Perfecting Your Small Pet’s Home
Whether you have a rabbit, guinea pig, or gerbil, there are some essential features for your small pet’s home.
The time has arrived! You’ve chosen your new pet and found his perfect cage. You’re ready to have him move in and become part of the family. There’s a lot more to a pet’s home, however, than just choosing the right cage. Pets need a variety of accessories to keep them healthy and comfortable in their new surroundings and the right location is key.
For rabbits, guinea pigs, and gerbils, the location of the cage is very important for both the health of the pet and for your interaction with it.
Inside or outside: Rabbits can live both inside and outside, but it is recommended that you keep your rabbit inside. Extreme weather changes, insects, and stalking predators are all harmful to outdoor rabbits. Indoor rabbits tend to live much longer on average than outdoor rabbits. Both guinea pigs and gerbils should be kept inside.
Where in the house: You should keep your small pet’s cage somewhere in the house where he will be able to interact with your family. You should not put your pet in the busiest parts of the house though. While these pets like attention, they also like peace and quiet. Also, you should not keep your small pet in a bedroom, because that could lead to allergies in family members.
Climate: Make sure you keep your small pet away from drafts and direct sunlight, in a location where the temperature will remain steady between sixty-five and seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit.
To truly make your pet’s cage a home, safe and fun, you’ll need to make sure it has certain accessories.
- Try to make sure your rabbit always has something to chew on in his cage: a piece of wood, or a chewstick from the pet store are good choices.
- Rabbits love toys: you can give him a doll or something similar he can play with. Just make sure there are no small parts to choke on.
- Rabbits love exploring – try to fill his cage with cave-like compartments. You can make these out of wood or cardboard.
- Make sure your rabbit has access to water all day long. A hanging water bottle will accomplish this.
- Guinea pigs need a place to hide: you can give him a PVC pipe or something similar where he can retreat out of view.
- Like rabbits, guinea pigs should be given a hanging water bottle.
- Try to give your guinea pig ramps and other features to explore.
- Guinea pigs also enjoy toys to play with.
- Make sure your guinea pig has a food bowl that is too heavy to tip and too small to climb in.
- You should give your gerbil a small house where he can hide: wood and ceramic are best. Your gerbil will chew through anything else.
- Make sure your gerbil’s aquarium has a mesh lid: gerbils can jump very high!
- Make sure your gerbil doesn’t have a cage or toys that are plastic or wire, he will try to chew these and could hurt his nose.
- Like guinea pigs, your gerbil will need a water bottle and sturdy food dish.
- You can give your gerbil an exercise wheel; just make it is solid and there are no holes or joints where he could get his tail caught.