It appears that the weather has caused a problem for many of us this month, with gale force winds occurring across the UK this week. It can be a serious issue for us humans, but animals and pets living outside can be badly affected too.
According to the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) – a charity supported by Pets Corner at PE1 – rabbit owners are facing a daily dilemma. When they go out, should they put their rabbits in a run and risk exposing them to winds and/or a downpour?
Or should they leave them in the hutch – leaving them with little space for exercise? Every responsible owner knows this isn’t good for rabbits for too long.
Alan Wilson from RWAF says: “The real solution is to have the hutch and run permanently attached to each other and set them up properly in the first place so you don’t have to try and guess what the weather’s going to do”. He adds: “Extreme weather conditions are a good opportunity to check you’ve got the placement right. After rain, check whether the hutch (which should stay dry and warm) has got wet. If it has, you need to move it – you’ll see where the prevailing wind has pushed the rain in. Equally, on a really sunny day, check the shadows and make sure the run and hutch get some protection – especially at mid-day.”
It may become clear that your rabbit hutch needs to be moved through the year in order to be in the optimum position to be warm in winter and shady and cool in the summer.
The RWAF also encourages owners to keep the hutch and run as close as possible to the house – or the part of the garden that is passed regularly – as part of a daily routine. This makes it easy to keep a good check on how your rabbits are doing.
If you’re worried about how best to look after your rabbit, you can always check the RWAF’s website and quarterly magazine for up to the minute advice on looking after your pets.
They provide tips such as providing a water bowl as well as a bottle in the summer, and the dangers of Flystrike, a deadly condition for rabbits that peaks in the summer. For advice on how to keep rabbits go to: rabbitwelfare.co.uk
“We urge anyone with pet rabbits to join us,” said Alan. “Our quarterly magazine is full of advice and features and is worth the subscription alone. You’ll also be helping us to spread the word and give other rabbits the life they deserve.”
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund is the largest charity in the UK dedicated to improving the lives of pet rabbits, helping owners avoid mistakes in that can lead to rabbits leading miserable, solitary lives in a hutch at the end of the garden.
The RWAF aims to improve the health and welfare of domestic rabbits by providing advice and education to owners, and working with the pet retail trade.
For more help on keeping your rabbits safe and happy, you can hop along to Pets Corner at PE1.