Health Care and Maintenance

While it's true that small animals require little maintenance, they depend on their owners for food, a clean and safe shelter, and exercise. Small animals have small appetites, but make sure to provide them their favorite foods on a daily basis and make sure clean, fresh water is always available. Hygiene is essential to good health - regularly clean and disinfect cage, beddings, and utensils.

Unknown to many, small animals need exercise outdoors too. It is in small animal's nature to roam, so constantly confining them can lead to behavioral and health problems. They become bored and listless. Let them out of their cage for a couple hours each day, but make sure there's no slightest opening to slip through. Be aware of the signs of illness - runny nose, lethargy, cloudy eyes, shedding, or wound. If such symptoms are present, bring your pet immediately to a veterinarian for proper care.

Pocket pets are fragile and delicate, so extra care should be given when handling them. The key is to approach them slowly. Startle them and they might become aggressive. Different species require different way of handling, so learn them before bringing your pet home. Hold a rabbit by putting one hand under the chest and holding the hind legs with the other. Rabbits don't like being restrained for long, so when they start shivering, put them down again. Despite what you see on television, never pick mice by the tail.

Lastly, make sure you pocket pet gets regular veterinary checkup. While most don't require vaccinations, they age more quickly than other pet animals so regular veterinary checkups are of prime importance.



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