Pocket pets include rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, and the list goes on and on. Don’t let their small size fool you; they are a big responsibility! Here are some tips to help your new relationship get off to a great start:
MAKE SURE TO KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY CARE FOR YOUR PET. CONSULT A VETERINARIAN ON:
- Choosing the right cage ensuring the proper size, material, and substrate.
- Knowing of any specific requirements for your pet. For example: dust baths for chinchillas, vitamin C for guinea pigs
- Choosing a balanced diet for your pet that will meet its nutritional requirements without overfeeding.
- Ensuring that your pet receives appropriate exercise and stimulation to keep them fit and healthy.
- Learning about your new pet’s delicate GI tract. A healthy GI tract is essential to a pocket pet’s survival.
WE RECOMMEND SCHEDULING A NEW ADOPTION EXAMINATION WITH A VETERINARIAN. THESE VISITS ARE IMPORTANT TO ALLOW THE VETERINARIAN TO HELP YOU WITH THE TOPICS ABOVE AND FOLLOWING:
- Since many pockets pets are prey animals, they have adapted to hide signs of illness. For this reason, regular examinations are helpful to uncover illnesses that may not be outwardly visible.
- Many pocket pets have teeth that grow continuously. Chewing inappropriately, or misaligned teeth can result in serious dental injury. The Veterinarian can check for, and address, these problems.
- Nail trims are a regular part of owning pocket pets. The Veterinarian can show you how to perform this procedure to avoid injuring your pet. Many people opt to have the Veterinary Team perform these procedures instead of doing them at home.
- Since a pocket pet’s life span is much shorter than ours, every year of their life is equivalent to up to 50 years of our life. Since our pets age much faster than we do, it is important to have regular visits to the veterinarian to check their overall health.
IN ADDITION TO REGULAR WELLNESS VISITS, YOUR POCKET PET SHOULD ALSO BE SEEN BY THE VETERINARIAN IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE SIGNS:
- Abnormal of decreased eating
- Sneezing or trouble breathing
- Overgrown front teeth or trouble chewing
- Sores on the feet
- Loose or soft stool*
- Not eating for 24 hours*
- Small, dry, or decrease stool production
- Hunching in a corner or lack of energy
*While loose/soft stool or not eating may not be emergent for larger mammals, these issues can be life-threatening for pocket pets.
PLEASE CALL ANIMAL HOSPITAL OF DAUPHIN COUNTY TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEW ADOPTION EXAM AT 717-652-1270.