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Keeping reptiles cool

Just For Pets

2 min read

Keeping reptiles cool

Just like us, Reptiles can get too warm!

Is it really too warm?

The first thing you need to do is make sure it really is too warm. Always check your thermometer: if it reads within the animal’s preference range, then you don’t need to worry!

If it is too hot, here are a few suggestions on cooling down your reptile and amphibian enclosures:

Fresh water

At any time of year always make sure you have cool, fresh, clean water available for your reptiles and amphibians. Not only will it keep them hydrated, but also offers a place to cool off in an overheated enclosure


Reptiles don’t sweat, and therefore can’t be cooled by evaporative cooling. However, a small fan installed in the enclosure may help to create air movement and draw hot air out, possibly reducing the temps by a few degrees.

Improve the ventilation

If the temperature is a bit warm but not hot enough to require drastic measures then well positioned ventilation may be all that is needed. By positioning ventilation both at the base of the enclosure as well as at the top convection will help to keep a steady flow of fresh air entering the enclosure as the warmer air rises and escapes the enclosure. This may be enough to keep a comfortable temperature.

Ice cubes

Positioning ice blocks on the top vent of an enclosure will provide cool drops into the enclosure. This won’t dramatically lower the air temperature though, and will increase humidity if allowed to drip on substrate.

You could also pop some ice blocks into the water bowl, but not too many!

Frozen water bottle

One of our favourites is to freeze a bottle of water and sit it in the enclosure. As the bottle defrosts it can cool the enclosure by as much as 10-15 degrees. Just be very careful about where you put it to make absolutely sure it won’t fall on the inhabitants.

Cool tile

Another temporary way of offering a cool retreat is to pre-cool a slate or ceramic tile in the fridge. It can be positioned in the enclosure where the inhabitant can rest on it to cool down. Likewise a resin hide rock can also be pre-cooled and partially buried to simulate the coolness of a burrow.

Reduce the heat coming in

Any form of lighting (including UV bulbs) will increase the temperature. It might be worth switching of all heating and lighting during the hottest part of the day. Many reptiles need UV lighting but going without for a few hours won’t hurt them in the long run.

Make sure the enclosure is positioned so that they do not receive direct sunlight through a window. This will dramatically raise the temperature in the enclosure even on a cooler day.

If you are unsure, speak to your local Just For Pets pet expert!

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Small pet image
Small pet image