Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 3rd, 2018, 11:49 pm

Is it ok if I start a new thread about the non animal members of ouf families that we have, or would like to invite into our families?

A bit like this one, which I have just read back on with fond memories. :luv:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7826&p=281347&hilit=Pet%27s+corner#p281347

I have been looking back at it as part of my researching getting some pet rats! I won't get cats here. Busy road, plus horrible people around! Unfair to get a pooch once I am in work. I won't keep caged birds...

Does anyone have any advice on keeping pet rats first hand?

I hope we can put all our pet related items here! :luv:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby smitch » October 4th, 2018, 7:15 am

I have 4 rats and am adopting 3 more at the weekend. I’d advise you to think long and hard about getting some. They’re amazing animals who make fab pets, but the vet bills are enormous. They’re prone to breathing problems due to a bacteria they all carry. Generally their bodies can keep it under control, but sometimes it gets the better of them. Mine are all rescues of unknown backgrounds therefore more likely to become unwell. Getting on a waiting list for a good breeder (you can be waiting longer than a year) may mean healthier rats. Avoid pet shops and dodgy backyard breeders. It can be difficult to find a vet specialising in exotics, so you may have to travel quite a distance if they need medical attention most vets are clueless about rodents and don’t offer appropriate treatment options. Our vet is a 20 mile round trip, but between my rats and my guinea pigs, I’ve spent into the thousands there over the past couple of years. When they become ill, they deteriorate very quickly so immediate vet attention is needed. We’ve got a substantial vet fund in a savings account for that reason.

They need lots of space and as they’re very intelligent, stuff to do as they get bored. Most cages sold in pet shops are too small for them. Be prepared for their short lifespan, you might get one who lives to 3 if you’re lucky. It is the worst thing about sharing your life with rats, they bond so strongly with you that saying goodbye is just heartbreaking. I had a 10 year break from keeping them as I just couldn’t cope with the sadness.

I can suggest some good Facebook groups if you’re still interested. They really are wonderful animals, but not a commitment to be taken lightly. Small doesn’t mean cheap! They do best in small groups, 3 is a good number as you don’t have a lonely rat if one dies. They need time out of the cage everyday as well as appropriate food and bedding, not the stuff sold in pets at home. I’ll post some photos of my girls and my setup on the Wildfood fb page for you to see if you would like.
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby PatsyMFagan » October 4th, 2018, 7:26 am

Smitch, you will know better than me, but what about a Guinea Pig for Tezza ?
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby smitch » October 4th, 2018, 7:58 am

Guinea pigs also make lovely pets and there are loads in rescues waiting for their forever home. Best kept in pairs, they need a fair bit of space, especially if you have two boys. Again, pet shop cages are not really suitable so a lot of people build their own- google C+C cage for ideas. My advice about vet bills for rats applies to guinea pigs too. We’ve had a terrible run of luck with ours over the past few months. Our newest girl has had 3 vet visits in the couple of weeks we’ve had her :cry: Guinea pigs, like rats, need an exotic specialist.

They’re very noisy- personally I love it but your neighbours might not :lol: They need cleaning out a lot as they have to eat constantly or their digestive system stops working properly. They’re endearing and funny animals though. Food wise, they need unlimited hay with a variety of raw greens or other veg. We feed low calcium as they can be prone to bladder sludge and stones. It is hard to find good quality pellet food in the UK so my vet advises against it. Rodents make great pets, but they’re not a cheap option, unfortunately many people regard them as ‘disposable’ and they don’t get the care or vet treatment they require. I get a lot of comments from people asking why I bother with the vet when I could get a new animal for less money :evil:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 4th, 2018, 8:33 am

Wow, thanks for the info on rats and little piggies, smitch, very interesting. Actually I remembered somebody on here had an interest in keeping rats but could not remember who!

I'm not going to rush into this right now then! But I think I will be in the future. I was brought up in a house full of rodents or birds, never cats or dogs, so understand to a point what is involved in their upkeep, but we only ever had gerbils, mice or hamsters, never rats. So this has been useful, thank you.

I honestly don't think my neighbours would be able to hear little piggies as they are engulfed in making noise of their own! :rolleyes: I have read / heard the they can be a bit smelly though?
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby earthmaiden » October 4th, 2018, 8:38 am

We had several hamsters and they were no trouble.
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby smitch » October 4th, 2018, 8:45 am

Guinea pigs don’t smell, but as I said, they need frequent cleaning out. Their diet is 90% hay and I haven’t found their droppings to have any odour. Rats on the other hand, can whiff a bit. Although they are litter trained, they’re lazy and can’t be bothered getting out of bed for a wee sometimes :oops:

Don’t underestimate the noise a wheeking guinea pig makes. We could hear our Boris outside the house. Once he heard our car being parked, he was off! People don’t believe me that something so small can make that much noise! Our neighbours asked us what the noise was too.
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby suffolk » October 4th, 2018, 9:15 am

smitch wrote:Don’t underestimate the noise a wheeking guinea pig makes.


My children 'babysat' some guinea pigs for friends ... they lived in a solid brick building across the way from our back door (about 20 ft away) ... we could hear them indoors!!! :shock:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 4th, 2018, 11:53 am

Crikey! I really didn't think they were that loud! :lol: I'll have to mention that to my friend as her parents keep them to show and last time I asked they had 60! :shock:

I suppose smells will happen with any animal if they aren't kept clean, although my cats were very clean but I was told that there was a definite cat smell in the house which I must have become accustomed to. My dad's brother has 10 outdoor cats and his house is very clean but the cats are the first thing I can smell when I walk in!
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » October 4th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Does your tenancy agreement cover pets ,Tezza?

I am housesharing with my friend who has 6 cats and a dog. Can post photos in FB group if anyone wants to see, they’re beautiful
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby uschi » October 4th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Hamsters are lovely, but the cages for them are much too small. They are extremely active and so I let mine have the run of the living room. In the old days with fewer electric cables this wasn't much of a problem (although one or two were partial to the carpet - rodents are not called Nagetiere = gnawing animals for nothing).
Alas, they are fast, small and tend to look for cover. One got between the door and jamb - and I closed the door on him. It haunts me still. :scared: :terrified: :(

Mice are great. But you will need a really big cage for them or revamp a large cabinet for the cause. Unlike hamsters they need company and they only reach two years of age. But they are full of personality, get extremely tame and are wonderful to watch. They are not nocturnal, but they do tend to nap for times of the day, at least.
Also, they can make a racket. Not enough to bother the neighbours, but if you share a room they can keep you awake.
They don't smell, btw, if kept clean.
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby suffolk » October 4th, 2018, 3:05 pm

Niece has a pair of gerbils .... they live in a huge tank full of woodshavings and woodstraw and stuff and burrow around ... she gives them branches of apple and pear wood to gnaw and clamber about on and they love carrots and other veg to supplement their feed ... they're real characters and seem to have great fun ... they like human interaction and she often has them out of their tank clambering around on her and burrowing up her sleeves etc ..'. they're not nocturnal so she can keep them in her bedroom without them keeping her awake at night, and they don't squeak or smell. Don't think they live that long tho'
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby PatsyMFagan » October 4th, 2018, 3:18 pm

Just remembered that daughter had gerbils too, in a large tank .. they were hilarious :lol: :lol: :lol: - had babies too though :td:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby suffolk » October 4th, 2018, 3:59 pm

Apparently a gerbil's lifespan is about 3 to 4 years ... longer than mice, not as long as guinea pigs, and about the same number of years as hamsters and rats...

DS and DD had gerbils too ... they didn't live long 'cos the cat learned how to open the cage :shock:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm

My tenancy agreement allows me to keep any pet. The only pet I would have to get approval for is anything that could be considered a dangerous dog. A dog isn't going to happen while I am here. Although I know I would love having, looking after and walking a dog, it wouldn't be fair leaving it here when I get a job. I can't go through the pain of losing another cat, so that rules that out!

In my last year of secondary school I had two male gerbils. A white called Pepe and a brown called Coco. :luv: I had them in a tank with soil and branches and a chicken wire lid, but they came out to explore and play every day. Unfortunately, one day I came home from school to find they had been fighting and there was blood everywhere and they were covered in bite wounds. Poor things very quickly became ill and had to be PTS. I was totally gutted. :cry:

As a family we always had a budgie or a hamster or both on the go. All our budgies were called Buzby and all our hamsters were called Hammy! Oh, and my sister at one point had a tiny Chinchilla rabbit called Chinchie! Inventing interesting pet names was not something we were good at. :lol:
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby scullion » October 4th, 2018, 4:13 pm

the farm has acquired a rather ageing chinchilla from a petting zoo - i had a cuddle on wednesday.
they're definitely an indoor pet, mostly nocturnal but are most active in the evening but again need a bit of space - and live for about fifteen years. they have the softest, loveliest fur you could possibly want to stroke.
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby Catherine » October 4th, 2018, 7:27 pm

my nephew has 2 pet rats. As has been said they need a lot more care than you think and you need to get them from a breeder not a pet shop. my nephew has 2 blue roan rats and they are really pretty and highly intelligent. I don't think I would keep guinea pigs in a flat that has no outdoor space. They need a large hutch and need to opportunity to run about outside. I would suggest a hamster or 2 russian hamsters
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Re: Pet's Corner autumn 2018

Postby smitch » October 4th, 2018, 8:45 pm

Guinea pigs do well inside, mine are indoor pigs. Too much grass can be bad for them and give them bloat. They do need a large enclosure and space to run around though.
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