Summer time can be a difficult time to raise rabbits, especially fluffy Angora rabbits. Angora wool is 7 times warmer than sheep wool, so when the temperatures rise your fluffy little friend can get really uncomfortable quickly. If the temperatures exceed 85 degrees, rabbits can start to experience serious heat related distress and could even die from heat stroke. For tips on keeping your rabbits comfortable during the summer click here.
One easy way to help your bunnies stay cool in the heat of summer is to make this easy DIY cooling pad. This cooling pad is super easy to make (no special tools or skills required!) and the materials will cost you less than a fancy iced coffee!
Materials you will need:
2 concrete blocks
gallon size freezer bag
Ceramic tiles are great to use with rabbits in summer because the natural substances within the tile do not retain heat. Ceramic tiles do however hold onto the cold really well (think chilly bathroom tiles in the middle of winter!). You can try putting ceramic tiles in your freezer for your bunny to lounge on during the day, but an even better solution is to provide a longer lasting supply of cold. The concrete block will act as an excellent insulator to keep the cold in, and burying the block will take advantage of the cooler temps in the ground (and make it easier for your bunny to hop onto the cooling pad).
Dig a hole big enough for your concrete block to be buried, making it flush with the ground. I buried two side by side to make a larger cooling pad for my two rabbits but you could just use one.
Fill a freezer bag about half full with water & freeze (you might have to play around with this to see how much will fit in your concrete block’s holes)
Put the bag in the hole of your cinder block. For extra cold, if your cinder block has multiple holes, you can fill all the holes with ice bags! You could also fill the bags with ice cubes or even use a frozen water bottle.
Place the ceramic tile on the concrete block. If you can find a tile that is the same size as your concrete block, great! If not, don’t worry about it. As long as the tile completely covers the holes so the cold air can’t escape, it works. I had some leftover tiles in my attic so I used those. Take the bags in at night to refreeze and your bunnies will have a cool place to hang out all summer long!
If you want to really go the extra mile for your bunnies, you can make a little bunny cabana around the cooling pad to provide additional shade. It doesn’t have to be fancy, I was able to scavenge all the materials from around my house so I built my cabana for free!
Use weather proof material so it will be rain resistant. I used some oil cloth that I had on hand from another project (click here to read about my adorable oil cloth outdoor bunting banner flags!), but another great option would be an old vinyl picnic tablecloth. For the frame of my bunny cabana, I used leftover scrapes of lumber to make a basic frame. If you had to buy new lumber, two 2x4s would be enough. I used small upholstery nails to adhere the cloth to the frame. Bonus – oil cloth doesn’t need to be hemmed so it didn’t even require any sewing!
Super cute place for your buns to lounge away the summer days!
My husband is used to my wacky DIY plans, so when he came home from work to the sound of the circular saw going, he came to investigate. He asked what I was building this time and I said “a bunny cabana!”. He excitedly repeated “a bunny cabana?” then took over sawing while singing “at the bunny, bunny cabana…..” to the tune of Copacabana. He’s a keeper 😉