Rats And Hot Weather
Rats - Hot Weather Care
Here are a few very important points to remember. Rats are very prone to
overheating. They can't sweat like we do, and so any excess heat is lost
through their tails. You can tell if your rat is overheating by feeling it's
tail. If it's hot, or even warmer than you think is right, cool it down straight
away. A heavy, shallow bowl of cool water will be like heaven for your heated
rat. They often like to sit in the water, just their tail, bottom and paws
immersed is enough to cool them down.
ALWAYS make sure that there is a good supply of fresh, cool
water for your rats to drink. Gravity bottles need to be refreshed, and the
nozzle cleaned every day in warm weather. If your rat has a bowl to drink
out of, make sure you keep the water - not only cool and fresh - but clean
too. Rats will often use their drinking bowl to wash and cool themselves.
A couple of ice cubes may be added.
Keep your rat out of direct sunlight at all times - not just
in the warm weather. The constant light and heat can have devastating effects
on rats. After all, they are nocturnal creatures.
Keep a window open to allow fresh air into the room - but
make sure no other animals (kitty!!) can get in. This is not only important
for cooling purposes, but it also helps to prevent respiratory infections
(which are far too common in rats). Avoid using sprays such as air fresheners
and fly killers, and make sure that there is no smoking around your rats!
Any of these can irritate and cause chest problems.
Another problem that comes with the warm weather - flies
and ants! Ants have a way of creeping in to even the cleanest household.
Check nests and bedding as you clean them, as with litter trays etc. Ideally,
this should be done at least twice as often in hot weather. Hang a "Vapona"
block near your rats' cage, but well out of reach of little paws and teeth.
Not only will this keep the flies away, but will also ensure freedom from
Why not let your rats have a paddle or a swim? A shallow
cat litter tray, or an unused paint tray, makes an ideal paddling pool. Never
leave your pets unattended in the water.
Perhaps you have a "Cool Bag" for picnics? The blue, freezer
blocks are ideal coolers to pack around your rats' cage or nest, if the heat
is a major problem, but be very sure to keep them out of reach of claws and
There may be chemicals present in the liquid. Or you could
make your own from squash bottles or glass jars - filled with water and frozen.
Be sure to keep them away from any electrics, droplets often form and drip
down onto whatever is below. This could be a fire hazard!
Lastly - keep a close eye on your pets. They rely on YOU.
(Copyright 1999 Heather J. Tomlinson)
Dog Sitting Secrets
How to Start your OWN Dog Sitting and Walking Service!