We talk a lot about care tips and veterinary needs for cats and dogs, but at Anchor Animal Hospital, we also provide care for many small rodents as pets, including hamsters, rabbits, and Guinea pigs. As popular pets for children, learning about habitat and care for small pets can be a life lesson that will help them to be more responsible pet owners in the future. Guinea pig care and feeding is much different than what is required for rabbits or hamsters, so it is important to learn all you can before you bring one home. In fact, many people aren’t aware of the need for a veterinarian in Southcoast to provide quality care for small rodents in the same way that they would for cats and dogs.
Habitat Needs of Small Rodents
The size of your pet will help determine the type of enclosure that is best for their situation. Some small rodents require a litter box. Others cannot use the wood shavings that many people believe are best to use as a substrate because they contain oils that are toxic to small mammals. Learn all you can about the different types of bedding and substrate, such as newspaper shavings, paper pellets, and natural options. Choose an enclosure that will provide your small rodents as pets with room to move around, eat, exercise, and do their business. Hamster wheels and other exercise “toys” are very beneficial to most small rodents. Ensure that the enclosure is escape-proof or, if you allow your pet to roam around the house outside of a cage, check that everything is pet-proof and safe.
TAKEAWAY TIPS – Do some research on the type of pet that you are going to adopt. The habitat needs of mice and hamsters are quite different from what a Guinea pig requires for a happy and active lifestyle. Sleeping areas, feeding equipment, exercise toys, and a variety of substrates are all needed to create a space where they can live comfortably.
Nutritional Needs of Small Rodents
One of the most important things you can do for your small rodents as pets is to get them a proper diet that meets their nutritional needs. Don’t be dazzled by the “hamster treats” section, which includes a variety of artificially colored items designed to attract their human owners (primarily children), but really don’t provide any value. High-sugar contents and lots of empty calories and ingredients make many of these treat options a bad choice. While many people think that rabbits just need carrots or other veggies and not much else, the truth is that these fresh foods should be seen as treats. Specially designed feed for rabbits, Guinea pigs and other small mammals should be provided. If you are not sure what to feed your new pet, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian in Southcoast for professional recommendations and insight.
TAKEAWAY TIPS – Guinea pig care and feeding requires some research and planning to ensure that you provide your new pet with all of the nutritional balance needed for a long and healthy life. Don’t just count on the information provided via product packaging and marketing, do some real research or consult with a trusted vet for all habitat and care for small pets.
Are Small Mammals Exotic?
While you might not consider a garden variety hamster to be exotic, most veterinarians consider all small mammals to be exotic. It is essential for you to find a veterinarian in Southcoast that provides veterinary services for your small rodents as pets. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth has a team of veterinary professionals who are trained and experienced to work with small mammals. Sometimes known as “pocket pets” due to their size, our team can provide veterinary check-ups, treatment, advice, and other services, as needed, to ensure the health and well-being of your new pet. The more you can do to provide quality care for your pet when you first adopt them and bring them into your home, the easier it will be to keep them healthy throughout their lifetime.
Contact Anchor Animal Hospital by calling 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment with one of our team members. Not sure about habitat and care for small pets? Give us a call, and we can help you get your new family member off to a healthy start. We provide a wide range of veterinary services, including veterinary check-ups, treatments, services, dentistry, and much more. Call today to speak with one of our team members about your pet’s needs.