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