So with all of the hulabaloo about Irene and the storm we will be getting, it is a good idea to make sure exotic pets are ready as well. Things to keep in mind if you own an exotic pet:
1) Many cannot handle extremes of temperature. Ferrets, rabbits, and rodents (guinea pigs and chinchillas) are prone to heat stress. If you lose power and the temperature starts to climb above 75 degrees farenheit, I highly recommend boarding your pets, or bringing these guys somewhere that is air conditioned.
2) Loss of power could mean loss of heating for reptiles. Since it is the summer this may not be as bad as it is in the winter for the herps. However, most need a hot basking area of at least 95 degrees. Additional heating can be provided by purchasing the Thermacare hot patches sold in the drug store (for back aches, etc)–once opened, they heat up and stay warm for hours. But make sure you have a towel separating the reptile from direct contact and make sure it is not getting too hot so as to cause burns. This can also be used for sugar gliders (joeys) that still need additional heat.
3) Water needs: Don’t forget to purchase additional water for your pet’s consumption and for washing their dishes. It is critical, especially for birds, to maintain good sanitation of food and water bowls to prevent illness.
3) Substrate and food: Now is a good time to stock up on bedding and food in case the stores are closed or ransacked over the next few days. Shredded newspaper, paper towels, and white paper can be used as substrate in a pinch if you run low.
4) Lighting outages: Try to use flashlights if possible, especially if you have birds. Birds are very sensitive to anything in the air so scented candles are a definite no-no.
So I hope everyone stays safe this weekend and the storm decides to shift off over the ocean. I will post next week…if I have power