If you’re a reptile owner there are some essential steps you should be taking as the colder months come around to make sure your cold-blooded buddy doesn’t suffer.
Rod Stroud and the team at Clent Hills Vets will be happy to offer all the advice you need to make sure you’re keeping winter dangers at bay when you contact us.
The most important step is to provide supplemental heat to aid proper digestion, immune function and metabolism. Different species of reptiles will need different temperatures, so it’s best to contact us for advice on the optimum temperature for your pet. Make sure you have a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature in your pet’s tank so you know how much it will need adjusting.
Here are a few other tips on winter reptile care:
Give them light
Reptiles need UV light to produce vitamin D in their skin. This enables them to absorb calcium and phosphorus from their food, which is particularly important in colder months when they can’t be taken outside for sunlight.
Cold weather brings dry air, which can cause problems for your reptile’s scaly skin. Most need humidity or they can become dehydrated, sick and unable to properly shed their skin. It’s a good idea to mist your reptile several times a week and perhaps add a shallow bowl of water to their tank for them to bathe in.
Don’t make them hibernate
Some reptile owners may be tempted to put their pets into hibernation during colder months, but hibernation causes their metabolism and digestion to slow down and their immune system may not function properly. In the wild, reptiles do hibernate but only due to lack of food and if they are exposed to cooler temperatures. In domestic environments you can keep feeding them as usual and provide them with the right temperatures to keep them healthy.
If you still have any questions about keeping your pet winter-safe, remember you can always contact us and our head nurse, Emma, will be happy to help.