Caring for Your Pocket Pet
As a general rule pocket pets are usually easy to care for. The life span varies depending on species but can be anywhere from 1 to 8 years. Providing the proper environment and environmental enrichment is important for the overall health of your pet.
- Bedding should be soft and not cause sores on the feet and legs. Avoid wire bottom cages if possible.
- Cage size should be large enough to turn and move around easily, height is also important for certain species like rats as it is a natural behavior for them to stand up.
- Environmental enrichment such as toys, things to hide in, and things to chew on. Pocket pets need to be kept stimulated just like cats and dogs!
- Proper diet will usually consisit of a mixture of hay, vegetables, pellets and some fruit.
It is important to know the unique characteristics of the species you have chosen as a pet. For example things like guinea pigs require a Vitamin C supplement. Rats and guinea pigs do better in pairs or small groups where as gerbils prefer to be solitary and will fight if housed with one another.
Caring for Your Exotic Bird
There are a wide range of types of birds that make great pets ideally adopting a hand raised bird is the best for first time owners. Smaller birds like budgies and cockatiels are easier to tame if they have not been hand raised than the bigger parrots, and cockatoos. These bigger birds also require a larger amount of interaction and can develop behavioral issues like feather plucking if they do not receive it.
Caring for Your Reptile
Knowing the unique individual characteristics of the type of reptile you are thinking of bringing into your home is very important. For example, some captive born reptiles allow handling, where as others do not.
Each different species of reptile require different things:
- Substrate or bedding
- Special lighting not only for a heat source but also some reptiles require UVB rays to live which can only come special light bulbs
- Proper diet will usually consisit of a mixture of hay, vegetables, pellets and some fruit
- Heat - reptiles are cold blooded and require adequate heat and humidity while awake