Hamsters and other rodents need space and playful stimuli to thrive


By AGENCY

A small, cosy retreat is essential for guinea pigs, but only as part of much larger enclosure. — dpa

Guinea pigs and hamsters are comparatively small, but they still need plenty of room to run around - more than most would assume.

Animal welfare campaigners say rodent pets like hamsters and guinea pigs are typically sold with or kept in cages or enclosures that are simply far too small.

“This is very common, and it’s really not good for these species, ” says Daniela Rickert from Germany’s Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare (tvt). “As a rule, commercial enclosures are always too small, ” says Rickert.

Since the enclosures your local pet shop will offer you are likely too small, there is only one thing you can do as a pet owner, says Rickert. “Really, you should build your own.”

For keeping two to four guinea pigs, for example, she recommends a floor space of at least 2sq m, while other animal welfare experts say even more. For each additional animal, the area must be increased by at least 0.5sq m.

Rodents have a strong need for movement and are eager to constantly discover something new, so they need space and playful stimuli such as running wheels, tree hollows or other hiding places.

Your pet shop should be advising you to bring your gerbils or chinchillas home to a setting that is species-appropriate.

People who buy these kinds of animals on impulse are also often completely uninformed about the needs of their new pets, she says. – dpa

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Pet cage , pet health , guinea pig , hamster , rodent

   

Next In Living

More than 5,000 tonnes of extraterrestrial dust falls to Earth every year
Listen to the music of a spider's web
Biodiversity 'hot spots' devastated in warming world
Are guinea pigs the perfect pandemic pet? Not quite, experts say
Eating less meat can have significant impact on carbon emissions, says WWF study
When it comes to cleaning your car, what's on the inside counts
French winemakers count cost of 'worst freezing in decades'
Passion for pigeons persists in Arab world
Big Smile, No Teeth: What will our lives be like in 20 years?
Dear Thelma: We are in love but he is already in an arranged marriage

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers