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Our Djungarian hamster is apparently getting hot when temperatures reach about 25 °C. She then sleeps outside her house, in a corner of her terrarium, leaning on the glass and looking annoyed. She also tried to dig deeply, probably an instinct to make a hole deep enough to get into colder regions of soil.

As the weather will get even hotter during the summer and we don't have air conditioning, what could we do to make the hamster feel better? Would it help to add some small fan (like a computer cooling fan) to circulate air in the terrarium? Or add some rocks or other objects outside and inside her house with higher thermal conductivity, so that she could cool herself down by leaning on them?

Hamster sleeping outside her house 1

Hamster sleeping outside her house 2

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The easiest way to cool a hot hamster is a cold water bottle inside a sock. Just cool it down to 4-6 degrees Celsius and put it in the cage. If he needs to cool down, he will lie by its side. If you want it to go longer, freeze it but put it in a much thicker sock.

Do not put it directly in the terrarium without the sock, as there is a chance it might cause diarrhoea.

Introducing a draught to a hamster, any kind of hamster, is suicidal. I can't stress this enough. Continuous draughts, weak enough for humans not to realise, can be fatal to hamsters.

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Enclosure Type

Air circulation is very beneficial to any animal, having an enclosure that can provide this will help with air quality and temperature. Glass terrariums do not provide adequate air circulation and tend to retain heat.

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Cooling Options

1) Granite stone plaque - stone is generally cool, it's not a long term solution but will help.

2) Keep cage out of direct sunlight.

3) Use black out blinds to prevent the sun from warming up the room.

4) Purchase a portable air conditioner.

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  • We already have the terrarium in a darker, cooler room, so options 2 and 3 are already implemented. Could a hamster suffer from too much draft, if I add a small fan to exchange the air inside. – Petr Pudlák May 11 '18 at 9:13

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