Can pet rabbits live outside? FAQ to keep your pet rabbits safe outdoors.
May 6, 2019
Confused about moving your indoor rabbits outdoors? YES, you can keep your pet rabbits outside but I must say you have to take proper safety measures which I am going to share in this article.
In this study, I wrote about every detail on keeping your pet rabbits safe outside all year round and in different weather conditions.
After you finish reading this article you will understand whether can pet rabbits live outside or not. Protecting your rabbits outdoors will not be troublesome!
Table of Contents
- 1 Can pet rabbits live outside?
- 2 When can baby rabbits go outside?
- 3 Should I cover my rabbits’ cage at night?
Can pet rabbits live outside?
Pet rabbits can live outside only if you take all the precautions to keep your rabbits safe.
Get ways to keep rabbits away from predators, as well as extreme weather conditions.
Similarly, interact with your rabbits often which will prevent your pet rabbits from getting bored!
Before you move a rabbit outdoors from indoors there are several factors you must consider.
Moving an indoor rabbit outdoors.
First and foremost thing to consider before moving an indoor rabbit outdoors is sudden changes in the environment can cause stress for your pet rabbits.
Rabbits are very delicate animals. Although the wild rabbits are used to with being in the open your domesticated house rabbits are not at all prepared for the changes outdoor.
You may decide to transfer your house rabbit outside due to many reasons but you must consider keeping them in a hutch.
A hutch that is strong enough for predators to break in and must have compartments that will allow your rabbits to hide.
It is their natural instinct to hide and relax in the tunnel. So a hutch without a hideout is not a good idea for your rabbits.
The sight of an aggressive predator can be very shocking even fatal for a house rabbit that has recently transferred outdoors.
On the contrary, although you keep your rabbits outdoors you must keep them always caged. They need to exercise meaning they require some running space too.
Every day maybe for an hour you must allow your rabbits to run around freely in your garden but keep proper supervision.
Protecting your rabbits outdoors.
It is not as complicated as you may think to keep and protect your rabbits while their outdoors.
After all you will choose the best outdoor rabbit hutch for them. An then you will only have to consider key factors to keep them safe which I have described in this article.
One key factor is to let your rabbits have proper meals and on time. When your rabbits are indoors you can just give them plenty of food and rabbit chew toys scattered around their running space.
When these delicate animals are left outdoors in a hutch you always have to keep an eye on their dish. If the dish is empty and you don’t even realize that you have to refill your pet rabbits pellet dish, your rabbit will starve.
Same goes for water, you must observe the rabbit water feeder frequently so that they don’t go thirst and eventually dehydrate.
Rabbits can live outdoors but in compared to wild rabbits which have grown up in the wild, a house rabbit or domesticated rabbits will take some time to get used to with the sudden change in their surroundings and the weather conditions.
Can rabbits live outside all year round?
Keeping rabbits outside all year round requires some precautions and a very suitable environment.
Domesticated pet rabbits can live outside all year round only if they are kept under a shed to prevent them from direct sunlight exposure and cover up the hutch with a tarpaulin during night time.
Consider a strong enough predator safe rabbit hutch.
Temperature for rabbits outside.
Rabbit regulates their body temperature by growing a thick or thinner coat depending on the temperature.
A rabbit living outside can easily get used to with the weather conditions and temperatures.
However, unlike wild rabbits that leave in burrows, it is a bit complicated for domesticated pet rabbits. A rabbit guardian has to assist the pet rabbits so that they will be safe from extreme weather conditions all year round.
In burrows, the temperature remains the same all year round, hence the wild rabbits they don’t have to regulate their body temperature much.
On the other hand domesticated pet rabbits living in a hutch outdoors need to regulate their body temperature by growing thicker and thinner coats which takes a while.
So if the rabbit guardian exposes the rabbits very frequently to different temperatures, that can cause fatal shocks for the rabbits.
Therefore it is vital you keep the hutch away from direct sunlight and during winter season cover the cage using some tarpaulin.
That way there will not be any problem keeping rabbits outside all year round in any temperature.
Keeping rabbits outside in summer.
To prevent your pet rabbits from getting dehydrated during summer, always place the rabbit hutch in a shade.
Similarly, provide them plenty of water and add some ice cubes to their water occasionally.
As I have mentioned above that rabbits must be prevented from direct sunlight exposure you must, it is vital to keep them in a shade and somewhere there is proper ventilation.
A rabbit prefers it more during the winter and they are livelier. So it is your duty as a rabbit guardian to keep your pet rabbits cool during summer.
You can provide them plenty of water, and perhaps give a tile for your rabbit so that they can keep themselves cool laying on the tiles.
Here is a nice article that says about how to keep your rabbits cool during summer >>> Keep your rabbits cool in summer.
Can rabbits live outside in winter?
Rabbits are more comfortable during winter than in summer. YES, you can keep your rabbits outside during winter.
But the temperature must be not less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A rabbit is fine in temperature between 45~50 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, it is always best to cover the rabbit hutch at night time regardless of winter or summer season.
Use as much as hay possible within the rabbit hutch so that your pet rabbits can keep themselves cozy and warm.
When can baby rabbits go outside?
Introduction of baby house rabbits to the outside world depends on the will of their guardians.
Regardless of the rabbit’s age and owners intention, the best practice is to introduce baby rabbits to the outdoors only during springtime.
Why shall you introduce baby rabbits to the outdoors only during spring?
Because as I have mentioned earlier it takes some time for any rabbit to get used to with the temperature changes.
In order to keep rabbits safe and prevent them from unnecessary health issues, your baby rabbits must be in a temperature that is not too hot and too cold for them.
Similarly, some rabbit owners suggest it is equally important to wait until the rabbit is at least two weeks old before you take them outside.
But my suggestion is to observe your baby rabbits’ health and behavior before introducing them to the outside world.
If they are too young they may get a shock and will be stressed with the new environment.
On the contrary, not all rabbits are similar, so it is you who will have to identify when you decide it is the right time to take your rabbits outdoors.
Should I cover my rabbits’ cage at night?
It is not necessary to cover your rabbits’ cage at night but depending on your location and the weather you must cover up the cage at night using a tarpaulin.
Do you live in a place where it is too cold?
If it is too cold then it is a must to cover up your outdoor rabbits’ hutch at night using a tarpaulin.
However, you must understand your rabbits’ sleeping behavior in order to decide shall you cover up your rabbits’ hutch at night or not.
Rabbits don’t usually sleep at night they usually are most active around dawn and dusk. So that is the best time to allow your rabbits to go free of the cage and exercise for a while.
That may not be possible for you all the time, yet in case it is not possible to do so I would always prefer covering up the outdoor hutch of my rabbits.
If it is not covered and a predator comes by near your rabbit’s hutch your rabbit may get a fatal shock.