Category: Small Animal (Page 2 of 3)

Do You Know Your Ferret Lingo?

Whether you’re new to ferrets or have been a ferret parent for years, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the ‘lingo’ used in the ferret world.

Here are some terms to use when speaking “ferret”:

  • AFA – The American Ferret Association – a good source of information and advice about ferrets. The group’s website can be found at www.ferret.org.
  • Albino – As in other species, an albino is a ferret without pigment. Albino ferrets have white fur and red eyes.
  • Black Sable – A specific coloration of ferret: a black/brown coat with dark eyes and a dark nose.
  • Blaze – The streak that appears down the middle of a ferret’s head.
  • Blown Coat or Blowing Their Coat – When ferrets shed their long winter fur for spring time.
  • Business – The group name for a number of ferrets.
  • Carpet Shark – Another name for ferrets who slink around on the carpet and nip at toes or feet.
  • Champagne – A pale tan coat color.
  • Chocolate – A rich brown or light & dark brown coat color.
  • Condos and Mansions – Fun terms used to describe large ferret cages.
  • Dooking – A chortling or chuckling noise made by ferrets when they’re happy, excited or playing.
  • Gib – A neutered male ferret.
  • Kit – A baby ferret.
  • Poofing – When a ferret releases odor from his scent glands, usually after being startled, frightened or displeased. The odor is noticeable, but temporary.
  • Scruffing – To grab a ferret by the skin at the back of his neck, the way a mother would carry her kits.
  • SND Syndrome (Sleeping, Not Dead) – When a ferret is so deeply asleep, he won’t awaken easily.
  • Sprite – A spayed female ferret.
  • Weasel War Dance – A happy dance. When an excited ferret bounces around with his back arched, mouth open and tailed puffed out.

Enjoy your ferret fur ball and remember that ferrets have their own individual personalities. Some will be more talkative than others.

Water Tips for a Healthy Ferret

Water tips for a healthy ferret.

While a nutritious diet is a top priority, clean water is also essential to your ferret’s health. Dehydration from a lack of clean water can cause serious issues, including heart and kidney damage. Here are some tips to keep your ferret hydrated and happy…

Tap or filtered?
In many cases, household tap water has fluoride, chlorine and other additives. Your ferret may be fine with it, but filtered water or spring water are the safest options in general.

Cleaning tips
Just like you would pour yourself a new glass of water each day, your ferret would appreciate a fresh bowl or bottle daily. Since bacteria or even algae aren’t always visible, it’s best to wash his bowl with soap and water each morning (bleach can leave residue) and rinse it thoroughly. Consider wide-necked water bottles for easier bottle cleaning.

Bowl or bottle?
There are pros and cons to each and your ferret may prefer one over the other. Bowls are easier to clean, but collect more dust and debris. They can also be tipped over if they’re not heavy enough. A bottle protects water from debris, but is harder to clean and can collect algae. Offer both or try each one to see which works best for you and your ferret.

Avoid Giardia
The giardia parasite can cause an intestinal infection called giardiasis. This keeps ferrets from absorbing nutrients and leads to diarrhea and weight loss. It can be picked up from water contaminated by feces from infected animals, including dogs and cats who share water bowls with ferrets.

About Your Hamster’s Cheek Pouches

About a Hamster's Check Pouches.

Have you seen a hamster with bulging cheeks? They love to hoard food in their cheek pouches and might even use them to carry nesting material.

Keep reading for some more interesting facts. Did you know?

  • Hamsters stuff their cheeks to hoard food for later or to carry material from one area to another.
  • Since a hamster’s cheek pouches don’t have salivary glands, they can keep food dry and fresh.
  • The pouches have rough-textured skin lining the inside. This helps keep food from moving or falling out.
  • A hamster may not have the sense to keep from overstuffing his cheeks. Don’t feed him anything sharp or sticky to avoid problems.
  • The skin lining a hamster’s cheeks can be scratched and develop an infection or abscess. If this happens, it should be treated by a vet.
  • Hamsters should be checked regularly to make sure their teeth are wearing down properly through chewing.

Visit Pet Supermarket for your hamster’s favorite treats!

Why Ferrets Are Good Pets

Why ferrets make good pets.

Although they’re appearing more often in movies and TV, ferrets are still misunderstood. They’re playful, intelligent creatures and can be a lot of fun to watch.

We’ve listed a few reasons why they make good pets.

Ferrets are…

Friendly
Although they’re independent, Ferrets often seek attention and enjoy being with their human family.

Playful
Ferrets never lose their curiosity and enthusiasm for play, which makes them fun to watch. If you keep two ferrets, they will have you laughing with their antics as they play together.

Smart
Their intelligence may surprise you. They can be trained to use a litter box, respond to verbal commands and to do tricks as well.

Quiet
Although they can be vocal, ferrets are considered quiet animals.

Fed Easily
A variety of quality ferret foods make it easy to feed these pets and keep them healthy.

Unique
Each one has a unique personality. Learning what makes your ferret happy or curious is part of the fun!

How to Properly Set Up a Rabbit Cage

How to set up a rabbit cage.

Preparing a home for a new bunny buddy? These cute, fun animals have specific housing needs. Follow these tips for the proper setup of a rabbit cage:

  • Set up your rabbit’s housing before you bring your pet home.
  • Unless they’re spayed or neutered, rabbits should be housed alone.
  • Caging should include a hiding area, food bowl, water bottle, salt lick, and hay manger.
  • The larger the cage, the better! Get a cage that has a lot of surface area, rather than multiple levels. Two levels are fine, but there is no need for a really tall cage.
  • The cage should have a solid bottom. Avoid a wire bottom, which can irritate a rabbit’s sensitive feet (the same goes for exercise wheels).
  • Use rabbit-safe litter or shavings to line the litter box. Make the bedding about one inch deep and be sure to change it at least every other day.
  • Put the cage in an area that gets a lot of activity – rabbits are very social and love people!
  • Use only pet-safe cleaners in your pet’s cage. Nature’s Miracle is great for cleaning rabbit cages.
  • If you give your rabbit access to the outdoors, beware of high temperatures and potential predators (stray or wild animals).
  • Rabbits need daily exercise for their health. An exercise pen is ideal for keeping your rabbit safe, but still giving them room to run.
  • If you allow your rabbit to roam your home, first rabbit-proof it by:
  • Moving all plants out of reach.
  • Moving all electrical cords out of reach. Rabbits try to chew them and can be electrocuted.
  • Restricting access to furniture & rugs (to avoid chewing and digging behaviors).

Use this advice to properly choose and set up a new rabbit home. Cages like our Deluxe Habitat provide extra features and a quiet, secure home for your bunny.

Irresistible Toys for Ferrets

Picking toys for ferrets.

Want toy ideas to keep your playful ferret entertained? Read on for some ferret favorites…

Tubes and tunnels
Ferrets were meant to chase rabbits or rodents and love running through tubes and tunnels. The Chewbular Play Tube and other tunnel systems can provide hours of fun. The Crinkle Tunnel adds another layer of amusement with its crinkly noises.

Plush or stuffed toys
Your ferret is sure to love small plush toys he can carry, chew on or hide. Use plush or stuffed toys with squeakers or without.

Balls
Whether to play with or play in, balls are another ferret favorite. Get small plastic balls, balls with noisemakers in them or soft balls your ferret can carry. Also, ferrets love playing in large balls with holes they can climb in and out of.

Dig boxes
A dig box will satisfy your ferret’s instinct to dig. Provide a box with safe filler material such as shredded newspaper, biodegradable starch peanuts, long grain rice, clean sand, ping-pong balls, beans or pebbles. Supervise him at first to make sure he isn’t eating the filler. Also, never use Styrofoam peanuts, which can cause blockages or instant rice, which will swell in your ferret’s stomach.

Squeaky toys
Rubbery toys that squeak can also be fun, but may bring mixed reactions. Many ferrets enjoy the sound or perk up in attention, but some pounce on it as they would prey. If yours seems to react strongly, remove the squeak.

Toys to avoid
Unfortunately, ferrets can easily get intestinal blockages that could be life threatening. Avoid rubber toys that can be chewed apart into pieces or toys stuffed with plastic beads. Also, constantly review his toys for small, breakable pieces that can be swallowed.

Even with a large variety of toys, your ferret can get tired of them. Be sure to rotate his toys to prevent boredom and keep your ferret happily entertained!

Dos & Don’ts of Rabbit Housing

Dos and Don'ts of Rabbit Housing

Bringing home a new rabbit? Every bunny needs a safe haven where he can eat, play and rest comfortably. Follow these tips and your bunny is sure to love his new home.

  • DO buy a cage or pen big enough for your rabbit. A bigger cage offers more freedom of movement.
  • DO line the litter area with rabbit-safe litter. Timothy hay, grass hay or pelleted newspaper are safe options for litter. Avoid pine/cedar shavings or clay cat litters as they can cause health problems.
  • DO use sturdy food or water bowls that can’t be tipped over.
  • DO get a home with a side opening. If your bunny is going to roam indoors occasionally, a side opening will allow him to get in and out on his own.
  • DO keep his home stocked with toys. Bunny boredom can lead to mischief! To avoid it, make sure your rabbit gets interaction and has plenty of toys. Occasional treats will also keep him healthy and entertained.
  • DON’T make your bunny live on wire flooring. Floors of wire or grating may be easier to clean, but they’re not very comfortable for your rabbit. They can also lead to sore hocks and other foot problems later. Get a home with solid flooring or insert a wooden floor or sisal mat to protect your bunny’s feet.
  • DON’T keep your bunny’s home outdoors. It may seem natural to keep rabbits outdoors, but it’s a very lonely option for these social animals. Also, rabbits can have heart attacks from fear if confronted by other animals. Keep him in an area where he is safe and can interact with you and your family instead.

Comfortable living quarters are the first step to providing a loving home for your rabbit. Stop at Pet Supermarket for rabbit cages, accessories and other essentials for a bunny in healthy hopping shape.

Healthy Hamster Diet Tips

Hamster Diet Tips

Hamsters are omnivores and thrive on a diet of plant-based food and occasional protein. To keep your little omnivore healthy, follow these hamster diet tips:

  • Hamster food
    Hamster food is available in various forms, generally pellets, seeds and/or grains. Pellet food with a little protein (18-22%) is sufficient for a healthy diet, but your hamster may prefer a mix with dried vegetables or fruit. Whichever you buy, avoid mixes with a high ratio of sunflower seeds which can lead to diet deficiencies and weight gain. Keep in mind also that dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes and should eat few sweet foods or treats.
  • Fresh food
    If your hamster’s diet consists of pellet food, add some fresh food for variety and nutrition. Offer small portions as hamsters generally only need 12 grams of food a day. Try carrots, apples (without seeds), oranges, bananas, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, celery, lettuce, spinach and turnips.
  • Hay & alfalfa
    Your hamster may enjoy nibbling on Timothy hay, alfalfa or a mix as grasses are a natural part of a hamster’s diet in the wild.
  • Treats
    Hamster love treats, which are often sticks, bars or mixes of seeds, nuts, fruit or dried veggies. Don’t offer them daily though. A couple times a week is fine.
  • Supplements
    Even if your pet eats hamster food, he may need a supplement for a balanced diet. There are supplements specially formulated for hamsters with the vitamins and minerals they need.

You may have noticed your hamster likes to hoard food as well. Check your pet’s cage for hidden food that may spoil.

See to your pet’s health with hamster food and treats from Pet Supermarket!

A Rabbit Diet for Healthy Hopping

Rabbit Diet Tips

In the wild, rabbits spend their days eating grass and other greens. At home, rabbits depend on us for a proper diet. Making sure they get enough water and fiber is important not only for their digestive health, but also for their continuously growing teeth. Keep reading for top tips to a healthy rabbit diet.

  • Hay for High Fiber
    Hay is vital to a rabbit’s diet and should be available at all times. It provides roughage (fiber) and can prevent serious health issues, as well as obesity. There are two basic types of hay: legume hay and grass hay. Legume hay (alfalfa or clover) is tastier for rabbits, but should be used in moderation as it’s too rich in calories, protein and calcium. Instead, offer grass hay (timothy, meadow, oat, rye, barley, or Bermuda) which offers needed nutrients, but is lower in calories. Peter’s Rabbit Meadow Mix and Timothy Hay are two examples of grass hay we carry.
  • Pellets for Nutrients
    Pellet food adds some of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that may be missed with a diet of hay and fresh foods. Since it’s not the main ingredient of their diet, ¼ cup of pellet food per five pounds of rabbit body weight should be enough to keep your rabbit healthy. Foods with dried fruit or seeds have more sugar and should be avoided or used as occasional treats.
  • Vegetables for Variety
    Vegetables are another source of high fiber with all of the benefits of hay, but with more micronutrients and water. Healthy greens include broccoli, dark leaf lettuce, kale, parsley, carrots, endive, escarole, dill, basil, mint, cilantro, spinach and tomato. They help your rabbit consume more water and keep its gastrointestinal tract, kidney and bladder function healthy. Make sure to wash all vegetables first. Also, avoid corn which is not easily digested and can be harmful to rabbits.
  • Water for Health
    Water is vital for hydration and proper digestion. Give your rabbit fresh water every day and clean the bowl or bottle often to avoid bacterial growth. If your rabbit eats plenty of greens, he may not need as much water.

Keep your bunny in top hopping condition with a healthy rabbit diet!

What you should know about feeding your ferret

What you should know about feeding your ferret.

Love ferrets? To keep your ferret his normal, playful self, make sure you’re meeting his dietetic and nutritional needs. Here are a few facts about feeding your ferret:

  • As carnivores who can’t absorb nutrition from vegetation, ferrets need a diet high in animal protein, high in fat and low in fiber.
  • It’s important to include high-quality animal protein in a ferret’s diet. A premium ferret food is recommended.
  • Ferrets digest and metabolize food quickly and so should eat small meals often. Think of them as small athletes who need 7 to 10 meals a day. For this reason, make sure there is constant access to food and fresh water.
  • Dry food is best as it can be left out all day. Use canned food or meat-based treats as occasional ferret treats or supplements.
  • These active, mischievous creatures like to tip things over. Be sure to use a heavy or weighted food bowl and a water bottle attached to the cage.

Keep your ferret healthy and active with a safe diet and loving attention!

How to Choose the Best Cage for Your Hamster

Choosing the best cage for your hamster.

There are a greater variety of hamsters now being kept as pets. But whether you have a tiny dwarf hamster or a large Syrian, you’ll need to consider your pet’s size when getting your hamster a home.

Cage types

  • Wire cages: Wire cages tend to be larger and work well for large hamsters. Make sure the wire bars aren’t spaced more than a half inch apart.
  • Plastic cages: Plastic cages, many of which have various tunnels or levels, are good choices for small- to mid-sized hamsters. The built-in tubes are great for hamster exercise, although they may be more difficult to clean.
  • Aquariums. Small Chinese and dwarf hamsters do well in aquariums, which give them (and you) greater visibility.

Size is important

Because hamsters are very active, a bigger home is better. Get a cage that suits your pet’s size and gives him enough room to play and climb. Keep in mind that it needs to be convenient enough for you to clean as well.

Accessories make the home

Start with vital accessories, like a hanging water bottle and a shallow food bowl that can’t be easily tipped over. Then move to the fun stuff: exercise wheel, ramps, tunnels, toys and places to hide or nap. If your cage already provides some of this, even better. If it doesn’t, get tunnels or toys that will allow your pet to get in and out without getting stuck.

Location, location, location

Don’t forget that where you place the cage is also important for both you and your pet. Don’t want to wake to the squeaky hamster wheel at midnight? You may want to place the cage outside of your bedroom. Also drafts and sunlight can affect your pet, depending on the cage. Avoid cold or drafty areas with a wire cage and avoid direct sunlight, which can heat up an aquarium.

Ready to build a happy hamster home? Visit Pet Supermarket for hamster cages and accessories and feel free to ask an associate for help.

Look Ma, No Odor! Grooming Your Ferret

Grooming your ferret.
With a name derived from the word “thief” in Latin, ferrets often act like playful thieves who love hiding things. They’re known for being playful, curious and smart.

They’re also known for having a musky odor, although most ferrets sold in the U.S. are now de-scented at a young age. They may still have an odor, but if you learn how to groom and care for your ferret, it shouldn’t be an issue. Follow these tips for grooming and odor control to enjoy playtime with your ferret.

  • Bathing your ferret too often will increase the odor as his skin will produce more oil. A bath every 4 to 6 weeks is fine, unless he gets into something dirty.
  • If you do give him a bath, use a shampoo made for ferrets or kittens or a no-tears baby shampoo. (Don’t use dishwashing soap. Also, flea shampoo for dogs or cats can be poisonous to ferrets.)
  • Change your ferret’s litter every day and clean the litter box once a week.
  • Changing or washing the bedding once a week can do more to curb odor than bathing the ferret.
  • Clean his ears with some ear cleaning solution and check for ear mites, which can create wax with a strong odor. This can be treated by your vet.
  • Trim his nails every two weeks, being careful not to cut into the vein or “quick.” Use ferret or cat clippers and have styptic powder handy.
  • Dental issues for ferrets are similar to those of dogs and cats. Have his teeth and gums checked by a vet and try to brush his teeth weekly.
  • What kind of food is he eating? Food with fish ingredients may cause more odor.

It may take a little time for your ferret to get used to a grooming routine, but consistency and careful handling can go a long way. Visit your local Pet Supermarket for more information about ferret care or ferret supplies.

Those Rascally Rabbit Instincts


Chewing, digging, burrowing and throwing may sound like the actions of a dog, but they’re all rabbit. Learning about these instincts will help you understand your rabbit and a few of his favorite things…

Digging
Much bunny destruction is caused by digging. Introduce him to untreated grass mats and tunnels instead. They’ll make good substitutes for your rugs, carpet and lawn.

Burrowing
Rabbits are natural burrowers and live in underground burrows in the wild. Given a chance, your rabbit will try to recreate that habitat in your home or garden. Show him instead the comfort of human-made tunnels, tubes and nesting dens.

Chewing
With constantly growing teeth, it’s no wonder rabbits like to chew constantly. It keeps tooth growth in check. Chewing on carpet fibers, electrical cords and certain plants can lead to bunny pain however. Offer him any kind of small animal chew instead.

Throwing
It’s not commonly known, but many rabbits like to throw or toss things as a form of play or getting attention. Rather than playing toss with the food bowl, how about playing with a Toss ‘N Chew Celery or a Flip ‘N Toss Carrot? These and others toys are perfect for toss-playing bunnies.

Just remember, the more your bunny has to chew, dig and throw, the less likely he is to get into trouble around the house!

Visit Pet Supermarket for chewable and throwable items for your bunny.

How to Pick Up a Rabbit


Bunnies look like they were made for holding and cuddling. Unfortunately, not all bunnies enjoy being picked up and they can hurt themselves by resisting your hold. Learn the proper technique for picking up a rabbit and you’ll not only train her to enjoy cuddle time, you’ll also learn how to protect her fragile body.

The lift

Start out by approaching a medium or large rabbit from behind. Pet her with one hand and slide your other hand under her chest. She’ll be most nervous when she’s in midair, so get close to minimize air time and prepare to lift. As you lift her with one hand under her chest, slide the other hand under her hindquarters and hold her against you. Her left or right side should be against your midsection. This will help her feel secure.

Small rabbits can be approached from the front. With one hand under her chest and the other under her hindquarters, lift and hold her against you. It may help to let her rest her front paws on your chest.

The landing

When putting her down, the greatest risk is that she’ll see the ground coming and will try to jump down. A high jump can break her backbone, so make sure to squat down before releasing her. You could also try covering her eyes just before release so she doesn’t see the ground coming and try to escape.

Repeat daily

Practice picking up your rabbit once or twice a day. Make it a positive experience and give her a treat afterwards. Otherwise, if she’s only picked up for vet visits or nail clipping, she’ll work harder to avoid you.

Don’ts

Don’t lift a rabbit by the ears or scruff of the neck. Rabbit ears are easily damaged and a rabbit’s skeleton and backbone are fragile. If she tries to get away, don’t grab her legs as they may break if she struggles. Make the most of your bunny cuddle time with toys and rabbit-care products from Pet Supermarket.

The Truth about Guinea Pigs

Truth About Guinea Pigs
Children and families around the country have been enjoying a funny new adventure about guinea pig espionage agents called “G-Force.” Everyone expects misconceptions in a movie about spy animals. But while you know guinea pigs can’t talk, parachute or use spy gear, did you know they can’t climb or run in spinning balls either? They’re actually pretty fragile.

Unlike the movie characters, real guinea pigs:

  • Can’t run in balls or wheels made for hamsters – Guinea pigs don’t have flexible backs.
  • Don’t jump – A fall from a sofa or high area can paralyze them.
  • Aren’t hardy – They have delicate digestive systems and can get sick easily if not monitored.
  • Startle easily – A frightened guinea pig will often freeze.

With the movie now available on DVD, more families will see it and may even consider buying a guinea pig. But these animals, while cute and cuddly, aren’t really appropriate for young children.

If you know what guinea pigs are really like or own one, take a look at Pet Supermarket’s selection of supplies for these gentle pets.

Page 2 of 3