We might be enjoying the summer heat but it can be tough on rabbits and guinea pigs. Here are some tips to help keep them cool and comfortable on hot days.
In the wild, rabbits would spend the hottest part of the day underground in their nice, cool burrows. They’d choose to come out to feed in the mornings and evenings when the weather isn’t as hot. Guinea pigs also struggle in the heat and aren’t built for basking in the sun!
Our pet rabbits and guinea pigs live in a different environment from their wild relatives so need a bit of a helping hand to stay cool. Any pet can overheat in hot weather. It's important for all rabbit and guinea pig owners to recognise the signs of heatstroke and know what to do in an emergency.
You’ll need to be extra careful if your pet is more at risk from the heat:
- Long haired breeds. These rabbits and guinea pigs are wearing a really thick fur coat on the hottest of days!
- Overweight pets. If your rabbit or pig is carrying a bit of extra weight, their body will have to work harder to stay cool.
- Very young or old pets. They can struggle to control their body temperature in really hot or cold weather. This can be due to their even tinier size, or that they are particularly fragile due to a health condition.
How to help them beat the heat
It’s really important to help your rabbits and guinea pigs to:
- keep cool
- drink plenty of water
- stay protected from the sun.
There are loads of practical, cheap and easy things you can do to help your pets.