If the temperatures rise sharply in summer, it can be quite exhausting for both humans and animals. Especially pet owners should take good care of their charges so that dogs do not get heat stroke, for example. Special attention must also be paid to small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and mice, regardless of whether they are kept in the apartment or outside. We give you tips on how you can protect small animals from the heat in summer.
Create Shady Places
If you allow your rabbits or guinea pigs to run around in the garden in summer, you should make sure that the fur noses have shady spots available to which they can retreat. If the sun moves, the enclosure must of course move with it. It is important that the shelters are adequately ventilated. In addition, you should never cover the enclosure with a blanket to provide shade, as the heat can build up there. Make sure that the animals have enough space to move around. Depending on the material, the bars can heat up extremely and in the worst case even lead to burns!
Take Care of Cooling Down
For example, you can cool down further by first placing tiles in the refrigerator and then in the cage. These are nice and cool and rabbits, guinea pigs, or hamsters like to lie down on them to cool their bodies down a bit. Plastic bottles with frozen water against which the animals can lean are also suitable. Ice packs under sand baths, for example, also provide cooling. But be careful: Please wrap the bottles and ice packs with a towel. If the animals lie on it for a long time, it is best to take the batteries out again so that the little ones don’t get hypothermic or get cystitis.
If you keep the animals in the cage, you can also put a damp towel over the bars. You should never point fans directly at the cage. However, this can be directed towards the ceiling so that the air in the room verticulates. If it is very warm in the animals’ room, you should check the option of whether the fur noses can possibly be relocated to a cooler room. In addition, you should lower the shutters during the day if possible.
Provide Sufficient Water
Make sure that the animals always have enough to drink. Change the water regularly and check it for fallen bees or wasps, for example. Of course, this also applies to all other seasons and temperatures – fresh water must always be available.
How Do You Know If It Has Heatstroke?
Since small animals do not sweat or, for example, like dogs, can get some cooling off by panting, they are particularly at risk of heatstroke. In addition, the small bodies can usually withstand much less stress. Hamsters, for example, are nocturnal and will probably doze off in their house on warm summer days (but please take care to cool down anyway!).
In small animals, you can recognize heat stroke from apathetic behavior. The animals lie on their side and tend to breathe quickly on their flanks. As a first-aid measure, you should wrap the fur noses in a damp, cool cloth and possibly try to pour some water into them. In any case, the following applies: See the vet quickly! There is a risk that the small animals’ circulation will fail. It is imperative to act quickly here!