Helping Owners Care for Their Pocket-Sized Pets
Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits—known generally as “pocket pets,” these cute little mammals are relatively inexpensive and easy to care for, granted that you do your research. Before you commit to owning a small mammal or pocket pet, make sure you have the time and resources necessary to care for them. Here at Eastside Animal Hospital in East Lansing, we’re happy to be one of the few vets that welcomes pocket pets and small mammals.
Caring for Your Rabbit
To avoid health problems in the future, your rabbit should be spayed or neutered. Females can be spayed at 6 months, and males can be neutered at 4 months. As with dogs and cats, we suggest bringing your rabbit in once a year for a full check-up. Other aspects of rabbit care we’ll discuss during your appointment include:
- Litter box training
Caring for Your Guinea Pig
These docile, tail-less, domesticated rodents can live between 4-8 years. They’re social creatures, so several guinea pigs can live together in harmony, as long as they have sufficient space. Keep males away from the young ones, and make sure that their cage can easily be disassembled for cleaning. We’d like to see your guinea pig once a year for a thorough examination, at which we will discuss:
- Nail trims
Gerbils & Hamsters
Gerbils and hamsters are quite tiny and can only live for a few years, so we recommend bringing them in twice a year to be examined. They can overheat easily, so make sure their environment is maintained at room temperature. For housing, choose an aquarium instead of a cage—their small feet can get stuck between the cage bars. Clean their aquarium once a week using hot, soapy water, and scoop out soiled bedding every day.
Small mammals and pocket pets have many unique needs compared to cats and dogs, so be mindful and informed before purchasing one as a pet. At Eastside Animal Hospital in East Lansing, we’re highly qualified to provide care for these special little critters, so be sure to contact us immediately if you have any questions or concerns.