So, do rabbits hibernate? It’s a common belief that both wild and pet rabbits hibernate during the winter. Whilst many animals do hibernate, it’s actually a common misconception that rabbits do too. In fact rabbits do not hibernate at all in cold weather!
Wait, rabbits don’t hibernate? Do rabbits hibernate at all?!
Nope! Rabbits are actually Crepuscular animals. This means that rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk, and love to be outside around the times of sunrise and sunset. This behaviour is a behaviour displayed by wild rabbits to avoid the times when predators are most active, but domesticated rabbits also behave in the same way.
Winter Rabbit Care
Although rabbits don’t hibernate, they’re definitely not immune to the stresses that cold weather can bring. You may need to make some adjustments to the way you look after your rabbit during winter, so that they can continue to be healthy and happy.
The colder months bring with them numerous potential problems for pet rabbits, including stress and illness. Luckily, there are some things you can do to keep your bunny happy!
Preparing the Rabbit Hutch
Your pet rabbit should be perfectly happy in cold weather, as long as he/she has a warm, cosy home to while away the winter months. A good rabbit hutch should shelter your bunny from the wind and rain, and also be able to accommodate plenty of good quality bedding to keep them warm. You can see our pick of the best rabbit hutches available here.
Your rabbits hutch should ideally be raised on them ground to avoid moisture entering from below and causing damp to develop inside. You should check that the roof of the rabbit hutch is in good condition, with no tears, holes or leaks in the waterproof felt. Wind and water should not be able to enter your rabbits sleeping area at all, so also check the joins and walls of your rabbit hutch. Alternatively, you could temporarily move your rabbit’s hutch into a garage or conservatory.
Keep Your Rabbit Warm
Winter rabbit care means remaining vigilant. During especially cold whether, it’s important to keep your bunny’s natural body heat inside the hutch to keep him/her warm. This can sometimes require the additional insulation of rabbit hutch cover. Rabbit hutch covers keep your bunny warm, whilst also shielding him/her from wind and rain. We recommend HUTCH COVER, as it…
Your rabbit will also appreciate extra hay and bedding, which should provide them with some extra snuggling space that they can use to stay warm.
Food and Water
In order to make up for the extra energy burnt whilst trying to stay warm, rabbits eat more food in the winter. You should provide you bunny with roughly 30% extra food than you usually would to accommodate for this.
It’s also important to regularly check that the ball-valve on your rabbit’s water bottle hasn’t frozen up in the cold weather.
Getting some exercise
Just like our rabbits, we humans also love to snuggle up inside when it’s cold. However, you should still make sure that you take some time of out your day to play and interact with your rabbit. Rabbits still need exercise and stimulation even during winter. Without those, they will become bored and overweight which could lead to illness.
So one last time – do rabbits hibernate?
Nope, rabbits do not hibernate! However, they do need some special care and attention during the winter months.
If you’d like to learn more about general rabbit care, then check out our article on rabbit care.