OVER the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen temperatures soar. And while many of us will be enjoying the sunshine, the warm weather can be tough for our pets.

Rabbits and guinea pigs can find the heat very difficult, made worse when thousands of the UK’s rabbits are kept in inappropriate homes. PDSA’s latest PAW Report* found that a quarter (25%) of all rabbit owners kept their bunnies in unsuitable living conditions, such as hutches that are too small.

PDSA Vet Anna Ewers Clark said: “Rabbits are often thought to be the most misunderstood pets so it’s important to remember that they can suffer from the heat just like cats and dogs do. Poor living conditions can make them more susceptible to suffering in the heat, for example if their hutch is too small, has no access to fresh, cool air or is kept in direct sunshine.

“In the wild, rabbits spend the hottest part of the day underground in their cool burrows.

"They choose to come out to feed in the mornings and evenings when the weather isn’t as warm, so it can be really tough if they are kept in small, hot hutches for long periods of time.”

PDSA Vet Anna has put together her top tips for helping small pets cope in the heat.

Keep their enclosure and exercise run out of direct sunlight, make sure they have cool hiding places too, fill a bottle with water and freeze it overnight.

Wrap it in a towel and place it in or next to their run.

It’ll give them something cold to lie against.

Try a ceramic or marble tile in a shaded spot that your pet can lie on if they get hot.

You can also buy pet cooling mats, but make sure they don’t get scratched or chewed by curious pets!

In times of uncertainty and hardship pets will still fall ill or be injured and need emergency, life-saving care. To donate to PDSA, visit their website: www.pdsa.org.uk/appeal.