Keeping an exotic frog warm during transportation requires you to think outside of the box. Without a heat mat or lamp, you have to get creative.
The following are 9 easy ways to keep an exotic frog warm during travel:
- Warm your vehicle before introducing your frog (if travelling in a car)
- Use a small travel container
- Add plenty of wet substrate to the travel carrier
- Cover your frog’s container in a blanket
- Use a hot water bottle
- Use hand warmers
- Use microwaveable heat packs
- Make a home-made warmer from a socks and rice
- Pop the travel container in a styrofoam box
In this article we will discuss each warming technique in detail.
Why is your exotic frog’s temperature important and how warm should the travel container be?
As I’m sure you are aware, exotic frogs usually require a warm, humid environment as they are cold blooded creatures.
The exact temperature a frog requires depends on their species. Some need a cooler environment where others require a warmer one. For example, a waxy monkey tree frog requires a temperature of 23ºC (75ºF), where a white tree frog requires a daytime temperature of 27ºC to 30.5ºC (80ºF to 87ºC).
Additionally, some frogs prefer a cooler temperature at night. For example, a white tree frog prefers a cooler nighttime temperature of around 24ºC (75ºF). Where some owners like to create a temperature gradient with the use of a lamp, others will simply use a heat matt and have a constant mid temperature. It’s up to you.
It is important that they stay within their ideal temperature for maximum health. If they get too cold or too hot, they are at risk of getting sick.
Be sure to use a thermometer to check your travel container is at a comfortable temperature before you introduce your frog and set out.
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Warm your vehicle before introducing your frog (if travelling in a car).
This may not be necessary if your outside temperature is warm enough for your frog. Check the temperature inside your car to see if you will need to warm the vehicle for your frog.
If travelling on a cold day, it is essential that you warm the car before introducing your frog. A quick cold shock is enough to make a frog sick.
Additionally, the techniques to warm a frog listed below will be more effective if the car is already warm.
Just be careful that the car heater vents aren’t blowing directly onto your frog’s container. This may cause him to overheat.
Use a small travel container as oppose to a large one.
A smaller travel container is easier to warm up and keep warm than a larger one.
Additionally, a smaller container will make your frog feel like he is in a safe little burrow.
Just ensure that your frog has enough room to move around.
Add wet substrate to the travel carrier.
Exotic frogs usually require a humid environment, depending on the species. Using wet substrate will keep your frog hydrated, as well as cushion any falls or bumps on the road.
You can use your frog’s usual substrate, but we’ve found that paper towels or clothes work well. They are good at soaking up lots of water and are soft and cushioning. If you do decide to use paper towels, try using natural ones that are unscented and unbleached.
Feel free to pop a bit of your frog’s usual substrate on top of the wet paper towels. Your frog might feel calmer travelling in what he is used to.
Cover your frog’s container in a blanket.
Insulation is your frog’s friend!
Not only will a blanket will stop heat from escaping, the darkness will also help your frog stay calm while travelling.
Just ensure the blanket you use is breathable and allows enough ventilation for your frog.
Use a hot water bottle to heat your frog.
Hot water bottles work well to provide heat for many hours.
Just check that it isn’t too hot for you to touch. If it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s definitely too hot for your frog.
If your hot water bottle doesn’t already come covered, always wrap something around it. You can use a towel, small blanket or clothes. Furthermore, make sure that the hot water bottle lid is on securely, you don’t want any hot water to leak onto your frog and hurt him.
Use hand warmers to heat your exotic frog.
Hand warmers are great option for those of you going on long journeys with your exotic frogs. This is because they can provide heat for up to 10 hours!
However, if you do decide to use hand warmers you must be careful with them.
It’s vital to note that hand warmers should only ever be used OUTSIDE the travel container. NEVER place them inside the carrier with your frog. Firstly, they can get too hot and burn your frog. Secondly, most of them work using a chemical reaction that requires air. Therefore, they can end up using up the air in your frog’s container, thus, suffocating him.
Instead, pop them in a sock or wrap them in a tea towel, and place them next to or on top of your frog’s travel carrier.
Use microwaveable heat packs.
These are another simple way to provide warmth to an exotic frog during transportation.
Depending on the heat pack, you just have to pop them in the microwave for 1 to 5 minutes and they’re ready to go!
These are ideal for long journeys as they can stay warm for many hours. Some can last up to 8-10 hours after only 5 minutes in the microwave!
Similarly to hand warmers and hot water bottles, just ensure that they are not too hot to touch as they could burn your frog. If they are very hot, wrap them in a blanket, cloth or some clothes.
Make a home-made warmer from a socks and rice.
How to make a sock warmer:
- Fill a sock 3/4 with rice.
- Knot the top so no rice escapes.
- Pop it in the microwave on high for a couple minutes until hot.
DONE! It’s that easy!
A heated sock will stay warm for a couple hours.
If the sock is too hot to touch, pop it in an additional sock so that you don’t hurt your frog.
Pop the travel container in a styrofoam cooler.
Styrofoam coolers work well to regulate temperature so that it doesn’t rise or fall too quickly. Pop your frog’s travel carrier in a styrofoam box and it will work the same way a blanket does – provide insulation so heat doesn’t escape quickly.
If you are going on a short journey, such as a 20 minute drive to the vet, you can use a styrofoam cooler without any methods above. Just put some warm water in your frogs travel container and then pop it in the a styrofoam cooler.
However, if you are going on a particularly long journey, using some of the methods above is recommended along with the cooler.
Additionally, during extreme weather conditions, a styrofoam box will help protect your frog from harm.