As the nights darken and the temperature drops, please remember your rabbit!
Although wild rabbits are adapted to living outside, domestic rabbits don’t have access to a warm underground burrow, therefore there are a few things to remember to ensure your rabbit has a safe and comfortable winter.
With a warm fur coat and thick fur pads on their feet, rabbits can live outside over winter providing their hutch is suitably adapted for the cold. Care should be taken to ensure the hutch is water proof and protected from draughts and prevailing weather. Clear perspex or plastic can be partially placed over the mesh of a hutch to ensure inside stays dry whilst still allowing your rabbit to see out.
The inside of the hutch needs to be warm and cosy. This can be achieved by providing insulation with newspaper and additional hay. There is also the option of moving the hutch into a garage or indoors over winter.
Exercise and companionship
Rabbits need to have daily exercise regardless of the time of year. Toys such as cardboard boxes and toilet rolls stuffed with hay and treats can be provided for additional mental stimulation. If rabbits get damp whilst exploring outside, it is important to dry them off with a towel before returning them to their hutch for the night.
Rabbits need to have sufficient access to grass and hay over the winter. With a reduction in available greens and grass in the garden over winter, additional leafy greens should be given. Water bottles should also be checked and changed daily, especially after a frosty night.
With a little extra thought and attention, your bunny can have a healthy and cosy winter!