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Caring for rabbits and rodents in the summer

Keeping your rabbits or rodents happy and healthy in summer is easy.

a lop-eared rabbit sheltering in the shade under a box in their outdoor pen

Here are our top tips for making sure your rabbits and pet rodents stay cool in warmer weather:

  • Keep pets and cages, runs or hutches out of direct sunlight.
  • Don't house pets in greenhouses, conservatories and other glass buildings as they can heat up very quickly and become dangerous.
  • Give them extra water - make sure you give your pets extra water during warmer weather, as they'll drink more.
  • Provide plenty of shade in their enclosures - remember, the sun moves across during the day so areas that were shaded in the morning could be in full sun in the afternoon!
  • Open the window - for pets that live indoors, opening a window can allow a breeze in and help keep them cool.
  • Regularly groom your pets to get rid of dead hair - this helps keep them cool and gives you bonding time as well!
  • Freeze a semi-full plastic bottle of water and wrap it in a towel so your pets can lie against it. For rabbits and guinea pigs, you can leave this in their exercise areas. For small rodents, place it on the outside of their enclosure. It's safest not to put it into rabbits' or guinea pigs' shelters or directly in small rodents' enclosures in case it leaks!
  • Know the signs of heatstroke - if you suspect your rabbit, guinea pig or other pet may be suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool, shaded place, wrap them in a cool, damp towel and phone your vet immediately.

In summer, you should also check your pets twice a day for signs of flystrike.

Don't forget that summer is a great time for rabbits and guinea pigs to have supervised access outside their usual exercise area to the wider garden - just make sure there are no hazards around first!

Find out more about caring for rabbits.

Find out more