Chore Chart Instructions

Scatter food

  • Measure out your pellets and/or seed mix.
  • Scatter the food on top of the bedding and in some toys and hides for foraging opportunities.
  • You can also put some food in a dish if you’d like (not recommended for gerbils or during mouse bonding.)

Refresh water

  • Check the level of your pet’s water dish or bottle
  • Empty and refill the dish if you’re using one
  • Empty and refill the water bottle if it is lukewarm
  • Wash the bottle at least once per week with soap and water


  • Remove visibly dirty bedding
  • Sweet or vacuum up visible droppings
  • Wipe down surfaces to clean
  • Rearrange items back into place as needed 

Wipe wheel

  • Use a paper towel or rag and a pet-safe cleaner or vinegar/water mix to clean the wheel

Offer interaction

  • Interact with your pet however they feel comfortable
  • This could be placing your hand in the enclosure, picking them up and holding them, or just sitting near the enclosure and speaking to them

Fresh fruits/veggies

  • Hamsters: 1 tsp. fresh veggies daily (limit fruit to about twice a week)
  • Gerbils: 1 tsp. fresh fruits/veggies per gerbil about twice a week
  • Mice: ½ tsp. – 1 tsp. fresh fruits/veggies per day per mouse

Replace bedding

  • Hamsters: A hamster’s enclosure, if properly filled with bedding and of the proper size, doesn’t need to be cleaned often. Replace only ⅓ of the bedding at a time, and only as needed. This will be about once every 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on the type of hamster. 
  • Gerbils: Replace only ⅔ of your gerbils’ bedding at any one time. This should typically be needed about once every 2 weeks to 1 month.
  • Mice: Replace almost all of the bedding in the enclosure once per week. Leave some of the old bedding in the enclosure to maintain familiar smells.

New things to explore

  • For mice, add something new for your pets to climb on, explore, or play with at least each week. 
  • We recommend cycling in different toys and enrichment each week so there’s always something new to do. 
  • This can also be enriching for hamsters, but hamsters are much more sensitive to environmental changes. 
  • We don’t recommend adding new items too often for gerbils because environmental changes can cause them to become territorial.

Chews & sprays

  • Make sure that your hamster, gerbils, or mice always have something to chew on and something to forage. 
  • Chews can be cardboard, Whimzee treats, or as simple as a toilet paper or paper towel roll. Choose a variety of different textures for your pets to chew up and incorporate into their nest. 
  • Hamsters: Hamsters should always have sprays available for foraging. They particularly enjoy millet sprays, but you should offer a variety. Check sprays once per week to make sure they’re fresh.
  • Mice and gerbils: Mice and gerbils will go through foraging sprays more quickly, so we recommend refreshing their sprays once per week.


  • Use a playpen or safe area to let your pet explore and get some additional exercise. 
  • Fill the space with unique toys and obstacles for your pets to explore.
  • Never use a hamster ball. 

Health check

  • Weigh your pet. Keep a record of your pets’ weights so that you notice when there are any major changes. 
  • Check your pet’s teeth, fur, skin, eyes, ears, and genital/rectal area for anything unusual. 
  • Contact your exotic pet vet immediately with any concerns.