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General Care

Boy with Ferret

Caring for your Small Animal

Good husbandry practices will help you take the very best care of your small animal. This means providing a healthy diet, a clean and dry habitat, fresh food, and water. Some small animals are very social and will need attention from you daily.

At least once per week, remove all bedding and wash cage with a mild soap solution. Rinse cage thoroughly with clean water to ensure the removal of soap residue. Frequency of cage cleaning depends on cage size and number of animals in cage. Always replace bedding with fresh product. Not maintaining a clean cage could result in your pet developing respiratory problems due to ammonia build up in the cage caused by urine.

Diet and Treats

Small animals eat a wide variety of food items in the wild, foraging to meet their needs. Most small animals are herbivores, although there are a few exceptions. Commercial diets such as Kaytee foods and treats meet all of the nutritional needs of your pet.

Some small animals will require dietary supplements along with their regular diets, such as dark leafy greens, vegetables and fruits.


The more time you spend with your pet, the more social it will become. Be sure the time spent is quality time and the animal is being handled properly with slow movements and gentle handling.


It's very important to bring your small animal pet to a veterinarian for annual check-ups. Some small animals will need annual vaccinations such as rabbits and ferrets. Do your homework before purchasing a small animal as a pet.