Sugar Gliders: A Summary of the Nature and Care of the Companion Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are small tree-dwelling nocturnal marsupials, and, until very recently, have not been classified as a companion animal species. However, over the last decade, sugar gliders have been increasingly kept as pets largely in the United States, Canada, and Japan. Sugar gliders are valued as pets because of their cleanliness, attraction, and hardiness. Sugar gliders have a relatively low rate of health issues; however, this natural hardiness can be quickly degraded if these animals are kept in improper social, …

Chinchilla Housing and Care

Chinchillas make friendly and loveable companions. To ensure that your chinchilla is living a healthy life, both mentally and physically, it is vital to provide it with the appropriate living environment, including the proper type of housing, bedding, toys, exercise, and socialization.

Housing

Cages

Chinchillas tend to be much more active than their domestic rodent counterparts. It is important to provide them with a cage that allows them to move around and be active. An optimal chinchilla cage will have …

Dental Care for Companion Rodents

The scientific classification order that all rodent species belong to is called Rodentia, which means “to gnaw” in Latin. Rodents have teeth (incisors and molars) that grow throughout their lives. In the wild, these animals gnaw on materials such as wood and forage to keep their incisors worn down to an appropriate length. Domesticated rodents such as mice, rats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs also need to gnaw on materials to keep their teeth worn down. If the incisors are …

Barbering in Companion Rodents

Introduction

Barbering refers to the abnormal grooming behavior of an animal chewing and tearing the fur and whiskers of either itself or another animal. Barbering is known to occur in most companion rodent species, including guinea pigs, rats, and mice. When one animal barbers another animal, it is used as a display of dominance, meaning that the more dominant member of the group chews on the fur and whiskers of the less dominant members. Barbering results in alopecia (loss of …

Companion Bird Nutrition

Introduction

Proper nutrition is vital to the health of companion birds. It has been found that improper nutrition is responsible for 90 percent of the health problems and the leading cause of death in companion birds. To make sure that your companion bird is receiving the proper nutrition, it is important to determine the type of diet that best suits its species, age, and current state of health. An avian veterinarian is the best source of information when choosing the …