Did you know that hamsters cannot sweat? I didn’t either until I noticed my hamster looking particularly hot under the collar during a heatwave last summer. It got me a little flustered, so I decided to do some research and I discovered something called a hamster cooling plate. I guess it’s pretty self-explanatory.
A hamster cooling plate is a piece of equipment that is used to keep a hamster cool in the hot weather. These plates can be placed in the freezer and are typically made from ceramic. You can then place them into a hamster’s cage.
It surprised me that such a thing existed but now that I have seen the benefits, I can definitely back using these. Although, there are other ways that you can keep your pet comfortable; let’s take a look.
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What Are Hamster Cooling Plates?
One of the first things that I noticed when researching hamster cooling plates was the incredible array of designs. These are not merely things that serve just a practical purpose, although that is their main reason for being.
However, there are plenty of hamster cooling plates on the market that have cute designs and can really spruce up the appearance of the cage.
But this isn’t the primary function of these pieces of equipment. A hamster cooling plate is usually made from ceramic.
This can be placed in the freezer where it will cool down and when it is placed in the hamster’s cage, the hamster can sit on it and lower their body temperature.
In the wild, hamsters have the option to burrow under the ground where it is much cooler. Also, when they come out at night, it is nowhere near as warm as it is during the day, so they are not often exposed to hot temperatures.
Conversely, when you keep a hamster in captivity, regardless of how much bedding you provide for burrowing, the room temperature will have an effect on your pet. Since hamsters cannot sweat as we can, they need to find other ways to cool down.
Hamster cooling plates are an extremely effective way of doing this and one of the best things about them is that they do not use anything that could be harmful to your pet.
They do not need water, electricity, or any other kind of power to work and contain no toxic chemicals, making them perfectly safe to put into the hamster’s enclosure without worrying.
Furthermore, these are relatively inexpensive pieces of equipment so they won’t raise the cost of caring for your hamster.
It can be a good idea to have more than one hamster cooling plate so that you can always have a cold one on hand to put into the cage.
However, some pet owners prefer to try another, similar approach. There are hamster houses that are made from ceramic and this provides a viable alternative to a hamster cooling plate.
These ceramic houses can also be chilled in the freezer and when the hamster nests inside, you can feel confident that the temperature will be comfortable for them.
Do I Need A Hamster Cooling Plate?
Hamster cooling plates are not considered to be an essential hamster item but it can come in handy.
That being said, if you decide not to use a hamster cooling pad, you must find other ways of keeping your pet cool. This is even more important if you live in a particularly warm climate.
As we have mentioned, hamsters do not have sweat glands. Humans sweat as a way of cooling down so it doesn’t matter for us if there is a heatwave; heck, some people love this hot weather.
But there are alternative methods that you can use, let’s take a look at these now.
- Try freezing your hamster’s food and offering chunks of cool food. These treats could include grains and seeds; just make sure that they are small enough for your hamster to manage comfortably. You can also use cooler water in your hamster’s water bottle during the summer.
- You can also freeze your hamster’s sand bath. This will be a great way for your pet to cool off.
- You might consider placing a fan nearby to circulate the air. However, it is important not to point the fan directly at your hamster. Typically, using a wire cage will provide much better ventilation.
- Always make sure that you place the cage out of direct sunlight. You might also think about moving the cage to a different room, perhaps one that is cooler than the current location.
Signs That Your Hamster Is Too Warm
Even when you put things in place to make sure that your hamster is as comfortable as possible, there might be times where they begin to overheat. It is critical that you are aware of the signs of this so that you can act quickly.
A hamster who is too warm may pant and could be dribbling a lot. You may also notice that your hamster seems a lot more lethargic than usual and in the worst case, these tiny animals could suffer convulsions if they are allowed to over heat.
The tongue could also be bright red and you may notice a change in the hamster’s mood. It could become weak and depressed.
If you notice any of these things, it is important to help your hamster cool down immediately.
Can hamsters die of heat?
Hamsters are very susceptible to heatstroke and if they are continually exposed to temperatures that exceed 24 – 27ºc, there is a genuine risk of this condition developing. In the worst cases, this can kill your pet.
Can I put a blanket over my hamster’s cage?
It can be tempting to cover the hamster cage with a blanket, particularly during the night but this is not necessary. Hamsters are nocturnal animals and so will stay awake through the night and sleep in the day. For this reason, putting a blanket over the cage serves no purpose. What’s more, if your hamster gets hold of the blanket through the bars, they may destroy it.