The mountains are known for cool temperatures and skiing, but western North Carolina residents know well that summers can be hot and humid. In a previous article, we discussed signs the heat is too much for your cats and dogs. In this post, we will discuss what you need to know about the heat and your pocket pets.
What Do We Consider Pocket Pets?
For Avery Creek Animal hospital, we enjoy treating smaller animals, or pocket pets, such as:
- Guinea Pigs
- Mice and rats
Smaller, pocket pets require special care and unique nutritional considerations. While many pocket pets live indoors, it is important to recognize the signs of heatstroke and other weather-related concerns for those that spend time outside.
How Hot is Too Hot for Small Animals
Like we said in our previous post, there is no hard and fast rule for identifying how hot is too hot for pocket pets to be outside. The best practice is to know limit the time outdoors for pets during the hottest days.
Keep your pocket pets in a conditioned space during the heat of the day, limiting outside time to the mornings and evenings. If they are outside, make sure their bowls and bottles have plenty of regular, cool water. If possible, provide pocket pets with fresh water in one container, and frozen water in another.
How to Recognize Signs of Heatstroke in Pocket Pets
Heatstroke is the greatest concern for small animals during the heat of summer. It is important to recognize the signs:
Once signs of heat stroke occur, there is only a small window of time before serious damage or death can occur… if you ever suspect your dog is overheated, it's always best to bring them to us, or the nearest vet.
Signs of heat stroke for pocket pets include:
- Rabbits: Panting and redness around ears
- Ferrets: Panting and vomiting
- Guinea Pigs: Irregular, constant salivation
- Chinchillas: Lying down and heavy panting
- Other Animals: Panting, vomiting, seizures, diarrhea, unusual behavior
When in Doubt, Ask Your Vet
Your veterinarian will know how hot is too hot for your pocket pets. Make sure to take your small animals to your regularly veterinary appointments, and ask any questions you have about what temperatures are safe to have them outside during summer. For more information, and any questions you may have regarding pocket pets, contact us.