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How to keep an outdoor pet rabbit warm in winter

Small, furry lionhed rabbit sitting amid green, orange, and yellow leaves.

This lionhead rabbit has a fine outdoor roost. (Photo: Flickr/Fantasya72)

How to keep an outdoor pet rabbit warm in winter

January 03, 2013

Q: It's getting really cold in Western Colorado, and I'm worried about my lionhead bunny. She has never had a winter outside, but she has plenty of fur, shavings, fluffy bedding, and a blanket over the hutch. Is this enough to keep her safe? Should I relocate her until it warms back up?

A: The key thing I tell rabbit owners is that, since wild rabbits survive over the winter all the time, there's no reason why your domesticated little girl shouldn't as well. The biggest thing is to make sure that she has ample bedding inside the hutch, protection of the hutch from prevailing winds, and a water supply that won't freeze or is kept fresh.

If you can put some straw in the hutch, too, that is a great insulator for her to bury in. If you can put up a wind block around the hutch, too, in addition to the blanket, that would help. Also getting a tarp on the hutch to protect from moisture is important.

Here is a great link going over what you can do to make your rabbit like being outside this winter.

-- Answer from Dr. Bruce, a veterinarian on JustAnswer

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer. Talk to a veterinarian now about your pet questions.