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.