Owning a pocket pet will surely bring a lot of joy and entertainment into your life, but there are also a handful of important responsibilities within small animal care that you must keep in mind. Whether you own a guinea pig, rabbit, ferret or other kind of smaller pet, it is imperative to clean their cage on a regular basis.
Since they will spend the large majority of their time in a cage, it is easy to see why staying on top of cleaning their ‘home’ is so important. Routine cage cleaning plays a large role in the overall health, safety and happiness of your pet. A clean cage will provide an enjoyable, odor-free space for your guinea pig, rabbit, gerbil, hamster or ferret to kick back and relax, play and get a good night’s rest. So if you are thinking about getting a pocket pet such as the ones listed above, be sure you know what is involved when it comes to cleaning their cage.
Cage Cleaning 101
Here is a brief overview of what you will need and what tasks should be performed when cleaning your small animal’s cage. It is a good idea to assemble a kit that you can use solely for cleaning the cage. Be sure to store these items separate from your household cleaning supplies in order to avoid cross-contamination. You will need the following:
- Back-up cage – While you are cleaning the cage, you will need a clean, secure environment for your small pet.
- Brushes – The size of brush necessary will vary depending on what size of cage you have. A used toothbrush may also be a good idea in order to reach corners and crevices.
- Paper towels or rags
- Rubber gloves and goggles
- Sponges – Make sure you have several different sponges; one set for cleaning, one for rinsing and one for disinfecting.
This will vary depending on the size and habits of your small pet, but it may be helpful to do some research on your particular breed of animal to get a better idea of what is typical. However, the following tips are a good place to start:
- Clean the cage daily to remove any spills, uneaten food, and urine or feces.
- Clean and disinfect food and water dishes on a daily basis.
- Clean and disinfect the cage and all its accessories weekly.
- Bag and get rid of all disposable bedding and litter.
- Clean all cage surfaces with hot soap and water.
- Wash and disinfect any cage accessories.
- Once you have finished disinfecting, make sure to cage is rinsed thoroughly and dried before re-introducing your pet to it.
The above listed tips are designed to help you maintain a clean, odorless cage as well as demonstrate excellent small animal care in general. This is not just for the benefit of you and your family, but most of all it’s for the overall health and well-being of your pocket pet.
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