How to Keep Rabbits Warm in the Winter

Keeping rodents in the garden is not a problem during the warmer months. But what if it gets cold outside? In winter, rabbits and guinea pigs need protection from the cold – especially if they are kept outside. We have put together a few tips for you.

In principle, the animals can also be kept outside in winter, explains the “Industrieverband Heimtierbedarf” (IVH). There are a few important points to keep in mind.

In general, rabbits are well prepared for the winter months: in autumn they usually get a thick undercoat and the balls of their feet are hairy – good protection against the cold.
In guinea pigs, the feet remain bare and the ears are only slightly hairy, so they need special protection against moisture and cold.

A heat lamp can help here to slightly warm the air in the barn. The sociable animals love to warm each other while cuddling. The experts, therefore, advise keeping at least four animals together.

Dry Retreat and Regular Checks

For both animal species, the “IVH” recommends a sufficiently large, dry, and draft-free retreat in which all animals can stay at the same time. A drinking vessel should also be set up here, as this prevents the water from freezing.

Good ventilation and shelter in larger enclosures, such as houses or pipes to hide, are important. Guinea pigs like to withdraw in winter and then cannot be seen for several days. You should check them out here regularly.

And when it finally snowed: rabbits love to play and run around in the snow. If you keep them outside, they should stay outside during the winter months and not be brought into the heated apartment in between, as there is a risk of heatstroke. If the prerequisites are correct, nothing stands in the way of keeping outdoors in winter.

Bring Weak and Older Animals to a Warm Place

Older and weakened animals, on the other hand, should generally not stay outside in winter. A check at the vet can provide security here. Also, not all animal breeds are suitable for keeping in the cold outdoor enclosure. Especially with many long-haired representatives, the fur quickly becomes matted in winter, animals with short hair – depending on the species – tend to have an advantage here.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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