Holiday Care Goals for Hamsters & Other Small Furries

May 21, 2024

Heading off on your long-awaited holiday? But what about your furry friends staying behind? No worries; Alpha Vets in Teddington has you covered with a comprehensive prep guide, ensuring your small animals can be cared for in the way they are accustomed to! #HamsterGoals

Whether it’s guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, fancy rats, or pet mice left in charge, there are a few steps you can take before you leave to ensure their well-being. From making their living space summer-ready to briefing the pet sitter, here’s the ultimate pre-holiday checklist for small pets from our team in Teddington.

Book a pre-holiday check-up


3 things you can organise before you go:

  1. Hot Weather Prep: If the weather’s heating up, relocate your pet’s hutch/cage to a cool, shaded spot away from direct sunlight. Install flyscreens or netting to keep mosquitoes and flies at bay.
  2. Pre-holiday Health Check: Prior to your trip, schedule a health check, dental, and nail appointment with Alpha Vets. Let our team know who’ll be looking after your pet while you’re away – contact us.
  3. Boredom Busting Activities: Keep your guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, fancy rat, or pet mouse entertained with enriching toys like treat balls, tunnels, foraging trays, and digging boxes. For guinea pigs, choose items that don’t require climbing to prevent injuries.

4 things your small animal pet sitter will need from you:

  1. Vet Information: Include the address & phone number and your vet’s name if you see the same one regularly.
  2. Your Pet’s Accommodation: If your sitter is looking after your pet at their place, ask them to take your pet’s cage or at least their bedding along. Small pets feel more at ease with familiar surroundings.
  3. Food & Water Bowls/Bottles: Ensure you provide enough food for the duration of your absence, along with extras for cleaning days. And don’t forget your pet’s food – see Nutrition below.
  4. Medication & Instructions: Remember to provide any necessary medication along with clear instructions on how to administer it.

5 things your pet sitter should be onboard with:

  1. Routine: Document your pet’s daily routine including feeding, exercise, grooming and essential cleaning tasks such as daily poop & dirty bedding removal. Let your holiday sitter know when your pet is most active and when they like to sleep. Limiting changes to your pet’s routine will help to reduce any potential stress they may feel when you’re away.
  2. Nutrition & Hydration: Stock up on food and create a meal plan for your pet sitter, including treats, to maintain your pet’s health & happiness. Water should be changed daily and water bottles checked for blockages. If you have any questions about small pet nutrition, our Teddington team are happy to help – call us on 0208 943 2303.
  3. Gentle Handling & Separation: Provide instructions on proper handling techniques to prevent accidents. Advise your sitter to keep your pet close to their chest or lap for safety. Additionally, if you have unneutered males and females, ensure your sitter knows to keep them separated!
  4. Cleaning: It’s important to maintain cleanliness by changing bedding and removing waste daily. Schedule weekly hutch/cage cleanings to prevent health issues. If your guinea pig requires bottom cleaning, demonstrate this to your sitter.
  5. Health Awareness: Educate your pet sitter on signs of common guinea pig illnesses like flystrike, loss of appetite, and bacterial pneumonia. Emphasise the importance of prompt veterinary care if symptoms arise. If you would like advice on any of these, just ask our team.

So that’s it, your ultimate guide to pre-holiday planning that should ensure your small animal pet sitter is well informed and your pet has everything they need for a trouble-free time.

Any questions, we’re always here to help! Before you go, remember to book a visit to our Teddington vet practice to ensure your guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, fancy rat or pet mouse is in tip top condition.

Book a pre-holiday check-up

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