Whether you’re considering a small animal as a pet or recently brought home a new furry friend, Kaytee created this guide to make sure you have a successful and enriching experience.
Small animals are easy to care for and will entertain you with lively antics that melt your heart. By researching small animals, you will be able to choose the best option for you and your family. Some things to consider:
Which small animals are available?
What is required for their care?
How do you handle them?
At Kaytee, we’re committed to helping you provide a big life for your small animal. This means:
Purchasing a suitable habitat and cleaning it regularly
Providing the right diet specific to each small animal’s nutritional needs
Seeing a veterinarian when necessary
Knowing if your small animal is best kept alone or with companions
Once you decide on a small animal, you’ll need to get some items to make your new pet feel safe and comfortable at home. These include:
Download the Small Animal Care Guide for more about small animal species and their needs within your home:
Give your furry friend plenty of time to get familiar with their new home and surroundings.
Wait a few days before you handle them. You’ll know they’re ready when they roam around freely in their habitat and regularly come out of their special hiding places.
Move slowly around your small animal so they don’t get startled.
Every small animal has unique dietary needs. Be sure you are feeding them species specific food.
How To Bond With Your Small Pet
Take it slow: introduce new people and activities slowly.
Be a treat dispenser: offering treats (in moderation) is a great way to bond and become friends.
Accentuate the positive: if your small animal is doing something you enjoy, such as coming to you or performing a trick, reward them with a treat.
Avoid reinforcing the negative: if your new furry friend is doing something you don’t enjoy, do not reinforce the negative behavior by giving them attention.
Be consistent: make sure the amount of time you spend with your small animal in the beginning will be something you can sustain throughout their lifetime.
Training Your New Pet
Certain small animals can be trained. Rats are one of the most intelligent small animals and can learn to navigate mazes and even walk “tightropes.” Rabbits can be trained to use litter boxes and walk outside on a leash. Guinea pigs can be taught to sit up and beg for food. However, these tricks take continued time and patience to teach your small animal so don’t give up right away. Always use positive reinforcement. If your small animal enjoys being touched, praise him with extra cuddling. If your pet is food motivated, grab a favorite treat.
Signs of a Healthy Pet:
Clear bright eyes
Smooth shiny coat
Eats regularly throughout the day
Interactive and curious attitude
When to See a Veterinarian:
Appetite loss along with weight loss
Abnormal feces or diarrhea
Discharge from nostrils or mouth along with irregular breathing