Caring for rodents

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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:07 pm
Hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats make good pets. They're fairly easy to care for and fun to watch. All rodents have large front teeth that grow all their lives. To keep their teeth from becoming too large, the animals need to chew on things to wear them down. Be sure to provide materials for them tochew on, as well as their normal food. Pet stores sell chew sticks designed for this purpose. Pellet food will supply most of their nutritional needs, but should be supplemented with bits of fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, or vegetables. Sipper bottles make a good water supply, but be sure to change the water every day, and wash it thoroughly once a week. Wood shavings are the most common cage lining, although burrowing rodents like gerbils and hamsters should be given a layer of peat moss to allow this behavior. Don't forget the exercise wheel! Not only will it give your pet a good workout, but one of the joys of a pet rodent is watching it run round and round.
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