Advice from Apex Veterinary Centre on whether your small furry pet will hibernate.
September 14, 2020
If you’re the proud new owner of a rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, or other small furry pet, you might be wondering if they’re going to hibernate any time soon. The short answer is no, probably not, but you may need to provide a little extra care for them this Autumn and Winter as temperatures begin to drop.
Before we get anywhere near freezing though, it’s important to get your small furry pet checked over by a Vet to make sure they’re healthy, and to spot any signs of illness or dental problems early. This will put them in the best position to face the seasonal changes.
Here’s a quick hibernation guide on small furries from the team at Apex Veterinary Centre:
Rabbits & Guinea Pigs do not hibernate, but you should watch out for hyperthermia in cold temperatures. Guinea pigs especially don’t do well in really cold weather as they’re originally from much warmer climates.
Hamsters & Gerbils don’t typically hibernate, but some can go into a hibernating state if they’re kept in really cold parts of the house. They may appear to be deceased, but check if they’re warm to the touch, and listen closely for them breathing as they may just be in this hibernating state.
How to tell if your small furry pet is struggling with cold temperatures:
- Becoming lethargic or sleeping longer than usual.
- Losing interest in food & drink.
- Cold feet, ears, and nose.
If your small furry pet isn’t an avid hibernator, it’s best to keep it that way. Ensure your tiny friend remains toasty, awake, and healthy by:
- Moving cages/hutches away from even the slightest draft.
- Bringing outdoor hutches indoors or wrapping them in warm blankets (keep ventilated).
- Providing extra bedding to keep your pet warm & content.
- Avoiding constant exposure to heaters, open fires, log burning stoves, candles, and certain pans, which can give off harmful fumes.
Contact us to book your Small Furry Pet in for a Health Check.