Do Rabbits Like Rain? : Fun Facts About Rabbit Behavior in the Rain

Rabbits are one of the most commonly kept pets in the world. They are adorable, furry creatures that can be pretty fun to watch. Some rabbits being so active creatures, are often seen frolicking around in rain puddles and playing in the rain.

rabbit playing in the rain

So do rabbits like rain? Yes, rabbits enjoy playing in light rain showers.

While rabbits enjoy spending time outdoors, they are relatively sensitive to changes in temperature and weather. In general, rabbits prefer an environmental temperature between 15-20°C (65-70°F). This means that rabbits generally don’t mind getting wet for a while while they are outside exploring in the rain.

However, if it is cold or a thunderstorm, rabbits will seek shelter to avoid getting too wet and cold.

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, it is vital to provide your rabbit with a sheltered spot when they need to escape the elements.

Common Risks of Getting Your Rabbit Play in the Rain

While rabbits enjoy playing in the rain, there are some things to keep in mind which may affect your rabbit:

Pneumonia

This is a common health risk for rabbits who get wet and cold. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection that can be fatal for rabbits.

To help prevent pneumonia, it’s important to make sure your rabbit has a warm and dry place to sleep at night. It’s also important to check your rabbit regularly for any signs of illness, such as runny eyes or nose, sneezing, or lethargy.

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Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when there is a decrease in body temperature below the normal range for a rabbit. The average body temperature for a rabbit is 38.5-40°C.

It is crucial to acclimatize a rabbit to cold temperatures over several weeks slowly. If a rabbit is exposed to freezing temperatures too suddenly, especially when exposed to too much rain, it can lead to shock and potentially death.

A cold and wet environment can cause a rabbit to be hypothermic, so it’s essential to get your rabbit to a warm place as soon as possible.

Signs of hypothermia in rabbits include lethargy, weakness, shivering, muscle twitching, and even coma. If you think your rabbit may be suffering from hypothermia, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Fungal & Bacterial Infections Ringworm & Snuffles

When a rabbit’s coat becomes wet, it can no longer insulate her body from the cold. This is a significant problem during winter weather when temperatures can drop suddenly and dramatically. Wet fur also provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, leading to skin infections like ringworm.

Ringworm is a fungus infection in any part of the body but often occurs in the head. This fungus infection can be transmitted to a human.

Snuffles are also a common bacterial infection that affects rabbits. This disease is caused by Pasteurella multocida, a bacteria that commonly live in the respiratory tract of healthy rabbits.

However, when a rabbit’s immune system is weak, or she is under stress, the bacteria can multiply and cause an infection.

To help prevent fungal and bacterial infections,  it’s important to keep your rabbits dry and clean after playing in the rain for a while.

If you think your rabbit may be suffering from a fungal or bacterial infection, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

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Matting

Matting is when the fur becomes tangled and matted together. This can happen when a rabbit’s fur gets wet and then dries, causing the individual hairs to cling together and make it difficult to brush out.

To help prevent matting, it’s important to groom your rabbit regularly. If you notice any mats, use a wide-toothed comb to remove them gently.  Avoid using scissors to cut the mats out, as this can harm your rabbit.

Safety Tips for Your Rabbits When Playing in the Rain

Now that we’ve gone over some of the risks of letting your rabbit play in the rain, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your rabbit is healthy before letting her play in the rain.  Check your rabbit regularly for any signs of illness, such as runny eyes or nose, sneezing, or lethargy. 
  • Check the temperature and weather conditions before letting your rabbit play outside, and don’t allow your rabbit to play in a heavy downpour.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on your rabbit while she’s playing in the rain. If you notice any signs of distress, bring her inside and dry her off immediately.
  • If your rabbit does get wet, make sure to dry her off as soon as possible.  You can use a towel or hairdryer set on low to help remove any moisture from her fur.
  • Have a warm and dry place for your rabbit to sleep at night.  This can be a heated hutch, a pet bed with a heating pad, or a cardboard box lined with towels. If it’s too cold or wet, bring your rabbit inside.
  • Groom your rabbit regularly to help prevent matting. Use a soft brush to remove any tangles or mats gently.
  • Seek veterinary care immediately if you think your rabbit may be suffering from pneumonia, hypothermia, or fungal or bacterial infection.

With these safety tips in mind, you can help ensure your rabbit stays healthy and happy even on the rainiest of days!

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Conclusion

Rabbits are wonderful pets that can bring joy to your life. If you have a pet rabbit, it’s important to be aware of the risks of letting them play in the rain. 

However, as long as you take precautions, there’s no reason why your rabbit can’t enjoy a little puddle-jumping on a rainy day!