At The Bluffs Pet Clinic, we think that pocket pets are just as amazing as dogs or cats. From rabbits to guinea pigs to hamsters, pint-sized pets are pretty great. We often forget that they need care, though, too. Pocket pet wellness is important!
Proper Pocket Pet Care
When pocket pets are well cared for, they tend to live longer and healthier lives. Perhaps the biggest thing to understand about your pet is what species-specific needs that they have. Taking care of a ferret is way different than caring for a hedgehog.
- What kind of enclosure your pet needs
- What type of environment your pet will thrive in
- What nutritional needs exist
- If your pet is social or not
- What grooming needs to be done
- How to exercise your pet
- What mental stimulation your pet may benefit from
- What veterinary needs exist (vaccination requirements, tooth care, disease screening tests)
A little knowledge is a powerful thing.
Tips for Pocket Pet Wellness
Doing a few small things can make a big difference when it comes to pocket pet wellness. Besides knowing your species of choice inside and out, be sure to:
- Provide plenty of enrichment—Many pocket pets spend most of their time in a small enclosure. We can only imagine how this must feel. Put some effort into creating a safe, diverse, and stimulating habitat for them. Rotate toys, provide chewing objects, use visual stimuli, and provide different surfaces and hiding places for them. For some species, supervised outdoor time away from potential predators can be a good break from the enclosure. Environmental enrichment is key.
- Interact with your pet—Most animals need some type of companionship and exercise. It will be very species-specific on what these needs are, but chances are your pet will benefit from some dedicated time with you each day.
- Keep them at a healthy weight—Pocket pets can suffer from nutritional imbalances, too. Be sure that you are feeding them a healthy diet that is balanced for their needs and watching calorie-dense or rich snacks.
- Work with a veterinarian—All pocket pets need wellness care just like we recommend for dogs and cats. Work with a veterinarian well-versed in your species. Annual visits are important and additional recommendations for your species such as blood work, fecal testing, nail trimming, and tooth trimming may be recommended.
Pocket pets can be a great and fun addition to your family, but don’t forget that they need care, too. If you have any questions about getting started with a new pet, please give us a call. We are happy to get you started with your best paw forward.