Do I have to take special care of my rabbits and guinea pigs in the heat of the summer? Are they allowed in their outdoor enclosure when the temperature is high, or do they not tolerate heat well? Find out here how to protect your rabbits and guinea pigs from extreme heat.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are often victims of life-threatening heat strokes in summer. While humans can cool down by sweating, this is not possible for small mammals. They regulate their heat balance by panting, rabbits also by their ears. However, the capacity of this regulatory system is quickly exhausted, which is why you as the owner should consciously protect your rabbits and guinea pigs from extreme heat.
Heat protection for rabbits in the outdoor enclosure
If rabbits or guinea pigs are kept in an outdoor enclosure, heat protection is particularly important. The outdoor enclosure should therefore always be protected from rain, wind, and sun. The cage location is best chosen so that a natural source of shade, such as a tree or bush, is permanently available.
This is where mobile outdoor enclosures come in handy. Unfortunately, the commercially available plywood houses do not offer sufficient protection, as they heat up extremely in direct sunlight.
Even if you keep your rabbits in the house or apartment, you should make sure that the enclosure is not exposed to direct sunlight, as life-threatening heat stroke can also occur here. Of course, the rabbits need sufficient light.
Water as a precaution in extreme heat
There is a common misconception that rabbits and guinea pigs do not need drinking water. This can have deadly consequences in midsummer. Fresh water must always be available. You can also give your rabbits and guinea pigs further support: You should quickly remove uneaten green fodder from the enclosure – it quickly begins to ferment in the heat and can cause serious indigestion.