How to Care for Your Pet Rodent
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How to Care for Your Pet Rodent

Hamsters and gerbils make great pets and believe it or not they are members of the rodent family. They love attention and make great pets for young and old. They do not require any special care. They do need to be fed and given fresh water every day. They need a place to sleep and some rodents do have different requirements for their sleeping area.

Many people keep hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and rats, as pets and they are all members of the rodent family.  If you do not already have, a rodent be sure to be prepared for your new pet rodent.  Decide on which pet rodent you want and have his cage all set up for him including food and water.   Do not handle your new pet when you first bring him home but just put him in his cage and make sure there is plenty of food and water for him.  He will usually hide for a couple of days and only come out when you are not around.

All pets need daily care no matter what type they are.  They all must have food and water daily.  He should be given fresh water every other day.   Check the water bottle every day to make sure there is water in it and it is not plugged.

He should be given fresh bedding every week.  Most rodents will use one area of the cage to go to the bathroom and this area should be cleaned everyday so there will be no odor.

If you want to tame your pet rodent, you should handle him everyday.  Wait to start handling him until he is used to his new home and you.  When you start handling him just put your hand in the cage and let him come to you.  He will smell your hand and decide you are not a threat.  Do not try to grab him or make fast movements, as this will scare him.  When he starts climbing on your hand, you can pick him up with your hand under his body.

Nearly all rodents live in nests or burrows.  You need to find out which one your rodent needs.  If he needs a nest, you must provide him with a nesting box.  If he needs a burrow, you will need to provide him with material so he can burrow.  Never use cedar or pine shavings in your rodent’s cage, as they will cause respiratory problems for him.

If your rodent is a nest builder, give him some small pieces of cloth, untreated paper, string and empty toilet paper tubes.  Paper towel rolls also work and small rodents will use them for hiding places and tunnels.  All rodents must chew to keep their teeth in shape.  They will need untreated and non-toxic wood to chew on.

Your pet rodent must have exercise and a wheel will work great them.  If you can get a plastic wheel without spokes.  Get your pet some toys but make sure they are not made of soft plastic.

Rodents are great fun as pets and they will provide you with hours of entertainment. 

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Comments (1)

Great information on keeping rodents as pets. As kids my sister and I both had hamsters and later Guinea pigs. It is very important they get out of their cage often too.