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How do rabbits and rodents stay cool

Keep Rabbit and Rodent comfortable during heat waves

With the arrival of warmer days, we and our enjoy rabbits en rodents of the sunny weather. However, they are not very resistant to the extreme summer heat that is yet to come. That's why it's important to start thinking about how we can make sure our furry friends stay comfortable even on the hottest days.

How Do Rabbits And Rodents Stay Cool Rabbit With Winter Coat

Phew, that's hot!

Rabbits are most comfortable at temperatures between 15 and 22 degrees. They have a thick coat that protects them perfectly against cold temperatures, but this makes rabbits sensitive to heat. Rabbits therefore easily overheat due to their nice fur coat.

Rodents are also sensitive to heat and can get into trouble if they become
exposed to high temperatures. Although some rodents (Gerbils, for example) have a higher degree of heat resistance, they can suffer from heat stress and overheating just like other animals. The most comfortable temperature for rodents is between 18 and 24 degrees.

How do you tell if a rabbit or rodent is hot?

Unlike humans, rabbits and rodents do not have sweat glands all over their bodies for cooling. Rabbits and rodents therefore do not regulate their body temperature by sweating. But how? You can recognize that your rabbit or rodent is warm by this:

When a rodent or rabbit is hot, you see that they seek cool places, they can lie stretched out and flat, have warm ears and soles of their feet, lick themselves excessively, pant to lose heat and become lethargic.

Lying stretched out: an animal that is hot can stretch out on a cooler surface to dissipate heat. They can lie flat on their stomach or stretch out to the side.

Find a cool spot: A rabbit or rodent that is hot can become restless. They will look for a cool spot and try to get into a comfortable position. They can hide in the strangest places or lie down in the water bowl.

Panting: Rabbits and some rodents, such as rats, may pant as a way of dissipating excess heat. By panting, they breathe quickly and shallowly, allowing heat to escape through their respiratory system.

Warm ears and soles of feet: Gently touch the ears and soles of your animal's feet. If they feel warmer and a bit clammy than usual, your boyfriend is probably (too) hot

Excessive licking: Rabbits or rodents can lick or clean themselves excessively when they are hot. Unfortunately, this behavior can lead to damp, clammy coat patches.

Lethargy: A Rabbit or rodent that is very hot can be lethargic and less active than usual. They want to play much less or not at all and may even have trouble moving.

Loss of Appetite: When your rabbit or rodent is hot, he will want to eat less and drink more. If your animal wants to drink less or not at all, this is a sign that it is really overheating (getting).

How Do Rabbits And Rodents Stay Cool Guinea Pig And Hamster

What are the symptoms of overheating in rabbits and rodents?

Overheating can pose a serious threat to rabbits and rodents. They are unable to regulate their body temperature as efficiently as humans. When the ambient temperature gets too hot, their internal temperature can rise rapidly, which can lead to heat exhaustion or even a life-threatening condition called heat stroke.

When your rabbit or rodent is overheated, you can recognize this by dark pink to red mucous membranes, extreme lethargy and flaccidity, involuntary contractions of the muscles, extreme panting, fast heartbeat and when they walk, this is swaying or unstable.

It is essential to recognize the symptoms of overheating in rabbits and rodents. Watch for signs such as:

  • Dark pink to red mucous membranes
  • Extreme lethargy and flaccidity of the body
  • Involuntary contractions of the muscles
  • Extremely fast breathing or panting
  • fast heart rate
  • They can sway and walk unsteadily

If you recognize one or more of these symptoms in your rabbit or rodent, it is important that you consult a vet as soon as possible!

Prevention is better than cure

Of course it's nice to know what to look out for, but it's even better to make sure it doesn't have to get that far. Below are a number of tips to keep your rabbit or rodent as comfortable as possible during the hot summer days.

Sufficient shade and coolness : Try to avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially during the hottest hours of the day, using a parasol for example. Make sure the rabbit always has a shady and cool place to go. This can be indoors or in a well-sheltered outdoor area. Move your rodent's enclosure to the coolest spot in your home

Cool water: Make sure that fresh, cool water is always available for your animal and check regularly that the water has not warmed up too much

Ventilation: Ensure good air circulation in the room where the animal is located. This can be achieved by using a fan or leaving windows and doors open, but make sure there are no drafts. Never place the fan directly in front of the cage

Limit exercise: Remove the running wheel from the enclosure until the ambient temperature has decreased

To prevent overheating in rabbits and rodents, it is important to provide sufficient shade and coolness, to provide fresh cool water, to create good ventilation, to limit exercise, to adjust the diet and to use cooling products, such as cooling mats or cooling stones.

Keep your rabbit or rodent cool this summer with a cooling snack

Nutrition: No nutrition of your rabbit or rodent during warm periods. Feed more moist foods, such as fresh vegetables, to increase their fluid intake. Also make sure that the food stays fresh and does not spoil due to the heat. Please note! Only do this if your animal is used to eating green fodder!

Cooling Products: Place one cooling product in your rabbit or rodent's enclosure. They can lie on this or against it to cool off. There are various cooling products available in our webshop, like cooling mats, cooling stones of ceramics, cooling plates of aluminum and special cooling elements suitable for rabbits and rodents.

With these tips you ensure a happy Rabbit or Rodent

With these tips you can ensure that your rabbits and rodents stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer days. Remember to be alert for signs of overheating and seek immediate medical attention if necessary. With proper care and attention, our furry friends can enjoy the summer without being bothered by the heat.

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