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Category: Small Animal (Page 1 of 3)

How Much Do You Know About Your Bunny’s Teeth? Here Are Some Interesting Facts!

Facts of Bunny's teeth

  • A baby rabbit has 16 primary teeth.
  • Adult rabbits have a full set of 28 teeth. Those big front teeth are called incisors. There is also a pair of incisors at the front of the lower jaw.
  • Rabbits don’t have canine teeth, but they do have premolars and molars, also called “cheek teeth”.
  • Unlike our own teeth, rabbit teeth have no enamel and wear down quickly. Luckily, the nerves in rabbit teeth stop just below the gum line, so the constant wearing doesn’t cause any pain.
  • A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life. All of a rabbit’s teeth have open roots, which enables their lifelong growing. Rabbits and rodents are the only animals with this type of tooth structure.
  • A rabbit’s teeth can grow 3 to 5 inches every year.
  • Rabbits have a strong instinct to gnaw, and pet rabbits should always be supplied with plenty of clean grass hay as well as wood branches or toys for gnawing, in order to prevent overgrowth of the incisors.
  • Rabbit’s teeth are made to wear down quickly, so an improper diet can cause problems with the teeth very quickly. Grass and other greens wear the teeth down much more than commercial pellets do. Pellets are chewed mostly with the cheek teeth, which only grinds part of the incisors and can result in tooth spurs that cause the rabbit a lot of pain and keep it from eating properly.
  • With a proper diet, a rabbit’s teeth won’t need much care, as the roughage in its diet will keep the incisors properly worn down and the chewing will keep the cheek teeth well aligned.
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Healthy Treats For Your Bunny

Rabbits have a sweet tooth and love treats! Like most human children, they would choose sweets over healthy food if given the choice. While rabbits should eat a natural, vegetarian diet high in fiber, an occasional treat is ok as long as it is not full of sugar.

The best types of treats for your rabbit are natural sweet treats, such as fruit—a bite of banana or apple—or small bites of “sweet” vegetables, like carrots or broccoli.

Dried pineapple contains enzymes which help break down ingested fur. This should be given only in small doses due to its high sugar content. While fruit is considered healthy, it should still only be fed in small amounts. An approximate amount of fruit to feed your rabbit is a teaspoon per 2 lbs of body weight, daily—in one feeding or divided into multiple feedings. Pet Supermarket carries a variety of healthy treats for your rabbit. Some of our favorites include:

  • Kaytee Country Harvest Treat Blend: A delicious mix of wholesome fruits, nuts, grains & veggies
  • Vitakraft Rabbit Carrot Slims: Made with harvest fresh grains and carrots; easy to digest
  • Pets International Super Pet Apple Orchard Sticks: Real all-natural apple sticks, help keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy, clean and trim, made from sustainable tree sources

As a treat alternative, you can spoil your pet bunny with safe chewable toys. They’ll keep your bunny entertained and will last longer than a sweet treat. Pet Supermarket also has a wide variety of chew toys for your rabbit. You’ll be sure to find lots of options both in-store and online for keeping your bunny happy and healthy.

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Common Household Hazards For Small Animals

Household hazards for small pets.

When you think about small mammal pets like rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and hamsters, you usually don’t think about them being at risk of getting hurt at home. However, if you have one of these pets, there are home hazards you should be aware of.

These small creatures are very clever and curious, and capable of getting into things they shouldn’t. Here are some things you should be aware of.

Electric cords—so fun to chew, and so dangerous!
When your small pet chews on wires, they are likely to develop zinc poisoning which can lead to gastrointestinal upset, blood disturbances and even death. Some wires also contain copper, which can also be lethal. Live electrical wires offer the added danger of electrocution and instant death, and at the very least, severe oral burns. Keep all wires and cords safely secured or hidden so your pet can not access them.

Many construction materials used in building homes, including paint, linoleum and dry wall, may contain lead. Baseboards and floor edges can be tempting for small animals to chew on, but it can also be deadly, if the substances they’re chewing on contain lead. Keep pets away from chipping paint and other potentially lead-containing substances, as even a few bites of these materials can be lethal for smaller pets.

Some small animals are extremely sensitive to temperature. For example, rabbits have thick, dense coats and cannot sweat. They get severely overheated at temperatures above 80 degrees, and can die. 80 degrees isn’t even considered extreme heat, so it’s important to be aware of the temperature and ensure your pet is comfortable. On the other hand, at temperatures below 70 degrees, hedgehogs enter a state of hibernation. Their heart rate slows and they become more susceptible to illness and even death if they remain at that temperature. It’s critical that your pet’s environment is kept in the temperature range that’s optimal for them.

People food
The food that we eat can be extremely toxic to small animals. Garlic, onions, food containing seeds, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and grapes are just a few of the foods they should never be given.

Things like human medications and household cleaning products should always be kept out of reach of all pets.

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Hamster Diet Tips

Hamster diet tips

If you have a hamster, you’re probably well aware that they love to eat! Just like humans, hamsters need to eat a variety of nutritious food to be healthy and happy.

When to feed them?
There are differing opinions on this, but the choices are either morning or evening. Evening feedings coincide with their nocturnal activity, and morning feedings accommodate their tendency to wake sporadically for short periods throughout the day and snack on available food. You can do whatever works best for your schedule.

What to feed them, and how much?

Any basic diet for a hamster should include:

  • Hard, gnawing-type food such as pellets

Pellets are a food where the ingredients are ground up, mixed, and formed into little pieces. The requirement to gnaw on pellets and the balanced nutrition of pellets make them a suitable part of your pet’s diet. A commercial food that includes all of the nutrients your hamster needs is a convenient, easy way to keep them healthy. About one tablespoon of pellets or seed mix once a day, supplemented by treats, is sufficient for both dwarf and Syrian hamsters. Just because your hamster’s food bowl is empty, don’t assume it needs refilling. Although hamsters are high-energy animals with speedy metabolisms, they can still become overweight quickly by overeating.

  • Some seed and grain

Seed-and-grain mixes are a good supplement to pellets. The biggest concern with these mixes is an overabundance of sunflower seeds. Hamsters love sunflower seeds, but the fatty oils in them can lead to obesity if your hamster consumes too many.

  • Some fresh foods

Feeding fresh foods can be a nice change and a treat for your hamster. Choose treats that provide additional nutrition to their regular diet such as fresh vegetables and fruits. Offer fresh foods only two or three times a week, one or two small pieces at a time. A small amount of greens plus a floret of cauliflower, a slice of apple, or several raisins (or an equivalent amount of other appropriate treats) once a day is plenty. Pesticides are very dangerous to hamsters, so completely wash any fresh food you give them. Also, do not leave fresh food lying around the cage or it will rot. Check your hamster’s food storage regularly and remove any fresh food stored there before it spoils.

Healthy Diet = Happy Hamster
Diet can be a major contributing factor in their dispositions towards you and other hamsters. If you make sure your hamster has love and care including a properly balanced diet, they’ll be happy, healthy and lovable.

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Creating a Home for Your Ferret

Your ferret should have a home that is comfortable, clean, nurturing and stimulating. Safety is also key. Remember, they like to explore and it’s their investigative natures that often get them into trouble. They’re also good climbers and expert escape artists.

To keep your little Houdini safe and secure, here are some tips…

A Ferret-Worthy Home

  • Choose the right cage. Remember, ferrets can chew their way out of plastic or vinyl, so avoid these materials. Instead, choose a metal cage with an escape-proof latch. Also, make sure the cage is at least 2-stories tall; though 3- or 4-stories would be better. The more room your pet has to explore, the better.
  • Choose the right location for his home. It should be kept in a cool, dry, shaded area that does not get direct sunlight. Ferrets can’t tolerate temperatures that exceed 80° Fahrenheit very well, since their sweat glands are not well developed.
  • Create a cozy sleep area. Ferrets like their sleep and can sleep from 15-20 hours a day. Pet blankets, batting and hammocks will provide a cozy and comfortable sleeping space.
  • Let him explore outside of his cage. Ferrets shouldn’t be caged for extended periods of time, as they require movement, interaction and companionship. Let your ferret spend a few hours a day outside of his cage.
  • Change the bedding every few days to prevent odors from forming. You should also avoid using materials that are perfumed or scented.
  • Provide a regular source of clean water and food. Ferrets drink and nibble throughout the day and need a constant supply of food and water. Make sure to change their water and refresh their food bowls often.
  • Offer toys. Ferrets like to explore and play. Add toys and other appropriate items to their homes. Feel free to ask one of store associates for toy suggestions.

Stop by Pet Supermarket for cages and accessories to build an engaging and safe home your ferret will enjoy.

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8 Facts You May Not Know About Hamsters

Think you know hamsters? Test your knowledge with these interesting facts:

  • Hamsters got their name from the German word hamstern, which means “to hoard or store up.”
  • Hamsters have a great sense of smell, but not great eyesight.
  • Hamsters can learn to recognize their names if you speak to them often enough.
  • A mother hamster can give birth to 24 babies, although eight or ten is more common.
  • Baby hamsters are called puppies.
  • There are three main types of pet hamsters: short-haired Syrian (or golden) hamsters; long-haired Syrian, also called teddy bear hamsters; and dwarf hamsters, which include Roborovski, Djungarian, Siberian, and Chinese hamsters.
  • Roborovski dwarf hamsters are the smallest and can grow to 3 inches long.
  • Syrian hamsters are territorial and will fight if kept together. Dwarf hamsters can live together, but only in same-sex pairs that were raised together.

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you hamster care needs.

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Keep Your Rabbit Cool with These Warm Weather Tips

The dangers of overheating in the summer are a risk for any pet. Rabbits are especially vulnerable as they don’t tolerate heat very well and are often penned in enclosures that may not give them room to avoid the heat.

To keep your rabbit safe this summer, follow these tips:

  • Be sure your bunny’s cage has plenty of shade and isn’t sitting in the sun.
  • Keep her water cool and refreshing with a few cubes of ice. Also make sure her water is always clean and that she stays hydrated.
  • Did you know rabbits dispel heat through their ears? If you suspect she’s getting too warm, mist her ears with water to help keep her cool.
  • If you have a long-haired rabbit, consider cropping her coat short during the summer. Otherwise, brush out extra fur.
  • If it gets very hot in her area, consider placing a few items in her cage that she can lie on or against to stay cool: a 2-liter soda bottle that has been frozen with water in it, for example, or a cool ceramic tile that she can lie on.
  • If you have a senior or overweight rabbit, watch her carefully. She may be at higher risk if she’s sedentary and doesn’t drink often enough to stay hydrated.

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you rabbit care needs.

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Common Hamster Myths

Common Myths About Hamsters

Hamsters are cute, small, and fun. But even though they’re easier to care for than larger animals, they still have certain care needs to stay safe and healthy. Before you add a hamster to your pet family, make sure you’re aware of what they’re like as pets.

Here’s a look at some common myths and misconceptions about hamsters.

All Hamster Can Live Together

If you’re thinking about getting more than one hamster, you might be under the impression you can just get one cage to house them together. Well, that may be true for some species of hamsters, but it’s not true for all. Syrian hamsters, for example, can’t live together if they’re 5 weeks of age or older. This species is very territorial and they will fight to protect their space; in some cases to the death.

Other species of hamsters may live well in the same cage if they’re introduced to the space and each other early enough. But there’s always a chance fighting can occur. To prevent this, give each hamster his own cage, no matter what the species.

Hamsters Don’t Bite

Hamsters can bite, but so can all animals if they’re provoked. Hamsters have very poor eyesight and often rely on their teeth to explore.

Animal behavior is unpredictable. You may get a hamster that will never nip you and you may get one that will. There’s no way to predict beforehand. One way to help avoid being bit is to make sure he’s completely awake before you pick him up, and keep your hands away from his mouth.

Different Colors = Different Personalities

Many people are under the assumption that a hamster’s color dictates personality. For instance, white hamsters might be considered more easygoing. But this isn’t true. Color doesn’t dictate temperament; breeding does. Hamsters are bred for good temperament, so their coat colors won’t clue you in to their personalities.

For hamster care and advice, visit your Pet Supermarket store.

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Keeping Your Garden Safe for Your Rabbit

  • Fencing: make sure your rabbit can’t crawl under or climb over your garden fence.
  • Hiding spaces: give your rabbit safe places to hide from predators.
  • Secure tools: don’t leave tools resting on walls such as rakes, weed trimmers, or shovels that can fall on your rabbit.
  • Sharp objects: don’t use barbed wire in your garden or yard and check for exposed nails.
  • Fountains: if you have a water feature, make sure your rabbit can’t fall in.
  • Insecticides: secure harmful items like pesticides, poisons, and insecticides.

Your rabbit can enjoy outdoor time this summer, just be sure to protect him well.

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Speaking Pet: Instinctual Rabbit Behavior

Because they are a prey species, rabbits show behavior that is mostly dictated by instinct. Read on for a list of the top instinctual behaviors you’ll see from your rabbit and our tips.

Instinct 1: Digging – Rabbits love to dig holes and burrows as safe havens. The key to handling this behavior is to channel it away from your rugs and carpet and onto items meant for bunny digging. Your rabbit will enjoy scratching at and chewing untreated grass mats and tunnels, like the Hide-A-Way Hut.

Instinct 2: Burrowing – Your rabbit is a natural burrower and loves to create cozy spaces underground. Recreate an underground environment with grass tunnels for your rabbit to run through and relax in. We also suggest offering a large nesting area using a Giant Igloo.

Instinct 3: Chewing – Your rabbit’s teeth grow continuously. This helps explain why they like to chew; it’s a good way to keep tooth length in check. Chewing the wrong items, however, can put a rabbit in harm’s way. Carpet fibers can cause gastrointestinal distress, electrical cords can cause electrocution and some common houseplants are poisonous to rabbits. Offer any small animal chew instead.

Instinct 4: Tossing – Although there might not be a lot of documented sightings of wild rabbits throwing objects around, many have seen their rabbits toss around treats and other objects. Perhaps it’s their way of saying “Watch this!” Toss N Chew Celery and Flip ‘N Toss Carrot are just a few of the toys your rabbit might enjoy.

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How to Keep Your Ferret from Biting

Does your ferret bite during play? Nipping or play biting is natural when ferrets play together, especially among young kits. But when playing with humans (who have thinner skin), they don’t realize it can hurt.

Ferrets bite for various reasons: out of fear, to get attention, to initiate play or because they’re not socialized. It’s your job to train your ferret out of biting and socialization, good training and consistency are key. Use one or more of these methods to train your little friend.


This is the easiest way to show your displeasure. Pick him up by the scruff or skin on the back of the neck and say “no” firmly. This is how mother ferrets pick up their babies and it will show your dominance. There are few nerve endings in this area, but you should still be firm and gentle.

Distract with a Substitute

Another method is to use a toy to distract him when he starts biting. Get him to bite or wrestle the toy instead and help him learn the difference between toys and your fingers. A young kit will almost always bite while playing, but you can show him not to bite unless he’s just mouthing your skin or lightly nipping it.

Training Aids

Sprays of bitter apple and other training aids might also keep him from biting. You can spray a little on your hand (be sure not to get it near your mouth) and also on any furniture you want to protect. Never spray it on your ferret.

Time Out

If he continues to bite, scruff him firmly and place him in his carrier or somewhere fairly boring (not his regular cage) for a short 5 minute time out and then try again. Kits, especially, hate time out, so this may be the cure.

After a couple of weeks, your ferret should realize your hands aren’t play toys and biting them could mean losing playtime with you. For all your ferret care needs, visit your Pet Supermarket store!

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Understanding Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are fun pets, but it’s safe to say most pet parents aren’t familiar with their pet’s sounds and behavior at first. Do you understand your guinea pig? Here’s a short guide on guinea pig sounds and behavior you’ll want to know.

“Wheeking” is another name for the squealing or squeaking sounds of your guinea pig. She may seem like a quiet animal, but you’re likely to hear her squeal quite often. She might use it to get attention or to beg for her favorite food. A high-pitched squeal, however, could be a sign of fear or pain.

Similar to cats, guinea pigs purr when they’re relaxed and content. Pay attention to the tone however. A deep purr is a sign of contentment. A high-pitched one can signify annoyance or fear.

Have you seen your guinea pig break out in a hopping dance? When they’re happy, they show it! She might run and jump up and down while turning. It’s a move that resembles popcorn popping, hence the term.

Sleeping wide eyed
Don’t be surprised if you rarely, if ever, see your guinea pig with her eyes closed. They rarely close their eyes, even when asleep. If she does close her eyes, it’s likely she feels secure enough to let down her guard.

Does your guinea pig ever freeze? It may happen in a moment when she feels threatened, startled or is in an unfamiliar environment. It’s the instinct of a prey animal who senses a predator may be near.

Dragging behind
If you catch your furry friend dragging her hind end along the ground, it’s not because she needs to go to the bathroom or scratch an itch. She’s marking her territory and letting others know the area is hers!

Being such social creatures, guinea pigs thrive with human attention and enjoy playing with other guinea pigs. If you have one guinea pig, be sure to spend time playing with her or consider getting her a little friend.

For all your guinea pig care needs, visit your Pet Supermarket store!

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About Your Hamster’s Bulging Cheek Pouches

All About a Hamster's Bulging Cheeks

You may have seen your hamster with bulging cheek pouches. What you might not know is that his cheek pouches aren’t always used for food. Read on for some interesting facts.

Did you know?

  • Hamsters stuff their cheeks to hoard food for later or to carry nesting material from one area to another. Female hamsters might also carry their pups in their cheek pouches.
  • When full, cheek pouches can make a hamster’s head double or even triple in size.
  • A hamster’s cheek pouches don’t have salivary glands and can keep contents dry and fresh.
  • Their cheeks have a 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 health 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.
  • A cheek pouch can also turn inside out and become an everted pouch, a condition that needs medical attention.

For all your hamster care needs visit your Pet Supermarket store!

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How to Speak Hamster

Perked ears, waving hands, hissing… do you know what these actions mean in “hamster speak”? Read on for tips on how to interpret your hamster’s actions.

Is he waving at me?
Your hamster may seem to be waving hello, but he’s really exploring with his senses. Since he doesn’t have good eyesight, he relies on his senses of smell, hearing touch and taste. To do that, it helps to stand on his hind legs and wave his front paws a little.

Hiss, hiss or stay away
As you may have guessed, a hissing hamster is not a happy hamster. In this case, he’s feeling aggressive or is afraid. Take it as the warning it is and leave him alone for a while.

I’m watching you
You know that cute pose when your hamster stands on his hind legs and seems to be begging? He’s not begging. He’s watching… intently. This watchful pose might precede aggression or nipping, so it’s a good time to step back and watch him before approaching.

It’s grooming time
Just as you might enjoy a soothing bath, your hamster grooms himself when he’s calm and at peace. He won’t want to be interrupted at this moment, so just let him enjoy himself. If he grooms excessively, however, it may point to a skin issue or other problem and should visit a vet.

Watch the ears
As a naturally curious creature, your hamster may often keep his ears perked forward. It helps him explore and shows his interest. If his ears are flattened back, he may be fearful or aggressive and will want to be left alone.

Take the time to learn your hamster’s body language and you’ll find yourself able to read him more easily and enjoy your time with him.

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The Basics of a Guinea Pig Diet

Guinea pigs are popular pets. They’re small, fairly easy to care for and are fun to watch.

But this small animal needs a certain diet to stay healthy. Fortunately, the diet of a guinea pig is fairly easy to accommodate.

Wondering what you should be feeding your small friend? Here’s a look at a well-rounded guinea pig diet:

A large part of your guinea pig’s diet should include timothy-based pellets. They’re specially formulated with extra vitamin C, which is vital for your pet’s health. Guinea pigs don’t produce this vitamin on their own and must get it through their diet.

Don’t Forget Fruits and Veggies
Though he shouldn’t eat them all the time, your guinea pig can munch on fruit and vegetables for a treat. Fruit like apples, tomatoes, strawberries and pears are a few favorites. Carrots and leafy green vegetables, like lettuce and kale, are also guinea-pig approved. Note that you should only feed fruit occasionally, as they contain natural sugars, which can cause upset their stomach.

Fruit Tree Twigs
If you have access to a fruit tree, collect some twigs from it and offer it to your pet as a special treat. Guinea pigs are fond of dried fruit tree twigs and enjoy nibbling on them. Just a word of caution: make sure the tree hasn’t been treated with a pesticide, as this can be harmful to his health. Also, avoid twigs from trees that bear stone fruit (cherries, plums, etc.) since they have an acid that can be harmful.

Feed your guinea pig an edible variety of favorites and he will live a happy, healthy life.

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