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Introducing Your Small Pet

Introducing your small to your family and its new environment is exciting, but should be handled with care.

Getting ready for your small pet

Before introducing your small pet to its new home, you need to prepare your home for the pet. There are all kinds of small pets. Some people like hamsters, others like fish or birds. Though these animals are very different, they have one important thing in common. They all live in cages. This works out well for pet owners because cages keep animals contained. This lessens the chance of your animal getting lost or getting into trouble. There are a few guidelines you should follow for caged pets. Put the cage in an area that is protected from any household predators. This probably means putting the cage up high or in an area a predator can’t touch. Back the cage up against one wall. This makes small animals feel safe and closed in. If you do have a cat or dog, put something heavy, such as a large book, on top of the cage. This makes it much more difficult for large pets to get into the cage.

Know your small pet

Introducing your small pet to a new environment is somewhat traumatic for the new pet. Small pets get used to living in pet stores, shelters or with their breeders. When they’re removed from their environment, they’re confused and scared. To minimize trauma, learn about your small pet before you take it home. Gerbils, for example, are very social animals and like to live together. A gerbil will feel more at home if he’s introduced to a new environment with another gerbil that’s been sharing his cage at the pet store.

Hamsters, on the other hand, can be volatile to one another. Dwarf hamsters can be social, but other types of hamsters prefer to be alone. You should never put two different types of hamsters in the same cage because they will fight. You should know your pet’s social preferences before introducing your small pet to its new environment.

Small pets and other animals

Introducing your small pet to other animals is not a good idea. Small pets are, well, small, which means that they are helpless when surrounded by larger animals. Introducing your small pet to a dog or a cat is big trouble. While a cat will instinctively attack your small pet, a dog may just want to play with your small pet. This is a terrible idea because it could result in a dead small pet. If it doesn’t result in immediate death, your small pet will experience extreme trauma and it might not recover from the experience. Stick to introducing your small pet to other small animals it gets along with.