The Hamster Days of Summer: How to Keep Your Hamster Nice and Cool When The Temperature Rises
Ah, summer. School has ended, the sun is out, and... your hamster is suffering?
That's right. During the summer, hamsters may find it difficult to maintain a healthy body temperature, exposing them to suffering and potential heat exhaustion (if the weather gets really hot).
Because the season has just begun, I will be explaining some helpful tips and techniques to keep your hamster cool during the summer months!
The Cool Off Zone
There are a number of things you can do to create a 'Cool Off Zone' for your hamster.
This allows you hamster to cool down on his own, when she feels too hot.
- For The Hideaway: Freeze a ceramic mug, bowl, or hideout in a plastic bag for 1 hour. Then place it in your hamsters cage, preferably a location close to her other hideaways and toys,
- For The Ground: Purchase a floor tile from your local home improvement store, and place it in a corner of your ham's cage. Alternatively, you can put a small, clean rock or stone (the smoother, the better!) in the freezer for 15 minutes, and place it down in the same place.
- To Play With: Freeze a half-full plastic water bottle. Wrap it in a small washrag, and place it in the middle of your hamster cage. Do not add/ Remove promptly if you notice your hamster is chewing on it, or if you know your hamster is a destructive chewer.
- To Play In: Take the sand for your sand-bath (or buy some at your local pet store, in the 'small animal' section!), and freeze it in it's bag until it is cold, but not completely frozen. Pour it into a large, short bowl or Tupperware container, or whatever you use for your hamster's dust baths, and watch her have fun!
The temperature and freshness of you hamster's food and water supply is important to their health. Here are some tips for keeping The Stuffs fresh and cool for your hamster to enjoy!
- Cool Water: Float Ice cubes in your hamster's water bottle. This way, the water stays a little bit cooler while the ice cubes are still solid.
- Keep it Fresh: Change the water in your hamster's bottle once early in the morning, once mid-afternoon, and once before you go to bed. This will prevent the water from creeping down to room temperature or warmer, which will be unappealing and possibly harmful to your hamster (bacteria breeds faster in warmth).
- Frozen Yummies: Every once in a while, freeze a few apple slices, broccoli pieces, or celery chunks, and give them to your hamster.
- Moist Foods: Make sure you have a constant supplies of fruits and veggies with a higher water content. This includes apple chunks, cucumber slices, and even a very small amount of lettuce or cabbage (no iceberg lettuce, and not in excess as this can give your hamster diarrhea!).
Keeping the area outside of your hamster's cage is essential to providing a safe environment inside of it! Also, be sure to place your cage is a safe spot!
- Fans (No, not that type!): Place a fan close to your hamster's cage, so that cold air will circulate around the space. Do not aim the fan at your hamster's cage.
- I can see the light... and it's blinding me!: Keep your hamster cage out of direct sunlight, or even close to windows. The heat from direct sunlight (or absorbed and generated from window glass) can be very harmful to your hamster's health. Also, the brightness of the light can be so extreme as to cause eye damage, and even blindness in hamsters.
- How low can you go?: Place your hamster cage as close to the ground as possible, or even on the floor. Do not do this, however, if you have predator animals in the house, such as cats or dogs, that have/can have access to the cage!
- Ventilation-Station!: Try improving the ventilation of your hamster's cage, or even moving her to a better one. In aquarium tanks, you may want to remove the lid, or replace it with a DIY one (a wooden frame that fits the to rim, with chicken wire/mesh on the interior of the frame). If you have a plastic or plastic modular cage, I highly recommend moving your hamster to a wire one, as the ventilation capability in those cages is extremely poor.
I hope this information helps you keep your hamster cool during these hot summer months! Have fun!