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text are copyright

Fiona Wase, 2006-2024


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Winter care

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 kept dry.


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 straw on top of the wood shavings (this 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 the bottle.  


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!



Flecky in February 2007!