summertime safetyAs the temperatures start to soar and the humidity rises, summer can take an additional toll on exotic and pocket-sized pets. Although hot weather certainly affects cats and dogs, these special creatures often need additional care and consideration when it comes to housing and temperature control.

Summer is also peak season for travel, and many pet owners want to bring their tiny pals along. Some pets are also much more susceptible to heatstroke due to where they originate, and parasites that can harm exotics are in abundance this time of year.

Get the scoop about caring for exotic pets during the summer season by checking out our tips and recommendations!

Know Your Exotic Pet

One of the biggest reasons exotics are brought in for veterinary emergencies is because their owners didn’t fully grasp good care practices based on the individual species. Pocket pets like Guinea pigs are adapted to high mountain environments and become overheated quite easily. Birds do not have sweat glands and require air movement, such as from a fan, to help them beat the heat.

Learn as much as you can about your pet to avoid making any mistakes. Always contact The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center with any questions or concerns.

Small Mammal Care

Many pocket pets need to be sheltered in a cool, temperature regulated environment. Cages should be kept clean and dry to avoid attracting flies and other harmful parasites. Make sure your fuzzy buddy has access to lots of fresh drinking water, and avoid placing cages or hutches in direct sunlight.

While many owners allow their pets to play outside (supervised, of course!) and nibble on grass and clover, remember that lawns are often treated with chemicals. When in doubt, opt for organic greens, carrots, lettuce, and other fresh nibbles.

Avian and Reptile Care

While many species of birds and reptiles can tolerate warmer temperatures, it’s not uncommon for heat-related emergencies to occur when they’re being transported. Take extra care to keep the car cool and use window shades to block direct sunlight. As with all animals, never leave your pet in the car – plan to go directly to your destination when transporting your exotic pet.

Housing should be kept clean and in an area that offers good airflow/ventilation. Temperatures should not exceed the low to mid 80’s.

Signs of Heat-Related Illness in Exotic Pets

When it comes to exotics, signs of illness can come on suddenly and subtly. Get to know the signs of heat stroke:

  • Rapid breathing/panting
  • Restlessness
  • Warm to the touch
  • Decreased droppings
  • Remaining in bottom of cage (birds)
  • Unusual behavior

Respond immediately by calling your veterinarian if you notice any of these red flags.

Exotic pets are wonderful, fascinating companions, but they do require additional knowledge and care to keep them at their healthiest. If you have any questions about your exotic pet, please do not hesitate to call us!