Guarantee a Hamster Is Pleasant Earlier than Adopting


Q: How will we discover a good hamster for our daughter? A good friend 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 energetic at evening and sleep through the day—and plenty of of them nip, you could 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 mild one with a candy persona.

Most hamsters in the US are Syrian hamsters, additionally referred to as golden hamsters. Since they are typically nippy, particularly when not absolutely awake, your daughter ought to all the time be light 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 good friend to not prepare 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 remedy is most certainly to achieve success, and can advise about vitamin and different care.

For instance, most of a hamster’s weight-reduction plan must be rodent blocks or pellets and contemporary water. Don’t feed rodent celebration mixes, as their seeds and nuts comprise an excessive amount of fats and too little protein and calcium.

Supply a small quantity of hay each day to make sure satisfactory fiber consumption. Give tiny parts of fruits, leafy greens, and different greens a few times every week.

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

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

Generally 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, but it surely’s necessary 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. Educate 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 anxiousness can promote coprophagia, so provide protected chew toys and different types of environmental enrichment. In case you have a fenced yard, stroll Cupid elsewhere no less than 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-reduction plan and month-to-month deworming are also important in stopping coprophagia. Feed twice each 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.


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