Pocket Pets
Disaster Preparedness Manual
Melissa J. Nixon, DVM



 Solitary, although sometimes dwarf hamsters are raised and housed together.

 May bite.

 Cages should have solid floors. Narrow spaced wire walls have the best ventilation.

 Bedding preferably shredded newspaper with nontoxic ink. Do not use cedar shavings.

 Keep bedding deep so they can burrow.

 Omnivorous, so they theoretically eat grains, seeds, vegetables, insects.

 May like corn or oats mixed with dog kibble if hamster chow not available.

 Easy on the fresh vegetables, no avocados, no sweets.

 Water in a lick bottle, food in a heavy bowl.

 Nest box filled with tissues.

Guinea Pigs

 Active day and night.

 Social, sweet, gentle, vocal.

 May come in pairs, same sex or breeding, and if so keep them together.

 May need caesarian sections (we hope not while they are with us!).

 Need smooth solid cage floor and as much space as we can manage.

 Very susceptible to heat.

 Prone to pneumonia. May have bowel problems if given antibiotics.

 Never store feed in metal can, as it ties up Vitamin C needed by the cavy.

 Shredded newspapers preferred for bedding, no cedar shavings.

 A box to hide in.

 Water in a lick bottle, food in a heavy bowl.

 A bit of grass hay, dark green lettuce, spinach, or washed dandelion greens. No alfalfa.

 No sweets, no avocados.

 Guinea pig chow, as fresh as possible due to the need for Vitamin C.


 Small rodents with long furry tails and a tuft at the end.

 Social, keep groups that come in together housed together.

 Never EVER pick one up by the tail.

 Can be housed in aquariums bedded 2-3" deep with shredded newspapers, need wire mesh top to prevent escapes and give ventilation.

 Will chew out of plastic cages.

 Kleenex, paper towels, or grass hay to make a nest in their box.

 Feed gerbil mix with seeds, grains, pellets, and dried vegetables - if available.

 Sudden changes in diet can make them very ill, so if at all possible we want to feed their usual diet to them!

 Water in lick bottle appropriate to gerbil size.

Rats and Mice

 Newspapers (soy ink), paper towels, or tissue for bedding.

 Wire cages, or tubs with wire tops.

 Lick bottle for water, heavy ceramic food dish.

 Block or pellet ration for rodents is best. They will often pick out the tasty stuff when possible and end up not getting a balanced diet.

 Safest: NO SNACKS.

 Be sure mice cannot escape between cage bars!

Speaker Information
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Melissa J. Nixon, DVM

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