At this time of year, there are a few extra things to do to make sure that your pets
are happy and comfortable....
Rabbits can cope much better with cold than heat, so it is important to ensure that
they are comfortable in the summer months.
Beware fly strike!!
It is important to check your rabbit over AT LEAST ONCE A DAY as any soiling underneath
will attract flies to lay their eggs. These will hatch into maggots within 12 hours
which will then burrow into the skin causing great distress and often meaning the
rabbit has to be put to sleep if it is not caught in time. If you do find any soiled
areas on your rabbit, the fur must be washed or carefully cut away and your vet consulted
immediately if you see maggots or eggs.
You can minimise the risk by cleaning out the hutch/litter tray more regularly so
that flies are not attracted in the first place, and by using fly screens and papers
to kill any that are around. There is also a product called Rearguard which can be
applied to your rabbit to deter flies, ask your vet for more information.
Make sure that your rabbit is up to date with its myxomatosis vaccine as the virus
is more prevalent in the summer months.
Guinness enjoying the sunshine
in his run a few years ago!
Ensure that the hutch and run are shaded from the heat of the sun, by covering them
with sheets or using a parasol/gazebo. Pouring water on the hutch roof and surrounding
ground will help to lower the temperature.
Make sure that they have plenty of water, and change it regularly to keep it cool.
Some animals prefer to lap from a bowl rather than use a bottle when it is hot, so
We also keep small plastic bottles of water in the freezer ready to be put in the
hutch to cool it down, your pet will often lie against them to keep cool.
Provide less bedding when it is hot, hay can be removed completely as long as plenty
is available in a hay rack for your pet to eat.
If your pet appears to be suffering in the heat, cool it down by damping it down
with cool (NOT ice cold) water, especially on the ears of rabbits. DO NOT immerse
them in water, as the shock could kill them.
If you are going away overnight or for a few days, make sure that the person who
cares for your animals knows all this as well!