We do not recommend using reptile heat lamps for a couple of reasons such as they can dry out an enclosure, cause stress, and don't offer a gradient.
More info will be added to this section at a later date.

temperatures to aim for your western hognose

Hot Side     90 °F / 32.2 °C - 93 °F / 33.9 °C (Max)
Cold Side    75 °F / 23.9 °C - 80 °F / 26.7 °C

1/3rd of the reptiles' enclosure needs to be heated via under tank heat.  You can use Reptile Grade Heat Cable, Reptile Grade UTH Heat Mat or Reptile Grade Heat Tape. Most brands of UTH heat mats are labelled unsafe to use on plastic tanks or RUBS, however, so long as their instructions are followed and they are hooked up to a thermostat - many keepers have had years of recorded success with them.

Ideally it is best to have your animal's enclosure including the heat source set up at least two weeks before  bringing your new pet home. This allows for time to adjust the temperature, and replace any faulty equipment.

Small reptile grade heat mat
Roughly $20  CAN.


I cannot recommend these handy gadgets enough! Double-check the temps with an Inferred Heat Gun, both on the surface of the substrate, and directly on the cage floor, under the substrate to make sure you get it set to where you want it. You should check the temperatures throughout the day when you are first setting up the enclosure, so you get an accurate idea of fluctuation. Some homes get far colder in the evening, or first thing in the morning. Glass tanks tend to fluctuate more than bin enclosers. It is a good idea to check your temperatures on a regularly to make sure equipment is not failing.

Shown to the right > Etekcity Digital Infrared Thermometer Laser Temperature Gun  Amazon $28.99+ CAN (Canadian Tire brand works well too)

There are many brands and types of under tank heat (UTH) products available. Flex watt heat strips, Zoomed under tank mats, etc. Some brands and sizes only suggest being used on glass. It is always important to read and follow directions. Many folks say that you can use the ‘glass only” ones on plastic, so long as you have it hooked to a thermostat. (Which is mandatory for the safety of your animal, and your home anyway.) Remember that you only should cover 1/3rd of the reptile’s enclosure with the under-tank heater. The size and brand of reptile heat mat will affect its price. This item can be ordered online, or found at your local pet store.

Please be sure to read our Western Hognose Care Sheet first. To cut down on the stress of an animal during its introduction to a new home, we have found that it is best for clients to setup their enclosures as similarly to ours as possible.  
We will always give honest reviews of the products we use and recommend. All brands pictured are for easy reference, other brands/reptile grade products may be used instead.


A reptile grade thermostat hooked to an under-tank heat source is mandatory. Thermostats are for the safety of both your animal and your home. 

Just like under tank heat sources, there are many brands out there for reptile thermostats. There are very cheap ones, which we have found to work great, all the way up to thermostats that cost several hundred dollars. Any thermostat can fail. I have heard just as many stories of top of the line set-ups failing, as cheaper thermostats. A good entry thermostat should be a fully digital one. (Not the old knob style) To the right are two types of thermostats at different price ranges that we recommend.

Thermostat Probe Placement 
Most people place the Stat probe between the reptile grade heat mat and the bottom of the enclosure (outside). That way the snake can't mess with the thermostat readings by moving it, peeing on it, pooping, etc. Make sure you don't tape the actual probe head where it reads temps. That will give you false readings. You tape the wire itself close to the head.

Setting the TemperatureBecause the heat has to travel through the bottom of the enclosure you might need to set the temp a bit higher on the thermostat to reach the proper temperature inside. Check the temperature on the surface of the enclosure, and top of the substrate. Since your snake can (and probably will) move it aside and be able to touch the bottom directly, it is important to know that while the temperatures on the surface of the substrate may read 93 °F, under it may be adrastically different temperature.

Seasonal Adjustments - Keep in mind that as the season's changes, you may need to increase, or decrease your thermostat setting to stay within the desired range.

If you are struggling to keep your enclosure cool during a heatwave please read our Managing Heatwaves article, which can be found on our website under the "Care Information" heading.

Jump Start Heat Mat Thermostat
Amazon for around $45-55 CAN.

Herpstat Intro +
Online for around $170 CAN


Updated July 1, 2021

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