Advanced Animal Care

keeping your reptile warm in winter

Keeping your reptile warm in winter may be a little harder than during the summer.  Colder temperatures outside makes it harder to maintain the same warm temperatures inside.  You will notice the kind of enclosure you have for your pet makes a difference too.  Here are a few considerations to help keep your pet warm.

A Warm Vivarium

Most people who have trouble keeping their reptiles warm in the winter are keeping them in a glass aquarium or enclosure.  Wood enclosures are better because glass doesn’t hold the heat in.  You should make sure your cage is the correct temperature for your reptile by measuring the temperature in different parts of the cage and at different times during the day and night.  You could also find the warmest room in your home and keep your pet there.  Try insulating your cage as an option.   Be prepared for power outages too.  As important as heat is to your pet, you don’t want to overheat your reptile or expose them to heaters or bulbs that might burn them.  Use common sense and precaution.

Heat lamps and lights

You will notice that during the winter the lights you used in the summer may not be doing the trick.  If you normally used a 40w bulb, you may find upgrading to a 50w or 60w bulb is needed.

Night Time Heaters

If you turn lights off during the night, you need to provide adequate heat.  If your reptile is used to burrowing for heat at night, then a heat mat or heat strips will work well.  If on the other hand, your bearded dragon, pythons or other reptile may need warm air at night, a ceramic bulb is the answer.  They don’t emit any light but only heat.  Again you want to protect your pet from burns, as the ceramic bulb will get hot.

Keeping Your Reptile Warm in Winter

Make sure your pet has adequate food and water.  Some reptiles will slow down during the winter months and eat less; other reptiles need the normal amount.  If you notice lack of activity, lack of appetite, snakes regurging or a change in the color of your reptile’s skin, you should seek medical attention for your pet.  Hypothermia can occur if your snake or lizard gets too cold.  Resist the urge to heat them up too fast.  Gradually warm them up in warm towels or lukewarm water.  If you need any help call or visit your veterinarian in Berea, Advanced Animal Care and they will be happy to help you.