2018-01-03 / Front Page

Winter care for rabbits, guinea pigs

In the winter domestic rabbits and guinea pigs require extra bedding in their home. Rabbits can cope with the cold fairly well, but not if they are housed in damp or drafty conditions. Being cold and wet can lead to a rabbit becoming ill and could be fatal if action is not taken.

Older rabbits can suffer from painful arthritis, so they need to be kept warm and dry. Rabbits that are thin, young or do not have a thick winter coat may also need special attention to ensure they keep warm and dry.

A temperature of between 50-68 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended as ideal for domestic rabbits, though they can cope with lower temperatures. If the temperature starts to reach freezing, you may wish to consider moving the rabbits indoors or into an outhouse, shed or unused garage. If you do you must make sure they have plenty of room to exercise freely and not confined to a hutch with no exercise area.

Guinea pigs do fine outside as long as they are in a hutch. They need basic shelter from the elements. For warmth, give them a lot of hay (not straw, as this can poke in their eyes and cause damage and also occasionally breathing problems). You may provide them with a blanket. You can also use a tarpaulin over the hutch to protect it from the wind and rain. If it gets really, really snow-like cold, take them indoors.

All creatures deserve a warm, dry and draft free shelter.

If you are concerned about animal welfare go to this website: animalpeoplenews.org

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