Tag Archives: pet care

Tips for Making Your Rat Feel Less Lonely

It isn’t just dogs and cats that can get lonely. Other critters are prone to loneliness too! Rats are especially prone to feeling blue if they don’t get enough social interaction.

How do you make your rat feel less lonely? Here are some tips from a professional veterinary clinic.

Get your rat a cage mate

The easiest and best way to help your rat through his loneliness is to get him a cage mate! These rodents are very social, so your little critter would love to have a friend!

Fortunately, having one more rat isn’t that much more of a burden either. It only amounts to a few extra dollars of food each month, and chances are, you won’t need a bigger cage.

Choosing the right companion is important! You shouldn’t mix genders if you don’t want to end up with little rattie babies. If you have an older rodent, you may want to get a pair of babies so they have someone to play with when your existing rat gets tired.

Introductions are important too! Keep them separate at first and provide them with supervision when they interact. When things seem to be going well, you can place them in the same cage together.

Spend more time with your furry friend

Sometimes, getting a companion isn’t an option. If another rat is out of the question, it’s up to you to provide your furry friend with the companionship he needs.

Start by placing the cage in a popular area of the house. That way he can hear the comings and goings of your family.

You will have to take your furry friend out of the cage as much as you possibly can. Let your rat ride on your shoulder as you walk through the house and snuggle with him on the couch while you watch TV.

If you’re having a hard time keeping track of your critter, consider getting a mesh fanny pack! Place a soft washrag in the bottom and you’ve got a comfortable, portable cage that your rattie can travel in!

Looking for a place where you can adopt another rat? Or maybe you’re looking for more tips on how you can make your pet feel more like a member of your family? No matter what your questions, your veterinary clinic has answers, so give them a call! For more details visit here- http://topdvm.com/


The Best Ways to Help Your Child Take Care of Their Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are popular pets among children. Not only are they cute, there’s just something about having an animal of your very own that you don’t have to share with the rest of the family.

Unfortunately, children don’t always think about what it takes to take care of their critter. They may promise to take care of it, but they are probably going to need your help.

A professional veterinarian has you covered! Here are a few ideas that will help ensure our child continues to take care of their pet.

Make sure expectations are clear

The first thing you have to do is make sure your expectations are clear. If you expect your child to clean the cage, make sure you tell them. They key is to make sure your child can’t possibly say they didn’t know to do XYZ.

Then, make sure there are consequences for not adhering to your expectations. For example, three in fractures could mean that their cousin gets to keep the guinea pig instead.

Remind your child of their duties

Even the most well-meaning kids can forget about their chores, and the younger they are, the more likely they are to forget. Caring for a guinea pig is a big responsibility, and it’s your responsibility to remind your child of that fact.

Consider creating a chore schedule so that daily chores are clear. You can also use verbal reminders to make sure your child is giving his guinea pig food and water like he’s supposed to.

Be willing to step in and help

You may say the guinea pig is your child’s responsibility, but as the adult in the house, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure the animal is healthy and happy, even if your child gets distracted and forgets to clean the cage.

If you notice that the guinea pig is out of the water, it’s cruel to leave his water bottle empty until your child gets home from school. Cooperate with your child to take care of their pet. For example, they may always forget to refill the water bottle, so that can be your job, but they never forget to clean the cage on Sunday evening.

Use your veterinarian as a resource to learn more ways to encourage your child to take care of their pet.

Funny Quirks That Are Common Among Guinea Pigs

There are a few things you are likely to expect from your pet based on what you know about animals. Dogs will bark when a squirrel runs across the lawn, cats purr when they’re happy, and some birds will sing. However, there are also quirks that come as a surprise to owners.

That’s especially the case when it comes to guinea pigs! Chances are, you probably didn’t know these quirks were common among these animals, especially if you’re a first-time owner.


Cats purr, so it might not be all that surprising to learn that guinea pigs do the same. What you might not be expecting is to feel your furry little friend start vibrating when you pet his back!

A professional animal hospital wants you to know that Guinea pigs are very expressive critters. In addition to their vocalizations, they have also been known to vibrate. The challenge is knowing whether your pet is vibrating because he’s happy or he’s anxious.

If your pig vibrates, purrs, and rubs against your hand for more affection, you can feel confident that your critter loves the attention. If his vibrations are accompanied by scurrying or kicking, it’s probably a good idea not to pet him that way again.


Guinea pigs aren’t very quick critters. How could they be, with large barrel-like bodies and short, stumpy legs. That’s why it comes as a huge surprise that these animals can really get some air when they’re excited!

When guinea pigs are overjoyed, they will jump into the air. It’s quite a sight, so it’s referred to as popcorning. If your pet engages in this behavior, it will surely bring a smile to your face!

Hissing and shrieking

Not all your guinea pigs quirks are a good thing. There are also some clear signs to be on the lookout for that mean your pet isn’t happy.

Guinea pigs hiss, just like cats do, and like our feline friends, it isn’t a good sign. Shrieking isn’t a good sign either, although you are likely to hear your pet do it from time to time. It means he’s unhappy, but sometimes it can’t be helped. For example, your critter might scream out in exasperation every time you bring him into your local animal hospital, but that doesn’t mean you should stop making appointments!

Quick Tips for Training Your Rat

Although there are limits to what you can train a rat to do, a professional vet clinic says that their trainability remains underappreciated. You can train your pet to come when called, go to the bathroom in a litter box inside the cage, and you can even train your furry little friend to do fun tricks, like jump through a hoop!

You just have to make sure you get your training technique down. Here are a few quick tips that are sure to help you train your rat in a jiffy.

Get the treat just right

It should come as no surprise that rats are very food motivated. You can get them to do all kinds of things by using treats, but that doesn’t mean all treats are created equal.

Different rats have different preferences. You might find that your critter is more likely to follow your directions if you use a bit of cheese instead of peanuts. Use the reward that your pet is most motivated to earn.

However, you also have to be careful about feeding your pet too much. Favorite treats can be high in fat and calories so you may have to switch out the treats you use to keep your critter healthy.

Keep training sessions short and sweet

Although rats are smart, they do have their limits. These critters can’t sustain their attention for too long, so plan to keep training sessions short.

Just 10 minutes is probably all your rat can handle. You should also integrate training time organically into their playtime, so it’s something fun that they look forward to doing.

Start with easy tricks

Going straight for the hardest, most impressive tricks will just leave you frustrated. Instead, start with easy tricks.

That might mean teaching your rat to come when you call his name or showing him how to use the litter box. Once he has had a chance to learn a few simple tricks, you can try teaching him more complex tricks.

Although there’s no such thing as training classes for rats, you can ask your vet clinic for advice! Not only can they provide you with advice on which tricks to try, they can also show you the proper training techniques to ensure your pet learns his new tricks as quickly as possible.

Make Your Chinchilla Happier With These Tips

There are some things you probably already know about taking care of your chinchilla, but there are probably some things you don’t know, especially when it comes to making sure your furry friend is happy.

Follow these tips from a professional vet clinic and your pet will be as happy as a clam!

Give your chinchilla plenty of space

In the wild, you would find chinchillas living in the mountains. That means these critters are accustomed to having plenty of space. If you try and cram your furry friend in a cage that’s too small, he’s going to get really stressed out.

Your chinchilla needs a cage that is at least three feet long and two feet wide. However, your pet will be even happier if you provide him with more space. That means getting a wider cage, or you can install shelving and multiple levels in your critter’s cage to give him more space.

Provide him with plenty of fresh, dry air

Not only do these mountainous creatures need plenty of space, they also need plenty of fresh air. A wire cage is best because it allows for lots of circulation.

The humidity of the room your pet lives in is important to consider too. Chinchillas can overheat easily, not to mention, their fur is susceptible to fungus in warm environments. A dehumidifier might be needed to keep your pet happy in the summer.

Don’t come on too strong

Chinchillas can grow to enjoy human companionship, but they aren’t born wanting to get to know you and your family. It’s best to back off, especially when you first bring your pet home.

Gradually spend time with your chinchilla when you bring him home instead of bombarding him with attention all at once. You may have to coax your pet with treats to get him to interact with you at first, but after a few weeks, he’ll warm up to spending time with you.

Once your chin is comfortable being held, make sure you take him out of the cage often! He’ll love coming out to explore, which means he’ll be a happier animal.

If you’re worried that your pet isn’t as happy as he could be, schedule an appointment with your local vet clinic and they can make sure there isn’t a medical reason why your critter is unhappy.

Mistakes You’re Probably Making With Your New Puppy

Owning a dog is about a lot more than just providing him with care and affection. If you want your puppy to grow upright, a lot of training is needed.

Unfortunately, many people make mistakes and they don’t even realize they’re making them!

Here are common mistakes that a professional vet clinic sees often, and how to fix them before they become a huge problem.

Using puppy pads

It’s true that puppy pads have some usefulness, but chances are, you’d be better off without them as a training aid.

Many pet parents think that just because they potty train their puppy indoors, he’ll automatically know what to do when he gets outside. That’s not the case. You’ll end up having to potty train your pooch twice. Not to mention, he may decide he prefers going potty inside, which means he’ll relieve himself on your carpets instead of in the grass.

Snuggling your puppy at the first sign of distress

It can be difficult to listen to your puppy whimper or whine. Although you may be tempted to swoop in and save him, you shouldn’t.

Many people make the mistake of cuddling with their puppy in bed for the first few days after bringing him home. Then they get frustrated that their new pet won’t sleep soundly in his crate. It’s much better to stick to your guns from the very beginning.

Letting the puppy behave badly because it’s cute

Everything puppies do is cute. That means they get away with a lot more stuff than they should. That will only make training more difficult later.

It may be cute that your puppy jumps on you every day when you get home from work, but that behavior won’t be so cute when he’s full grown and he jumps on every guest who walks through your door. Put the kibosh on that behavior right away to avoid having to retrain your pooch later.

Taking your puppy out too early

You want to show your puppy off to the entire world, but you could be putting your pooch at risk if you do. Never take a new pet out until he is fully vaccinated to protect him and other animals he may come in contact with.

That means scheduling an appointment with your vet clinic to make sure your puppy is vaccinated!

Cutting Down on the Stinky Smell in Your Rat’s Cage

Animals stink. It doesn’t matter what kind of creature you have. Dogs need baths because they smell and cats have litter boxes that can quickly stink up the home. You’d think that small animals, like rats, wouldn’t smell quite as bad, but they can be stinky too!

If you’re tired of smelling nasty rat odors in your home, follow these tips from a professional veterinarian.

Choose the right bedding

Some bedding is better than others when it comes to odor control. Rats and their owners really like paper bedding. Not only will it keep your critter healthy, it’s easy to pile up in and around the nesting box. Unfortunately, it isn’t very good at odor control.

Wood shavings are much better at controlling odors, but you have to be careful what kind you get. Pine bedding smells good, but it is dusty, which can make it hard for your rat to breathe. Make sure you get aspen bedding. It can help with odor control without negatively affecting your pet’s health.

No one said you have to choose one over the other! Sprinkle aspen shavings in the bottom of the cage for odor control and place paper bedding over the top.

Clean up a little bit every day

You should clean your critter’s cage from top to bottom once a week. That will help reduce lingering odors, but this method doesn’t really get rid of day-to-day odors.

To prevent your home from smelling in the first place, spot clean the cage on a daily basis. That means getting rid of soiled bedding and wiping down potty areas.

You can make your job even easier if you introduce litter boxes. Most rats like to go potty in the same spots. Put a litter tray down in those spots and they can easily be dumped once a day.

Clean up uneaten food

Regular rat food from the pet store won’t cause the cage to stink, but fresh foods will. If you give your rodent a piece of fruit or a few vegetables, make sure you dispose of them after your critter has an hour or two to eat it. If left in the cage, it will make the cage stink!

Your veterinarian can tell you more about how to cut back on nasty rat odors in your home