How to care for bunnies through the heat of summer

As you may (or may not) know, our family not only consists of little boys, but we have little furry creatures that we consider family as well. We have three mini lop bunnies, Paisley, Thumper, and Flower.
We've tried various pets, the best ones have been the little rodent creatures. We did well with a hamster for a year and he died, same thing with the one after. When Andrew and I first got married, we got a bunny for our first Easter, but with both of us working so much, he died of some neglect...a fact that still makes me a little sick. We tried cats, they bother Andrew's allergies and asthma - no good. They also pee everywhere. Ugh.

We've also tried various dogs. Two, actually. Both turned out just horrible. We loved the first one, but with his size, and me being alone with a baby all the time, we just couldn't do it. The next one we just didn't have the space for after we had to move for the first time, plus his high maintenance and vet costs just weren't something we were able to end up doing.

We decided that the pets for us are the ones that are low maintenance, and smaller than our newborn babies.

We have bunnies. I love them. As a teen, I raised my own brood of bunnies. I had 11 or 12 bunnies at one time - of course, that's counting a litter of 8 that my doe bore. At the time we were involved with 4H so I was able to take the babies to the fair and sell them to happy kids and families that needed some floppy eared love in their lives!


Andrew and I both have a desire to expose our children to chores, caring for something other than themselves, and the responsibility that another living thing enhances your life with and bunnies have been a thrill of a lifetime for them.

The mini lop bread is a great one for our midwestern climates. They are hearty through the winter, and still easy enough to care for through the heat of the summer.

A few things to keep in mind while keeping bunnies alive during the hottest days:

  • Make sure they always have water available!!!!! No matter what, this is key to keeping your bunnies living. They, like us, have to stay well hydrated when it's hot out.
  • Give them good shade. It's best to keep them out of the afternoon sun. It's probably best to keep them on the North or East side of a building so they can get the most shade when the sun is moving over the South to the West in the afternoon when it's hottest out.
  • Let them have a frozen water bottle. I have several water bottles frozen for rotating through the day. I didn't use anything special, I just pulled the labels off of the bottles, made sure there was nothing more they could peel off and choke on and filled with water and froze. They will inevitably chew on it, rabbits are very playful, but if you've pulled all of the gook off the bottle, it will be just fine.
  • Pay attention to their behavior. It's pretty easy to tell when there is something wrong with bunnies. They display unusual (for them) behavior, just as children do when they don't feel good. If your bunny seems to be off, unresponsive, or unexcitable, you may need to give them a fan, or bring them to a cool spot in the garage or basement for a while. Be sure the change in temperature is not too drastic, or they could go into shock. Perhaps plan to bring them in on days that are predicted to be X degrees or more and bring your pet in the night before when it's the lowest temperature transition.
Like I mentioned before, the mini lops are hearty for the weather in the midwest, do some research for your own breed of rabbit to make sure they don't need something specific for different climates.

1 comment

  1. I used to have guinea pigs growing up, and they're also very sensitive to the heat. But these little creatures are so beautiful and bring so much joy!