5 Tips for Travelling Safely with Pets This Christmas

Choosing The Right Small Animal To Join Your Family

Small pets are cute and cuddly, but that’s about as far as the similarities go. Understand the care responsibilities for different types of caged pets.

Pets are known to offer significant benefits for children, both in their mental and physical development. Spending time with an animal companion provides comfort, opportunity for social interactions as well as boosting the immune system of children. Dogs and cats are the most popular types of pets to own, but there has been an increase in the number of households to own caged pets such as rabbits, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs in comparison to thirty years ago. Whilst these smaller animals may appear an easy care option for families, they’re actually quite a responsibility.

Offering The Right Environment

Before deciding on the type of caged pet you wish to adopt, be sure to consider the amount of space you have to offer. Some pets thrive by living in a large outdoor hutch style of enclosure such as a Wendy House – this would suit rabbits or guinea pigs for example. Others, such as gerbils, mice or rats are quite happy in smaller cages which can be kept indoors.

Extra Care During Winter

In both cases, when the temperature drops during the winter months, you’ll need to take steps to ensure that your pet is kept comfortable and healthy. Outdoor hutches should be sheltered from the elements, meaning that rain or snow shouldn’t enter their enclosure. When this becomes difficult to police, consider bringing them inside your house – either into a porch or conservatory space which doesn’t get as warm as the rest of your house.  For both indoor and outdoor pets, it would be sensible to offer extra bedding for your furry friends to snuggle into when there’s a colder period.

Pets To Handle

Children who are looking for a pet to enjoy cuddles with, should avoid gerbils as they’re quite small and tricky to handle. Hamsters can be a disappointment as they’re often nocturnal, whereas guinea pigs offer a fantastic option as they’re gentle and love to be stroked.

Companionship

Many caged pets like to spend time with a companion, but the rules about choosing a hutch-mate can be particularly complex. For example, gerbils should be kept together in even numbers to reduce fighting. Dwarf hamsters love to be kept in pairs, whereas Syrian hamsters are entirely solitary and shouldn’t be kept alongside other pets. Rabbits are highly sociable, so long as they live with other rabbits; but if you try to keep them with guinea pigs, then unfortunately the latter can end up harmed. Be sure to consider your existing caged pets, if any, before you bring any further furry friends home.

Nutritious Diet

Each type of caged pet has different, but very specific dietary requirements that must be taken into consideration. The local pet shop in Wickford asserts that if you’re hoping to involve your child in feeding your pet, then it’s essential that they understand the importance of only offering the animal pre-approved food.

As with all types of pet ownership, caring for a caged pet requires a great deal of thought and research before you jump in. If you’re buying a pet for the family, then consider how much you’ll want to involve your children and be aware that their interest in helping out may decrease over the years.