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Keeping Your Small Companion Animal's Habitat Fresh

Keeping Your Small Companion Animal's Habitat Fresh

A clean rabbit is a healthy rabbit. The same goes for hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils and guinea pigs. And a clean habitat keeps your home smelling fresh. Here are some tips that will help keep your pets healthy and your house smelling great:

Dishes and Water Bottles: Take your small animal’s dishes and water bottles from filthy to fresh with a good scrubbing with hot, soapy water. For faster cleanup, loosen any hardened/stuck on foods by soaking overnight. Always use separate rags/towels to wash your pet’s dishes and bowls. Prefer to use the dishwasher? Remove dried-on food first, then load with your other dishes. The heat of the dishwasher will sterilize the dishes and bottles.

Tip: Have two sets of food dishes and water bottles available. That way, one set can be in use while the other set is being washed. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are an excellent choice because they are durable, won’t stain, are easy to clean and are dishwasher safe. Also, your small animal cannot chew them or otherwise destroy them.

Toys: Many small pet animals, such as mice, rats, gerbils and hamsters, like to chew. Be sure to provide plenty of chewing options, from wooden chew toys and sticks to cardboard tubes and tunnels. Remove soiled/damaged toys regularly. Toys that can withstand washing should be cleaned with mild soap and water.

Habitats: Your small animal will likely relieve itself in one or two corners of its habitat. Scoop out the soiled bedding daily and replace with fresh bedding. Change your pet’s bedding once a week, making sure to remove any food that your pet may have stored, hidden or otherwise not consumed. His habitat, nest box, hideaways and toys all should be thoroughly washed once a month in hot, soapy water. Also, completely disinfect his habitat by adding two to three drops o bleach to one gallon of water, then immerse or wipe the cage, dishes and toys with the solution. Thoroughly rinse all items with hot water to remove all traces of bleach.

Tip: For your pet’s health and safety, discard any toys or hideaways that have become broken, chewed, or have sharp edges. Cardboard tunnels make fun chewing/hiding toys for rats and hamsters, and are easily discarded when cleaning their habitats.