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Animals and Science in the Classroom

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Winterizing for your classroom pets!


Most winters will bring snow, ice and unfortunately freezing temperatures. During this season it is of the utmost importance to ensure your classroom pets do not become hypothermic. If taking them home is not an option, below is a list of things you can do to make sure they remain happy, healthy and warm while in the classroom.

  • Insulation
    • Keep cages and tanks away from drafts and add extra insulation such as covering three sides of a wire cage with a down filled blanket (barring the pet will not chew through the blanket)
    • You can also add straw to the bottom of cages, this works best for rodents and lagomorphs
  • Water
    • Make sure water containers are secure and don't get knocked over. If furry animals get wet, this decreases their ability to properly insulate and leaves them unprotected. Having a cage with openings on the bottom, such as holes or wire mesh will help as well by making sure that any spilled water is not sitting inside the cage.
    • Use a thermal water bottle cover and fill the water bottle or bowl with luke warm water instead of cold
    • Keep an eye on the water to make sure it isn't freezing, check it at least twice a day if possible and change daily
  • Temperature regulation
    • The use of a thermometer or temperature gun is always helpful by making sure your pets living quarters are at optimal temperature
    • Lizards and other cold-blood animals will require some form of external heat source as they will regulate their body temperature this way and need heat to digest food. External heat can come from a combination of heat lamps, ceramic heat bulbs or tiles and an object for perching, usually a rock.
    • In some cases heated beds are available; just ensure that the pet has enough room to move away from the heat source so they don't get over heated or burned, this works best for cats and dogs
  • External Protection
    • If your pet needs to venture outside on a regular basis, such as with dogs, make sure their bodies and paws are covered. Clothing and booties are available at most pet stores.
    • Make sure to dry pets off completely after baths and after braving the elements


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