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Each quarter we will publish the CEDARCREST Newsletter which will spotlight common pet problems, fun facts, and current promotions. We will also feature stories on various diseases, conditions and interesting cases we see in the office.

If there is a particular pet health issue you would like to read about in CEDARCREST'S Paw Prints please let us know!

  

No Room for a “Big Pet” – Think Small

     Believe it or not, rodents can make excellent pets if treated properly. Now, if the idea of a pet rat doesn’t appeal to you, your local pet store probably sells an exciting array of furry guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and – even though they aren’t rodents – rabbits. All of these can be an attractive choice if you want a pet that is small.

     They can be fun to watch and handle – and can even become very affectionate – but, like any animal, these mini-pets require TLC and proper care.

     We recommend that very young children should not be given primary responsibility for a small animal. Instead, they should be given a portion of the care and maintenance chores for which they are responsible (under supervision) and, in return, they are allowed to handle the pet (again under supervision). Quite often, younger children may handle a small animal roughly or disturb it too often during the day when these nocturnal animals prefer to be asleep. Older children often find observing the antics of rodent pets very entertaining.

     Good quality commercial feed is available for hamsters and gerbils but you can supplement their diets with small bits of fresh fruits and veggies, especially deep green lettuce (not iceberg) carrots, apples, parsley, celery and tomatoes. Any uneaten scraps should be removed promptly. Check with us if you have nutrition questions.

      Like people and larger pets, boredom can become a real problem for rodents as well. Houses should be as challenging and entertaining as possible, with exercise wheels and assorted levels to add interest. They should have soft paper, shavings or some other preferred material for bedding. The animal will always arrange it to suit itself and it should not be disturbed or rearranged until the cage is cleaned, which should be done frequently, since most rodents are very particular about keeping themselves, and their living quarters, squeaky clean.

Still have questions? Give us a call at (540) 943-7577 or send us an email!