Do Baby Bunnies Need Heat Lamps? {Dangers, Risks & Alternatives Explained}

Congratulations on the birth of your baby rabbits. Now we ask, do baby bunnies need heat lamps?

What can you do to help mama rabbit? What are the risks involved with using heat lamps? Are heating pads better? Do you need either one of them?

In this article, we will discuss whether or not, do baby bunnies need heat lamps?

Do Baby Bunnies Need Heat Lamps?

A baby bunny doesn’t need a heat lamp as an essential item to stay warm. If outside temperatures are exceptionally cold, a heat lamp could be useful.

Make sure that these heat lamps are installed properly and used safely. The cord can be chewed on and cause fires or electric shock.

There are also heating pads that could provide heat sources for rabbits. Be aware however, that you will have to continuously reheat these pads as well. Neither of these two items are considered absolutely crucial for a baby rabbit’s survival.

Do Newborn Rabbits Need Heat?

A new-born rabbit is sensitive to changes in temperature. They must be kept in a place that is quiet, dark and out of the way. Keep the room temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you can maintain these temperature, then you do not need to provide any more heat from a heat lamp. If temperatures continuously fluctuate and get cooler, you will need to look at options for more warmth.

Heating pads can be slipped underneath the box to provide enough warmth for these baby bunnies.

What Temp Is Too Cold for Baby Bunnies?

Baby bunnies and very old rabbits are both very sensitive to temperature changes. Rabbits who have medical conditions must also be considered when changes in temperature get too hot or too cold.

They are not able to tolerate colder temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Rabbits are cold weather animals, but when they live life indoors as domesticated pets, they become more sensitive.

Healthy adult rabbits will also not enjoy changes in temperature that falls under 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The general rule of thumb is to keep rabbits inside your home at a temperature that doesn’t fluctuate by using a thermostat without providing extra heat or cold.

How Do You Keep Newborn Bunnies Warm?

Baby rabbits can be kept warm by using heating pads. You can place them underneath their box. You can also wrap the heating pad in the towel and set it to its lowest setting.

Heating pad inside towels can be placed underneath a shoebox for example, with the baby bunnies safely and quietly remaining inside. The heat surrounds it and warms up the bunnies slowly.

This is an ideal way to help baby bunnies instead of using heating lamps from above that could be too hot and dangerous when not safely installed.

How Do You Keep Newborn Rabbits Alive?

Newborn rabbits would be comfortable if they were kept in a shoebox for example. This shelter that is temporary, must be warm, quiet and away from all action in the home.

Keep domestic pets, children and even bright lights away from these baby rabbits who are extremely sensitive at the moment. Heating pads should set at the lowest setting.

You can even place it underneath half of the box and not completely underneath the entire shoe box itself. At this point it is not important to feed a baby rabbit any type of baby formula. Allow the babies to wean naturally.

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Can Baby Bunnies Overheat?

Yes. In our effort to try to keep baby bunnies warm, we might be overheating them. Remember that these rabbits are developing a thick fur coat, but they haven’t had the chance to regulate their own body temperatures yet.

Since rabbits are unable to sweat or pant, hyperthermia or overheating can result. Your baby rabbits will need immediate attention from a veterinarian at this point or else they are risking death from overheating.

How Can I Tell if My Rabbit Is Cold?

A rabbit that is cold will be easy to identify if you feel the ears. Hot or cold ears is a sign that a bunny rabbit is having a hard time maintaining body temperature. This is indicative of possible fever.

As a final measure, please check the paws and other extremities of your rabbit to see if they are too hot or too cold as well. At this point, you need to make sure that you have a veterinarian nearby that you can visit.

What Can I Do to Help Mama Rabbit?

You do not need to help a mother rabbit very much when she is caring for her new babies.

  1. Help her with temporary shelter such as a shoebox.
  2. Keep it clean.
  3. Make sure the babies are still alive by checking up on them.
  4. Use a heating pad under half of the box. 

In many cases of heating lamps catching fire from rabbits who are chewing on the cord. If they’re not installed properly, they could also fall. The fire hazard created is simply not worth it when a heating pad could be used instead.

Why Are My Baby Bunnies Dying?

Baby rabbits can die easily. They might be victims of:

  • heart attacks
  • cold temperatures
  • GI stasis
  • hazardous ingestion
  • dehydration
  • blunt force injury
  • unsanitary conditions
  • insufficient milk production
  • parasites
  • pneumonia

All of these conditions are considered very serious and require the assistance before it’s too late. If this is your first time caring for baby rabbits, you will need the help of a veterinarian and all the advice they can give you.

How Can I Tell if My Rabbit Is Too Hot?

If your rabbit is too hot you will be able to feel it by touching their extremities such as their paws and ears. You might also see your rabbit showing other signs such as:

  • red ears
  • panting
  • drooling
  • moving slowly
  • confusion

If you notice any of these signs, you need to check with a veterinarian to check for possible heat stroke. The longer you wait, the more risk you add to your rabbit’s life.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Heating Lamp For Rabbits

Baby rabbits are not meant to be sat on by their mothers to keep them warm. As long as they are in a warm nest or shelter, baby rabbits will receive all warmth that they need.

There is no need for us to assist throughout this process by adding heating lamps. A heating lamp may cause trouble such as overheating or risk of a rabbit chewing on the electrical cords that they are connected to.

Since rabbits can chew anything, the cord, if not protected or out of the way, can cause rabbits to make contact with it, and it can turn into a fire hazard or potential electrocution.

When Is It Too Cold for Baby Rabbits?

A mother rabbit will be able to keep baby rabbits warm in a room that is set on the thermostat between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mothers don’t sit on her babies to keep them warm. They will snuggle together and maintain their temperature.

If the room is underneath 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it could be too cold for the baby rabbits in their first week. Once these rabbits begin to grow, they can withstand temperatures all the way down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit when they reach their adults stages.

However, indoor rabbits who are domesticated, are not as able to withstand cold temperatures compared to wild rabbits.

Methods to Keep Your Rabbits Warm

Rabbits do not need too much help to be kept warm. They are cold weather animals and their mothers should be able to provide the babies with enough warmth. You can help to create a safe and quiet shelter at first.

You can also help all rabbits by providing these two items:

1. Heating Pad

Set up a heating pad inside the hutch. You set it at the lowest temperature in only one section. You can also place it underneath the hutch.

There are many kinds of plug-in pads that have multiple settings. Make sure to wrap the heating pad in the towel or place it completely underneath the enclosure.

2. Heat Lamp

A heat lamp should be set up completely outside of the cage with no wires accessible for rabbits to touch. Continuously check to see if the heating lamp has any burnt out bulbs and is functioning properly.

Do not allow these lamps to shine directly on wood derived products. This could cause the wood to get extremely warm and catch Fire. Keep the heating lamps away from water, rain and snow.

Best Heat Lamps for Rabbits:

  • BOEESPAT Ceramic Heat Emitter 100W Reptile Heat Lamp Bulb
  • Wuhostam 2 Pack 100W Infrared Ceramic Heat Lamp
  • Simple Deluxe HIWKLTCLAMPLIGHTM Clamp Lamp


Do Baby Bunnies Need a Heat Lamp?

Baby bunnies can benefit from a heat lamp in cold winter weather conditions. Most of the time, mother rabbits keep their babies warm and comfortable in the wild.

We can help by providing a warm and comfortable shelter such as a shoebox. Heating lamps can be dangerous fire hazards that may cause overheating. A heating pad wrapped in a towel and placed under the enclosure at a low setting is better in our opinion.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.