Small & Exotic Pets

As a small animal Veterinary practice, we welcome small and exotic pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs

Below you will find some useful information on our smaller friends to help you look after your pet or if you are looking to get a new pet.

The animals we cover here are:

 
 

 

If you have any questions that you don't see answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will help if we can.

Birds

There are many types of birds that can be kept as pets.

Some of the more common ones are...

Canary
Cockatiel
Macaw
Budgies

The male canary is a very popular choice of pet as it has a beautiful song. Canaries are small birds (up to 7 inches long) and can live for up to 9 years. They are normally, predominantly yellow.

The cockatiel is a very friendly and intelligent and popular bird. They need a lot of companionship and can suffer from boredom if they are not paid enough attention. Cockatiels can grow up to 14 inches long and can live for up to 25 years.

Macaws are incredibly beautiful and intelligent birds who easily learn to mimic speech. They require a lifelong and intense commitment from the owner and can be temperamental and aggressive - potential owners should think long and hard before committing to purchase these birds. Macaws can grow to 40 inches long and can live for up to 50 years.

One of the most popular pet bird species for many years has been the Budgerigar, or "Budgie. Budgies are among the smallest parrot species. They come in many different colours and may learn to talk.

Ferrets

It is not too far in the past that "ferreting" was a popular country occupation.

In rabbit infested areas the use of nets and working ferrets gave the younger generation hours of harmless fun and often a tasty meal for the family afterwards. As habits and trends change the pet ferret population has diminished significantly. So of course has the rabbit population since Myxomatosis swept the UK.

The ferret is descended from the wild European polecat but many generations of breeding in a domestic environment has made the ferret into a very intelligent and rewarding pet that will provide hours and hours of fun. They come in a variety of colours from pure white (albino) to polecat. Like all animals they will develop trust in their owners if handled in a friendly and sympathetic way and are given clean and comfortable living quarters together with a suitable diet. They are not vicious animals but must be handled carefully and there are times (particularly during the breeding season) when ferrets like some privacy.

Regular handling from an early age establishes confidence and ferrets will learn very quickly. They can even be trained to walk on a lead and will live to about 10 years of age.

Like all intelligent furry animals they should not be spoilt and children should not be encouraged to let their ferrets roam unattended in the house. Ferrets are experts at hiding away in a dark corner or finding interesting areas to explore. Their sharp claws will quickly take them up the curtains and there is nothing more that a young ferret will enjoy than playing hide and seek. Being very small they can easily disappear for hours into a bed or down the back of a sofa.

Fish

Aquarium owners often talk of spending hours on end being mesmerised by their pet fish.

Certainly, keeping fish as pets can be fascinating and aquariums can add an interesting centre-piece to your room.  There are three type of aquarium fish...

Coldwater
 
Tropical
 
Marine

These fish are probably the easiest choice if you are looking to keep fish for the first time. One complication, that of keeping the water in the tank heated, is removed with these fish.

If you are looking for variety and colour for your aquarium, tropical fish may be the best choice. You will need to control the temperature of the water and understand which species can be housed together.

Marine fish require more care than the other types of fish and therefore should be considered very carefully before deciding that this is the type of fish for you to keep. Something for experienced fish owners only.

Caring For Your Fish - The Basics

The three major things to consider when caring for your fish are water, light and food.

Exotic Pets

Probably more than for any other pet, before you buy an exotic animal, you should do a lot of preparation.

Begin by finding out as much as you can about the animal - read books, talk to other owners. Whilst time consuming, this preparatory work will help both you and the animal in the long run. To get you started, consider the following topics:

  • Choosing an Exotic Pet

    One of the first decisions you need to make is which type of exotic pet do I choose. Consider your experience, the help available and the environment you are able to create for your pet before choosing. Obviously you also need to consider the animal itself. Some are relatively easy to care for where others should be avoided at all costs. Again, plenty of research is required.
  • Feeding

    Ensuring that your exotic pet receives a balanced diet which provides all the nutrition it needs is vital.
    On the whole, exotic pets which eat whole vertebrates are less of a worry as the get all of there nutritional needs from their prey. Insect or fruit eating pets may need extra vitamins added to their diet.
    The key once again is good, solid research. Find out what diet your pet requires and how often it should be fed.
  • Environment

    Clearly you should have understood the environmental needs of your pet and have set the environment up before you bring your exotic animal home.
    Some animals require very much more effort to house than others - requiring a greater commitment from you. The best thing, once again, is to do your homework up front. The factors you need to consider are:
    Space
    Do you have enough available space? Arboreal (tree dwelling) reptiles and amphibians need more space than terrestrial species.
    Habitat
    For some exotic pets it is necessary to simulate the habitat it would naturally encounter in the wild.
    Temperature
    You might need to provide a range of temperatures within the environment to allow the animal to control their body temperature by moving from a cold spot to a hot spot.
    Lighting
    Your exotic animal may very well require ultraviolet lighting as well as access to unfiltered sunlight.

Small Pets

Probably more than for any other pet, before you buy an exotic animal, you should do a lot of preparation.

Please see below information on some traditional small animals kept as pets.

023 8040 6215

Adelaide Vets

PROFESSIONAL CARE FOR PRECIOUS PAWS

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Long Lane
Bursledon
Southampton
Hampshire
SO31 8DA
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