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How to care for small pets when it’s hot

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Our smaller pets can really struggle when the temperature peaks and there are some smart ways to ensure they stay happy and healthy.

It’s important that you resist the urge to bath your small pets, as this can lead to significant stress – this is an essential part of rabbit and guinea pig care. Here are some techniques for keeping your guinea pigs and pet rabbits cool, but make sure this will be right for your pet. Of course, lots of fresh water is the key to keeping your pet cool in summer, but here are some extra tips.

An enclosure move

If your pet’s enclosure usually sits outside and the mercury is really rising, why not try shifting the hutch indoors to a bathroom or laundry. These spaces are extra cool for small pets as the tiles maintain a lower a temperature. Changing up the location of the hutch will be the quickest way to take the temperature inside right down.

Ice packs (wrapped in a tea towel)

To reduce hutch temperatures, a really effective method is to use frozen ice packs or water bottles. As with human use of these products, you should always wrap them in a tea towel to avoid damage to your guinea pig or pet rabbit’s skin. Once wrapped, you can place these in the covered section of the hutch to cool that space, or lay flat on top of hay to offer a cool spot to sit.

Frozen fruit

Rabbits and guinea pigs do well when you add some fruit to their diet, so why not help them stay cool by freezing the fruit overnight. A little diced apple or pear after some time in the freezer will be a lovely cooling treat for your pet – just make sure you remove it after 24 hours.

Electric fan

If you’ve moved your pet indoors and are still worried about the heat inside the hutch, you can also set up an electric fan – just be sure to keep it on a low setting. You’ll also want to make sure that the cool air isn’t blowing directly into the hutch as draughts can lead to a respiratory infection.

If you believe you pet has heat stroke or is dehydrated, you should immediately consult with your local Greencross Vets to find the best treatment for them. Feel free to talk to your local Petbarn team member about more advice on keeping all your pets cool this summer.

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