Vital Care for Small Furries

Being responsible for a small furry pet

Our handy health guide explains why diet, habitat and companionship are so important for rabbits, rodents and more.

Small furry mammals like rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters and gerbils make great pets for adults and children alike – but though they might seem less demanding, their welfare requires the same serious attention as a larger creature.

If you’re responsible for one or more of these little pets in your household, it’s essential to consider basic health issues such as diet, habitat and companionship.

And if you already have any concerns, remember help is at hand from the team at Clent Hills Vets. We offer check-ups to make sure your small pet is healthy, so just get in touch to arrange one.

Book a health check

Small furry pets need:

A balanced diet

All animals need to eat the right food to maintain a healthy body and mind. Certain ingredients will stop rodents’ teeth overgrowing and causing painful or life-threatening conditions.

To express natural behaviours

To avoid stress and boredom, animals need to feel as normal as possible. For example, a rabbit will feel much better with a tub of soil to dig and a fruit-tree branch to gnaw on.


Animals that are naturally sociable, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, MUST be kept in pairs or groups of their own species. And if you don’t want a population explosion, you should consider neutering.

Exercise and play

All creatures should have an interesting environment that’s big enough for running and jumping, with a variety of toys to climb or chew. We recommend putting treats inside a play ball to give them a mental and physical workout.

Monitoring for illness

Small furries can go downhill very quickly if they become ill – so should be handled and checked twice a day. Symptoms that can indicate a serious problem include runny eyes, a runny nose, weight loss, drooling, wet fur around the mouth or rear, fur loss, soft droppings stuck to fur or small amounts of droppings.  
If you spot any of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to call to book an appointment. We’ve got a wealth of experience with rabbits and other small pets, so can set your mind at rest or recommend treatment.

Things to consider If you haven’t yet bought a small pet...

  • Space
    Proper accommodation for your animal(s) and their housing.

  • Initial costs
    For essential equipment and clinical treatments.

  • Time
    For handling and cleaning.

  • Ongoing costs
    Including food, bedding, toys and vet treatments.

  • Life span
    They may be around for less or more time than you expect.

  • Care in your absence
    Who will look after them whenever you’re away?

  • Other pets
    A cat could be a natural predator.

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