Springbrook father and boy play with hamster pocket pet.

We humans tend to think that small creatures have simple lives, and as a result, appear happy-go-lucky and curious. The truth is, they experience a wide range of emotions, and have enormous capacity to feel their way through both positive and negative experiences. It may seem tough to intuit how a pocket or exotic pets feels, but through close observation of their behavior and physiology we can surmise their emotional state. Keeping your pocket pet happy may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be fairly nuanced and subtle.

Cute, Small…and Well Adjusted?

Rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, ferrets, chinchillas, lizards, turtles, snakes and more all have highly specialized, highly individualized needs. They require razor-sharp attention to their health, diet, grooming, habitat and enrichment. 

Special and Unique

Owners of cats and dogs are confident they can tell how their pet feels, but those with exotic and pocket pets may not always have such a clear view. 

When you invest extra time in observing how your small mammal, reptile or amphibian behaves you can glean tremendous insight into their diverse expressions. The best part is, the bond between you and your pet has the opportunity to develop.

Subtle Shifts

Did you know that when rats are held by someone they don’t know, their internal body temperature rises? Even if it’s just by a small degree, rats instinctively know when their handler is unfamiliar and will react with stress or anxiety. Over time and with constant exposure to positive experiences with a stranger, they will begin to relax and may not physiologically react the same way.

This suggests that the emotional life of small pets, pockets and exotics alike, have emotional triggers. Knowing what makes them feel safe and secure is part of the process of keeping your pocket pet happy. 

Healthy = Happy

Without a doubt, a major component of keeping your pocket pet happy is simply upholding and maintaining their physical health. When they are at their healthiest, they can also be at their happiest. 

We customize all of our pet treatment plans, and pocket pets and exotics are no exception. Whatever your small creature needs we are here to help. 

Sickness and Health

Keeping your pocket pet happy is also as easy as tending to them when they aren’t feeling well. Any signs that indicate illness or injury should be addressed without delay. When an exotic or pocket pet is sick they may benefit from medication, fluids or other treatments.

Keeping Your Pocket Pet Happy

With time and patience, exotics and pocket pets can be trained. Giving them skills can go a long way toward their overall well being and happiness, and can develop trust and confidence. 

Treats and toys add a great deal to a small pet’s day to day life, and can make them feel really good. Provide species-appropriate chews, exercise opportunities, and social engagement. When taking them outside, be aware of seasonal safety.

Springbrook Pocket Pet Veterinarians

If you have further questions about keeping your pocket pet happy and healthy, the pocket pet veterinarians at Springbrook Animal Care Center are always here for you.