When the weather gets cold, it is easy focus on our larger pets such as cats and dogs. But it’s also important to remember about our smaller friends, including gerbils, hamsters and even fish (pond and aquatic). The body temperature of smaller animals can decrease quite significantly in colder weather. So it’s best to know some info on how to keep smaller pets warm and comfy during the winter!
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
- Provide extra bedding for them. This is a pretty standard step and will help keep them warm, especially when they are sleeping. Plus, don’t we all like an extra blanket during cold nights to snuggle up in?
- If you can, move your pet and their cage / hutch to a protected inside area such as a shed or an out house if you have one. Or even in your house if you have the space. But be sure to keep them in contact with natural lighting, ventilation and some toys so they are able to entertain themselves and not get bored.
- Also make sure the hutch is sheltered from any drafts or dampness. Try to keep it in a suitable place in the room or building, and try keeping it raised off the ground.
- You can also put a blanket or a cover over the hutch to help with insulation. But make sure there is plenty of ventilation, and don’t make it possible for your pet to chew or drag it into the cage.
- Check water bottles on a regular basis to make sure they haven’t frozen over.
- Providing enough food is also important, as this can provide the energy needed for cold weather.
Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats and Mice
- Keeping these types of pets indoors is already an advantage. But just make sure to keep their cages away from any potential draughts such as doors or windows, whilst sill trying to provide natural lighting.
- Provide extra bedding as this will provide them with extra warmth, especially when they are sleeping.
- Don’t let the temperature inside drop too low, or get too high. Try to keep the room a fairly stable temperature.
- Similar with hutches, you can drape a blanket or a cover over the cage to provide extra warmth. Just remember about ventilation and keeping out of their reach to chew on.
- Also make sure they have enough food and are fed regularly, as they will need the energy in colder conditions.
- Do regular checks on your fish. Whether they be indoor or outdoor, it is important to keep an eye on them and their conditions.
- If you have pond fish, remove any dead leaves or debris from the pond. Always ensure the filter is switched and working properly.
- Try not to let the pond freeze over. As mentioned, doing regular checks is key. One quick tip incase your pond will freeze, is to float a large ball on the surface. When the ball is removed from the frozen water a gap is left so that fish can get oxygen.
- Check that your fish aquarium is kept at the suitable temperatures at all times. Check thermometers and filters regularly.
Hopefully we have provided enough info for you to get started on providing a snug and warm environment for your small friends! You can always head to site for products such as Bedding and Food, for small animals. We also have a range of products for Pond Fish and Aquatic Fish.
Thanks for reading!