If you have a pocket pet (pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, hedge hogs, chinchillas and others), you have most likely come to recognize that there is a little more to their care than you might have originally thought.
These furry little critters can steal your hearts just as much as any dog or cat, and they require planning by us in order to ensure that they receive proper care. Here are some tips you can follow to be sure that you are giving the very best possible care for your pocket pet.
Supply a Safe, Comfy Environment
Choose a cage big enough for your pet to walk around and get some exercise. Make sure you take your pet’s specific needs into account as well. A chinchilla might require a much taller cage so they can stand and leap, while a mouse needs much less space. Select a cage that can be cleaned easily and has a solid bottom. Your pet’s habitat ought to be kept in a location away from predatory animals (dogs and cats).
Your Pocket Pet Needs a Cushy Bed
Your pocket pet will require a clean soft bed so it can rest and nest. Many different types of bedding are available, so it can be tough to select. Make certain your pet’s bed is nontoxic, has no dust, is absorbent, and will not be consumed. Likewise, take into consideration your pet’s nesting needs. Make sure to change the bedding at least two times weekly and disinfect the cage weekly.
Be Sure to Provide Exercise and Stimulation for Your Pocket Pet
Pocket pets require attention, too! Make sure their environment has a lot of hiding locations and exercise “devices” such as tunnels, balls, or wheels. Ensure these types of toys are made from resilient products that cannot be chewed. Provide special chewing materials for rodents who will have to chew to maintain their teeth.
Provide Quality, Well-Balanced Nutrition
All pets need fresh, clean water that is there for them 24 hours a day. The majority of pets (besides bunnies) succeed with a sipper bottle hanging from the side of their enclosure. Most pets do well on commercial diets created for their specific types.
Learn any specific dietary needs your pet may have. Chinchillas and rabbits, for example, require additional plant fiber in their diets, while guinea pigs need vitamin C.
Pocket pets might be small, but they require a lot of care and knowledge! Be sure to bring them into visit the veterinarian at least every year, and make certain to know all you can about the individual species you have. Many of them do have special care requirements so that they can remain healthy. If you have any questions or issues contact your vet.