Do you have a hamster, Guinea pig, mouse, bunny, or gerbil? Pocket pets can make adorable animal companions! Most of these pint-sized pets have open-rooted teeth, which means that their choppers never stop growing. In the wild, eating tough roots and plants will wear those little teeth down. However, since pets eat much softer diets, you’ll need to provide plenty of chew toys. If your little furball can’t chew enough, he or she could develop painful dental issues! Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys. Some common household goods can make great playthings for your pet. Here, a McHenry, IL vet lists some DIY pocket pet toys.
There are lots of things you can do with plain copy paper. Try folding a piece up around a yummy treat. Or, crumple several pieces into balls, and stuff them all into a tissue box or a paper lunch bag. You can also cut or fold paper into small shapes for your furball to nibble on. Another option is to simply shred some, and put the pieces in a shoebox, or on top of a treat or another toy.
The cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls or paper towels can make great playthings! Cut one into small rings, and then reassemble it into a small ball around a snack. Another option is to stuff one with fresh grass hay or safe, suitable herbs. You can also make several into a little pyramid. Or, just give your tiny buddy a plain one to nibble on.
Boxes can be lots of fun for little furballs! You can make your tiny pal a cute castle out of shoeboxes. Or, attach several together, and make a fun maze or labyrinth for your pet to explore.
Many wood and wicker items, like spoons or children’s blocks, can make great toys, as long as they are properly cleaned and disinfected, and don’t have sharp edges or small parts. Just be sure to only choose items made of safe woods. Avoid pine and cedar, which can be toxic to small animals. You’ll also want to avoid anything covered in paint, varnish, glitter, or other decorative substances. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your McHenry, IL animal clinic! We’re here to help!