Pet Cages: Maintaing your pet’s house

There are no secrets or tricks to maintaining cleanliness of a pets’ housing. That is part of the ongoing responsibility of having a pet. Sometimes the cleaning must be done daily (or even several times a day), a few times a week, or weekly. Here is a brief overview of pet housing.

Dogs: House train as soon as possible to avoid any future problems.

Cats: Litter box training is important, and cats find it a simple task to learn. Clean the box a couple times a day. Cats will not use boxes that are dirty.

Rabbits: For easy cleaning, the bottom of indoor cages should be made of plastic. Outside cages or hutches should be made of wire. Use hay, straw, cedar, or pine shavings on the floor of the cage. Clean housing daily or every other day. Cleaning also means wiping out hutch or cage, not just changing the shavings, hay/straw. Rabbits can also be litter box trained.

Pet Cages: Maintaing your pet's house

Guinea Pigs: Hard plastic wire cage… bedding should be pine wood shavings or straw. Beware of cedar chips, however, which release a toxin that can kill a hamster or gerbil. Change bedding a couple times a week; also clean the drinking tube and toys.

Mice and Rats: An aquarium or cage should be completely cleaned at least a couple times a week or more. As you notice the urine/feces odor, this will be an indication that the housing is in need of cleaning.

Birds: Because of the delicate nature of birds, it is necessary for you to stay on top of the birdcage maintenance. A cage with a removable tray appears to be the best answer to quick and easy cleaning. Remove tray and lining, wash tray, and replace the lining with newspaper or gravel paper.

Fish: Use a vacuum specifically made for fish tanks. Clean the bottom of the tank at least once a week and change 20%-25% of the water. Using an aquarium sponge, clean the inside of the tank so there is no algae build-up on the sides or bottom. Change the filter materials every 4-6 weeks or as needed.

Lizards: Glass aquariums with a screen lid work well for lizards. Glass lids make for too much humidity. Lizards shed their skin as often as two times a month or as infrequently as once a year. Provide a stone for them to rub against and also a pan of shallow water that will allow them to moisten their skin. Small potting plants, branches, stones, sand or gravel should be cleaned weekly. The lizards will benefit from having a potted plant that is sprayed with a mist of water a few times a day.

Snakes: Glass aquarium with a securedscreen will work well with snakes. The newspapers or cardboard that lines the floor of the housing should be changed daily. Because the snakes like to hide, provide rocks, branches, and boxes in its environment. Clean or replace the rocks and branches weekly and replace the box with a fresh one.

Ferrets: A ferret’s cage should be lined with linoleum squares, carpet samples or cloth cage pads and a litter box for easy daily cleaning. Roll up a clean t-shirt or small towel and put it in a small box or basket to make a comfortable bed for the ferret. You should avoid using cedar shavings. Many veterinary doctors now feel that these can cause asthma and impair the liver’s ability to detoxify certain drugs. Cedar also seems to harbor more bacteria than other types of litter, and some scientists have even suggested a possible link between extended use of cedar litter and cancer in some types of animals.

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