HAMSTERS, GERBILS, MICE AND RATS
Care for these rodents is basically the same. Square meal lab blocks are the ideal food for all of them. It's made by Sun Seed and has lots of vitamins and minerals in it. It is also a great way for them to chew and keep their teeth in good shape.
The Hamster seed can be fed to all of the above, but it's more of a treat then actual food. Here we feed square meal and a little seed to each animal daily.
The dwarf hamsters such as Chinese dwarf or Russian dwarf should only have the square meal. Do not feed seed to the dwarf hamsters. Veggies like lettuce and carrot can cause diarrhea, so stick to the square meal blocks or any treat found at the pet shop made specifically for hamsters.
Be sure they get fresh water daily. Some hamsters when stressed can come down with wet tail, a type of diarrhea. If you see that, it needs to be treated immediately. We carry medicine for that. Very important not to drop the animal. A short fall can cause injury or death. Be sure young children are supervised when handling. I really don't suggest any veggies or fruits as it could cause diarrhea.
Hamsters generally live 2 to 3 years, same with gerbils and mice. Rats can live a little longer then that.
AS far as pets, rats make excellent pets,can become very friendly.
Mice are a bit harder to tame. Chinese dwarf hamsters are the friendliest of the rodents. very tame. and the teddy bear hamsters or reg bear hamsters usually become more and more tame as you work with them. One more important note, be sure
never use cedar bedding as many rodents are allergic to it and they can get sick and die. Use a good quality pine or the recycled newspaper bedding.
BUNNIES AND GUINEA PIGS.
Most important, be sure rabbits get rabbit food and guinea pigs get guinea pig food. Guinea pig food has vitamin c in it which is important for them. rabbits do not need it. So feed them the appropriate foods.
When picking up a bunny, put your hands under the stomach and the other hand under their butt and back legs. It's important to support the bunny's back end. If they kick hard and it's not supported, they can injure their back and die.
Some places may say leafy greens and some veggies are good for them, but I don't agree. I have had many many customers tell me their bunny or guinea pig died and the veterinarian told them it was from too many veggies. Better to feed timothy hay which is good for them and won't hurt them.
Bunnies and g pigs should eat twice a day and be given fresh water daily. For bedding use a good quality pine that isn't dusty or any of the new recycled newspaper bedding. Sun Seed makes fresh world which is good. Do not use cedar. Many animals are allergic to cedar and they can die. Also be careful because some of the big Department store chains sell pine but it has cedar mixed in.
Be sure bunnies and g. pigs have cages big enough for them to be comfortable. 36x14x18 or something like that is adequate.
And of course, get your bunny or g. pig out and play with them.
They are very personable animals and like attention.
I always recommend just one as they will then bond to the human and thus be more friendly.
Bunnies can live 7 or 8 years and g pigs 5 to 6 years generally speaking.
Some people keep bunnies outside in a garage or shed as they don't mind it a little bit cooler, but don't just buy a bunny and stick him in a garage. He would have to get used to the lower temps gradually. Guinea pigs do not really like it cold and can catch colds and respiratory issues.
CHINCHILLAS. Come in a variety of colors and are quite hardy and long lived, up to 25 years old. Be sure to feed pellets that are made specifically for chinchillas. do not feed them rabbit or g. pig food. Chinchillas also like timothy hay and it is good for them as it breaks up any hairballs they might get. Again use a good quality pine, not cedar. Chinchillas clean themselves by rolling around in a dust bath. There are several brands on the market, and all seem to be ok.
When you hold them, your oils get on their fur so by rolling around in the dust bath, it cleans off the oils. The dust wears off and they are nice and soft and fluffy in no time.
Chinchillas are great jumpers, so be careful when picking them up. I hold them similar to how you should hold a rabbit.
They make 2 and 3 tiered cages for chinchillas as they like to jump around. I do not advise those cages anymore. In the past several years, I have had quite a lot of people say their chinchilla fell off the top tier and broke a leg or arm.
So I am thinking those cages may be a bad idea even though they look like a great chinchilla cage.
If you want to do a treat, purchase one of the many chinchilla safe treats that are on the market. I sell a lot of them.
Some people do raisins but they are very sugary and sometimes the chinchilla will stop eating his pellet and only want raisins which isn't good.
Again do not use cedar bedding.
They make a chinchilla wheel and a large chinchilla ball which are great because it gives the chinchilla exercise.
Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckos, chameleons all have similiar care.
One main thing is Temperature. You should have 85 or so during the day and 70ish at night.
They make red and also black bulbs which you can use at night if your house temperature is cool at night.
You don't want a white bulb shining on them all night. They want to sleep and a bright light prohibits that.
I use a heat rock. People hear that it can burn an animal. Rarely does a heat rock get too hot. Usually when they go bad, they just stop working and go cold. Still, you should check them each day to be sure they are not too hot or too cold. The heat rock is good because the reptile sits on them for body warmth and to help in food digestion. They cannot sit on an undertank heater.
I find the undertank heaters can get really hot. They go under the tank and the glass gets hot, so be careful with them. I think they are much more likely to burn a reptile. Again, check them daily.
Most lizards need the true florescent UVB bulb. This gives them the true uvb they would normally get from the sun. The uvb bulb is needed for bone development and growth.It helps them process the calcium they need. So you want to be sure you dust the lizards food with calcium powder a couple times a week.
The exception is the leopard gecko. They are desert animals and usually hide all day and come out at night so uvb not as important.
Iguanas are veggie eaters. Feed lots of dark leafy greens.
KALE, ESCAROLE, ROMAINE, RED LEAF, COLLARDS, DANDELION GREENS are all good.
Some carrot, summer squash, apple, strawberries ok too. But mainly dark greens.
The bearded dragons may eat some leafy greens, go ahead and try it on them, it's good for them. However the beardeds will like crickets and meal worms the best.
Both Iguanas and Beardeds have a pelleted food you can buy.
Some like it some don't but be sure to try it. It's good for them if they'll eat it. Remember reptile are cold blooded, they need warmth. If they are too cold, they will not eat.
Always give your reptile a nice dish of clean water every day.
As far as bedding, I prefer the carpet. That way nothing gets in their mouth. They make calcium sands and bark and aspen for bedding options. However if they should swallow too much of that, it could be bad. So I stick to the carpet. Its easy to use and clean. And nothing will get in their mouth.
as always if any questions give us a call 753-9213
Usually the only snakes I sell here are ball pythons and corn snakes. They are the friendliest and easiest to care for, and neither get very big.
A 20 gallon tank with an undertank heater and a dome light on top works great. A 10 gallon is ok when they are babies.
Supply a big bowl of water daily and once again, the carpet is ideal. When the snake eats, it won't get any bedding in its mouth. For baby snakes, My breeder suggests having one side of your tank very warm, upper 80's and the other side of the tank 78 or so. Young snakes need a really warm side of the tank in order to do well.
Some snakes eat once a week. Some may eat more often, some may eat less often. See how it goes.
Some snakes will eat frozen mice and rats and some will not. There again, you'll have to see how it goes.
Amphibians, such as fire belly toads, newts, tree frogs, pac man frogs etc.
Be sure the tank is damp. Using something like forest floor works good. I always dampen ours here at the store each day.
I also have a large dish of water in their cage and I change it daily.
Newts usually only eat in the water, so you may have to add some food to the water when you feed. Newts love freeze dried blood worms. Tree frogs and fire belly toads like crickets the best.
Always feed your frogs , newts, toads daily. all animals eat daily in the wild so it's important you stick to that.
As far as temperature, be sure it's not too cold. Amphibians don't do well when it's too cold. If you want to warm the tank they are in, a small undertank heater would help or a low wattage heat lamp on top. Too high of a heat lamp may dry them out so be careful of that.
AS ALWAYS IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS On Any of the above animals, call us 607 753 9213 or email me at [email protected]