RSPCA Shop Next Gen Education
Colour mode

Caring for exotic pets in summer

If you look after exotic pets, it's important to keep them within their recommended temperature range. In hot weather, overheating can be highly dangerous for many species. Here are our key tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy when the weather heats up.

grey parrot perching on human leg

Fish, amphibians and reptiles

  • Out of direct sunlight - keep fish tanks and reptile or amphibian enclosures out of direct sunlight.
  • Regularly check the temperature levels inside fish tanks, reptile and amphibian enclosures to check they're set to the correct temperature range.
  • Water changes - for fish tanks, you may need to carry out water changes to prevent overheating. For ponds, top up the water levels and make sure pond fish have access to shaded areas created by aquatic plants.
  • Natural sunlight - some reptile owners take their pets outside during warmer days in the summer to take advantage of the natural sunlight. It's good for reptiles to get natural sunlight, but it's vital to make sure your pet is kept secure when doing so, as reptiles can warm up and move quickly on a sunny day.

It's an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) to release, or allow to escape, any species that are not native to the UK.

It's possible to microchip snakes and other reptiles, and we'd recommend that you ask your exotics vet to do this so that your pet can be easily reunited with you if they get lost.

Captive birds

Keep indoor captive birds out of direct sunlight and ensure aviary birds have shaded areas. All birds need access to clean fresh water, both for drinking and bathing. Many birds, such as parrots, enjoy being gently misted with cool water, to cool off and maintain feather condition.

If you take birds outside for fresh air and sunlight, make sure they're in a secure aviary, cage or carrier so they don't escape. We'd recommend that birds are microchipped or close-rung, so they can be easily reunited with you if they do escape - exotics vets can do this for you. Don't forget to update the microchip details if you move.

Find out more