A hamster peeking out of a little log.

The metaphor of a hamster running on a spinning will is used to describe moments of repeating the same action without actually getting anywhere. While this is mostly used to describe people, many pets experience similar sensations.

Dogs and cats might get a little stir crazy, but they tend to have more room to roam than pocket pets. They also tend to get more physical attention and affection from their owners. Pocket pets, however, live much smaller, more sedentary lives, often within the walls of a cage or aquarium. Because of this, pocket pets are more susceptible to health issues, many of which are of the mental variety.

The pocket pet veterinarians at Elmhurst Animal Care Center want to help our clients provide the best lives for all pets big and small. Here are some ways to ensure your pocket pets are living their best lives:

The Need To Roam

Being confined to a small living space can be tough for anyone, even small animals. Most pet owners do not enhance a pocket pet’s living space with comfortable additions. Unfortunately, a lot of pocket pet owners also neglect to take the pets out of the cages to enjoy some quality time with the family, which can lead to loneliness.

Without the proper care and stimulation, pocket pets are likely to develop behavioral issues like:

  • Increased aggression towards humans or other pets
  • Biting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Overgrooming
  • Appetite changes
  • Pica

We know you love your pets and want to keep them happy and healthy. Allowing your pocket pet to have enrichment and socialization is an integral element to their overall well-being.

What You Can Do For Pocket Pet Mental Health

One of the most important aspects of proper pocket pet care is to do some research on what your specific pet needs and wants. Different species have different care requirements. Some species do better on their own, for example, while others need to have companionship.

We advise any new pet owner to schedule a wellness exam so you can ask questions about the best way to care for your new pocket pet.

Yes, even pocket pets need veterinary wellness care. Spending time with your pet and your veterinarian can help you form a safe and healthy bond.

Be sure to ask and understand the following:

  • What type of cage or enclosure is best for your pet
  • Whether your pet will thrive with or without companions of the same species
  • Which toys or chewing surfaces you should provide
  • If your pet likes human interaction and can, possibly, get along with other pets in the home
  • Whether your pet can safely roam outside of its cage or go outside (supervised, of course)
  • What dietary requirements your pet has and which foods you should absolutely avoid

Elmhurst Pocket Pet Veterinarians

As a pocket pet owner, our pocket pet veterinarians want you to truly understand the needs of your pet. Toys, engaging features in their homes, and socialization are all important for the mental health of your pocket pet. Call us at (630) 530-1900 to learn more.