pocket pet carePocket pets have grown in popularity over recent years, due to changing household dynamics, allergies, and improved access to these special animals. Hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas, ferrets, rabbits, sugar gliders, and even hedgehogs round out the list of common pocket pets. Being small is certainly part of their charm, but the basics of pocket pet care are still a big responsibility.

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center offer the following tips to ensure the brightest future for your pint-sized friend.

The Right Paw

Annual wellness checks aren’t just for cats and dogs. Pocket pet care must include regular veterinary exams. We can ensure long-term health via vaccinations, dental care, and disease prevention. Spaying or neutering your pocket pets not only helps toward the prevention of unwanted litters, but it can also reduce certain health conditions and behavioral problems.

Healthy and Active

There is a prevailing assumption that pocket pets don’t require veterinary support or medical intervention. Sure, they are smaller than typical four-legged pets and remain mostly in a cage or enclosure most of the time. This lifestyle reduces exposure to danger, but disease prevention must remain a primary concern

External parasites, such as lice, fleas, and mites, or internal parasites like giardia, are greatly reduced with routine wellness examinations.


Finding the right house for your pocket pet will be determined by the size and lifestyle of your pet. You want to make sure it provides adequate ventilation, enough space to really move around in, and is easy for you to clean.

Poor housing scenarios can lead to illness or early mortality. With the right choice in bedding that is carefully rotated out and cleaned, and a carefully maintained temperature, your furry friend can reach a level of comfort, security, and health.

The Right Choice

Pocket pet care hinges upon proper nutrition. A single food will not address all dietary needs. For example, rabbits should be given high-quality pellets, in addition to timothy hay and fresh, crunchy vegetables all in a given day. While your pocket pet’s nutritional needs are unique to him or her, all animals need a complete and balanced diet. Fresh, clean water should routinely be added.

The Lines Around Pocket Pet Care

Your pocket pet is a social, intelligent mammal that thrives in good company. These pets require interactive play and well-designed toys. Some pet owners will adopt more than one pet at a time in order to support companionship. However, The Pet Experts encourage daily exercise and stimulation for optimal health and well-being.

Disease and Life Expectancy

Many pocket pets need professional attention to their teeth and nails. Always keep an eye out for loss of appetite, diarrhea, lumps and bumps, and vomiting in your pocket pet. It’s not uncommon for a pocket pet to endure an illness until it advances to eventual fatality.

Most pocket pets can live up to five years, but others, like chinchillas, guinea pigs, and rabbits, can live upwards of a decade. Click here for a full list of pets we provide care for. If you have any questions or concerns related to pocket pet care, the team at The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center is here for you.