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CAMPING & RVING WITH PETS

Hazards to Small Animals

on Thursday, 14 August 2008. Posted in Camping and RVing with Small Animals

Hazards to Small Animals

small-petsSmall Pets are easy to travel with since they are caged most of the time, but there are certain hazards that you should be aware of is you decide your preferred RV companion is a small furry friend.

Getting Stuck
Because they’re so inquisitive and adventurous, small animals that escape from their cages can wriggle their way into places they can’t escape from.  They might chew on electrical cords or gnaw on foam or sponges so much they develop an intestinal blockage.  A dog or human could accidentally step on or injure your pet.  These problems can all be solved by keeping your pet in a cage or—if your pet is large enough—letting it out but only in a pet-proofed room of your house or RV.

Change in Temperature
Small animals are very susceptible to changes in temperature.  If you’ve ever watched mice and gerbils cuddle together in a nest, you know how these animals like to be warm.  By the same token, lizards and turtles love their heated rocks and warm lamps.  Any small pet owner needs to be aware of the temperature in their pet’s room.  In the winter, does the room get too cold?  Drafts and breezes aren’t good for small animals.  During a cold snap, you may need to wrap your pet’s cage in towels or blankets or move it to a warmer part of the house.  Ask your veterinarian for tips.  

During warm weather, watch your pet to make sure it isn’t getting overheated.  Signs of this would be panting, lethargy, falling over, and turning red or pink.  Keep your pet in a room that doesn’t get too hot.  You may need to find a new place for its cage during the warmest parts of the summer.  A mist bottle of water can also help a small animal regulate its temperature.  Again, ask your veterinarian or consult a book that’s specifically about your animal.

FERRETS
Going Outside

This applies only to pets like ferrets that are large enough to go outside.  Smaller pets should never been allowed loose outside.  It’s too easy for them to get lost, get frightened off by something, or get attacked by a cat or larger animal.  

Getting Lost
If you have ferrets, it’s very important to make sure your pet can’t accidentally escape from the house.  Ferrets don’t have a good sense of direction, and if they get lost, it’s unlikely that they’ll bring themselves back the way a dog or cat would.  The best answer is to keep your ferret in until you’re ready to take it out, ideally on a leash.  Be sure to block access to any screens, including dryer vents, since ferret claws can tear up a screen.

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