Senior Pocket Pet Care

Does your household include a pocket pet, such as a gerbil, hamster, or Guinea pig? These little guys are quite cute, and are very popular kids’ pets. However, they have much shorter lifespans than dogs and cats. In fact, your pint-sized pal may be a senior by the time they are just two or three! A LaPorte, IN vet discusses senior pocket pet care below.


Pocket pets don’t need UV light or high humidity, but they do need comfortable, appropriate housing. Your tiny retiree’s home should be clean, comfortable, and in a safe temperature range. Make sure they have a good setup!


It’s important to know when your miniature furball will hit their golden years. Guinea pigs are considered seniors at five, while gerbils enter their golden years at just two. Do some research, and ask your vet for advice.


Older pets are very susceptible to slips and falls. Make sure that any ramps or stairs are enclosed, and that they have good traction.


Older pets—even little ones—often get stiff and sore, and may need extra bedding. You may also want to get your fuzzy friend a small orthopedic bed.


Many pets tend to gain weight more easily in their golden years. This is true for small ones, too! Don’t let your furry pal become obese! Ask your vet for specific advice here.

Nail Care

Overgrown nails can be very painful for pets. They can also snag and catch on things. Keep your tiny pal’s claws clipped!


Be super gentle when picking your pocket pet up and putting them down. Don’t scoop your pet up when they are sleeping: that will just scare the little guy! If you have children, supervise them carefully when they handle their furry friend.


Pocket pets are prey animals, and they can get very nervous and skittish. Make sure that your pint-sized pal isn’t surrounded by too much noise or commotion. However, they shouldn’t be too isolated, either. A quiet corner in a family room is often a great spot.

Warning Signs

Watch for signs of sickness, such as weight gain or loss, anorexia, fever, poor fur condition, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or unusual behavior or postures. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your LaPorte, IN animal clinic, today!

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