As our weather turns to hot and humid it is important to remember that our exotic friends need to be kept cool just like a dog or a cat would need to be. In fact, guinea pigs and chinchillas are much more prone to heat exhaustion than a dog or a cat because they originated from the cold Andes Mountains of South America.
If you take your pet outside in the summer, please make sure they are in a cool, shaded environment with access to plenty of cool, fresh water and a place to hide. If your pet is allowed to graze on the lawn, be aware of any neighbors spraying chemicals on their lawn as this may wash into your yard and cause the grass and clovers to become toxic. Also be aware of any potentially poisonous plants that you have growing on your property. For a list of plants that may be toxic, please check here.
If you house your rabbits outside in a hutch, it is important to clean their cages daily. You should also make sure that there are no feces or plant material stuck in their fur as this attracts flies that will lay eggs on your pet’s skin. Be diligent to ensure that they have access a cool, shaded place to hide and fresh, cool water.
Summer often means traveling. If you are transporting or traveling with your exotic pet, keep their cage or carrier out of direct sunlight and in a cool, shaded part of the car with the air conditioner running. You may want to cover the cage or carrier with a towel/blanket and place a few ice packages against the cage to keep it even cooler. As with all pets (and children), avoid leaving your pet in the car unsupervised, especially if the car is not running. The temperature in your car can rise more than 10 degrees in just minutes.
If you ever have any questions about the care or health of your pet, do not hesitate to give us a call at (410) 777-5309