How To Keep Rabbits Warm In Winter [5 Practical Ways]

Rabbits are sensitive pets. They need intensive care. As a responsible bunny mom or dad, you should keep your bunny warm to avoid unwanted situations. If you don’t take the effective measure, your bunny may become ill and even die. 

You could keep rabbits warm in winter by transferring your bunnies into the indoor cages, repairing and insulated the hutch, providing a heating pad, and warm bedding.  

In the wild, bunnies make burrows to live. Their living place is known to warren. During the cold and rough weather, a few of them take shelter inside the same warren. Consequently, they remain warm as the warren is cold-proof.

In the case of the pet rabbits, the scenario is entirely different. They have no choice to lead their life wildly. That’s why you have to ensure a warm, comfortable, and cozy dwelling place for your beloved bunnies.

In this article, I have tried to cover all the crucial points on keeping rabbits warm in winter in the outside hutch as well as the indoor cage. 

Before going to the main points, I want to clear you some basic views for rabbits. So, keep forwarding.

how cold can rabbits tolerate

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Rabbits?

Rabbits are a warm-blooded animal. So, sudden temperature change puts a substantial challenging impact on every animal, including rabbits. The ability to survive depends mostly on quality food, water, and surroundings.

According to most of the scientific research, 50- 70 °F (10 – 22 °C) is the ideal temperature for rabbits. Rabbit can tolerate from 40 °F (5 °C) to 80 °F (26 °c).

Without proper shelter, it is impossible to survive for the rabbits in severely cold weather.

Now, you may think, then how the wild rabbit survives during the snowfall?

It’s possible for the rabbit’s genetics, lifestyle, and food habit. Moreover, wild rabbit makes underground shelters, as I mentioned earlier in this article.

How to Keep Rabbits Warm In Winter?

Well, it’s not a hard job to keep warm your bunny warm and cozy during the rough winter. If you are sincere enough, you can do it by following the points I have covered here. 

1. Transfer your bunnies in a warmer place

Probably, this the best solution to keep warm your bunnies during the winter. It is quite possible for the house rabbits if you have enough accommodation like an indoor rabbit cage

Remember, Before transferring your rabbit in the house, You need to bunny proof your home. Otherwise, they will destroy your house by chewing. 

If you don’t have enough house space to keep your bunnies inside the home, don’t worry. 

Still, you can keep your rabbit warm without transferring them to an indoor rabbit cage. 

2. Repair the Rabbit Hutch

This point is for the outdoor rabbit hutch. If you keep your rabbit in the outside hutch, you could follow these tips.

First of all, check the roof of your rabbit hutch. If you don’t check the roof of the hutch regularly, you will probably find it damaged most of the time. 

You know how playful the rabbits are! The roof of the hutch usually made of wood. And rabbits have the nature to cavort and chew everything. 

So, damaging the roof is not an unusual occurrence.

That is why you should Repair the roof of the hutch immediately before the winter season. Use slop wood to make it water and snow proof. 

Also, you may use wire mesh cover to protect the surrounding of the hutch.

Repair the sidebars of the hutch

Usually, except the front side, the other sides of the rabbit hutch are covered with wood elements. So, there is a high chance of chewing here. 

So, recheck the sides of the hutch also. And make it cold-proof.

rabbits in winter

Insulating the hutch by hutch cover

To insulate the rabbit hutch from the inner end, you can cover it with tarpaulin, polythene, carpet, or an old blanket. An old blanket or carpet is better than tarpaulin or polythene. 

It would be best if you opened the hutch during the day. But it is mandatory to cover the hutch during the night. Keep some ventilation part for supplying oxygen while covering the hutch.

It would be better if you can transfer your bunny hutch to the garage in the evening. It helps a comfortable night for your beloved bunny during the rough cold weather.

Raise the height of the hutch

You may add legs to raise the height of the hutch. It is necessary to increase the height of the hutch to protect it from dumping and rotting.

If you don’t have the flexibility to add bamboo or wood legs, you can use bricks. Place the blocks under the four corners of the hutch and raise it as more you can. 

3. Provide Hay

Dry and clean hay works as a natural blanket. Just ensure that your provided hay is dry enough. Place enough hay in the sleeping area of the rabbit. It keeps your rabbit warm and cozy.

You should change the hay regularly during the winter season to keep your bunnies clean and disease-free. Don’t provide straw for bedding purposes. Straw is sharp enough for the bunny. It may be the reason for the injury to your bunny.

4. Providing heating pad

Providing a heating pad during the winter is a better option to keep your rabbits well. The heat pad is easy to use and safe for rabbits. 

You need to keep the pads in the microwave and warm it at your desired level. Then place it in the rabbit hutch. You will find this type of padding on the market.

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K&H PET PRODUCTS Electric Small Animal Heated Pad

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Make sure your food bowls and food bottles preventing from freezing

During the cold months, it is widespread that the water bottles become freeze. 

Usually, your rabbits need more food and water during the winter. More nutrient-rich food allows our bunny to keep hot and warm. So, provide more food during the winter.  

5. Exercise

Exercising of the rabbit is necessary all over the year. But during the winter, it is mandatory.

In the wild, rabbits are jumping and running from one place to another place. It helps to increase the blood circulation of the rabbit. Ultimately, she becomes hot.

Similarly, let your rabbit playing and exercise outside of the hutch or cage. You can attach a rabbit playpen to their hutch. To make the runway rabbit friendly, you can follow these pro tips.

Ensure that the runway is dry and clean.

Place some hiding place inside the runway. So that your rabbit can hide in the hiding place if they become feared.

You can keep some toys for your rabbit. It makes them busy and they will not feel bored.

Also, you can keep the food bowl and water bowl inside the runway.

5. Keep the baby rabbits in the Indoor

Though the young and adult rabbit can cope with the cold weather in a favorable condition, this theory is not applicable for the baby rabbits.

If you want to keep your baby rabbits alive during the severe weather, there is no alternative to keep them inside your house. And you must ensure a suitable cage for your baby bunny. Besides, you must carefully observe them regularly. 

Rabbit bedding for winter

Rabbit needs comfortable bedding and care all over the year. But during the winter they need quality rabbit care badly. You will find different types of rabbit bedding in the online shop. They are highly absorbent, warm, and comfortable indeed. You could add other bedding materials like dry hay, newspaper, and others for extra comfort.

Wrapping Up

Long story short, keeping your pet rabbit warm during the winter is not rocket science indeed. Transferring them indoors is the best solution. If you have not the flexibility to move them, then you could insulate their outdoor hutch. 

As a conscious rabbit parent, you are serious about the care and health of your loving pet. I have tried to cover everything on how to keep rabbits warm in winter.

If you see any aberration to your bunny, don’t feel hesitate to take action. And always keep contact with other experienced rabbit owners and vets. If you are new and have confusion about taking care of your bunny, you may read the in details guide on bunny care at home. 


Alex is a full-time rabbit lover and part-time Biologist. He is a proud parent of two rabbits. It's his childhood dream to rescue endangered animals and make the world better for living.

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