Summer is one of the best times of year to enjoy with your hamster, gerbil, ferret, or rabbit. Plants are in bloom, the sun is warm, and the days are long—what more could we ask for?!
While we long to dip our toes in the pool or pop some burgers on the grill, our small pets long to embrace the Summer months as well, and there are plenty of ways for us to ensure they have a great time, too.
1. Get Outdoors
No matter how small, your pet can always benefit from time out of its cage. For example, ferrets must spend at least four hours outside their cage every day in order to get the exercise they need. Plus, being active and playing games with your pet is one of the best ways to bond with them, so have a recreational romp outdoors!
Designate an outdoor space where you and your pet can roam freely and enjoy some fresh air. You may consider treating your pet to new toys or playing some games. Some small animals may even enjoy a bit of walking (or running) time and exploration with a leash and harness.
2. Pet-Proof Your Garden
There’s nothing more exciting for a small animal than to explore and forage amongst the leafy greens of an outdoor garden, but take care that your garden is entirely safe for your pet, first.
Plant taller foliage to provide safe moments of shady relief. These plants don’t have to be too tall if you’re short on space—just tall enough for your little one to huddle beneath them.
Do your research about which plants are toxic to your pet, and don’t assume that because a plant is safe for humans that it’s fine for your small animal to eat.
3. Keep Cool
Summer may be a time for tropical, frolicking vacations, but it can be dangerous, too. Keep your small animals cool. Just like us, our small and beloved companions are struggling to make it through the summer as temperatures rise—plus, they have a coat of fur to contend with!
Even gerbils, desert creatures accustomed to coping with the harshest of heats, will need some help regulating their temperature since they are unable to burrow into the cool ground like they would do in the wild.
To keep small pets cool in Summer, try the following:
- Give them a summer trim if your small animal has particularly long fur which may cause them to overheat.
- Keep their cages in a cool place and out of direct sunlight.
- Add some ice cubes to their water bottles, or even freeze a spare water bottle for them over night so they can enjoy the cool water as it melts.
- Provide some cool ceramic tiles for your pets to lounge on.
- Freeze a water bottle, wrap it in a towel, and lay it on its side to provide an additional cool spot in the cage. Your pet may find relief from the heat by nuzzling up against it.
- Keep a spray bottle on hand for an occasional cooling spritz.
- Place a fan near the cage to circulate the air and keep things fresh.
4. Put Nutrition First
To ensure that your small animal can fully experience the joys which summer has to bring, keep them well-fed and healthy with conscientious food choices. Plus, a few selects treats can help them stay calm and relaxed when they go outside, Nibblots Tropical, for example has natural ingredients that will keep their skin and coat healthy and helps to promote bonding between pet and owner.
Summer fun is all about enjoying your small pet’s company while remaining safe and conscientious, too. Once you’ve put your animal’s safety and comfort first, the only thing left to do is embrace some fun in the sun!