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Top 7 Ways to Keep your Rabbits Cool in Summer

Top 7 Ways to Keep your Rabbits Cool in Summer
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With the summer in full swing and the temperatures on the rise, there are a couple of things you can do to help your rabbits beat the heat.  Rabbits are pretty hardy animals, but they do much better in the cold than in the heat.  This is especially true if you are raising fluffy Angora rabbits.  Angora wool is up to 7 times warmer than sheep’s wool, that is true whether you are knitting it into a sweater for yourself or if you are a fluffy bunny with your own coat of wool.

When temperatures get up over 85 degrees, rabbits can start to experience heat-related stress.  Rabbits can die from heat stroke, so it is important to help your rabbit stay cool in the summer.  If your rabbit is in distress from overheating it is important for you to act quickly.  Do not try to lower her temperature by dipping her in cold water, it could send her into shock.  Immediately bring her into a cool, air-conditioned room.  Apply cold compresses to her ears,  and possibly to her entire body if needed.  Emergency vet care might be needed if you can’t lower her temperature quickly.

It is much easier to prevent heat distress than treat it so here are our Top 7 Ways to Keep your Rabbit Cool in Summer!

Provide Shade

Make sure your rabbit’s hutch and play area is in the shade.  For indoor rabbits, position your rabbit’s enclosure away from direct sunlight.  Outdoors, try to house your rabbit area under shade trees or where buildings can provide shade.  If you don’t have natural shade from trees,  use awnings, sun umbrellas, or shade sails to help keep your bunnies out of direct sunlight. Be especially aware of strong southern exposure or afternoon sun.  If possible, move rabbits to a cool garage or basement, or into your home during the hottest days.

 Top 7 Tips to Keep your Rabbits Cool this Summer

Give your bunnies a trim

Remove as much excess hair as possible to help keep them cool.  Step up your grooming schedule to remove loose hair often. Consider giving long-haired bunnies a short summer haircut

Fill large 2-liter soda bottles with water and freeze them

Give the frozen bottles to your rabbits so they can lean against them and keep cool.  Have a few bottles on hand so you can rotate them in and out of the freezer.

Give your bunnies ceramic tiles to lay on

The ceramic will stay cool, even in warm weather, and will be a great place for your rabbits to relax on.  We covered the entire lower level of our rabbit hutch in ceramic tiles.  Not only are they great for keeping cool, but they are easy to keep clean.  Click here to read about how we made our rabbit hutch base!

  How much time do Angoras require

Provide plenty of fresh greens

Wash the greens in cool water to help your rabbits get extra water and make them more appealing

 Top 7 Tips to Keep your Rabbits Cool this Summer

Lots of fresh water

Change their water out a couple of times a day to keep it fresh and cool.  You could try adding a few ice cubes to the water.  Keep a close eye on their water levels and make sure they have constant access so they don’t get dehydrated.

Set up a barn fan or air conditioner for your rabbit

Don’t have the fan blowing directly on them, just by the cage to keep the air moving. Having an air conditioner inside is easy, but your outdoor rabbits would also love some cool AC!  It’s easy to make a homemade “air conditioner” using an inexpensive foam cooler, a small fan, a bit of PVC pipe, and duct tape.

Cut a hole slightly smaller than the fan in the cooler’s top, and secure the fan to the cooler lid so the fan is blowing directly into the cooler.  On the other side of the lid, cut a hole for the pipe (this is where the cold air will come out).  Fill the cooler with ice or ice packs and turn the fan on.  As the air from the fan gets chilled in the cooler, cold air will come out through the pipe. Perfect for your outdoor rabbits (just make sure to hide the cord so they don’t chew on it!)
Top 7 Tips to Keep your Rabbits Cool this Summer

Check out this video to make your own!


I made a cooling pad with cinder blocks & ceramic tiles and then built a cute little cabana to keep my buns cool in the shade.  For directions, click here!

Top 7 Ways to Keep Your Rabbits Cool in Summer

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Liz Owens

Saturday 29th of July 2023

I have a few bunnies that I believe have gone heat steril before my husband could build in the last wall of our bunny barn and install an air conditioner two weeks ago. I know the temp was over 87 for 3 days straight. We had an oscillating fan and frozen bottles on every cage, but it was just so hot. They have recovered very well and are much more active in the a/c. If they are heat steril, how long will that affect them?


Tuesday 1st of August 2023

Every rabbit is different and it depends how long they were in heat over 85 - sounds like your guys weren't out there for long. It can take up to three months to recover, but I bet your boys will be good to go in a month or two. It's been such a hot summer here too!

Jessica Jones

Friday 20th of January 2023

I live in southeast New Mexico and we get super hot summers. I have a guinea pig and lop eared rabbit. I'm going to build a hitch with ground areas for them this spring. What are some suggestions for summer time? For sure a fan and water bottles and the tiles but when should I consider moving them inside? I would like for them to be outside as much as possible but I'm planning on bringing them in for the extreme heat over 95.


Monday 23rd of January 2023

Yes for sure you will need to bring them inside when it's really hot. Rabbits can show signs of distress when it's over 90 degrees so to be safe I would use that as a determining factor. I would get a temperature gauge to put in their area so you can keep an eye on the temp in their exact space. You might want to consider a light colored shade sail or drop cloth to hang over the area and keep it shady also

Rabbit Defender

Saturday 26th of June 2021

Any tile will heat up to the ambient temperature and actually stay hotter longer once temp starts dropping in evening. This would only work if you put tiles in the freezer and rotate them with cool once when they warm up.


Saturday 22nd of August 2020

Your idea of a cabana is good but I don't like your picture.. First that picture shows the coop in the sun, get it into the shade. Looks like you have plenty of room.. But if you cannot move the coop out of the sun, put a couple of layers of cabana, or tarp, covering, because the top layer will absorb the sun's heat. The second layer will be much cooler, keeping your bunnies cooler too. Second, the cabana is cutting off all circulation. Instead of "wrapping" the coop up, open the cabana up, like a big shade umbrella.


Sunday 21st of June 2020

I'm thinking of getting a lionhead rabbit, would it be a bad idea to have it as an outdoor rabbit? would it be more susceptible to disease and parasites?


Monday 22nd of June 2020

A lion head wouldn’t be more susceptible to diseases and parasites than any other rabbit. With their long-ish coat just be sure to check them regularly for ticks in the warm months

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