Ensure hamster is pleasant earlier than adopting

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Q: How can we discover a good hamster for our daughter? A pal of hers has a hamster that bites, and we don’t need that. Additionally, do hamsters want vaccinations?

A: Veterinarians typically seek advice from hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats and guinea pigs as pocket pets. As a result of hamsters are nocturnal — they’re lively at night time and sleep throughout the day — and plenty of of them nip, chances are you’ll need to select one other species of pocket pet to your daughter.

Nevertheless, if she’s dedicated to having a hamster, look first at your native animal shelter or pocket pet rescue group. The adoption counselors know every hamster’s temperament and can assist you choose a delicate one with a candy character.

Most hamsters within the U.S. are Syrian hamsters, additionally referred to as golden hamsters. Since they are usually nippy, particularly when not absolutely awake, your daughter ought to all the time be mild and guarantee her pet is able to work together so the hamster learns to play properly. Most hamsters are solitary, so advise your daughter and her pal to not organize play dates with theirs.

Hamsters and different pocket pets don’t require annual vaccinations the way in which cats, dogs and ferrets do, however they need to see the veterinarian for an examination yearly. Your vet can spot issues early, when therapy is almost certainly to achieve success, and can advise about diet and different care.

For instance, most of a hamster’s weight loss plan ought to be rodent block or pellets and contemporary water. Don’t feed rodent social gathering mixes as their seeds and nuts comprise an excessive amount of fats and too little protein and calcium.
Provide a small quantity of hay every day to make sure satisfactory fiber consumption. Give tiny parts of fruits, leafy greens and different greens a few times every week.

Leisure is essential, too. Hamsters get pleasure from tube-shaped toys like cardboard bathroom paper rolls, plastic hideaways that double as sleeping areas, mazes and train wheels. The working floor of the train wheel ought to be strong so your hamster gained’t break a foot by getting it caught within the wheel.

Q: I not too long ago adopted a small mixed-breed spayed feminine pet named Cupid. She’s lovable aside from one disgusting behavior: She eats her personal and different dogs’ poop if I’m not fast sufficient to cease her.

Typically I snuggle along with her and begin to kiss her, solely to be repelled by her poopy breath. What ought to I do?

A: Cupid has coprophagia, Greek for consuming (“-phagia”) feces (“copro-“).
Whereas everybody’s in favor of recycling, coprophagic dogs take the follow a step too far. For one factor, dogs that eat feces additionally ingest no matter parasites and microscopic worm eggs are current in it.

The reason for coprophagia, or coprophagy, is normally behavioral, however it’s essential to rule out bodily causes for Cupid’s behavior. Ask your veterinarian to look at her and do lab work. Take a contemporary fecal pattern for parasite testing.

In case your veterinarian guidelines out bodily causes, Cupid’s coprophagia might be behavioral.
Stroll her on a leash and get rid of her feces instantly after she defecates. Train her to “go away it” so she’ll bypass different dogs’ excrement with out approaching it. Reward her and reward her with a deal with when she turns away from her personal and different dogs’ feces.

Boredom or nervousness can promote coprophagia, so supply protected chew toys and different types of environmental enrichment. If in case you have a fenced yard, stroll Cupid elsewhere a minimum of as soon as every day. If she should exit in her fenced yard alone, match her with a basket muzzle that has a stool guard.

A nutritionally sound weight loss plan and month-to-month deworming are also important in stopping coprophagia. Feed twice every day at constant instances so you’ll be able to predict when Cupid will defecate.

If these measures fail, make an appointment with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.

Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal drugs in North Carolina. Contact her at https://askthevet.pet.

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