Rabbits are very sensitive to the cold and cannot protect themselves against it. If you have pet rabbits in the house, do not worry about giving them a bath.
When a bunny’s coat gets wet, it is unable to use its fur to insulate itself or lick in heat. This can lead the bunny to freeze to death.
In this article, we will discuss what happens when these adorable little furry creatures get wet and what we can do to help them.
Is It Okay If For My Rabbit To Get Wet?
If the weather starts turning cloudy and there are chances of rain, it’s best to put your pet rabbits in a covered location where there are no chances of them getting wet.
In case your rabbit does get wet in the rain by accident, lift them up gently with a warm blanket and bring them indoors. Gently rub them dry and make sure that their coat is dry.
If your rabbit is soaking wet, then you may need to wrap a towel around the rabbit and place it in front of a heat source such as a warm fire or a heater.
A depressed immune system is very weak and can cause the rabbit to become very ill or even die. Immediate action must always be taken to dry the rabbit up.
Bathing is not necessary for rabbits and should be avoided. This is because exposing a rabbit to damp conditions is hazardous for them.
What If My Rabbit Accidentally Gets Wet?
In case your rabbit gets wet accidentally, you may wash them or give them a quick bath.
Rather than washing it completely, it’s best to just wash their behind and their back legs if you must.
When putting water on your rabbit, you will notice that rabbits absolutely despise the water.
Even if a little bit of water touches the rabbit, they will get extremely anxious and start acting crazy.
They will thrash about and start biting you, trying to squirm their way out of your hands. This is because a rabbit’s skin is very sensitive to water.
It does not like its skin getting wet and will do everything to fight you.
Your rabbit is actually fighting for its life because it is aware of how dangerous the water is for them.
Unlike humans, rabbits’ skin is not waterproof and once wet, their fur cannot insulate them anymore.
Their bodies are not as efficient at regulating heat as other mammals and will freeze very quickly, risking hypothermia and death in the rabbit.
What If My Rabbit Is Soaking Wet?
If your rabbit’s hatch was left outdoors in rain, then your rabbit may become soaking wet. This can be a dangerous condition, and one must act immediately.
Get lots of dry paper towels or regular towels and carry your rabbit indoors.
Suppose a paper towel or a regular towel is not enough to dry your rabbit. Then you need to hurry and look for something warmer. It might also be a good idea to use a hairdryer from a little distance.
Using a hair dryer, you can dry your rabbit’s coat faster than a towel and prevent body temperature from dropping to dangerous levels.
If your rabbit is frightened by the sound of the hairdryer, then you may want to turn it on and point it somewhere else before pointing it at the rabbit directly. Bunnies scare very easily.
Once your rabbit is completely dried up, you may cover it with a blanket and make it warm and toasty. Make sure to give it a nice warm cuddle and let it regain its strength.
What Happens In Cold Weather?
Wild rabbits live inside burrows which are holes or tunnels under the ground dug up by the rabbit.
This is the rabbit’s natural home; they get shelter from the harsh climate and get cover from predators.
Inside burrows, the temperature remains well regulated and protects the rabbit from extreme cold weather.
Some rabbits are naturally adapted to withstand the cold winter conditions. They have thick pads at the bottom of their paws and a thicker coat of fur to protect their thin bodies from the cold weather.
Domestic rabbits must not be exposed to harsh winter weather conditions such as rain, wind, and snow, as they can be extremely dangerous. Domestic rabbits should ideally be kept indoors. Rabbits tend to get sick very quickly.
A shed or a covered place is ideal for pet rabbits rather than in open cages kept outdoors.
The ideal temperature for rabbits to survive ranges between 10° and 20°. Anything lower than that is dangerous.
How to Protect Your Pet Rabbits from Cold Weather in the Winters?
Winter conditions are not ideal for rabbits. If you live in a city where it snows in the winter, then your outside temperature is too low for rabbits to survive in.
You must take appropriate measures to protect your pet rabbits from the cold. It is best to keep your rabbit’s hutch indoors.
If you don’t have enough space and have no choice but to keep your rabbit outside, then you must take the following measures to make its home warm and comfortable.
Here are some important conditions to check for:
- Place extra blankets to create a warm and cozy environment
- Make sure that the rabbit’s hutch is in an elevated position. Preferably 4 to 5 inches above the ground to prevent it from getting damp
- Straw or hay may be placed in the rabbits’ hatch to help keep it insulated
- Make sure that the hutch is completely waterproof and leak-poof if your rabbits are to remain outdoors and there are chances of rain
- Make sure that their home is well ventilated
- Before wintertime approaches, check your rabbit’s home to check for any repairs that might be required.
- Make sure that it is well hidden from predators. Big dogs, stray cats, and even large birds such as eagles and hawks are all dangerous predators that enjoy hunting small defenseless bunnies
- Rabbits need a constant supply of food to stay warm
- It also helps to line the walls of the rabbit’s hutch with newspaper to add extra insulation
- Straw is warmer than hay, but they can be mixed together and kept in the rabbit’s bedding for extra insulation.
What Happens When Cold Meets Wet?
This is a deadly situation for rabbits. Cold weather is bad enough for rabbits, and they can barely make it through the cold winds.
Combined with wetness, it becomes almost impossible for rabbits to survive.
As water evaporates from the skin, it leaves a cooling sensation behind.
In rabbits, this can drop their body temperatures to dangerous levels and can cause them to suffer from hypothermia.
If immediate action is not taken, this condition may be life-threatening for rabbits, and they may not be able to recover and survive.
If you have pet rabbits, keep them in a sheltered place and prepare for the winter. Ideally, rabbits should be kept in a covered location, like in a garage or a shed with a roof over them.
Here, rabbits remain protected from rain, strong winds, and snow.
Unpredictable and sudden changes in the weather can sometimes cause accidental damage to your rabbits’ health if they are outdoors.
What If My Rabbit Gets Dirt On Them?
If only a small area gets dirty and needs to be cleaned, then you could use a damp cloth or towel and rub it gently on the rabbit’s skin to get rid of the dirt.
The best way to clean your rabbit is to give them a dry bath. This can be done simply by using some baby powder and a vacuum cleaner.
If your tiny furry friend gets their fur soiled, here’s what you can do.
Take a little bit of baby powder and gently massage it into the areas that are dirty. This section of the rabbit’s fur will clump up.
Next, you can use a vacuum cleaner and gently suck at the sections. This will help clean the rabbit’s coat without making it damp and risking it from catching a cold and falling dangerously ill.
The Final Word
Bunny rabbits are tiny, furry, and very frightened little creatures. They prefer being inside burrows and like being sheltered.
They do not need to be bathed and do not generally get dirty.
They only come out to eat and spend most of their time inside their burrows or hutch, huddled with the rest of their siblings or families.
Rabbits don’t have a highly developed insulating mechanism; therefore, they must be kept sheltered from cold and damp conditions.
Once wet, rabbits can catch a chill quickly, which can be fatal.
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