish/water bottle to make sure the water is not frozen. Neglecting on keeping watch the water will leave your rabbit without access to water which your rabbit still need even during the cold winter. Make sure you check the water bottle/water dish a few times a day. Should you find it freeze, replace it pronto.
You can also try to insulate the water bottle to reduce its risk of being frozen. You can wrap the water bottle with an old towel. You just buy a water bottle that designed for winter use, which comes wrapped in material to keep it warm during the cold season, thus prevent the content from being frozen. To be safe, make sure you have plenty of spare water bottle available. The plastic water bottle may crack especially during the winter season and you don’t want your rabbit to go on without winter when you found its water bottle breaks.
6. Dry Your Rabbit If They Play in The Snow
Your rabbit need to be exercised even in the winter season. When the weather is clear and good enough, you can let your rabbit go out from its cage a play outside. (Of course with adequate supervision). But please remember to dry your rabbit hut before putting your rabbit back to its hutch/nest. you can use a towel to dry your rabbit. If your rabbit still not fully dry, let it dry indoor naturally and avoid put them by the heater to dry it.
It’s also recommended to be bonded with your rabbit rather than let your rabbit play by itself if you have time. You can do this “3 Tips to Massage Your Rabbit” as the way to be bonded with your rabbit.
7. Try To Keep Your Rabbit in Pair
By keeping your rabbit in a pair, they will be able to warm up their body by cuddle each other. But please make sure that both of your rabbits is compatible with each other. Try to bond both of them before pair them in one cage unless you want to see both of your rabbits get injured due to fighting each other. You should watch out to keep your rabbit not feeling lonely, Read this guideline to keep your rabbit from getting lonely. You might also need to read this article to know should your rabbit are depressed or not, it’s because being lonely is a reason for the rabbit to get depressed.
8. Clean The Cage/Hutch More Regularly During The Winter
You need to clean the cage/hutch more regularly as the temperature becomes colder. Rabbit urine can cause their bedding, straw, and hay becomes dampen and even freeze. If neglected, it can cause a health problem. Always remove any clumps of urine in your rabbit cage on a daily basis, especially their bedding area.
9. Watch For Your Rabbit Health
Lastly, be on the lookout for signs of health problems. If your rabbit has a cold or respiratory problem, he should be evaluated by a vet and kept indoors. Watch for the following:
- Discharge from the nose
- The appearance of dirt around the nose
- Discharge from the eyes
- Loud breathing
However, With proper precautions, your rabbit should be safe and healthy over the winter months.