At this time of year, there are a few extra things to do to make sure that your pets
are happy and comfortable....
Guinea pig hutches should be moved into a shed or outbuilding, or failing that against
a sheltered wall of the house or garage. They are not as hardy as rabbits, who will
happily live in an outside hutch all year round, however, it is important that the
hutch is dry and draught free if it is kept outside.
Rabbits will cope outside as long as the bedding is not allowed to get damp and it
is not draughty.
Make sure that you do any hutch repairs (such as treating with preservative, replacing
gaps in roofing felt) before the onset of the cold weather so that the inside is
All of my runs are moved off the grass in the autumn as our garden gets too wet and
muddy. We put them onto a patio area so that the outside bunnies can still exercise.
Make sure that you provide a thick layer of wood shavings which will act as an insulating
layer and a deep bed of hay for your pet to hide in.
If the forecast is for a very cold, wet or snowy night, cover the hutch with a tarpaulin
or thick blanket, making sure you uncover the front of the hutch the next morning.
Check that the water has not frozen in the bottle or bowl. Even if the water in
a bottle is not frozen, it is important to check the nozzle too, as water may have
frozen in it, meaning that your pet cannot get to the unfrozen water above it in
Keep some spare bottles filled up in the house so that you can simply swap them with
the frozen one on the hutch. If it is very cold you may need to check the water
supply several times a day.
If you are going away overnight or for a few days, make sure that the person who
looks in on your animals knows all this as well!