Small pets can be an excellent way for children to learn about caring for others. When parents have the right attitude about establishing proper habitat and care for small pets, they instill solid values in their children that they will carry for a lifetime. Keeping small rodents as pets is not easier than caring for a dog or a cat, but it can help children to see and understand everything necessary to properly care for an animal. A proper diet, bedding, cleaning, exercise, water, safe toys, and attention are all needed to create a healthy environment for a small pet. Taking time to learn all you can about your pet’s unique needs and requirements is part of the lesson. For example, Guinea pig care and feeding is quite different than what is needed for a hamster, rabbit, or mouse. Schedule an appointment with your South Coast veterinarian for even more life lessons to show children how important it is to provide comprehensive care for all animals.
Creating a Quality Habitat
The habitat or environment where your pet will live and spend a majority of its time is essential. Make sure to take some time to research the size and type of enclosure that will be best for your pet, based on their unique requirements. Glass enclosures, plastic crates, wire cages, wooden boxes, and other options are available at local pet stores and from online retailers. The cage should be cleaned before use, and regular cleaning should be performed based on the type of animal, the number of animals in the cage, and the degree of messiness that occurs with the particular individual.
Bedding is needed for most small pets. Hamsters and mice like to create beds and “hiding” areas for food, but the needs for each type of pet will be different. Fluffy bedding, straw, hay, and other products will help your pet to be warm and comfortable year-round. Habitat and care for small pets is one of the key elements in learning how to properly care for these animals. Keeping small rodents as pets is quite different from caring for dogs and cats. If you have questions about enclosures, bedding, and other habitat essentials, speak with a South Coast veterinarian. They can answer questions about Guinea pig care and feeding, housing for rabbits, and even provide bedding suggestions for hamsters.
Nutrition and Treats
Don’t be satisfied with just a bag of processed food pellets for your pet. Take time to research the nutritional needs of your small pets and offer fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, depending on the species that you are adopting. Age, health, and season can also impact your pet’s requirements concerning nutrition, so be sure to consult with a vet at Anchor Animal Hospital if you have concerns about your pet’s diet. Nutrition and healthy treats are an essential part of providing quality habitat and care for small pets. This includes Guinea pig care and feeding, as well as care for rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, chinchillas, and other small animals.
Some things you need to know about small animal diets include:
- a majority of small animals are herbivores – only plants, no meat
- some small animals are omnivores – eating both plants and meat
- premium diets can be a good base, but fresh foods should also be offered
- take time to learn about your pet’s nutritional requirements for best results
Keeping Small Pets Safe
Taking care of your pet’s habitat and bedding should be a priority. There are many common diseases and illnesses that are associated with an unclean environment. Choose the substrate that is best for your pet, such as wood, granules, or paper, and pick a manufacturer that has a solid reputation for providing quality products. Keeping your pet safe, comfortable, clean, and dry is essential when keeping small rodents as pets. Removing pet waste, changing out damaged or dirty bedding materials, and eliminating dust and other issues by choosing better bedding products can help your pet to live a long and healthy life.
Preventing other pets and small children from gaining access to the pet by picking a quality enclosure and ensuring that the pen is not where it can be knocked over or opened is also essential. Contact your South Coast veterinarian is you have questions about things like Guinea pig care and feeding or the best habitat and care for small pets. Whether you are thinking about adopting a bunny or a hamster, be sure to take the time to get the best possible enclosure, bedding, nutrition, and care for your pet to give them the best possible life. Children can be helpful in this area, especially if you allow them to select a color for an already-approved toy or product to be used with the pet.
Small Animal Care at Anchor Animal Hospital
Some of the pets that we care for at our veterinary hospital include Guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, rats, ferrets, and hedgehogs. Exotic animals have become increasingly popular in the United States, but not all veterinarians are trained to care for the unique requirements and physical needs of these pets. Our practice owner Dr. Kate Pietsch has dedicated herself to advancing her knowledge and skills with small animal care, including specialized and fragile exotic small pets. If you would like to learn more about our veterinary services, give us a call at 508-996-3731.