Are you taking extra care of your animals in this heat? Reptiles are cold blooded and use their environment to regulate their body temperature moving to different temperature zones throughout the day. Most species have an ideal body temperature range which allows their metabolism to work correctly so they can go about their daily routine. Reptiles kept as pets require temperature controlled enclosures to allow them to flourish, with most species commonly kept requiring some form of heat provision. Once the summer time temperatures start to rise most house temperatures do. Care must be taken to ensure that captive reptiles are not subjected to prolonged and dangerously high temperatures. Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to overheating. We have put together some top tips to ensure your animal’s welfare during the hot weather: Top Tips: • Ensure the animals’ enclosure is not in direct sunlight or positioned by a window to avoid unwanted extra heat. • In the case of temperatures fluctuating above the recommended range, turn off all heat sources during the day to eliminate any further heat being produced (the night-time heat source should be should be maintained as recommended to avoid low night-time temperatures). • Provide an airflow in the room by opening windows to allow fresh air to circulate or using a fan or an air conditioning unit. Air conditioning units are the best way as you have complete control but they are expensive. • Provide cool, clean fresh water two or three times a day for the animal to soak in therefore reducing its body temperature and re-hydrating at the same time. • Spray enclosure with cooled water (not directly onto the animal) to bring the temperature down at regular intervals throughout the day. • Ice cubes made from de-chlorinated water can be added to water sources for amphibian species requiring cooler temperatures. • Wrap in a towel a plastic bottle filled with water and frozen or a picnic style freezer pack to allow animals access to a cool damp location within the enclosure (Ensure this is placed at the cool end). • A cool hide can be set up using a small freezer pack wrapped in a towel and placed under a hide. This helps to replicate the cool and damp burrows some reptiles seek during the hottest parts of the day in their wild habitats. • Monitor humidity levels using a hygrometer as the additional heat will evaporate the available moisture in the enclosure at a quicker rate. Dampening the substrate and spraying the enclosure will help maintain the humidity levels. As a general rule in the UK, night time temperatures will not affect most nocturnal reptiles but care must still be taken as these animals still require cool areas during the day so provisions must also be in place for all nocturnal animals as well. Why not have a look at our information centre to look to find out more information on how to care for your animals and top tips from our experts.