As temperatures drop, vets are warning owners not to forget about small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs that usually live outdoors yet are vulnerable to the cold and damp despite their furry coats.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) are asking owners with outdoor hutches and runs to be vigilant during cold snaps and make sure that their pets’ living space is well-protected from snow, frost and winter rain.
BVA President Gudrun Ravetz said:
“Despite their warm furry coats, domestic rabbits and guinea pigs are vulnerable to extremes in weather. That’s why we’re asking owners to make sure that their pets do not suffer in the cold and that their home keeps them protected and comfortable. If owners have any concerns about their pet they should consult their local vet for advice.”
BVZS President Mark Stidworthy said:
“The small body size of these animals makes them very susceptible to hypothermia if they get cold or damp. They are powerless to alter the environment provided for them as conditions change, and so they rely on their human carers to make sure that their housing is safe and warm enough.”
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