Preparing your non-hibernating reptile for winter

With November upon us, it’s now the time of year when we experience all things fall. From football and turkey, to the changing color of the leaves and the chilly evenings, we know that winter is just around the corner. Now is the time to be thinking about your non-hibernating reptiles and what you can do to support their transition from warm to cold weather.

Some of the most popular reptiles that are kept as pets are not native to the U.S., or at least not native to areas outside of the tropics and/or hot, arid regions. Wherever your pet reptile is from, it’s definitely not native to your backyard. For these non-hibernating reptiles, like some popular tortoise species, iguanas, and ball pythons, enclosures must be prepared before cold weather hits.

The most important thing to consider is heat.

Non-hibernating reptiles must have a supplemental heat source in cold climates since they remain active all year. Stanfield heat mats are the perfect choice for non-hibernating reptiles because they provide gentle warmth and are nearly indestructible.

Tortoises—especially the extremely popular Sulcata tortoises—are one of the biggest pets you can own. And because they’re big, they need something that stands up to rugged use. Stanfield reptile heat pads are made of a fiberglass-reinforced composite material that is rigid, abrasion-resistant and non-porous. Their construction makes them “tortoise tough,” unlike cheap and flexible poly mats or dangerous heat bulbs.

Stanfield heat mats are self-regulating based on the ambient air temperature, and on the surface, at full power, operate at about 30-35° F above the surrounding air. That means, in an environment that is 55-60° F, the surface temperature of the heat pad is 85-95° F, which is just right for many reptiles to rest on for a short time. A controller can regulate the heat mat surface temperature so it can be “dialed down” when the outside temperature increases. Heat mats work well on the floor or mounted to the side of an enclosure so heat is emitted next to the reptile. Always protect the power cord to prevent potential shock. Remember, check with your herp expert or veterinarian to ensure you are keeping your reptile warm enough during winter.

Shop Pet Heating PadsFor many of us, the wind is already creeping down into the U.S. from the Arctic and we’re waking up to frost in the morning. The most important thing to remember about winter and your non-hibernating pet is heat. Stanfield pet heat mats are a great addition to any enclosure and can keep your boa, iguana, or Sulcata tortoise warm and happy all winter long.