Don’t Let Summer Get Your Reptiles or Amphibians Down

A chameleon on a branch. Reptiles and amphibians like this need to stay cool.

Reptiles and amphibians need to stay cool during the hot summer days

If you have an amphibian as a pet, you may already know that hot temperatures can be dangerous. Even though most reptiles like the heat, it can actually be dangerous for them. Here are a few things to watch out for during hot weather if you have any reptiles or amphibians around.

Keep Amphibians Cool and Moist

Very few amphibians will survive hot, dry conditions for long. In fact, your amphibian may not even love your normal room temperature. Be sure they can stay moist in the terrarium, and don’t be afraid to keep them in a cooler part of the house. Remember too that cool water holds more oxygen, so if you have a pet with gills (certain salamanders, for example), be sure to keep the water cool, too.

Turtles Need Cooler Temps than Tortoises

Turtles seem to do better in cooler weather so you may need to chill the environment for your pet during the hot summer months. Some species of tortoise, on the other hand, can survive in the desert. That doesn’t mean you should let the terrarium become one. Keep the water dish full and provide a warm basking spot rather than letting the temp get above 75. And, if your house is warmer than usual, the terrarium may also be warmer than usual, and you may need a different bulb that gives off less heat.

Snakes and Lizards Can Beat the Heat

While you may need a basking spot for some of your reptiles, they also need a place to cool off in the shade and dip in the water. Don’t automatically assume your reptile or snake prefers the summer just because they are coldblooded. You may need to check on the optimal temp range for your particular pet, and then change the heating bulbs accordingly during the warmer months as you would with a tortoise.

The specific species you are maintaining will have its own needs. These were just some general guidelines to remind you to consider the conditions your pet is in as the seasons change.

Prepping the House and Keeping Your Chinchilla Safe

A white chinchilla safe from harm on top of a toy home.

Keeping your chinchilla safe from harm requires doing a little prep work.

If you have kids, you may already have many of these safety measures in effect. If not, you’ve got a little work to do. This is because chinchillas are a very active animal that needs to get out of the cage sometimes—and can get into trouble quickly if the room isn’t safe. Here are some tips to keep your chinchilla safe.

How to Keep Your Chinchilla Safe

Electrical Safety – Chinchillas will bite electrical cords so be sure to have everything out of reach and not plugged in. Also, use those little outlet covers.

Restricted Access – Remember, you need to take these measures in only one room, and then close the door when your pet is roaming free. It shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience. If there are places you don’t want your pet going in the room, set up a blockade (a piece of cardboard works just fine).

Chew Hazard – If you don’t want something to get chewed on, keep it out of reach. A chinchilla will give the old chew test to anything it finds.

Try the Bathroom – There are usually no low outlets or cords in the bathroom, making this a pretty safe place for your pet. Be sure to restrict access to a place where your pet might get stuck, like behind the toilet.

Provide Chew Toys – If you pick up everything in the room, your pet may try chewing on the walls. Provide some toys or even something simple like pieces of cardboard. Chinchillas aren’t that picky about what they chew on.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list of every way your chinchilla could get into trouble in the house while out of the cage, these are the big things to keep in mind. As long as there is no place to get stuck, no way to get outside, and no way to get to anything electrical, your pet should be safe. If nothing is within chewing range, and you have some chew toys for your pet’s enjoyment, everyone should be happy.

So get that room chinchilla-proofed, keep your chinchilla safe and let your little buddy out of the cage.