Pocket Pets Are Popular And Playful
While many of us think of pets in the terms of dogs and cats, pocket pets are a growing segment of the pet community. The term pocket pets refer to small mammals, mostly members of the rodent family. Mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats and hamsters are among the small animals which continue to captivate animal lovers.
In spite of their diminutive size, pocket pets can make an interesting addition to any home. Even though they do not fetch or make good guard animals, pocket pets can be fun and educational.
Cute is the word I hear most often to describe these furry little pets. Considered pests by some, pocket pets display behavioral traits unique to their species and an entire market has sprung up around their care and feeding. From toys, treats and habitats, owners of pocket pets have a wide variety of choices when it comes to raising and keeping these small animals. Just as owning any animal comes with responsibilities, the care of rodents takes patience and knowledge of the species.
Providing a proper habitat and diet are the primary duties of any pet owner and pocket pets are no exception. Disease management and socialization are also key components to properly caring for these tiny animals. Most mammals exhibit a desire to play and pocket pets are no exception. As with any pet, socialization with humans goes a long way towards creating a mutual bond and feeling of trust.
Responding to the growth in the pocket pet market, suppliers and manufacturers are offering products specifically designed for small animals. Specialized food stuffs are a must for pocket pets, though owners can provide a certain amount of common vegetables and fruits as a supplement. Just like horses like carrots, apples, and in the case of my horse, beer, rodents enjoy a little variety. As with many animals large and small, certain foods can pose a health hazard. When in doubt about what constitutes a proper diet for your pocket pal, consult a veterinary professional for advice.
The enclosure or habitat should provide a ready source of water and a clean place to nest. Some small mammals will use the same location for droppings so the area must be cleaned on a regular basis. Contrary to common belief, rodents will preen and clean themselves, in much the same way a cat primps and grooms itself.
Small animals can make a great first pet for young children, providing a terrific tool for teaching the proper care and handling of pets. The lessons learned at a young age can carry over into adulthood, fostering a respect for animals and the responsibilities of pet ownership. Depending on the age of the child, it is important that the animal be handled carefully and always under the supervision of an adult.
Many mammals are playful creatures and pocket pets are no exception. Exercise wheels and small chew toys will help keep your pocket pal occupied and the activity will contribute to good health. Besides, pocket pets are just fun to watch.
Small rodents are quite susceptible to parasitic and respiratory diseases and there is an ongoing debate over whether humans area at risk. This is where the advice of a qualified veterinary professional comes in handy. Some of the dangers to the animal can come from exposure to common household chemicals and ingredients in products such as animal litter and bedding materials. The respiratory systems of small rodents are quite delicate and exposure to cedar oils are said to cause problems.
Before making the decision to buy a gerbil, rat, mouse hamster or other pocket pet, check out pocket pet adoption. Just like dogs, cats and other household pets, some people find themselves unable of unwilling to care for the animal. The same is true for pocket pets and there are a number of pocket pet rescue and adoption agencies. Lots of animals need good homes, love and attention, so consider adoption before you buy.