Rabbits are easily stressed by bangs, whizzes and other loud noises. Keep your bunny happy on Bonfire Night and beyond with our top tips
Bring your rabbits’ hutch or cage indoors. A quiet room is best, but an unused garage or shed is a good alternative if you can’t bring them into your house.
If you can’t bring your pets inside, turn their enclosure around so it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden. This will help to stifle the sound and prevent them from seeing the flashes of light. Cover their hutch with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sound of the bangs and the sight of the fireworks, but make sure your pet still has enough ventilation.
Give your rabbit lots of extra bedding so they can burrow down in it and get cosy. You could put a cardboard box full of hay, with holes cut in for easy access and exit, in their hutch to give them an extra place to hide. If you have a house rabbit or you are able to bring your pet inside, draw the curtains or black out the windows to block out the flashes of light in the night sky. Close the windows to muffle the sound from outside. Switching the TV or radio on might help too, but make sure it’s not too loud – especially if your rabbit isn’t used to noises from the television.
Rabbits are social animals so keep them with the companion they’re familiar with to limit the stress of firework phobia.
Visit www.bluecross.org.uk for further advise
W inter Warmers
As the winter weather is fast approaching here are a few tips to keep your bunny warm.
If you are able bring your rabbit indoors (House/Garage/Shed/Conservatory etc). Do not put the hutch in the garage if you park your car in there as the exhaust fumes are dangerous to them.
If your rabbits live outside then it's important to prepare their accommodation for winter. Rabbits cope well in moderately cold temperatures as long as they have a warm dry area to shelter. Wild rabbits' warrens are insulated as they are underground which prevents them dropping below freezing. Make sure bedding is kept warm and dry. Straw is warmer than hay so makes a better bedding, but nothing is warm if it is wet.
Move the hutch to somewhere sheltered such as by some trees, facing away from the wind.
Check there are no gaps in the walls/roof of the hutch through which rain and wind can get in
Cover your hutch including roof, sides and back with a thermal cover or line the outside with newspaper, warm blankets/carpet and a plastic sheet or tarpaulin to stop the wind and rain from getting in.
You can use clear perspex or a plastic sheet over a large portion of the front of the hutch so your rabbits can still see out and the light will come in, but wind and rain can't blow in. Be sure to leave enough room for fresh air to come in so your bunnies can still breathe!
Line the floor with layers of paper/card and add lots of extra hay and straw for your rabbits to bury themselves into.
Get a cardboard box, close all 4 sides and cut a hole big enough for your rabbits to get through, and fill the box with hay/straw. This will give them somewhere a bit more insulated to sit. If you have 2 rabbits make sure the box fits 2 rabbits in at once. Make sure they still have enough room in the rest of the hutch to stretch out.
In my personal opinion one of the best items to keep your bunny warm is a Snugglesafe Heat pad. These are fantastic and I use these myself .
The SnuggleSafe heatpad is the ideal way to comfort pets large & small. Just minutes in your microwave & the SnuggleSafe pet heat pad provides your companions with up to 10 hours of warmth. A safe alternative to a cat or dog hot water bottle without electric cables or any hot liquids. The snugglesafe microwave heat pad is chew proof, has a fleece cover included to insulate PLUS it’s easy to clean & maintain. Ideal for: Hamsters, Guinea pigs, Ferrets, Rats, Rabbits, Cats (inc Kittens), Dogs (inc Puppies) Main features:
If you have just got a rabbit and he's been kept indoors or is a baby, don't put him outside without the support of an additional heat source like the Snugglesafe Heat Pod in addition to the tips mentioned above or until the weather gets warmer, as the sharp change in weather can kill.
Raise your hutch by placing bricks underneath, or by attaching long legs. This will help to prevent damp from the ground affecting the bottom of the hutch, and also stop ground frost freezing the base. Check a few times a day that your rabbits' water bottle or dish of water hasn't frozen over. You can buy bottle covers that help to prevent this, or a thick sock over the bottle can also help, but still check the water and the spout have not frozen.
Outdoor bunnies rely on their owners to keep them safe in all kinds of weather. They are silent creatures and can't bark or ask you for help so please keep a close eye on your rabbits. Any changes or anything you may be worried about, phone your vet.