Rabbits/Cold Weather

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Question
I recently moved to a condominium that has an all-enclosed balcony. It it OK to keep my bun out there in the cold weather? He has free run and LOVES not being caged but I do worry how cold is too cold for him to be out there? Like I said, it is completely glassed in so he is not exposed to any elements but I want to make sure he doesn't get too cold. I did place a blanket over his cage in case he wants to warm up but he doesn't stay in the cage. I put a space heater on low out there but it doesn't warm it very much. Thanks!

Answer
Dear Kristina,

Rabbits love cool temperatures, but once it gets colder than about 45 Farenheit, he will need a secure box with warm bedding and hay to stay warm.  His body heat will warm it, so be sure the holes are not so big that it gets drafty.

If it gets down below 40 Farenheit, it's time to bring him inside where he won't be too cold.  Other than that, just be sure he has plenty of warm refuge space with soft, clean bedding, and he should be fine.  

I'd worry much more about *hot* weather, as rabbits cannot tolerate temperatures much higher than about 78 Farenheit.  So in the warmer months, you'll need to bring him inside if it gets up that high.

Hope this helps.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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