Housing your small animal

You will need to decide which type of cage you want for your small animal before bringing it home. Hamsters and gerbils both can be housed in a variety of cages, from 10 gallon (or more) aquariums to plastic cages with tubes for them to play in. There are also cages made of metal bars on top of a plastic base, but you must be sure that your hamster or gerbil can not fit between the bars.

Most plastic cages for small animals are a dangerous option because small animals love to chew! Gerbils and hamsters are notorious for chewing their way out of plastic cages and escaping into your house. Glass cages, or aquariums, are very easy to clean, and you can always watch your pet, too!

Both gerbils and hamsters should have a wheel in their cage which is completely solid so their little feet, and gerbils' tails, don't get caught in a wire bottom. Both should also have plenty of material, cardboard or small pieces of wood, to chew in order to keep their teeth from getting too long.

Bedding is another thing that needs to be considered before choosing a small animal. Paper or wood-based cat litter are good choices, though Aspen shavings are also a good choice. There is a large debate about using Pine wood shavings in small animals' cages - some say the fumes from the pine lead to upper respiratory diseases while others have been using Pine bedding for years with no apparent problems. This is your decision to make, though with the many other options available, there is no real need to take the chance with your pets' life.

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How to choose a small animal

Small animal choice


Choosing a dog is a very big decision, and not one to be made lightly. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether a dog is right for you and your family.

Full dog info


Choosing a cat is an important decision as you will be bringing a new member of the family home.

Full cat info


Although rabbits are a small animal, they require more care than many people realize.

Full rabbit info