Cold-blooded slow, sluggish animals find new life under heated conditions, which is why many owners hoping for increased interaction opt for the “more is better” philosophy. With nowhere cool to hide animals can dehydrate quickly, creating dangerous health issues.
By making sure consumers understand the need for a cool, damp corner of the enclosures ensures healthier animals. It also translates into additional sales, if you make it your policy to sell one cool and one hot option to every customer concerned with temperature. With every heat lamp sale, make sure the customer also walks away with one of the following: a hides, substrate materials, pre-built burrows or humidifiers to prevent dehydration.
A one-for-one approach gives the animal the opportunity to decide when they’ve had enough. This philosophy, unfortunately isn’t yet a part of mainstream reptile husbandry information. With the cool-for-warm product approach, retailers can do their part to change that.
“About 15 years ago, sadly, someone put in print, ‘… uromastix don’t need to drink water and they like it between 115 and 120 degrees,’” said Douglas Mader, M.S., DVM, DABVP in Florida Keys, Fla. “I have seen so many uromastix come in looking like beef jerky. That print is still out there and people refer to that book all the time.”
Cold-blooded animals, rather, prefer to have the opportunity to regulate their own environmental temperature. A well-stocked enclosure with ample water, shade and proper humidity conditions leaves it up to the animal to decide when it’s had enough.
All the water in the world still won’t make a difference, if that water is too hot to drink. Cool spaces are essential to better reptile health.
“Be careful of what temperature the water is,” said Gary Bagnall, president of ZooMed Labs, San Louis Obispo, Calif. “Is [the] animal going to want to get in there and drink it? If that water is 105 degrees, it might not be so pleasing.” <HOME>
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