It is finally officially summer! This usually means good news for cold blooded animals like Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates. However, we find that a lot of cold-blooded pet owners have issues during these months, especially first time keepers. So, I figured I would write this short article on the most frequent problems we run into during the warmer months.
Here in New York, we get the extremes of every season, so most of us are used to the drastic changes. Our cold-blooded pets…not so much. In most cases, these animals are built to thrive in environments that do not change all that much, and certainly not as dramatically and frequently as they change here.
Overheating is just as dangerous (if not more) than being too cold. Therefore, it is especially important to keep a close eye on your temperatures. For example, if you keep your animal in a room that is not temperature controlled in the summer, the room temps can soar, which in turn means the temps in the tank can soar as well.
Average “room temperature” is about 68-72 degrees, which is perfectly fine for most animal’s “cool side” and nighttime temps (Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Ball Pythons, Corn Snakes, Russian Tortoises etc..). During the summer though, rooms without AC can easily reach into the low-mid 80s or higher! This means a terrarium that usually gets a basking “hot spot” of 100, can easily start approaching 120, causing stress, aggression, hyperactivity, dehydration, diarrhea, and more.
Be sure to monitor and adjust your heating/lighting accordingly by either turning bulbs off when it gets too hot or replacing them with lower wattage bulbs. And as always, be sure your animal’s water bowl is always filled with fresh, clean water!
We are always happy to answer any specific questions you may have that were not covered here.
Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a great summer!
(Manager, Jungle Bob’s Reptile World)