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Fish and Feather

Small Animals at Fish and Feather

MICE

Mice make great pets but there are a few things you need to know before buying a pet mouse -

  • Mice will live for roughly 2 years.
  • Because mice are social animals you will need to keep at least 2. They will need an enclosure big enough for them to both exercise. Make sure its well ventilated and easy to clean.
  • They can squeeze through tiny spaces so a mouse house needs to have wire spacing of less than 1cm
  • They are prone to heat stress
  • Mice can be smelly but there is a range of odor absorbing mouse safe litters available. Do not use pine shavings as they contain oil that can affect the mouse’s respiratory system.
  • Mice need a good quality diet. We use and recommend Vetafarm Rodent Pellets and rat cubes, which help clean teeth. They can also have fresh veggies and a variety of low protein treats. Keep an eye on their weight as they are prone to becoming overweight.
  • Mice are active creatures and need toys to keep them entertained and encourage exercise such as a wheel and some tunnels. There are many toys available in store but you can make some at home.

RATS

Rats make fantastic pets but there are a few things you need to know before buying a pet rat -

  • Rats live for 2 – 3 years.
  • They are highly intelligent and can learn many tricks. They can even be toilet trained.
  • They are highly social and need to be housed with at least 1 other rat. They also need at least 2 hours of human interaction per day. They are incredibly affectionate animals.
  • They need a large enclosure as they are extremely active and require a number of toys and hiding places to keep them amused. Wire enclosures are the best as toys and hammocks can be hung from the roof and sides of the cage. This also promotes climbing. Make sure the wire is no more than 2cm apart as rats can squeeze through larger spaces.
  • They have continually growing teeth and need plenty of things to chew on such as wooden and loofah toys in conjunction with a high quality diet.
  • Rats are prone to becoming overweight so they need a diet low in sugar. We use and recommend Vetafarm Rodent Pellets along with some rat cubes, a selection of fruits and veggies and some low protein treats. They should not have dried corn or alfalfa as both can cause upset stomachs.
  • Rats have a sensitive respiratory system. Dusty litters or bedding's and oils in pine shavings will upset them. There are many rat safe litters and bedding's that are also odor absorbing available.
  • They need to be treated for parasites such as internal worms, mites and lice.

RABBITS

Rabbits make great pets but there are some things you need to know before buying a bunny -

  • Rabbits have a life span of 8 – 12 years. This is a long term commitment.
  • They are easily stressed and frighted by loud noises and rough play so time with young children needs to be supervised.
  • They can weigh between 2kg and 6kg depending on breed.
  • They are highly intelligent and need plenty of interaction, at least 3 hours per day.
  • They need to be treated for parasites including intestinal worms, mites, lice and fleas.
  • Rabbits can contract the insect-borne virus’s myxomatosis and calicivirus so need to be protected. Vaccinations are available for strains of calicivirus but mosquito proofing your rabbit’s areas are very important.
  • Rabbits are prone to developing Metabolic Bone Disease, or MBD, due to poor diets containing grains & seeds, lucerne pellets and muesli, and a lack of exercise. They require a high fiber, low protein diet. A small cup of good quality, high fiber pellets, a small selection of fruits and vegetables and plenty of hay such as oaten, grass and fescue is recommended.
  • They have constantly growing teeth (2-3 mm per week). Their high fibrous diet helps to wear down their teeth.
  • Rabbits cannot handle extreme heat and need to be brought indoors on days over 28 degrees.
  • They make great indoor pets and can be toilet trained. They also get much more interaction when housed inside.
  • They need a large hutch, or enclosure, to be housed in and a very large run for exercising during the day, at least 2 meters. They cannot completely empty their bladder unless they are able to run, jump and stretch their body out. If they are unable to do this they are at risk of developing bladder stones.
  • Rabbits are foraging animals and need to be provided with a range of toys to keep them entertained during the hours their humans are away. There are many toys available in store although you can make some of your own at home!

Please see our care sheet for more information

Fish & Feather use and recommend Vetafarm Rabbit Pellets

GUINEA PIGS

Guinea Pigs make great pets but there are a few things you need to know before buying a guinea pig -

  • They live for 5 – 8 years
  • If intending to breed, the female must be bred before 6 months of age, before the pelvis fuses, to avoid birthing difficulties
  • They are very social and talkative animals and are best housed in groups of two or more. Males can live together happily if they are raised together and there are no females around although desexing is always an option if any arguments start to occur
  • They need a hutch or enclosure that can adequately house at least 2 guinea pigs and allow them to exercise as they are prone to becoming overweight.
  • They need to be treated for parasites including intestinal worms, mites and lice.
  • Guinea pigs need a high fibre diet to help wear their teeth and help with digestion. A small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of a high fibre, good quality pellets, a medium amount of leafy greens and plenty of hay such as grass, oaten and fescue is recommended.
  • Guinea Pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C. Without it they will develop scurvy. Certain vegies are naturally high in vitamin C, some brands of Guinea Pig pellets contain Vitamin C such as Vetafarm Cavy, or there are water soluble vitamin C tablets available.
  • They cannot handle extreme heat and need to be housed indoors in temperatures higher than 28 degrees
  • They are playful animals and love to hide and forage. They need a selection of toys to keep them amused whilst there humans are away. There is a range of things in-store or you can make some at home!

Please see our care sheet for more information.

Fish & Feather use and recommend Vetafarm Cavy pellets

FERRETS

  • Ferrets live for 7 – 10 years. They are a long term commitment.
  • Females need to be de-sexed before 6 months of age. Females, if not de-sexed or bred in time, can develop oestrogen toxicoses and aplastic anaemia.
  • They will spend a lot of time sleeping, up to 15 hours per day.
  • They are sociable and are best kept in pairs. They should have at least 2 hours of human interaction per day. They are very affectionate and interactive pets.
  • They do have an odour to them. They can be bathed, although they should not be bathed more than twice a month. Over washing will strip oils from the ferret’s skin. In reaction, their bodies will produce and release extra oils which can make them smell.
  • They need training. Ferrets will bite each other during play. They need to learn what is acceptable play with humans. You should never hit or flick a ferret as this will generally cause more biting. The best method is to ‘scruff’ the ferret. With regular training they will outgrow biting.
  • They are carnivores. Feed a good quality ferret pellet. We use and recommend Vetafarm Ferret Pellets. These are designed to help clean the teeth as they are chewed. Fresh chicken necks can also be included.
  • They can be litter trained.
  • They need to be treated for parasites such as intestinal worms, fleas and mites.
  • They need a large enclosure that they can be housed in when their humans aren’t home and during the night. They should not be left out unsupervised as they may eat and chew things that could harm them. Strong wire enclosures are best as toys can be hung from the roof and sides. They need a good selection of toys to play with as well as some cosy sleeping areas.

Fish and Feather use and recommend Vetafarm Ferret Origions

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List updated -  25/06/2016