Pet Mouse Care – How to Care for Pet Mice?
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If you are looking for a little pet that is entertaining and cute at the same time, then it’s a great idea to buy a pet mouse. Although they are a bit skittish and hard to handle, it can be a lot of fun to train them and to watch how they play. A pet mouse can be kept either in an aquarium or in a cage.
In addition, they don’t need as much attention as many other pets that can be kept at home. You can go to work and take care of your other obligations while not stressing much about how your mouse is doing. Pet mice are absolutely recommended for beginners and are ideal for kids as well.
Choosing a Mouse
At the pet store, make sure to check out at least a few mice before you choose the one you want to bring home. Check the ears and tail of each mouse. Healthy ones have clean, pink skin. Other good signs are smooth and clean coat, energetic behavior and a nice, clean nose.
Since mice need to be held in clean environments, don’t forget to check the cage they live in. It should be a neatly set up and well-maintained cage. This is another indicator that the mouse is as healthy as possible.
A good mouse breeder is aware that mice should be separated based on gender. Their breeding period starts when they reach 6 to 8 weeks of age. The reason why this is important is because this can be a really stressful period for the female. Exposing them to that much stress can easily cause health problems.
Housing a Mouse
Mouse are good in finding a way to get out. Therefore, you need to look for an aquarium or cage that guarantees that he doesn’t get out. For a single mouse, it is recommended to buy 10-gallon aquarium. If you want to buy a cage, however, just make sure that the wires are placed at least a quarter of an inch from each other.
In that case, you should look for at least a 24×12’’ cage, preferably a covered one. The next thing you need is a food bowl. This should be something that you can easily wash over and over again without damaging it. Look for a dish that is hard to flip over since mice tend to kick them over.
You also need an attachable water bottle to keep your mouse hydrated. In pet stores they usually sell water bottles that are specifically made for mice or hamsters. Since mice are energetic and playful, they need something to play with. You can find plenty of toys in the store that will keep them entertained.
If you can find a toilet paper tube or something like that in your house then you might not even need to buy those toys. It is also important to give them something like cardboard or wood to chew on. Mice find it comfortable to sleep on dust-free pellets or poplar, aspen, birch or maple shavings. You can put any of these into the cage. Cob litter or cedar shavings should be avoided.
Keep your mouse active by installing a running wheel in the cage. Since mice love to run, it is going to be one of his main toys. And the last thing you need is some decoration or container that your mouse can use as a hiding spot. Mice feel safe if they know that there is a place where they can hide.
Feeding Your Mouse
The most straightforward way to feed your mouse is to go to the pet store and buy some mouse food. You should look for pellets and cubes that are specifically made for them. If your mouse doesn’t eat all of them throughout the day, then make sure not to leave the leftover food there the next day.
You can also slice up some vegetables or fruits every now and then. If you have some broccoli, berries, cabbage, apples, tomatoes, carrots, bananas or pears at home then you can give those to your pet. Besides giving them food, their water bowl should be filled with fresh water at least twice a day.
Mice can distinguish between regular foods and treats. Some common treats for them are sugar free cereal, pieces of pastry or cooked pasta. However, you can always go to the pet store and buy some treats specifically made for mice.
Handling Your Mouse
At the beginning, many mice are frightened. However, you can still pick them up with any kind of tube you can find at home. This is how you can remove him when it’s time to clean the cage. If your mouse is tamed and don’t mind you picking him up, then you can pick him up.
Gently hold down the tip of its tail and pick him up by pinching its scruff. Many people think that a mouse can be picked up by its tail. In fact, it not only hurts him but can also cause injuries so you should definitely avoid that.
The best way to pick up a completely tamed mouse is to use both of your hands and scoop him up. Be gentle and make sure not to squeeze it. After a while, the mouse will be so accustomed to you that it will simply walk into your outstretched palm.
All you need to do is to put your hand down and wait a bit. You can even train your mouse to do this by giving him a treat.
Cleaning Your Mouse’s Cage
In order to keep the cage clean, you should clean up all the spilled water, solid waste and wet urine every day. The water and food bottle both should be washed before refilling. Since those easily get contaminated, it is important to remove and rinse them with mild soap daily.
These are the everyday routines. When it comes to the complete cage, it needs to be cleaned weekly. The first step is to find another place for the mouse while you clean it. This can be an aquarium, a box or even a tall bucket. Just make sure it’s something that doesn’t get tipped over easily.
The second step is to take all the toys and bedding out of the cage. These need to be cleaned separately. Then, take any soapy solution, mix it with a lot of water and wash the whole cage thoroughly. Once you are done, you can continue with the toys and accessories.
You can wash everything except toys that are made of porous material. It is enough to use a brush for those. After you are done washing the last little thing, you need to wait a bit until everything dries. You definitely don’t want to put stuff in while they are wet.
When the accessories, the bedding and the cage is completely dry, you can set it all up again. Add food and clean water to the containers and let the little mouse in.
Keeping Your Mouse Happy and Healthy
Monitor the behavior of your mouse. There are no specific signs to look out for but if you notice that your mouse is acting differently than before, it is probably because something is wrong. So, how to make sure that this doesn’t happen?
First off, your mouse should have a healthy and regular diet. Fresh water, enough nutrients and vitamins are essential. If the drinking and eating habits of your mouse change for a significant amount of time, then it is better to contact a veterinarian.
When you are cleaning the cage, pick up your mouse and gently examine its body. There shouldn’t be any bumps or lumps on its skin. It is also a great opportunity to put your mouse on a scale and check its weight. You can use a food scale for it. More than 5 percent weight loss or gain indicates that there might be a problem.
Play with your mouse daily to ensure that he gets enough exercise. Or you can simply put a few toys in and let him use them. If there is a running wheel in the cage, let’s say, and your mouse stops using it, then it is time for a checkup.
The lifespan of a mouse is between one and two years. It is up to you to fill the life of this little fella with fun and joy. If you make sure that your mouse lives in a clean environment and lives on a good diet, then he is going to live a healthy life. But that is only half of the equation.
The other half is making sure that your little pet gets enough exercise and plays a lot while you nourish a beautiful relationship with him. It is the type of pet that will keep you entertained every day.
You can even teach a couple of tricks to your mouse and show it to your friends. Or just pick him up and watch him run around outside the cage. The perfect pet for kids and beginner pet keepers.
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