We are all feeling a little stir crazy these days, and we aren’t even totally confined to our homes anymore. Now more than ever we can relate to some of our pocket pet species who spend their days in a safe, cozy enclosure but with minimal interaction with the outside world. Paws, Purrs and Exotics Animal Hospital knows how important mental health is, even for the smallest of our patients.
Pocket pet mental health is an important part of caring for these critters, and we have all the information you need to do it right.
Pocket Pet Behavioral Issues
Many health issues in our pocket pet population stem from improper husbandry. The way we feed and care for our pets can make a dramatic impact on their overall wellbeing.
Behavioral problems are not uncommon in our pocket pet patients. Some of the more common issues that we see include:
- Bar chewing
- Cage possession
- Changes in appetite
- Excessive digging
- Inter-animal aggression
These can all be cries for help from your pet. If you are having trouble differentiating normal behavior for your species from abnormal behaviors, don’t hesitate to ask us.
Supporting Pocket Pet Mental Health
When it comes to being sure that your pocket pet is enriched and stimulated, care is key. When assessing your furry critter’s mental needs, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your particular species’ normal behaviors and environment.
Depending on the species and circumstances, consider:
- The enclosure itself
- Companions or lack thereof
- Toys and chewing options
- Location of the enclosure
- Interaction with people
- Opportunities for exercise
- Supervised time out of the enclosure
- Rotation of objects in the enclosure itself
- Availability of hiding places
- Dust baths for appropriate species
Being sure to enrich the pet’s environment and provide safe and species-appropriate interaction is very important in making sure that your pocket pet’s mental state is in good repair.
The best part about providing good tools for optimizing pocket pet mental health is that the effort gives back. We are learning more and more about how pets can better the lives of their owners. This manifests in many ways, not the least of which is improved mental health for pet owners.
Our staff at Paws, Purrs and Exotics Animal Hospital witnesses the power of the human-animal bond every day. It’s our turn to make sure that we are giving as much to our little friends as they are giving us, and providing good opportunities for mental health support is a great place to start.