Learn how to exercise your small furry pets with Daventry Vets

Just like with all mammals, keeping your small furry pets exercised is essential for their physical and mental wellbeing. Daventry Vets have put together their advice on how best to exercise your small furry pets.

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Exercise in their enclosure

Whether you have a hamster, gerbil, pet mouse or a fancy rat, most small furries love to play and explore. Check out our Daventry vet nurses’ exercise suggestions below.

  • Exercise wheels: A wheel is a must-have for most small furry pets*. Choose an appropriate-sized exercise wheel that is made for your type of pet and allows your pet to run without arching their back and make sure the surface is solid to prevent injuries.
  • Climbing structures: Our vet nurses recommend providing climbing opportunities, such as ropes, branches and ladders to help your pet exercise and explore vertical spaces.
  • Toys: opt for interactive toys specifically for hamsters, gerbils, mice and rats, and rotate them regularly to avoid boredom. Enrichment toys and tunnels/balls will provide your pet with hours of entertainment.

*It’s important to know that exercise wheels are too dangerous for guinea pigs and should not be used, nor should climbing structures that cannot support their body shapes and weight.

Exercise outside of their enclosure

All small furry pets can become bored which is why it’s essential to vary your hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, rabbit and pet mice and rats’ exercise activities. You can achieve this through time outside of their housing with these aids:

  • Playpen: Setting up an external playpen or enclosure where your pet can explore and play outside of their cage. Use tunnels, hideouts, and toys to create an enriching environment.
  • Obstacle course: Create a mini obstacle course using cardboard boxes, tunnels, and small toys. Encourage your pet to navigate through the obstacles for mental stimulation and exercise.
  • Hide and seek: Our vet nurses advise that your small furries will love this one – hide small treats or pieces of fresh vegetables around your pet’s enclosure. This stimulates their natural foraging instincts and keeps them active and happy.
  • Supervised outdoor time: If your pet can safely enjoy outdoor time, consider taking them outside in a secure, escape-proof playpen or harness. Ensure they are protected from predators lurking in and around Daventry and environmental hazards.
  • Social interaction: Many small furry pets are social animals (usually except hamsters) and benefit from interacting with their owners. Gently handle and play with your pet to provide mental and physical stimulation.

Remember that small furry pets have varying exercise needs and preferences and it is important to tailor their exercise routine to their species and individual personalities. We love the products from Oxbow

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Keeping small furry pets happy during firework season in Northamptonshire

As firework season gets underway, it’s important we help our small furry pets to get through as stress-free as possible. If you have a small furry pet that normally lives outside, then read on to understand what Daventry Vets’ nursing team advise owners to organise ahead of firework displays in Northamptonshire.

If you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact us.

Why does my small furry pet need to come inside during fireworks season?

There are a number of reasons why our Daventry veterinary nurses recommend bringing your outdoor kept small furry pets inside in a cool room of your house, or a shed or garage when it’s firework season Once indoors, you can help decrease the noise and flashes by closing curtains and leaving the lights on in a house. If you are unable to bring the hutch inside turn it against the wall to decrease the flashes you can also cover it with a blanket, but remember to check there is still good ventilation.

1. Noise sensitivity

Small furry pets have highly sensitive hearing which helps them to avoid predators in the wild. Due to the loud, sudden noises produced by fireworks, it can be extremely distressing. Our vet nurses want Northamptonshire pet owners to understand that exposure to loud noises can lead to anxiety and panic in small pets.

2. Your pet’s flight response

Your pet could be at risk of injury due to their natural ‘flight’ response. If your pet feels threatened or stressed, they could try to escape their cage/enclosure.

3. Reduced comfort and security

Small pets rely on their own familiar environment for comfort and security – fireworks change this environment and disrupt their sense of safety. Give them boxes to hide in, deep bedding to help decrease the noise, their favourite toys to play with, favourite treats and always keep them in their bonded pair or group.

To discuss your own small furry pet with our team this firework season, contact Daventry Vets on 01327 877767.

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