If your pet bunny is a little energetic, he might get a little antsy when he spends too much time inside. After all, that’s why you’ve built him his own hutch and playpen in the backyard. But, there’s always the chance that the sky above will open and rain will come pouring down.
In mild rain, your bunny should be just fine spending a little time in the rain. As soon you bring him inside, dry him with a towel and wrap him in a blanket to make him dry and warm. But, avoid allowing your bunny to roam in downpours and storms. This can cause hypothermia, which can be fatal.
Allowing your bunny to get wet in the rain is a little bit of a controversial subject. There’s a lot that you need to know before letting him play in the rain. So, let’s go over everything you need to know about your bunny and the time he spends in the rain!
Is It Okay for My Bunny to Get Wet?
For the most part, bunnies do just fine with a little bit of water or rain. That’s because their fur tends to be quite thick and water-resistant. In a sense, the droplets of water might just wick away in a slight drizzle or sunshower.
In these cases, your bunny might not even notice that it’s raining!
As long as you make the effort to dry your bunny off as soon as possible, there should be no consequences from him getting a little wet. But, there are two potential problems when bunnies get wet suddenly or stay wet for a longer period of time: Shock and hypothermia.
How Do Bunnies Stay Warm in the Rain?
Bunnies are able to stay naturally warm thanks to the impressive thickness of their fur. This is exactly why bunnies seem to do perfectly fine in rather cold weather. This fur can also help to keep cold rain from getting too close to their skin when the rain comes down in drizzles.
It also helps that their fur is “hydrophobic.” This is what keeps small amounts of water from absorbing into the fur in the first place. But, the longer it rains, the more the rain soaks into a bunny’s fur and causes a drop in body temperature (i.e., hypothermia).
In most cases, your bunny will try to avoid the rain when possible.
He can do this by hiding out in the hutch or the shelter that you built him in the yard. Using some form of insulation, blanket, or bedding inside the hutch can keep his body temperature up and help him to stay comfortable when it’s cool or raining.
Can Being in the Rain Make My Bunny Sick?
Just like humans, bunnies can get sick from being too cold and too wet. That means spending too much time in heavy rain might actually make your bunny ill, potentially leading to an emergency vet visit.
The first major concern is hypothermia.
This condition occurs when your bunny’s body temperature drops too low. The intense cold and wetness have caused his body systems to basically shut down. He’s no longer able to keep himself warm, which is why he feels cold, lacks an appetite, and is lethargic.
Hypothermia can be deadly, and treatment needs to be immediate. It’s important that you dry your bunny with a towel to get rid of any lingering rainwater. You’ll also want to warm him up with a towel and a warm water bottle.
There’s also the risk of shock.
This might happen when your bunny suddenly goes from dry and warm to wet and freezing. Your bunny might see this change as traumatic, leading to the development of shock. When this happens, his heart rate might slow, he’ll be weak, and he’ll be pale. This requires an immediate vet visit in most situations.
How Do I Dry My Bunny After Getting Wet?
When you bring your bunny in from the rain, your main focus should be on properly drying your bunny. You need to take care when you’re doing this, as your bunny’s fur will hold onto a lot of rainwater that you’ll need to dry as soon as possible.
The best way to do this is with a warm towel. Take the time to gently massage a towel against your bunny’s fur to absorb any rain that’s sunken deep into his fur. Even after several minutes, you’ll still notice that your bunny’s still wet. It’ll take a good amount of time to completely dry your bunny, so that’s okay!
You should use cotton balls to absorb any water that may have gotten in his ears.
What’s most important is working to keep your bunny warm once he’s inside. You can do this by wrapping him up in a dry and warm towel or blanket and holding him close to you. It’d also be a decent idea to put a warm water bottle in his enclosure. This can be used as a source of warmth without sending your bunny into a state of shock.
But, you might be wondering about a quicker method.
There are some bunny owners that swear by using a hairdryer to dry their bunny. This can definitely speed up the process, but there are some concerns that come along with it. Most importantly, the sudden heat and sound of the hairdryer might spook your bunny and actually lead to shock.
If you insist on using a hairdryer, you need to do so carefully. Here’s a quick rundown of how to use a hairdryer to warm and dry your bunny after playing in the rain:
- Start out at the lowest temperature and speed. That way, your bunny won’t be overwhelmed by the heat or the loud noise.
- Dry him in short bouts. Only use the hairdryer on low for a few minutes at a time and then give your bunny a much-needed break.
- Avoid hot temperatures. Not surprisingly, hot air from your hairdryer might actually give your bunny burns.
In most situations, you should avoid using a hairdryer to dry your bunny.
When Shouldn’t I Let My Bunny Play Outside in the Rain?
As much as your bunny is fine in mild rain, he should only play in the rain when it’s a light drizzle. This is the best way to keep him relatively dry and warm while also avoiding shock and hypothermia.
If you notice that the rain is getting heavier or it’s storming, bring your bunny in immediately.
You should also make sure that your bunny has constant access to shelter when outside. That way, he has a place to hide out and stay and dry and warm when the sky suddenly opens up above him. A hutch, shed, or a warmed garage is a great option here.
Also, be sure to keep your bunny inside if he’s young, old, or sick. These populations of bunnies don’t usually do too well getting wet and warming up afterward.
Your bunny can go out in the rain to play as long as it’s only drizzling, not downpouring, or storming. You’ll have to make sure that he has somewhere to shelter in the yard if it does begin raining, such as a hutch or a shed.
If your bunny does get wet, bring him inside immediately to dry him off with a towel and warm him up! Keep a close eye on him to make sure that he’s not developing the major signs and symptoms of hypothermia or shock.
- Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund
- Hutch and Cage: Can Rabbits Get Wet | What can happen if your bunny gets wet?
- Pets Stack Exchange: Can a bath really kill a rabbit?
- Rabbit Care Tips: Can You Let Your Rabbit Out in the Rain?
- Wikihow: Keep a Rabbit Warm
- VetStream: Hypothermia
- Rabbits Online: Is it ok for the buns to be getting wet?
- House Rabbit Society: Dealing with Medical Emergencies