by John Woods
Our furry friends need a lot of love and care. This is especially important for our smaller friends, like rabbits, hamsters, and other such creatures. It’s entirely natural that you want the best for your little pets, and giving them a beautiful, hospitable habitat is precisely what they need. Here we’ve put together six expert tips on how to set up a cozy habitat for your small pet.
1. Give them plenty of space
First things first, you want to give them a lot of space. We suggest you get a cage that is at least six times the size of your pet. Investing in a lovely rabbit hutch or hamster cage such as a Habitrail Cristal with some extra amenities will undoubtedly be appreciated by your pet. And don’t just get the first thing you see. You want something that lasts, something that they can move around in.
Small animals cooped up in a small space can lead to a myriad of issues. Stress, diseases, aggression, losing their fur, all of this can be caused by a sense of claustrophobia animals can feel.
2. Don’t use wires or mesh
Wires or mesh can hurt your pet’s feet and can lead to infections. Use hay or some other materials recommended by your vet. Shredded newspaper is also typical, as is recycled pulp, or food-grade bedding.
Furthermore, there are other things to keep in mind, depending on what kind of pet you have. For example, if you want to focus on keeping your hedgehog happy, you want to use paper-based bedding. Using wood shavings, for example, will cause respiratory issues for your cute prickly pet. You also might need to get a different kind of bedding, in case your pet is ill or has some allergies or other health issues.
3. Learn about your pet’s habits and personality
Learning how your pet acts and behaves is vital for proper care and habitat setup. For example, you might need to rearrange how the cage is set up and made out. Maybe they like to nap in sunny spots (or maybe they dislike the sun). Perhaps they like their cage elevated a bit, or perhaps they prefer something lower.
You should also give your pet specific treats if you notice they’ve been behaving well (or if they’ve been down in the dumps a bit). Take note of the treats they like as well.
Administering meds, or cleaning out their cages, is also a lot easier if you know and understand your pet. Will they bite you or scratch you, or will they come peacefully? Maybe they need to be bribed with a treat, or perhaps all you need to do is give them extra attention.
4. Keep it cozy and fun
You want to have the habitat be as cozy and as inviting as possible. Get a blanket, or maybe a specialized rabbit (or hamster or hedgehog or chinchilla…) bed. Sometimes all you need is a comfy towel.
Next, you want to get some toys. Hamster wheels for your little balls of fur, or maybe some unique toys for your rabbit is what you need to focus on. Chew toys, apple sticks, anything that gets them working and wearing down their teeth. Lots of animals like chewing on things. Gnawing on something is an activity that is vital for their dental and oral health. Have appropriate water bowls or water bottles. Using a hanging water bottle is the best option, though, because it’s far away from food and feces, staying clean for a long time.
5. Be thorough
Whether you are setting up a proper fish tank, getting a rabbit hutch, a nice den for your hedgehogs, or whatever other comfy areas you are working on, you want to be as thorough as possible. Clean everything often, and don’t do it halfway. Replace the material on the floor, and clean the cage with a 4:1 vinegar-water solution.
Take your time and form a relationship with your pet. Patience, regular playtimes, bonding, and talking softly to your pets will get you closer. Approach them slowly before you start cuddling them, and maybe wait a bit until they come to you.
Be gentle, though. Always pick up your pets with both hands, and put them down just as gently. Also, avoid doing this when they’re sleeping. Think about it – would you like it if you were picked up by a huge, hairless giant while you’re counting zzz’s?
And there you have it folks, a couple of tips on how to best set up your small pet’s habitat. Whether it’s a bunny, a hamster, or some other little creature, know that you need to be thorough and loving to take care of it. You have to learn your animal’s habit, give it lots of space, choose the right materials, and finally, bond a bit.
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