It is officially winter, and parts of the country are expecting extremely bad weather in the coming days! Lots of snow expected and record breaking conditions are forecasted. So, what does that mean for your gliders? How can you be prepared if you are in the northeast? Lots of things can go wrong. Getting snowed in, power outages, heating outages, etc. We have put together a couple common problems and potential solutions to consider when facing potential dangers such as bad weather. It is important to be prepared beforehand, as when the emergency happens, it is much more difficult to find solutions.
1. Hand warmers such as Hot Hands. (These are the hand held heat pouches that hunters use in their shoes and pockets). Activate the rap the hand warmer in several layers of fleece. Then put the hand warmer in a strategic location in the cage, such as zipped up in a bonding bag with a sleeping pouch resting on it. You want to also have an additional sleeping pouch in the cage in case the gliders decide they dont want to sleep in the heated pouch. But the key is to make sure they have access to a source of warmth when it is cold in your home. Check the warmer every 30 minutes to make sure it is still warm. The hand warmers are REUSABLE – it is activated by air, so when you’re done using just put in a ziploc bag or other airtight container and when you break it out again you’re good to go. This can be done 2 to 3 times per warmer usually.
2. Kerosene or electric heater **with caution** (Light it outside, allow it to burn and fume off for a few minutes outside, then carefully move it inside. Keep a pot of water ontop so the air doesn’t get too dry. Crack a window inside the room in which it’s being used to allow fumes to escape).
3. Layered sleeping pouches
4. Extra fleece blankets inside the sleeping pouches
5. Layered fleece blankets wrapped around the cage
6. Elevate the cage since heat rises
7. Emergency candles and matches
8. Insulate windows and any outside doors in glider room with towels or trash bags. Move glider cages away from windows or other drafts.
9. When you’re awake, carry them under your shirt in zippered bonding pouches with extra fleece blankets
10. Find an alternate source of heat that can power your heater at home, or find a hotel or other place with working climate control where you can bring your gliders in a travel cage.
11. Heat lamps outside of the cage, or heat rocks in the cage (in a pinch only).
12. Move the gliders to a warmer room of the house.
13. Heating pads and electric blankets placed on the outside of the cage with a barrier between the heating pad or electric blanket, the cage, and the glider. Make sure there are plenty of places the gliders can sleep without having the heating pads or electric blankets by their pouch so that if they get too warm, they can easily move to a cooler spot.
14. DIY rice or bean heating pad – Cut fleece into two equal sizes and sew them together like a pillow. Fill with dried beans or dried rice and then sew together the remaining flaps of the fabric. Make sure the tightest stitch is used and seams are hidden. Now it’s ready for use. Throw your new “heating pad” into the microwave for approximately one minute. You can add another minute until it’s reached the desired temperature. Please follow suggestions for use listed under item #13 (directly above).
The first thing you will need is a travel cage. This can be made out of a pop up laundry hamper, a small temporary cage, a pop up tent, a puppy tent (we like this one from Wal Mart: Collapsible Octagonal Pet Tent), or any other way to safely contain your gliders.
Things to bring with you include:
1. Food bowls
2. Water bottles or bowls
3. something to secure their water sources. 2 c-links and a hairband can be used to hold bottle in place (I usually use 2 sets per bottle to more securely hold them in place)
4. food that does not need to be refrigerated, like Pet-Pro.com kibble, critter love freeze dried salads or other freeze dried foods, baby food pouches (for in a pinch), or Critter-love Complete (just add water).
5. Treats and other food with longer shelf-life (like raisins, marshmallows, Cheerios, freeze-dried worms, etc.)
6. Spring water
7. Sleeping pouches/cage sets
8. Bonding pouches
9. Fleece blankets
10. C-links, baby C-rings, clips that will hold items in place for the specific tent (if you’re using one)
12. Glider vet history
13. Glider meds (if applicable)
14. Glider emergency kit
15. Nail trimming kit
16. Unscented baby wipes
17. Hand sanitizer
20. Pen and paper
21. zip ties for securing anything that needs to be secured.
22. Hot Hands hand warmers
And as always, if there is a glider health emergency, keep the glider warm and hydrated until you can get the glider to a vet, which needs to be as soon as possible.