Now that we are coming into the warmer months of the year it is important to not only keep an eye on our cats and dogs, but to take extra care of our smaller pets as well.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs especially, suffer in the heat, and rarely recover from the effects of heat stroke. It is also important to note that the weather does not have to be very hot for them to become distressed. At Reservoir, we sadly had a Rabbit and Guinea Pig pair succumb to heat stroke in the first few warm days of spring, after being set outside to enjoy the sun.
Shade and water are not always enough to keep them cool, so on extra hot days our smaller pets need to be brought into the house with air conditioning. This can be done in a smaller hutch or cage. There are also many cheap pet pens available on the market to still give them room to stretch their legs whilst inside. Other great ideas to help keep your pet cool includes getting a frozen water bottle for them to lay with whilst they are hot, or a wet towel. Rabbits especially like to dig themselves a hole to lie in the cool earth when the weather is warm, so either giving them access to some dirt in a shaded spot in the yard, or a child’s clam pool filled with dirt can help keep them happy.
It is common for our rabbits and guinea pigs to be forgotten in their cages outside, and general husbandry is often poor. However, they require daily exercise and stimulation the same as our cats and dogs to help them live a long and happy life. The same as humans, mental health plays a large role in our pets wellbeing. They are often shy animals, but if you give them the chance you get to see some great little personalities!